It is another last minute convention posting for me because: deadlines… and other things.
This will be my first StokerCon and I’m super excited about it, so if you’re going to this amazing horror and literature convention—where they award the prestigious Stoker Awards—come and find me!
I will be splitting my non-panel time between the New England Horror Writers, where I and many other fine writers and friends of mine will be selling fabulous books, and the Broad Universe information table, where members will be signing books after their readings and the awesome Larissa Glasser and I will be there to answer questions about our beloved non-profit supporting women in horror.
Outside of those two places, here’s where I’ll be:
Reading with Cory Cone and Larry Hinkle. There will be chocolate—it is packed. Yes, I’m bribing you. This is the first reading slot of the convention. Please don’t let us be lonely? <3
Saturday, March 3; 2:00 PM; State Suite C – Fairy Tales: A Child’s First Taste of Horror
with Leslie Thomas (M), Edward Ahern, April Grey, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Charie LaMarr
A reader’s first encounter with horror often comes in the guide of fairy tales. Children’s stories and nursery rhymes are full of trolls, evil stepparents, witches, giants, and other terrifying characters. Our panelists will discuss these stories as the roots of horror, the brutality done to children in the tales, and the perpetrators. Where do these tales overlap with folk lore? And what do they say about society?
Saturday, March 3; 3:30…
I have a pitch session that I’m super excited about! Wish me luck!! <3
Saturday, March 3; 7:00 PM; Grand Ballroom – Bram Stoker Awards Banquet and Awards Ceremony
Saturday, March 3; 10:30 PM; L’Apogee – Bram Stoker Awards After Party Cocktail Reception
Sunday, March 4; 11:00 AM; Salon 2 – YA Horror – Something for Everyone
withJG Faherty,Elizabeth Massie, James Moore, and Daniel Waters
Interest in Young Adult horror is growing by leaps and bounds–and it’s not only for teens anymore. Join our panelists in a look at what makes YA horror so popular, why its popularity spans across age groups, and why the lines are so blurry between YA, new adult, and adult-oriented books.
There it is! It’s not as jam-packed as some conventions, but that’s okay because I’m looking forward to thoroughly enjoying myself by attending some panels and catching up with friends!
I have been under a bunch of deadlines for editing and writing… and had a bunch of fresh new health issues pop up over the past couple of weeks…but despite being late posting this, I am SUPER EXCITED to be returning to Boskone this year! And DAMN, look at that great schedule!
And if I’m not on a panel… I’ll likely be found at the Broad Universe table in the Dealer’s Room…
or, if it’s Friday Night, I’ll be throwing the Broad Universe Party again! Look for us on the hotel Party Floor!
Outside of tabling and partying, here’s my fabulous schedule:
Tarot and Divining Fantastic Fiction
Format: Discussion Group
16 Feb 2018, Friday 17:00 – 18:00, Lewis (Westin)
Author and Tarot guru Trisha Wooldridge leads a discussion on Tarot, fortune-telling, and the art of the seer in fantasy and science fiction. Trisha will provide a live demonstration.
Folktales Within Poetry
16 Feb 2018, Friday 18:00 – 19:00, Marina 3 (Westin)
From “The Lady of Shalott” to “Goblin Market” to The Iliad, some quite engaging poems are inspired by folklore, legends, or myths. What other examples can we add — perhaps from non-European poetry? What do folk sources bring that an original story might lack? Our panelists will discuss (and perhaps read) some of their favorites — what are yours?
Theodora Goss (M), Jane Yolen, C. S. E. Cooney, John Chu, Trisha Wooldridge
Group Reading: Fiction for Kids and Young Adults
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 12:00 – 13:00, Griffin (Westin)
Boskone presents a special group reading for lovers of children’s and young adult fiction. Our authors provide a range of stories and topics that are sure to delight and entertain!
Kristy Acevedo, Daniel P. Dern, Erin M. Hartshorn (M), Sarah Jean Horwitz, Justin Key, Trisha Wooldridge
This is a special group reading designed to generate a larger crowd in order to introduce more people to the work highlighted in the session. There may only be 5 chairs at the table. If so, we ask that the moderator has a couple extra chairs moved to the table area. The group reading is scheduled for 50 minutes and each reader has 5-minutes to read. Please be sure to time your reading to ensure that you don’t go over time. The “moderator” is assigned to welcome everyone to the reading and announce that each reader will introduce herself/himself along with their piece as their turn to read comes up. If there is time available, please open the room to questions.
