For a few days in late September, over a hundred writers gathered in that city of sin, Las Vegas, to examine why they write what they write: chronicles of sins disguised as tales of horror and thrillers and paranormal romance and everything in-between.
As a veteran of the first two Killercons, I felt obligated and destined to attend the third installment, and as always it was a great decision. First and foremost, conventions are all about friendship and collegiality. Writing is a lonely business, a kind of thankless business (unless you hit it big), and there's nothing better than recharging your batteries by hanging out with your friends, most of whom you haven't seen in a while, and making new friends out of the like-minded people who are drawn to the events to promote, sell, buy, or collect books -- and authors.
Really, I could list just about the entire roster of attendees as friends, so instead I'll just mention a few. Anyone I've neglected here, please forgive my failing memory. You all made an impact on me, but it's possible we didn't have a chance to hang together much. That's what Killercon 4 is all about then! Yes, I will be there. And so will you, if you know what's good for you.
This year's event got off to a great start as I had dinner with other early birds Gene O'Neill, Gord Rollo, Chris Welch, Bob Meracle (and a cameo by Erik Williams). Soon we were joined by Weston Ochse and Shane McKenzie. Next day was reunion day as good buddies and new buddies rolled in: Brian Pinkerton, Lisa Morton, Mercedes Yardley (and her friends Ryan and Mason), John Palisano, P.S. Gifford, Hal Bodner, Michael Calvillo, Rhonda Wilson and Craig, Steven Booth, Norm Rubinstein, Monica O'Rourke, John Skipp, John Little, Gabrielle Faust, Robert Devereaux, William F. Nolan, Laura Hickman, Gardner Goldsmith, Lauren (whose name I can't remember!), Ben Etheridge, and of course organizers Wrath James White, Bailey Hunter and R.J. Cavender. The guests were notable and it was great both seeing them and being on panels with some of them: Ray Garton, Jonathan Maberry, Edward Lee, Jack Ketchum, Monica Kuebler, Jeff Mariotte... and more! There were more people, but my memory fails. My god, if I missed anyone I apologize! It was great talking to you all, buying some books, talking shop, sitting on the hot and controversial Erotic Fiction panel with Wrath, Ray, and Hal, getting my picture taken with the legendary Bill Nolan (of Logan's Run, Night Stalker, and Norliss Tapes fame) while chatting about his days writing for Dan Curtis (another legend), and meeting Paul Gifford's "creepy" friend, Bob. I don't think I had a bad conversation all weekend. I managed to get out some, too -- to The Gun Store (more in a separate post), to Fremont Street, to the Strip, to Bite (the Stratosphere's rock-themed vampire musical), and out and about. I want to thank my main posse: Chris, Brian, P.S., Gene, and Gord for some of the best times, but hey, there was nothing but good. I will see you all again next year. Killercon gets in your blood and doesn't seep out, believe me.