NEcon: The Thank You Note

Dear NEcon:

Thank you so much for another wonderful convention in Bristol, RI. I appreciate the opportunity to hang out with some of dark fiction’s most awesome authors, artists, and fans. This was my third time, and each one has been as excellent as the last.

I have many things to thank you for, but I’d like to start with the goodie bag.

With about a dozen books, comic books, and magazines, this was definitely the most generous goodie bag I have ever received from a convention. And I’m excited to dig into it.

Although in order to lift it, I kind of needed to look like this:

Whaddya think: another few shoulder reps?

Thank you, also, for offering another year of great panels. I attended a number of enjoyable ones, including “Man vs. Beast vs. Other: The Best Monsters in Modern Horror,” in which the panelists discussed their favorite monsters and what they thought the next big monster would be.

Even though I sometimes write horror stories, I am not well-versed in monsters. Read: they scare me and make me cry for my mommy.

For example, I couldn’t sleep well for days after I saw the movie with this guy:

Sometimes I still have trouble looking in the mirror…

The panelists included PD Cacek, Errick Nunnally, William D. Carl, Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, and Nate Kenyon. Their passion for monsters was palpable, their knowledge vast. And that excitement and knowledge made for an entertaining and informative panel, even for someone as wussy about monsters as me.

Thank god my name’s not Helen…

And as far as where they thought the state of monsters was going? Let’s just say that, although there was some variation, I might be investing in one of these:


Hello Kitty patch optional.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you for putting me on a panel entitled “It Only Hurt a Little: My First Time (Writing a Novel).” To be honest, though, NEcon, when I first learned I was on it, I thought what some others probably thought: I didn’t know she’d written a novel.

Because I haven’t. Yet. But I’m working on it.

Read my blog about it here.

My fellow panelists included Richard Dansky, LL Soars, Dan Foley, Kristin Dearborn, and Laura Cooney. As with the monster panelists, they were informative and entertaining. And I learned a lot from them.

Because it was at 9am, though, I honestly thought we might be looking out onto this:

Complete with crickets.

But a surprising number of people came–coffee in hand–which was super cool of them.

The coolest part about being on the panel, though, is that now I need to actually finish the book. So thanks for the extra nudge.

No pressure. None. Whatsoever…

I should also thank you for giving me the opportunity to socialize with some of my writer friends, including my roommate, Tracie Orsi and our favorite Borderlands Boot Camp instructors Tom Monteleone, Paul Wilson, and Doug Winter (and his hilarious wife, Lynne).

Hanging out in the courtyard with these guys–and a host of other fantastic people–is one of the true pleasures of this convention.

Saugies at 1 am being another.

Forgetting how many beverages you consumed being a third.

Finally, thanks for reminding me of an old television commercial:

This is your brain…

This is your brain for the entire week after NEcon…

Any questions??

In all seriousness, though, I’d like to give a special thanks to the Booth family, including Mary, Sara, and Dan, as well as Matt Bechtel. Although I didn’t know Bob as well as many others did, I had the pleasure of meeting him two years ago. He was warm and funny and clearly loved this convention. His absence this year was unmistakeable, but his spirit was everywhere, from the touching tributes to the endless laughter. Thank you for continuing this con, however difficult it may have been. I’m sure I can speak for everyone in saying that it was wonderful and that we appreciate all of the hard work you put into it.

Thanks again.

Looking forward to next year.