World Horror Con - 1998
Guest of Honor - World Horror Convention, Phoenix, AZ -
May 7-10 1998
The Convention was one not to be missed! Brian recieved the Grandmaster Award, which was presented to him at the closing ceremonies. This award was voted on by the people attending the Convention, and it meant a lot to him. To all of those who voted, Brian wishes a sincere thank you.
Amazingly enough, there was not a whole lot of discussion about the convention after it was over. Even still, I have reposted here the articles from the June Issue of Necroscope News in case you missed them. I also have included some snapshots to put you in view of the Con in case you weren't there. Because there may be children reading this, there are no pictures that show any alcohol. Thank you.
by Brian Lumley
Conventions come and go, and they all have their little surprises. This time it was a BIG surprise ... but I'll get to that. First, Silky and I were looking forward to this one. We'd get to meet the man who handles my Web Page. Dave McDougle, and his better half (his MUCH better half) .....? And we knew Monte Z. Ogle and HIS better half would be there; Monte has certain books in his collection that even I don't have -- which is something of a pain when you consider that I wrote them! And there would be other good folks such as Robb Coutinho and ... God, so MANY better halves! Also, the "notorious" Keith Grant-Evans, of THE DOWNLINERS SECT, and his "minder" Jane, would be there. Not forgetting Forry Ackerman, probably the most Famous Monster of them all. Lots of folks I hadn't met before, and many I hadn't seen in sometime. Plus the usual Brits and a gang of writers who've been friends and colleagues of mine for long and long.
Great fun (and not a little work thrown in), and all of it taking place at a venue known to Silky and I as "The Pool", for legend has it that The Embassy Suites -- previously the Fountain Suites -- has the biggest outdoor pool in Phoenix! And we love pools.
Along with the brilliant limner/creator of Swamp Thing and the foremost Frankenstein illustrator, Bernie Wrightson, myself and Tom Doherty made up the team of artist, author, and publisher Guests of Honor. To be any one of which is (of course) an honor in itself. But the opening ceremonies proved to be -- or to produce -- an even greater honor.
John Steakley was MC; he was a few minutes late, and then turned up with a bottle of Scotch! (Perhaps it was planned that way, I'm not sure, but certainly I enjoyed a nip of his hooch.) But in his brief absence the con committee had plugged the gap, and they'd done so by naming this year's Grand Master. And good people let me tell you THAT was the surprise ... because it was yours truly! And it stopped me dead.
I had been whispering something to Tom Doherty when I heard my name mentioned in that connection, and whatever it was that was on my mind, it flew right out of my head, Picture this writer -- struck dumb, utterly lost for words, incapable of speech -- a terrible sight to see.
And that Alan Clarke sculpture, that award ... it's something else. Only a horror writer could call it beautiful, but it IS beautiful. Thanks, Alan, and thanks World Horror Convention, for something I'll never forget, and for one of the greatest honors any writer in our field can ever receive...
Only two complaints about the convention: I was never so busy before, but for obvious reasons it was worth it. But the two parties I HAD to attend -- because I was launching books at both of them -- happened at the same time. AND at the same time I was scheduled to do a reading! So, a few times there when my feet weren't quite touching the floor, I was in that much of a hurry. Thank God for Silky, who always got me there on time, or between times, or sometime...
And the other complaint, but not really: at a hotel where they offer FREE happy hours and FREE breakfasts, breakfast and happy hour AREN't good times to hold panels. Food and drink are necessities, and panels aren't. Audiences are bound to be thin on the ground, however well-stoked within.
But really, we enjoyed every minute. Phoenix gets my vote every time. And next time there's a horror con in Phoenix, Yrs. Truly WILL be there! That's a guarantee...
More next time.
WHC & THE 3 D'S
Well, here I am back from the World Horror Convention held in Phoenix, Arizona. I met many new people; both friends and people I hope I never meet again. I had a great time and I learned a lot-particularly the three D's.Disgust, Disappointment, and Discouragement.
I am a fledgling writer and I am very proud to say that. I attended the WHC in the hopes of sitting down with a few accomplished writers and discussing things like writing a first novel, getting published, finding an agent, etc. What I learned instead was this: a writers convention (pick your own genre) is no place for an unpublished author to learn about the craft. The published writers who attend usually have no time to discuss the Art of the Word because they either are a) waiting for something, b) going to see something, or c) are already in middle of something. Some writers just do not give a damn. One writer specifically, whose first (and only) novel was being released at the Con said to me, "Well, good luck! Prepare yourself for failure. Bye. See ya. Make sure you buy my book!" What do you say to that? All I'm asking Mr. Severely-Balding-First-Novel-Horror-Writer-Man to do is talk to me about what it is like to be accepted into the literary fold. Hey! Sorry to strain your social skills, Mr. Rogaine!
