My sense of self back.
For years, I’ve been writing and submitting to things that were Fantasy and Science Fiction. Going along, wondering why my stuff isn’t getting picked up for anthologies…wondering why I had to put “parental guidance” warnings on things when my writing group read them.
Now, I knew I USED to be a Horror writer, but I thought that was all said and done. I thought I had moved past it, or had never really been in it before (and instead was a Dark Fantasy writer trying to play with the big and uglies).
Then this past weekend, I went to WHC (World Horror Con).
It had been on my bucket list for a long time, and even though this trip was a financial burden at this time, it was the right thing to do. Why? Because as the weekend progressed…as I listened to writers talk about their projects and editors talk about what they are looking for and panels sharing about their craft…I realized that everything I had been doing was horror.
I like fantasy, so yeah, I put a layer of the magical/mystical in my horror, but in the end if a girl dances so much her shoes are dyed red from her own blood, yeah, that’s horror. It doesn’t matter what is compelling her to do this (be it fairies or drugs), it is horrific.
I spent so much time in my own head, reeling from this epiphany, that I’m afraid my true bright and shiny nature was a bit dimmed. I spent half of my weekend with my head stuck in my iPad writing down bits of ideas and description…and for the first time in years, advice.
That being said, I met some amazing people. (I love that horror authors are a lot like those pink jellybeans I used to eat as a kid. You know the ones: you want to like it, but if it is that damn peppermint you’re gonna gag, then you bite into it and it’s bubblegum and all is right with the world. Yeah, horror writers are bubblegum jellybeans.) And I’m planning on staying in touch, I just wish I’d found the balls (yes, shyness was a bit of a problem this weekend as well…and I know how unlikely that sounds coming from MY mouth) to walk up to a few more.
New Orleans is a special place for me, I dreamed of visiting as a kid, I went first with my now-wife, I got married ther, and now it is even more special, because I re-discovered my identity as a Horror writer.
Thank you, WHC, thank you so much.