Border of the Unknown
17 Feb 2018, Saturday 17:00 – 18:00, Marina 1 (Westin)
Much fine fantastika involves crossing the boundary between the known and the unknown — especially that uneasy border between the village and the trees. Let’s look at the long history of that great unknown, the enchanted forest. Why has it pushed and pulled at people’s imaginations since ancient times? To find out, let’s stroll away from safety and into the woods, as the liminal light fades and the shadows gather all under the boughs unbowed …
Theodora Goss, Errick Nunnally (M), Trisha Wooldridge, Dana Cameron, Gerald L. Coleman
Live from Boskone: A special selection of tall tales as told by our program participants — plus audience members. All show off their open mic skills in the third annual Boskone Open Mic extravaganza. This year features the myths and legends of yesterday, today, and tomorrow! Each participant contributes his/her most legendary performance — a 5-minute story, poem, song, skit, interpretive dance, or whatever!
OPTIONAL: For extra appeal, feel free to come dressed as your favorite mythic or legendary character.
The Rules: Boskone members are invited to join our participants in the open mic by signing up for one of the six open slots at the door to the event, which opens for sign-ups at 7:30 p.m. Each performer is given a firm 5-minute time limit (max), including setup time. So a quick transition between acts is key. Please no profanity: DragonsLair is within hearing distance.
Elaine Cunningham (M), Lauren Roy, Kenneth Schneyer (M), C. S. E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Gabriel Erkard, E. Ardell, Benjamin Newman, Roberta Rogow, Don Pizarro, Trisha Wooldridge, Mary Ellen Wessels, Edward L. Stauff
Neil Gaiman Anniversary Reads
18 Feb 2018, Sunday 13:00 – 14:00, Harbor II (Westin)
It’s a notable year for Neil Gaiman, with publication anniversaries for his engaging, ironic dark fantasies The Graveyard Book (10th) and The Ocean at the End of the Lane (5th) — plus from his lighter side, Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion (30th). Let’s gab about his novels and stories, comics and characters, movies and TV adaptations and rock-star aura.
Bracken MacLeod (M), Jane Yolen, Justin Key, John Langan, Trisha Wooldridge
I love doing conventions, and I’m always really thrilled to return to the Arisia family each year!
And look… I am actually remembering to post my schedule so people can find me!
During hours I’m not on panels or giving workshops, there is an excellent chance you will find me at the Broad Universe table in the Dealer’s Room. I have books! It makes me super happy when people buy said books and ask for signatures. <3
So, outside of the Broad Universe table, here’s where you can find me THIS weekend at ARISIA!
Friday, January 12, 8:30 PM, Room 404 – Party Not Found? 2 (Electric Boogaloo)
I’m hosting the Broad Universe party at Arisia, and they put me in Room 404 again—and even a technophobe like me can make bad puns. Do find us and enjoy great food, great stories, and meet some awesome Broads!
Saturday, January 13, 10:00 AM, Adams – Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
(I’m waking up early after throwing a party for y’all!) Come discover your new favorite writer as members of Broad Universe read short excerpts from their work. Each writer has just a few minutes to show you what she’s capable of! We offer chocolate and the chance to win prizes. Broad Universe is an international organization that supports women writers, editors, and publishers. NOTE: Not all authors may be in attendance for the entire time slot. Other members of Broad Universe not listed may be reading.
Saturday, January 13, 7:00 PM, Douglas – Rewriting Fairy Tales: Updating our Mythologies
(I’m moderating!) With anthologies such as _The Starlit Wood_, along with many authors choosing to rewrite and rework old fairy tales, what is the purpose of rewriting our myths, or writing new ones? What can we learn about ourselves when we bring these old stories into today? What is the purpose of creating new fairy tales?
Sunday, January 14, 11:30 AM, Bulfinch – Writing & Tarot
Last year we filled this up, so this year you gotta pre-sign up at PROGRAM NEXUS. In any case, I love teaching this hands-on workshop that talks about Tarot as both a tool for divination and a tool for your writing.
Sunday, January 14, 4:00 PM, Alcott – Tricks for Self-Editing
I’m thrilled to be giving this workshop again too, and this is another that fills up quickly, so pre-sign up at PROGRAM NEXUS. Why should you sign-up and come to this workshop? I’ve edited over 50 books for multiple publishing houses; I teach writing and editing; and I put a lot of effort into not making people cry. And what I can teach you will make you a better writer because most of writing is editing.
Sunday, January 14, 7:00 PM, Independence – Everything But the Writing
This is Trisha’s killing the workshops year at Arisia! And it’s another one you should pre-sign up for at PROGRAM NEXUS. I’ve been in business as “A Novel Friend” since 2003—and I have the tax forms to prove it. This is a look at the business side of making a career as a writer or editor, whether you want to stick to fiction or branch out into journalism, non-fiction, or “other” realms.
