Less Than Pulp, Issue 12
Or The Killer Con Recap
“Writing for Hollywood is like THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE but with less dignity.” - John Skipp
The newsletter is a little late this week because Killer Con left me utterly exhausted. I will do my damnedest to recount everything. If I leave anything out, it’s not because it wasn’t memorable or I don’t care; it’s because there was so much awesome this weekend, and I’m still pretty wiped out.
Festivities started Friday morning, but I had work until 1 in the afternoon. I headed to the convention center as soon as I clocked out and arrived just in time for my reading block. Thankfully, I was prepared. I read from DIGITAL DARKNESS and got a nice response from the crowd, including some questions from genre legend and Splatterpunk Lifetime Achievement Award Winner John Skipp.
As soon as I got in the dealer’s room, Judith Sonnet and I began selling books pretty rapidly. I’ve tabled at Killer Con before, but this was by far the busiest I’ve ever seen it. I sold out of DIGITAL DARKNESS and managed to move a good number of my other titles as well throughout the weekend. The con paid for itself and then some, which is always nice.
I got dinner at Torchy’s Tacos on Friday night with Judith, Bridgett Nelson, Lynne Hansen, Jeff Strand, Derek Austin Miller, and Rena Mason. I met Rena for the first time at World Horror Con 2014, which was held in Portland, Oregon. She had just published her excellent novella EAST END GIRLS with Journalstone, who I had just signed with to publish my book FLESH AND FIRE. Crazy how time flies. Feels like a gazillion years ago!
When we all got back from dinner, author and creator of Killer Con Wrath James White hosted opening ceremonies with guests of honor Maurice Broaddus and John Skipp. It was here where Skipp imparted the nugget of wisdom you see quoted at the beginning of this post. I’ve been laughing about it these past few days. Maurice said something poignant about knowing your worth as a creator. Don’t be afraid to sit on a manuscript and wait for an offer that makes it worth putting it out into the world. I need to meditate on that one some.
Friday night officially came to an end when Shane McKenzie and I cohosted THE WINGS OF PAIN CHALLENGE, a gameshow-type program where getting the wrong answer means eating hot wings sauced with increasingly spicy condiments. As co-hosts, Shane and I had to eat the absolute hottest of the hot sauces when the teams earned enough points. As soon as that heat hit my lips, I knew the rest of the night would be memorable. I didn’t go to bed until 4 am, after bad decisions and much discussion about exploitation movies with Susan Snyder, John Skipp, Justin Lutz, Joe at Fast Custom Shirts, Shane and his brother, and John and Dez Baltisberger of Madness Heart Press. At one point, I almost went in for the night, but then Patrick Harrison III brought out the moonshine.
There is so much more to say, so many more highlights, but this newsletter is already getting a bit long-winded. Here are some rapid-fire moments that stuck out.
The Grossout Contest! All 12 contestants brought their most vile A-game. Huge congrats to Judith for winning, Bridgett for placing second, and Russell Holbrook for placing third. I’ve been to a few of these now, and this was the stiffest I’ve ever seen the competition.
Wrath bought a copy of SAINT SADIST! His work is such an inspiration, especially to that book, so it was a surreal moment I’m still kind of reeling from.
Catching up with editor Lisa Lee Tone and her partner.
Meeting Nikolas Robinson and RE Shambrook. Nik’s YOU WILL BE CONSUMED is a stellar bit of paranormal sleaze you all should read. RE showed up all three days with the coolest T-shirts.
Buying a copy of the gorgeously designed (and now Splatterpunk Award-winning) anthology BAKER’S DOZEN, edited by Candace Nola.
On Sunday, Jean and I celebrated our 11-year anniversary. I am in awe of the life she and I have built together. Great kids, great friendship, and a transcendent level of support. I love this woman beyond words.
On the newest episode of MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN PODCAST, Jeff Burk and I discuss the body horror subgenre. You can check it out here or by watching the video below.
That’s it for now. Congrats to Judith, Bridgett, and Russell. Congrats to all the Splatterpunk Award winners. Until next week…