Thursday, July 17, 2014

NECON! And A New Review.

Aiming for the fence at NECON 31
So in about six hours or so, Lamplight editor Jacob Haddon will be rolling into my driveway, honking his horn, waiting to bear me away to NECON 34. I mentioned on Facebook that it's been two years since I attended NECON. I checked my facts, and realized it's actually been 3, so returning has been a long time in coming.

Of course, returning is mostly important to me, not to anyone at NECON. I'm not a name anyone is necessarily looking forward to seeing. But NECON was one of the first conventions I ever attended when I started getting out on the road five years ago.  I attended Borderlands Bootcamp, MOCON, then BOOM: NECON.

It was a fabulous time. I didn't know anyone, didn't now anything about time honored NECON rituals (for example, I totally missed mini-golf and the Talent Show that year), but even so, being surrounded by the greats of the genre, simply BEING there at NECON...

What a way to begin my convention experience.

The following year was even better, simply because I knew more people. I mini-golfed, went out to dinner with folks Thursday night, I mingled better, actually TALKED to some of the greats, instead of mewling in the corner like a pile of jelly. I wasn't a "name"  but felt like maybe, just maybe, I was on my way to becoming a NECON "regular."

Then, life intervened.

Bills piled up. Changes in my school summer pay left me, basically, unemployed and unpaid over the summer. One by one, conventions had to be ticked off the list. Unfortunately, NECON was one of the first to go.

Now, a confluence of fortuitous events has put NECON back on the map, and I couldn't be more excited. I'll be riding up with good friend Jacob Haddon and rooming with fellow Hiram Grange scribe and excellent fellow, Rob Davies, who has blogged about his first experience to NECON. I'll get to see some awesome folks, some of whom I haven't seen for almost a year, others longer.

And this time, I hope to make things stick. I've decided that, in addition to AnthoCon (which I work at, running the Readings), I need to focus on ONE con a year. Until World Horror gets a little closer to the East Coast, I'm going to aim toward saving my funds for NECON every year.

But, I'm not going to worry about that this weekend. I'm just going to bask. As Rob Davies mentioned, horror writers tend to be the friendliest, most laid back folks. Whether or not I can make it all stick, become a NECON regular or not, this year I get to go back, and I plan on fully enjoying myself.

And the weekend starts perfectly, with a new review for DEVOURER OF SOULS:
The stories are chilling, disturbing, and creepy without being weighed down by blood and guts, which makes for some fantastic storytelling on Lucia’s part. The characters are believable and you grow to care about them before the cruelty of their fates hits you like a punch to the gut. The writing is so compelling and well-done that I read Devourer of Souls in one sitting—I couldn't put it down.
I bold-faced the last sentence because, in the end, I feel that's the greatest compliment any writer can receive. I know for me, at the bottom of it all, I want people to read my stuff, and love reading my stuff. My favorite authors have made whole days disappear for me, and it's heady stuff to hear I've done the same for others.

And now, I'm off prep for NECON....