I also write poetry! And so do a bunch of other awesome folks. Do you? Join us or come listen. If you want to read, come early to sign up for a slot.
Monday, January 15, 1:00 PM, Alcott – How to Train Your Dragon & Other Writing Issues
(Because animal stories! And as an editor, I have been known to leave…detailed…comments on misuse of animals in Track Changes.) Whether you’re writing horses and dragons in a medieval setting, or having your space hero(ine) bond with a psychic cat or flying banshee, incorporating animals into your fiction requires knowledge of how real-life animals act. Our panel of experts will discuss how to write real and unreal animals, what they eat, how often they need to rest, how they act around humans, other animals and machinery; and other interesting tidbits which can bring your sci-fantasy stories to life.
Elizabeth Black is a Broad I’ve met more recently than the other women on this tour, but I’m so glad to know her now. And I am such a sucker for haunted house stories! I sooo want to go here!
I Stayed At A Haunted Bed And Breakfast. Twice.
By Elizabeth Black
Yup, I was foolish enough to stay at a haunted bed and breakfast – twice. This B&B dates back to the Revolutionary War, and it sits on a river. I had heard about it from one of my ex’s friends, and after much planning I finally stayed there when I was in town for a theater stage crew convention.
The story behind the haunting is as follows:
British soldiers came up the river and proceeded to set the small town on fire, destroying most of it. Soldiers threw torches on the porch of this B&B, which was originally a brothel. The proprietress swept the torches off the porch with her broom. She made a deal with the soldiers. She would house them, feed them, and allow them to use her services as long as they didn’t burn the place down. They agreed, and this B&B was allowed to stand whilst homes around it burned to the ground. The haunting involves the ghost of the proprietress wandering the halls in the dead of night, checking on her clientele and the women to make sure everyone was comfortable. There have been other sightings as well. The B&B itself is absolutely beautiful, decorated in Victorian splendor. It includes a lovely bar and discounted dinners every Friday night. The rooms are beautiful, spacious, and very homey in that Victorian style I liked very much.
The first time I stayed it was off-season in mid-winter. I was in a room overlooking the river. What a view! I enjoyed a delicious meal and the company of a man I met in the bar. He came to the B&B several times per month to enjoy dinner when in town on business. No, I did not take him to bed, although he was very handsome. We ate dinner together. That night I slept well until about 3 am when I heard a party going on in the room next to me. There was a lot of noise. I managed to go back to sleep. At about 4:30 am I heard heavy footsteps walking up and down the hallway. I immediately thought of the ghost of the proprietress stalking the halls checking on everyone and went back to sleep. I wondered whys she wore combat boots, since her footsteps were very loud and heavy. I felt very safe, secure, and comfortable. Not the least bit scared.
The next day, when I went down for breakfast, I told the clerk about the party and the footsteps. She told me I couldn’t have heard anything because I had been alone in the building all night. Yeeeahhh!!!!! The party! The footsteps! None of it could have happened!!!
Of course, I had to return. 🙂
The second time I stayed I was with my current husband. While we slept, someone turned on the overhead light in the middle of the night. I was a very light sleeper and I snapped awake the moment the light turned on. My husband snored away next to me. I was far too tired to get up and turn off the light, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up shortly before dawn, the light was off. I asked my husband later about the light and he said he had turned it off before going to bed. He didn’t get up during the night at all.
So who turned on the light? And who later turned it off?
I heard those footsteps in the hallway again, and felt as safe as I did the first time. No party this time, though. At least this time there were other guests in the place. I wasn’t alone in the building again.
So there you have it. I had my own ghostly experiences. Granted, I think there were perfectly natural explanations for what I heard. The kitchen was downstairs right off my room and noise from clean-up could have carried up the stairs. I could have mistaken those noises for a party. It’s also likely my husband simply forgot he didn’t turn off the overhead light. But I like to think I had ghostly experiences both times I stayed.
Happy Halloween, everyone!
My stay at the Kitty Knight House influenced my erotic romance novel “An Unexpected Guest”. Here are buy links and an information page.
Here’s where to find me on the web. Friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and check out my books! I’ve included my Amazon author pages for both of my pen names, so whether you’re into sexy or spooky, I have stories for you!
I’m honored to have our own Hostess with the Mostest who put this blog together, LC Hu, for today’s post! 🙂 And I’m also extremely pleased with this article on vampires because for a long time, I shared her disdain of these particular monsters. I love how she refound the spark of horror.
