Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Hypericon Adventure!

I really love Hypericon. Actually, I am beginning to think of Nashville as my second home. I have attended Hypericon since the early days of this Con, missing only the year that my father passed away, and this convention has always been a very pleasant experience.

It is still a smaller convention, though it has grown alot since its first year. It showed more growth this year, and as always was a pleasant environment in which to meet and talk with people.

There were alot of outstanding writers, starting with the guest of honor, Brian Keene, who has written some magnificent horror novels such as The Rising, City of the Dead, and Dark Hollow. I was pleased to discover that Brian apparently has excellent taste in music, attested to by his Iron Maiden shirt.

Scott Nicholson, who wrote one of the coolest and most visceral non-typical vampire books out there, They Hunger, was actually on one of the film track panels with me (a screenwriting panel). Scott has alot going on, including the world of graphic novels.

I was very happy to see Dan and Jackie Gamber of Meadowhawk Press (and look out for a special blog article on Jackie's book Redheart...coming very soon to this blog and the Seventh Star Press blog too!). Jackie unveiled a new sharpie tattoo, showing off her new rock n' roll image...it looked a little faded on the last day of the convention, but Jackie explained that was because she was demonstrating her toughness by using a brillo pad to remove the tattoo! Don't mess with Meadowhawk Press! lol

Actually, Meadowhawk Press became one of 4 small press publishers ever to have a release win the Philip K. Dick award! (for Terminal Mind by David Walton) THAT ROCKS!

Jason Sizemore of Apex Publications was also on hand. I have not gotten to know well Jason yet, even though we both live in Lexington! Apex is an excellent publisher, with many writers that I have alot of respect for ( Sarah Harvey, Fran Friel, etc. ), and I hope to get a chance to meet with Jason on the homefront a little more often.

One of the coolest things I encountered this past weekend were P'ckit Dragons, from the Smerdiverse developed by Jon Klement. He is not hard to find, walking around with a big purple hat with ears and a shirt with a little purple dragon peeking out from the shirt pocket. Jon took some time to tell me some of the background of the multi-dimensional P'ckit dragons, and after learning more, I believe everyone should have their own P'ckit dragon! Jon is from St. Louis, so I hope to catch back up with him in person at Archon later this fall.

I finally got a chance to meet D.A. Adams, author of the Brotherhood of Dwarves series. I had been looking forward to meeting him at MidSouthCon, but he had some last minute schedule conflicts and was not at a reading that we were supposed to do together there. I picked up a copy of his first book and will be reading it for sure. D.A. and I appear to have quite alot in common as well, which was really cool to discover.

Seeing Sarah Harvey, Elizabeth Donald, and Angelia Sparrow is always a great thing, and Hypericon was no exception! Elizabeth was generous/kind enough to consign some of my books there so that I had availability in the dealer's room. Believe me, this is a really helpful thing at a convention, and I appreciated it tremendously.

I did get to visit for a little while with Steven Shrewsbury, though I did not get to talk to him as long as I wanted to. Steven's book Hawg was a great read, if not disturbing! Not for the faint of heart! LOL His new one Tormentor is just now coming available.

I got to spend a good bit of time with my pals/partners in crime/fellow independent media sufferers Stephen and Suzie Lackey (who do all kinds of stuff, like Con Trek, Cinegeek.com), and Mike Young. As always, we came up with absurd ideas, as well as a few that might yet have merit! lol Stephen had his hands full running the film track, but we did get out for some very excellent pizza on Sunday.

Speaking of ideas that might have merit, something may be brewing regarding the film side of things! My cohorts in Cineline Productions, Matt Perry and Sven Granlund, and I had a great meeting with the eminent H. David Blalock, author of Ascendant (Sam's Dot Publishing). Suffice it to say that it appears that I will be directing a new project, short film in nature, fantasy in nature (YEEESSSS!) later this summer. Get ready, I'm fired up!

The good Jarl of House Blalock and his daughter Hericka and I did get to spend a good amount of time together, which was fantastic, as they are rapidly becoming a couple of my favorites out there. I am going to be posting something soon on Ascendant as well...so stay tuned!

Was very happy to meet a couple of Kentucky authors, David Jack Bell, author of The Condemned, and Julie Kagawa, whose first YA release The Iron King comes out at the beginning of 2010.

Big thanks to Matthew, Jon, Deb, and all those that came to support my signing slot in the dealer's room and who picked up a copy of The Exodus Gate. It means alot when you see someone step forward to take a chance on a new author. I can assure you that it is not forgotten! ;)

Many, many thanks and salutes go out to conference chairpersons Fred and Stephania Grimm, who are among those willing to take on the punishing job of running a large event. I think they have really been steadily building a very nice event, and I hope that they continue, despite the many headaches and challenges involved. (and kudos to all the volunteers like Deborah, and all the others involved with various aspects like running registration, cooking for the con suite, and more).

Oh yeah, while in Nashville, I also got to visit Davis-Kidd in Nashville. Awesome store, 2 levels, grand scale, while still being indie friendly. I got to meet Ashley Strosnider and Joe Nettles in person, which was super cool as I just knew them through phone calls and emails before.

Overall, Hypericon 5 was yet another great experience. I am already looking forward to Hypericon 6!!


Angelia Sparrow said...

Hypericon is always cool and it was great to see you.

I read the first chapter of HAWG. My first reaction was "One of the demon-pigs from 'The Rats in the Walls' is loose! Oh crap!"

Brian Smith had the Iron Maiden shirt. Brian Keene was wearing "Horror Writer: Killing you horribly with my words." They're both wonderful people, and great writers. Smith has given me a couple of nightmares.

H David Blalock said...

Great con, great people. Enjoyed hanging out with you. Look forward to working with you and Cineline.