Tomorrow, we’ll be beginning our journey to the World Horror Convention in New Orleans, LA. I haven’t been to NOLA in many years. It’s a beautiful city. I used to live down the river a ways in Buras in Plaquemine Parish. I would go to New Orleans to party, to eat, and to buy guitar strings, which I couldn’t find in Buras. The food is exquisite and the nightlife is enchanting. I’m looking forward to the journey – sort of.
Before we go to New Orleans, we’re headed to Corinth, MS. to visit family and for a book signing. That’s good. The problem is preparing for such a long journey – 10 days. First – my cat was bitten by a rattlesnake and almost died. We thought we would have to postpone, but she is better. However, I don’t feel right leaving her and her brother alone for so long. One of our friends offered to watch them but she can’t be there all the time. We chose a pet sitting service. After meeting Anna, I feel better. Still, that’s $200.
Let me preface all this with what’s been happening to us. I’ve been finishing a novel for Severed Press, a sequel to Ice Station Zombie called Chill Factor. I’ve also been finishing a novel to pitch at the convention, a Navajo creation myth horror title Ye’iitsoh. During this time, we have had our house painted, a tree cut, sun screening installed, people giving estimates for flooring and a new patio. We destroyed our old patio to prepare, but our first contractor didn’t show up, or call or apologize. Our second one delayed us two weeks. It still isn’t done. I’m only hoping they will show up eventually. A handyman we hired to put up racks in the garage blew us off as well. I was in sales for several years. I can’t understand people who don’t follow through or call. If I tried to sell novels the way they operate … well, I wouldn’t sell any. Needless to say, I’ve told everyone I know to avoid them. It has been a hectic month. I need to relax.
I probably won’t. I have sleep apnea, so I have to lug a compressor, a C-PAP machine, and a sleep mask everywhere I go. I carry oxygen for emergencies. That makes it difficult to fly, so we drive – 1500 miles. Then there’s luggage, books, computers, Kindles, a cooler, snacks, CDs. Two long days to Corinth and a day from Corinth to NOLA. I’ll be exhausted before I even arrive. The convention usually taxes me (parties, readings, signings, more parties), and then two long days back to Tucson. It will take weeks for me to recover, but it’s worth it – I think.
I love conventions, especially WHCs. I meet new writers, old friends, learn a great deal, explore new places, and attend pitch sessions. I’ve sold a couple of novels that way and I’m hoping for one more. This year I’ll have a reading and attend the Mass Autograph session. Two of my publishers will be there. It will be great. If you can attend only one horror writer’s convention, make it WHC. I’ve been to New York, Salt Lake City twice, and now NOLA. It’s worth every penny if you treat it as a vacation. I’m hoping we’ll have a WHC in Aruba or The Cayman Islands, but we’ll see.
Finally, there’s the Bram Stoker awards banquet. The best of the best receiving honors. I have friends up for awards in different categories and I’m rooting for them all. The Stoker Award is a great honor. I’ve had a blank spot on my shelf for one for years. Looks like I may have to buy a lamp or Kachina doll.
The WHC is in New Orleans from June 13-16. If you can make it, do. I’ll see you there.