A weekend at Camp Necon

July 21, 2008

Just got back from Necon, the warmest and fuzziest horror convention you’ll ever attend. I’ve always heard that mystery writers are so friendly because we release all our violent tendencies in our fictional homicides, but apparently the authorial and artistic mayhem committed by horror practitioners is even more cathartic. This was one laid-back, friendly group. The beer probably helped.

Though this was Necon 28, it was a new convention for me. I don’t write horror, and haven’t read a lot recently, but my friend and co-editor Charlaine Harris was one of the guests of honor and my editor Ginjer Buchanan is a regular camper. I say “camper” because the convention is affectionately known as Camp Necon. Instead of being held at the usual bland hotel, Necon takes place at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. (Usually, they take over a dorm or two, but this year, we were at the college’s conference center.) And in addition to a robust selection of panels, dealer’s room, and art show, we had:

  • A saugie roast. A saugie is a local type of hot dog, and believe you me, it’s a Rhode Island delicacy. I think I ate enough of them to make up for the blood loss caused by tiny Rhode Island vampires, also known as mosquitos.
  • A Hawaiian shirt contest. It took me a while to find a Hawaiian shirt of my own-apparently they are not a big item in Boston-but when I did locate the perfect selection, it came with matching flip flops. Unfortunately I couldn’t compete, because I helped judge the contest. I understand it was the first year a Hawaiian shirt won the Hawaiian shirt contest.
  • A miniature golf tournament at Fantasy Land, which I came nowhere near winning, despite getting a hole in one. I also got to ride a wonderful sea dragon on the merry-go-round, once somebody helped me get my foot over the wings. (Thanks John, and I SO hope nobody had a camera handy at that moment.)
  • A softball game, which I single-handedly saved. It was I who supplied the bottle opener for the beer.
  • Other sporting events such as poker, croquet, and darts. The Brits won the darts medals, naturally. Yes, there were medals.
  • A talent show, which included singing, dancing, ranting, magic, and several hours of laughs. If they ever make a CD of that song about murdering mermaids, I want a copy.
  • A roast of a longtime Necon camper, and even though I didn’t know him or anything about him, I still laughed my tail end off.  Even without beer.

I got to meet some really talented and interesting people (Laura Anne Gilman, Carole Whitney, James, and Mad), renew acquaintances with others (Chris Golden, Morven Westfield, John Douglas, and online friend Nate Kenyon) and share cans of Off with total strangers. I came home with a wonderful picture of a pirate werewolf (I’m not making this up-http://skeeryvilletown.blogspot.com/) and a list of authors to read that includes Michael Marshall Smith, Tom Sniegoski, Hal Bodner, and Elizabeth Massie. 

Despite the itching from the mosquito bites, I am one happy camper.

Living Large…In Print

July 12, 2008

For those who miss Laura Fleming and her family in Byerly, NC, there’s a little good news. Thorndike is going to be reprinting the books in large print editions.

First up is Mad as the Dickens, which is due out on November 19.  As soon as I have a cover, I’ll get it up.

Many Bloody Covers

July 12, 2008

Apparently the German edition of Many Bloody Returns, due out in October, has changed.  Here’s the new cover, with the new title:

Speaking of Many Bloody Returns, I’ve got a picture of the cover of the trade paperback, too. It’s coming out in Feburary 2009.

There may be some odd cultural reason why they switched the illustrated vampire to looking left in Germany, when he looks to the right in the US. I’d say it was a mirror image, but it is a vampire…

Happy Independence Day!

July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!  I feel as if I’m in the middle of the American Revolution even now.  I’ve been watching the HBO miniseries John Adams on DVD, which starts in the 1700’s, and I just finished reading Diana Gabaldon’s A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which is set during the beginning of the Revolution.

Now if I can just defeat the tyranny of typos…  I’ve got the galley proofs for Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, the Christmas werewolf anthology I co-edited with the scintillating Charlaine Harris, and I’m going through them with an eagle eye.  The book is due out October 7.

Big Print News!

July 4, 2008

Big news.  Well, big print, anyway.  The large print edition of Without Mercy is slated for release by Wheeler on December 10, 2008.

Negotiations are still ongoing, but it looks as if Wheeler will be reprinting some of the Laura Fleming mysteries in large print editions, too.