Revamping the Vampire, by LC Hu
Happy almost-Halloween, everyone!
A quick shout out to Trisha for hosting me! It’s great to be here.
Today, I want to talk about revisiting a classic Halloween monster–the vampire–twice, and what it means to me to reimagine a subject.
We’ve all heard the old adage “There’s nothing new under the sun.” (Or the stars, in a vampire’s case.) And it’s true–it’s hard , if not impossible, to come up with something completely new; even if you think of something that’s pretty original, odds are good that someone else has thought of it too. There’s a lot of people pondering a lot of subjects out there.
So for me breathing fresh life into something old is more about adding a personal touch. Finding what unsettles me, or interests me, and adding that little bit to the existing monster. And hitting a common note is just fine–wanted, perhaps, because it will help my audience connect.
In recent work I’ve revisited the vampire twice. I find this a little funny–since outgrowing my Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite phase, I’ve carried around a little bit of hipsteresque disdain for the befanged blood drinker. But for the Re-Vamp project, we were doing a tour of all the old, classic, monsters, so I was obligated to revisit the subject. And for Midnight Carnival shared world project, part of why I tackled a vampire was precisely my disdain; it seemed like a personal challenge, to make this overdone monster interesting to me again.
Re-Vamp was all about trying to bring the classic into the current, to be both nostalgic and contemporary at once, so for the vampire in my short story “Lump,” I read a lot about the origins of the vampire. I decided to go with the elements that disturbed me: the corpse-like pallor, the distended/bloated belly, elements that hearkened back to people being frightened of decomposing corpses. Decay and rot are unsettling to a lot of people. For the contemporary angle, I used situation and location–by the side of the highway, the dark woods, the quandary of helping someone (or something) injured by the side of the road, or leaving it out of fear.
Being a shared, established world, The Midnight Carnival had established certain rules for vampires already, so I only had so much room to work with: they could be wounded or killed by holy water, fire, sunlight, silver; they were made, not born; they live on blood; they are stronger and faster than humans, and able to heal quickly. So it became the little things about my individual vampire, Carver, that I played with to make him interesting to me. I tried to imagine how a vampire like that might blend into the human world best, become the wolf in sheep’s clothing as best as possible. What biological alterations the transformation would cause, and what neurochemical or other personality-influencing changes.
His teeth, for example: they are all sharp, like a dog or cat’s teeth, even the molars. The canines are longer, the front teeth more flattened/bladelike, but they are not the two puncturing canines of the classic movie vampire. They also retract. The human set and the vampire set are interchangeable, sliding back into the gums, one set replacing the other. Or his breathing–Carver breathes so he can speak, because I liked the physicality of it, the little obedience to the real world, that you must have air in your lungs and expend it to speak. It’s also good camouflage, when you’re pretending to be human.
And I mentioned mental changes too–it’s not clear, in the MC world, if it’s a demonic soul outsting a human one to cause the vampiric change, or a virus, or something else, so I went with it being more physical, including alterations to the brain and brain chemistry. Once upon a time Carver was a very good, upstanding man, a detective with a beloved wife and two beloved daughters, and I started thinking about what kind of a vampire a man like that would become, if you took away his regret and a large part of his empathy and handed him a ravenous, unending appetite for blood.
…I could go on all day. Suffice to say, I interested myself in this old, reliable monster again, and had good fun with it too. In the end, I think that’s all it takes to breathe a little new life into the old–have fun with it, go crazy, let yourself break rules or obey them, just learn to enjoy the monster–or whatever subject matter you’re revisiting–again.
Justine Graykin‘s second post in this tour tickles me to no end. I’ve been a fan of her Archimedes Nesselrode since she started reading excerpts from it at Rapid Fire Readings years ago. It was an audio book first, and I just don’t do audio books. So, when she finally, finally, finally had a huggable book published, I did, indeed, drive all the way up to her release party in New Hampshire so I could immediately hug my own copy. Squee!
An Excerpt from Archimedes Nesselrode by Justine Graykin
Archimedes Nesselrode, my newly-released novel from Double Dragon, is mostly gentle and whimsical, a tale of an artist with strange and wonderful creative powers. But these powers also have a dark and frightful side, one which even the artist himself fears.
In honor of the this shiversome season, I offer to the readers of my dear friend Trisha’s blog an excerpt from the book in keeping with that spirit of darkness.
We join the artist and his devoted housekeeper attempting to escape from the vengeful anger of Zarah Trebbiano, the operatic diva whose advances Mr. Nesselrode has rejected.
