There is one fundamental truth in life. It is a whole heck of a lot more difficult to go through it alone. Good friends will always be by your side!
Last weekend a whole bunch of HWA-VA members made our way north and descended upon the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island. The event was Stokercon 2018 and the reason was to make new friends, reconnect with old ones, and learn as much as possible about the horror genere.
This was my first year going, but I know several people make the yearly pilgrimage to participate in the convention. I have to tell you, I am a bit of a convert. I am looking forward to the next one.
The convention featured more panel discussions than you can shake a stick at. I think my personal favorite was a discussion on Pulp Fiction. I also greatly enjoyed the discussion on Outlining versus Pantsing, which was moderated by our very own Pamela K. Kinney.
But there was literally so many different panels, it would be impossible to see them all. At one point I was so tired from all the activity, I had to relax. I did so at the bar in the hotel and was quickly joined by almost everyone in the HWA-VA crew. It was a fun evening.
For me personally, my favorite non-panel thing was having breakfast with Dacre Stoker who is the Great-Grand Nephew of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. It was a chance meeting and a great time to learn more about his efforts to bring that part of his family’s history to life.
We enjoyed the Third Annual Final Frame Horror Short Film Competition, where we saw some amazing short films. My personal favorite did not win, but it was hard to pick. At the reception afterward, the VA group had a terrific conversation with Z-Nation creator, and the recently announced GM of Shudder at AMC Networks, Craig Engler. I think we may have inadvertently surrounded him, but he had some great insights into how to learn scriptwriting. And, he should know! He couldn’t know that he was surrounded by the best and brightest Virginia has to offer in the world of horror!
Both Pamlea K. Kinney and myself did readings of our works and I know several members took time out to watch the other authors read from their works as well.
At the end of the day, we changed some of our acquaintances into friends and some of our friends into family. And who was there, you might ask? Well, I am sure I am missing someone, but here is a partial list.
Dee South, Pamela K. Kinney, Cathleen “Cat” Marshall, Querus Abuttu, Randy D. Rubin, Charles Fuller, Anne Fuller, James Ebersole, and Theresa Matsuura.
I think we can safely say the HWA-VA crowd won the award for most members of a chapter showing up! If they had an award for that kind of thing.
For those of you not members of the HWA, come on over and join us! For those of you who are members, consider participating in your local chapter. It is a ton of fun and you will be rewarded by being introduced to many different people from all walks of life. Most importantly, get involved!
-Bryan the Writer; Blogger/Northern Ghoul!