Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 World Horror Convention - Saturday Seminars

Q&A WITH ROBERT McCAMMON: (Robert McCammon, Hal Bodner-moderator).  

Points brought up:
-RM was brought up in Birmngham, AL and felt isolated because there was no horror.  Because of this he contacted Joe and Karen Landsdale to create what would eventually  become the World Horror Assocation.
-Dean Koontz put a lot of financial backing into the World Horror Association.
-RM is not too wild about his earlier works being republished, but says they were the best  he could do at the time.
-RM feels he hit his stride with They Thirst.
-They Thirst was originally going to be set in Chicago, but RM felt that L.A., a land of  youth and beauty, lent itself better to the story.
-RM was told his fans were "...not going to go for A Boy's Life."
-An editor also wanted to change A Boy's Life significantly and Robert refused.
-After the A Boy's Life incident RM took a very long hiatus and thought he would never  write again.
-RM struggled with finding a place for himself after writing his Horror books.  Back then  the rule was that authors couldn't cross over.  
-RM feels that the crux of the matter is if the publisher trusts the writer.  
-RM thinks that The Five is the best book he's ever done. 
-RM started Speaks the Nightbird because he wanted to challenge himself and do  something historical.
-An editor wanted Michael Corbett (the protagonist of Speaks the Nightbird) to fall in love  with Rachel as soon as he saw her and Robert refused.  This editor also wanted to take  out "...a lot of the detail and richness."
-RM did a lot of research for his Michael Corbett series.  He advised that writers have to  know more detail than they put in.
-RM also advised that as a writer, you have to want to go back to your story because if  you don't want to go back to it, then the readers won't either.

Cool quotes:
"Oh it's not effortless to step into the 18th Century.  You have to live there in your mind."~Robert McCammon.
"I thought all this was just about writing!" ~Robert McCammon (in response to his troubles with publishers/editors.)
"I am extremely lucky.  I was called back even though I walked away...What I've done before is prologue.  The rest of my life s the next chapter."  ~Robert McCammon

My favorite part: Robert McCammon is the epitome of a true southern gentleman.   I was enthralled with every word that came out of his mouth.  When he made the statement about the rest of his life being the next chapter, I felt tears start in my eyes.

(l-r) Robert McCammon & Hal Bodner.
Robert McCammon.

VAMPIRES THROUGH THE AGES: (Leslie S. Klinger, James Dorr, Hal Bodner-moderator,  Thomas Roche, Ed Erdelac)

Points brought up:
-Les broke down the Vampire era in three categories:
 1. The Supernatural Period. (Lamias, beings from another plane.) 2. The Monster Period.  (Creatures that have risen from the grave.  Wild reports circulate.) 3. The Lounge Lizard.  (The romantic period of vampires.)
-Dracula was not popular when it was published.  It was categorized as a thriller.
-Bela Legosi was the first romantic vampire.
-Lord Byron also contributed to vampires being seen as romantic figures.
-Anne Rice made the romantic vampire boom.
-People may love the romantic vampire because they are in love with the idea of not  dying.
-If you invite the vampire in, you are also inviting in temptation.
-To become a vampire, you have to commit the sin and exchange blood.  It is an active  decision.
-I Am Legend, which won the Stoker award for Vampre novel of the Century, was in all of the voter's top 3. (The audience did not find out the winner until the Stoker Awards Banquet.)

Cool quotes:
"Horror is the beggar at the feast." ~Hal
"How can you make a vampire movie where no one bites anyone?" ~ Les

My favorite part:  The entire discussion.

(l-r) Ed Erdelac, James Dorr, Hal Bodner, Leslie S. Klinger, Thomas Roche.
(l-r) Ed Erdelac, James Dorr, Hal Bodner, Leslie S. Klinger, Thomas Roche.

THE SUPERNATURAL IN FICTION: (Michael L. Calvillo, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Andrew Fuller, Rick Huatala, Michael Brent Collings-moderator).

(This was a discussion on what fascinates people about supernatural in fiction and why people like to write it.)

Points brought up:
-Sherilynn told us that one of her ancestors cursed a town into oblivion and stated, "We  all want that mojo."
-Andrew believes supernatural in fiction holds appeal because people are trying to deal  with the unexplainable.
-As a writer, it's a way to explore.
-Michael stated that it's just fun!
-You can also discuss good and evil.
-Rick said that a ghost is a manifestation of of guilt and/or regret.
-The supernatural lets an author play by their own rules.  It elevates the stakes.
-When a writer is inconsistent with the rules or can't come up with something original, the  supernatural element does not work.
-Michael feels that the Haunting of Hill House is a perfect story.  It let him figure out what  really happened.
-Before she could write, Sherilynn would draw pictures of monsters.  She was always  trying to scare her mom.
-Michael takes things that scare him and writes about what scares him more.
-Rick things about what would make a ghost linger and how would that relate to what is happening in  the protagonists life.
-Ideas are easy.  Developing it is hard.
-Characters have the same questions and have the same doubts as the readers may.
-Rick advised that for the Supernatural to work you've got to isolate your characters.
-Rick also said that basic fears haven't changed.  They are what makes us human.

Cool quotes:
"I think it's all because we're gonna' die.  We want to know we'll live on."  ~Michael 
"Unresolved things are like ghosts because they linger inside you." ~Rick 

My favorite part: Learning the panel's thoughts.

(l-r) Michael L. Calvillo, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Andrew Fuller, Michael Brent Collings, Rick Hautala.

HORROR PUBLISHING: (Roy K. Robbins-Bad Moon Books, Derrick Hussey-Hippocampus Press, Dawn Martin-Samhain Publishing, Don D'Auria-Samhain Publishing, Norman Rubenstein-moderator).

Points brought up:
-Digital publishing exposes more authors to readers.
-Most romance is digital.
-The panel feels that ebooks is where fiction is gong.
-Rick likes short fiction and novellas.
-Don thinks that Horror lends itself well to the short story format, but they don't sell as  well as novels.
-Derrek said the most exciting and sexy thing we do is publish stuff from new authors.
-Don feels new authors are important.  You can't only publish established authors.
-Roy does not publish very extreme or over the top stories.  That goes against his beliefs.
-Don will publish the whole spectrum.  From disturbing to extreme.  The only thing he  won't publish is if a story is too much into another genre.
-Authors need to realize that publishing copies is a long, tedious process.
-Bookstores can return books to the publisher, so the final number is the "sellthrough"  not how many books a store buys.

My favorite part: Learning details about publishing that I never knew.

(l-r) RoyK. Robbins, Derek Hussey, Norman Rubenstein, Dawn, Martin, Don D'auria.
(l-r) Dawn Martin, Don D'Auria. 
(l-r) Roy K. Robbins, Derek Hussey, Norman Rubenstein, 


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