I have only attended a handful of book/author events over the past few years but it always amazes me how much they affect me. I was able to go to the Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, last week and although I was bone tired when I drove back in the driveway at home, I was also rejuvenated about writing.
There was a wide range of authors at the convention, varying from some who are still in their infancy and looking for that first published sale to those who are full-time authors and many in between.
As is always the case, I was able to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and meet authors that I may have only interacted with online or have admired their works from afar for many years. Every time I go to one of these events, something always surprises me and this year it was having the chance to be on the Arm Cast Dead Sexy Horror Podcast which is run by author Armand Rosamilia. You have seen me mention Armand before because he also runs the Authors Supporting Our Troops program which collects books from publishers and authors and then ships them overseas to our troops.
Well, when you hear that you are going to be on a horror podcast late at night, you need to go into it with an open mind and expect some surprises and in this case, the surprise was where the podcast was to be recorded. The event took place in the downtown Louisville White Castle restaurant with the blessing of the corporation’s public relations department. I don’t know if the p.r. people quite knew what they were getting into but the diners in the restaurant were able to listen in as a handful of horror writers talked about blood, gore, and craft – all while munching down on a few sliders. It was a terrific time and if you have the opportunity, go out to the Arm Cast podcast and listen.
The Imaginarium event had a lot of variety to it and was centered mainly around the craft of writing with some fun events thrown in for good measure. There was a live concert in on Friday night in one of the convention halls, a masquerade ball, and a very active dealer room which was open to the public. And since it was in Louisville, I tiptoed away from the event on Friday morning before the first panel I was speaking on and visited Churchill Downs which was only a few blocks down the street. Not a bad way to spend the first day of the fall racing season.
If anyone reading this has any interest in writing either as a career or an active hobby, I would encourage you to attend a conference. Imaginarium is a terrific place to start if you want something more intimate and low key and is within easy driving distance of Ohio. If you want to see something much, much larger and more geared toward the professional writers, then next October the World Fantasy Convention will be held on Columbus, Ohio. There are also lots of other opportunities in between those two options. Go and use the opportunity to learn about writing and the industry, meet some terrific people, and return home with your love of writing renewed. I know I always do.
(Photos, top to bottom – First photo: The Ask a Horror Writer panel with Armand Rosamilia, J.H. Glaze, Jessica McHugh, Stuart Thaman, Tim Waggoner, and Michael Knost. Second and third photos: Armand, Jack Wallen, Jessica, Brent Abell, Jay Wilburn, Dave Creek, myself, and others at the Arm Cast podcast at White Castle. If you look closely you can see the look of astonishment on the faces of some of the other diners as we talk about blood and guts. Fourth photo: Armand and I after the podcast and before the sliders took affect – you know what I mean. Fifth photo: How can you be in Louisville and not go see some races at Churchill Downs?)