Where the heck do I start? Horror Hound Weekend was AMAZING! It was my first time attending as a part of the Samhain Family (my first time attending at all). I was floored to meet a bunch people I’d never talked to face-to-face, but harass constantly online. People like Adam Cesare, Jonathan Janz, and Matt Manochio, and the ladies of the Samhain office: Kaitlyn and Tonya. And two of my favorite readers to jaw with: Joe Hempel and Duane Mincel. I got to catch up with some of the guys I’d met before: Russell James and Tim Waggoner. I also made a bunch of new author and reader friends. Oh, and did I mention that I met The Greatest American Hero????? Yeah, it was pretty freaking rad.
Being at the Samhain vendor booth was a lot of fun. Watching Jacob scramble back and forth with a giant grin, listening to Adam grab every possible reader that came by and getting them to consider one (or each) of his three titles, listening to Matt’s perfected pitch for his fantastic Krampus novel, The Dark Servant, jabbering to my closest neighbor, Brian Pinkerton, and serenading him with the hits of Micheal Bolton and Richard Marx, selling some of my favorite Samhain titles when I saw the opportunity (Janz’s Dust Devils, Cesare’s The Summer Job, Everson’s The Family Tree). I also helped sell a couole novels I haven’t gotten to read yet (Pinkerton’s Anotomy of Evil, and Mark Rigney’s Check Out Time).
The hardest part for me was pushing my eBook novellas (Abram’s Bridge and Boom Town). A lot of people said, “I only read real books”. I took it in stride and only pushed my works on the Kindle/ Nook crowds (surprisingly, a lot of the Sunday crowd were Kindle-friendly!).
When I wasn’t at the booth helping out or talking shop (or Bolton/Marx), I managed to venture around to help spread the word about my works. I found the food room (don’t they call that a cafeteria?) to be a terrific place to make new friends and talk books. I brought the remaining copies of my first noel (The Haunted Halls) with me and ended up handing out and signing them to some pretty eager to read people. I also got some positive vibes back from people when I pitched the novellas. Shared some Greatest American Hero love with my two new buds, Bryan and Angela, and hopefully they’ll try some of my horror stories. I also participated in two interviews while I was there. I will share the links as soon as I have them. All good things.
I’d say four of my favorite HHW moments were:
Meeting up with Tonya, Kaitlyn, and Lauren for our pre-Con Samhain Marketing meeting. So many cool ideas were discussed. I have total faith in this team and think we are going to bring Samhain Horror to a whole new level (of confidence and power).
When the kids I met down in the cafeteria (Raul, Kat, and Kat’s brother) came up to the booth the following day and had me sign a copy of The Haunted Halls…that was soooo cool!
Meeting William Katt and totally going full retard (and we all know, you never go full retard) in front of him. I ended up getting out “you were my childhood hero”, “My mom made me a doll of you”. He was still so cool and helped me get through my star struck moment. Still my hero!
Sunday finished by helping Adam sell out The Summer Job and catching a couple beers with him after we closed out. We talked all kinds of shop, business, Stephen King, and much more. Adam, thanks for the conversation and the PBR’s!
What did I forget? Oh yeah, DAMN! Ron Simmons is the best salesman of all time! I got close enough to his signing table that this happened:
For Brian Pinkerton, and to all of my new friends….