So there you have them. The three D's.Disgust at the pompous attitudes of certain "professionals". Disappointment in not finding an inspiring wordsmith to dialogue with over a margarita. And Discouragement at the thought of even considering I could ever stand shoulder to shoulder as a Storyteller with my peers in the Horror writing industry. Why should I bother? Mr. So & So said I would fail over and over and over and over again!
Along comes Brian Lumley, my mentor and Fairy-Godfather of Liquor and Smokes. We went out to dinner with friends and loved ones. (It was the Lone Star Restaurant-great steaks!) Later that night Brian tells me, " Robb, (he pronounces my name exactly the way it is spelled) all these industry folks are here to relax, drink, and recover by the pool. Some don't want to talk shop and listen to pitches. They want to have fun, meet people and make friends. So should you. Introduce yourself and talk to these people. If they don't want to talk then move on." Brian told me all of this and more. So I flew home thinking, "If I want to be successful as a writer then I have to write, and write darn well, too!" And as far as failing? Let me tell you something; if I receive a rejection slip from Brian's editor, Melissa Singer, at Tor Publishing, I am celebrating because a major publishing house took the time read my manuscript and reply to my blood, sweat, ink and tears. What bigger compliment is there? (Well, yeah.a contract and advance, sure, but humor me, ok?) So now I have some new friends in the "biz". Among them are John Steakley, Adam Niswander, Tom Doherty, Melissa Singer, Scott Wyatt, and Paul Ganley to name a few. And they are just that.friends! Thanks for the advice, Brian.
BRIAN LUMLEY GUEST OF HONOR AT THE 1998 WORLD HORROR CONVENTION IN
Outgoing HWA President, Brian Lumley, will be the Guest of Honor at the 1998 World Horror Convention set for Thursday, May 7 to Sunday, May 10 at the Embassy Suites North in Phoenix, AZ.
That was the tag line you saw posted on this newsletter, the site, the WHC site, and anywhere else you ran across news from the WHC. Was that enough to motivate you to get up and go to Phoenix? If it wasn't, well then, that's your loss, because you missed one heck of a ride.
Being my first convention of any kind, I wasn't sure what to expect. Also being my first time to meet Brian Lumley in person, I had a few of the fan based butterflies that go along with meeting your favorite author. I'm sure most of you out there know what I'm talking about. It ended up running smoothly - the plane trip out was the worst part of the trip, basking in the Phoenix sun pool side was a close second behind meeting "The Man," which was easily the best part. I'm also glad to say I didn't refund my dinner from nerves about meeting Brian and his lovely wife, Silky.
The convention is a great place to meet the faces that go along with the names you see all over the world of horror. In comic books, artwork, authors, publishers, editors, fans - you name it, there's a good chance you'll see it at the convention. From the mild-mannered business suit type who strolls through looking for a "tome" to peruse, clear through the social spectrum to the make-up induced gunshot victims in black from head to toe dripping with realistic blood. What a thing to do to just sit back and watch the crowds. You can't leave out the gatherings, parties if you wish, that both individuals and publishers threw. Nothing brings people together like the aroma of happiness, usually in a bottle form.
I have to say I agree with Brian about the organization of the Con, with too many things going on all at the same time, but, what do you do. It's designed to keep you involved and busy, sometimes just too busy. But when in doubt, a leisurely stroll down to the pool for a quick dip relieved any tension you might have. And if that didn't work, order a drink from the pool side bar, that'll be sure to take care of the stress.
All in all, Sunday afternoon came too quick. I hated to leave the new friends I made, Robb Coutinho and his "newly adorned with a diamond" companion Carrie, (thanks again for the scenic route to the airport you guys), Keith Grant-Evans and his wife, Jane, (good 'ol "Dave the Web" appreciated his CD, believe me) and most of all, my gracious hosts, Brian and Silky Lumley. For Brian and Silky, if you ever get to meet them in person, one line seems to come to mind to describe this couple. As Jackie Gleason once said, "You're the greatest!" If you don't walk away feeling that about them, you better check the autographs you had the individual you met sign in your books. It couldn't have been Brian Lumley.
Brian being interviewed by Adam Niswander