“Get in the car, Mr. Nesselrode,” Ms. Mare said firmly, “I shall handle this.”
“Oh, yes, get into the car, Michel!” the singer mocked. “Do as your woman servant says! Spineless worm! That is all you are! Gutless and spineless!”
“That will be enough!” Ms. Mare snapped in an imperiously commanding tone that any school mistress would have envied. “You will leave immediately and do not dare attempt to contact Mr. Nesselrode again in any way!”
“Call off your dog, Michel,” Madam Trebbiano said, “her yapping annoys me.”
“You are a crude, ill-bred woman who ought to be ashamed of herself, but is too arrogant to realize it! Now, good night to you!” Ms. Mare turned on her heel to go. Her employer had still not moved.
“Ill-bred?” the singer cried. “This from an illegitimate brat of the serving class! Oh, yes, I know who you are! You’re the housekeeper, aren’t you? Do you think to improve your position by coddling your master? A bit of advice to you–don’t attempt to bed him! He is a passionless, impotent fish!”
“How dare you?” Ms. Mare cried in outrage.
“Can’t you say anything, Michel? No, you pathetic, sniveling poseur! I should never have wasted my time with you! You are not a man at all!”
“That will be enough!” Ms. Mare commanded, uncomfortably aware that they were beginning to attract a crowd. “Mr. Nesselrode, get into the car. We are leaving!”
“Go on, Michel! Run with your tail between your legs! That’s all you’ve got down there! Go home with your faithful dog! Perhaps you can reward her with a few limp-wristed caresses! Or do you prefer little boys?”
“Zarah, shut up!”
The transformation of Archimedes Nesselrode from rabbit to wild-eyed fury was sudden and astonishing. He spun around to face her and his voice rose into a screech. “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”
Madam Trebbiano was shocked speechless, taking a step away from him. Ms. Mare was frozen, her mouth open. She had seen him annoyed, fretful, peevish and irritated. She had never seen this. His eyes blazed with madness, but not the gentle, harmless madness she was accustomed to. His face was twisted horribly and malignantly. The winged snake flew up into the air with alarm and darted over to Ms. Mare, coiling about her legs and cringing, afraid of her own master.
“You summon great passion in me, Zarah! Oh, yes! You inspire me with wild emotion!” He laughed, but it was a fearful, maniacal sound. “You are fascinated by my magic, eh? I’ll give you a demonstration! See what I create in your honor!” He held out his hands. To Ms. Mare’s horror they were dripping with scorpions. If there was any creature which inspired greater loathing in her than spiders, it was scorpions.
Madam Trebbiano’s expression showed much the same sentiment. She was grimacing in revulsion. Archimedes Nesselrode, quite monstrously insane, walked towards her. “Embrace me, Zarah! I’m all yours!”
“Get away from me!” she cried, backing away. But she found her retreat blocked. They were no longer standing on a city sidewalk. Archimedes Nesselrode had conjured a chamber of horrors.
The stone walls that enclosed them slanted at bizarre angles and intersected with unbearable asymmetry. The seams where the stone blocks met were cracked and seeping with fungoid slime. From the slime bubbled shapeless things which crawled and dripped to the crazily tilting floor. The ceiling was thickly hung with sticky webs which seethed with black legs and bloated bodies.
“Gifts for you, Zarah!” he shrieked, his voice cracked and shaking, “From the bottom of my heart!” He threw the scorpions at her, and began to laugh hideously. He became swathed in robes of black and scarlet, and from beneath the folds of the robe erupted monstrosities, deformed and hideous. Writhing hunks of severed flesh, embedded with eyes, oozing like open wounds, they flopped and crawled around him. Zarah Trebbiano screamed and clawed helplessly at the venomous creatures that clung to her, stinging her repeatedly.
Stunned with horror, Vivian Mare stared, unable to believe that her timid, sweet employer could have so suddenly mutated into this terrible monster. It took an act of strongest will power to break the paralyzing spell.
“Snake, for pity’s sake, let go of me!”
My thanks to Trisha Wooldridge for her gracious hospitality. Archimedes Nesselrode is available as a paperback through Amazon and as an ebook though most major distributors. You may learn more about this and my humble self on my website, at justinegraykin.com
About the Author:
Justine Graykin is a writer and free-lance philosopher sustained by her deep, abiding faith in Science, Humanity and the belief that humor is the best anti-gravity device. Author of Archimedes Nesselrode, a book written for adults who are weary of adult books, she is producer of the BroadPod podcast. She lives, writes and putters around her home in rural New Hampshire, occasionally disappearing into the White Mountains with a backpack.