Necon: the Questions

I spent this past weekend in Bristol, RI at a wonderful writing conference known as Necon.

Below are my thoughts on Necon in quasi-interview form: a mish-mash of questions I was asked by others, or ones I found I was asking myself. (Or, let’s face it, ones that I just made up for the blog…)

What is Necon?

Necon is the Northeastern Writers’ Conference, coordinated by the Booth family. Also known as Camp Necon, it is attended by authors, artists, and fans of (primarily) horror and dark fiction.

It is less formal than many other conferences, providing a mellow atmosphere in which those authors, artists, and fans can comfortably mingle, while attending panels, eating, talking shop, and, of course, drinking.

In my opinion, the attendees are some of the funniest, kindest, and most supportive people around. Everyone checks their egos at the door, so that even the big-time authors are approachable and fun. Even though this was only my second time attending, I feel like I am part of a warm and wonderful family.

Where did you travel from?

New York.

Did you hit traffic in Connecticut?

This question must be rhetorical.

Anywhere in Connecticut on I-95…at any time of day.

Check out the itinerary: Did you see all of the great panels?

Yes. As low key and laid back as Necon is, it always has amazing panels.  I have learned so many useful things about writing from huge talents like (sorry for the name dropping, but…) Tom Monteleone, Doug Winter, F. Paul Wilson, Jack Ketchum, Linda Addison, Heather Graham, Chet Williamson, and Elizabeth Massie.

I have also learned a lot from editors, publishers, and brand, new authors.

Did you know you were on a panel?

I’m on a panel?

What the hell?

Did everyone else get sick or something?

Turns out, they did not. I was chosen on purpose.


Me and my one, little short story.

My panel was entitled Don’t Do It Like That 1: Newbie Mistakes I’ve Made. The other panelists were (sorry to name drop again, but…) Chris Irvin, Bracken MacLeod, Kristin Dearborn, and Mary SanGiovanni (our awesome moderator).

Although I did have to answer one question with a “I’m sorry. I can’t answer that, as I don’t have a novel,” I felt like my other answers were reasonably intelligent (read: I didn’t have to answer with a “Well, my mommy thinks what I write is awesome.”) (even though she does)

“Way to go, schnoockums!”
(No, my mother doesn’t really look like this.)

Plus, I’m such a newbie, I even learned a lot while listening to my fellow panelists. They were smart, funny, and had some great advice.

What other types of things go on at Necon?

Many great events occur at Necon. Some of the highlights are:

  • The Hall of Fame induction (this year’s inductee was Chet Williamson)
  • The Necon Update with Mike Myers

No. Not this Mike Myers.

Not this one, either.

  • Necon Olympics (events include foosball and darts)
  • That Damn Game Show
  • The Necon Roast (this year’s roastee was Linda Addison)


Is it true that authors really drink a lot?

This question must also be rhetorical.

Does the hotel bar have enough alcohol?

Probably not. But it doesn’t really matter. I’ve never seen so many Coleman coolers in my life. And not the candy-ass lunch ones, either.

I’m talking body-sized.

Packed full of ice, beer, and other tasty beverages.

Object is WAY larger than it appears.

Where do you drink?

It’s easier to answer: where don’t you drink? To which the answer would be…ummm…well…maybe that one’s not so easy, either.

But I’d say the bulk of the drinking occurs in the courtyard of the hotel. And for the 2 rooms of people that are not part of Necon: I am truly sorry.

What is that smell?

You must be referring to Saugies (I hope). After the planned festivities, they fire up the grills and make a ton of these tasty treats. For those that don’t know, a Saugie is a quaint New England version of a hot dog.

Quaint? Who are you calling quaint?


What time is it?

Midnight. Early by Necon standards.

(Seemingly 5 seconds pass)

What time is it?

3 a.m.

Holy shit!

How the hell did that happen?

It’s Necon, baby. Necon.

Thanks to my roommate, Tracie Orsi, for all the fun.

And to Bob Booth, Mary Booth, and Sara Calia (and many others): without you guys, Necon would not be as amazing as it is.  I really appreciate all of the hard work you do to make it such a warm and inviting event. Thank you.