Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hypericon 2010

There are a few cons I attend that I have a special liking for. Hypericon is one of those. It is a relatively small con, but the people you meet there are friendly and personable, the staff is more than patient and competent, and the con itself has an overall down-home kind of feel to it that leaves you feeling like you just visited your favorite aunt and uncle when you're headed home afterward.

The foremost reason I attend cons is networking, which is fun, but I spend a lot of time on my feet, pressing flesh and not actually seeing the con itself. I made it a point to go out of my way this time, fall off my career-advancement ambitions, and become a fanboy because the Guest of Honor at this Hypericon was Ramsey Campbell.

Mr. Campbell is one of the authors who inspired me to become a writer. His work and that of his pre-cursors (like Bierce, Lovecraft, Machen, even Conan Doyle and Burroughs) and contemporaries helped me define how I wanted to write horror. I have always maintained that what we cannot see is always more terrifying than what we can, and Mr. Campbell's brand of psychological horror epitomizes that. I spent a great deal of time speaking with him about a wide variety of subjects and found him to be a most gracious gentlemen and a great conversationalist. He was attending with his lovely wife Jenny, who I mistook for his daughter, to her delight. I will always remember fondly the moments I had with them.

I reconnected with my good friend Stephen Zimmer, author of the Rising Dawn and Fires in Eden fantasy series. He was debuting his latest book The Storm Guardians and I got to attend the official launch. I wish him all the best in his series. I will post a review of The Storm Guardians soon.

Among the friends I met there was Sam Flegal. He was there with his wife and 4-month old baby girl. Congrats again on an adorable little one, Sam. You have a lovely family.

Jennifer Mulvihill was there with her daughter and two of her girl's friends. Jennifer is a ray of sunshine wherever she goes, but I was especially honored to get to hear her sing at the karaoke session. Someday she needs to cut a CD. She has a great voice.

Allan Gilbreath and Kimberly Richardson manned the Kerlak Publishing table. Always fun to meet with Allan, although I would have preferred him to have those Squirrels of Mass Distraction for sale. Kimberly is the editor of the upcoming Dreams of Steam anthology and nearly as animated as Allan when it comes to life in general. I swear, between the two of them, there was enough energy in the room to light a small town.

Elizabeth Donald was another source of energy only barely contained behind her table (The Literary Underground). Elizabeth has the kind of outgoing personality that delights everyone around her, and when she gets together with Sara Harvey, the sparks fly. One of the most memorable panels was composed of Elizabeth, Sara, Eric Wilson, and Stephen Zimmer. Believe me, you had to be there to appreciate it.

Finally, I got to start the meetings for the production of the short film based on my novel Ascendant, with Sven Grunland and Matthew Perry of Cineline Productions, and Stephen Zimmer, who will be directing. It was a lot of fun getting to know how movies are put together from scratch, and I really look forward to working with these guys. There was even some talk of producing some shorts based on stories in my Eclectic Dreams collection. More as that develops.

All in all, Hypericon 2010 was one of the most memorable cons I have attended. I will definitely be back to the Nashville area next year for the next one.