KillerCon Travel Journal Day 1-2: Meeting People is Easy

Windgate by Wyndham Conference Hall

Over the last few days at KillerCon I’ve met my share of purveyors of the perverse, like-minded lunatics, and kindred characters. This is an isle of misfits sporting Hellraiser t-shirts, Milhouse Van Houten tattoos, and black lots of black.

I came to KillerCon worrying I looked too straight laced, too clean cut. (Let’s face it mine is the sweatpants of haircuts.) I was afraid that my book HE HAS MANY NAMES was too light hearted. It’s a slow burning atmospheric surrealist work, with little tiny spurts of blood and gore. I was afraid I just wasn’t as hardcore as my peers, but my book has been selling. Turns out splatter punks, bizarro readers, and horror hounds have eclectic taste.

It also turns out most horror writers are surprisingly sweet and gentle people. Maybe it’s because we purge our anger on the page.

For me the last few days have filled with conversations about The X-Files, Clive Barker, Paul Tremblay,Silent Hill, and Marilyn Manson.

We’ve had intense readings of subtle emotional tragedies and casual readings of brutal slaughterhouse situations. We’ve had panels on religious mythology in horror, the virtues of good villain, and the tropes we just can’t stand.

I just watched a hot wing contest where the participants read their one star reviews, flash fiction about hot sauce, and a mad lib, all while brutalizing their tongues. The Scoville units escalated quickly. Soon the table was lined with sliced bread and tall bottles of milk, which of course were only available to those who bowed out.

This was all capped off with a tasting of slices of Carolina Reaper the hottest pepper in the world. I don’t know what it is about the sight of someone doubling over in pain and then going back for seconds that’s so entertaining, but it was damn good fun.

Here’s to another day at KillerCon.

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