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Now that I've had a week to recover, time to talk about some of my WHC2007 highlights. I've written a more formal article about HWA's involvement at the con for the next HWA Newsletter, but this one will be the personal stuff (and this is photo-heavy, so it's behind the cut):

For me, the conventions are about two things: People and business. And I'm thrilled to say that both were extraordinary for me at this WHC. People: Some of my favorite new 'uns are Gene O'Neill, John Picacio, and Peter Crowther. I also finally got to spend some quality time with Gary Braunbeck and Lucy Snyder; a lunch with them was one thing I was looking forward to, and we shared a delightful repast at a small Japanese restaurant near the hotel, followed by a jaunt down the block to "The World's Biggest Bookstore" (and, okay, guys - c'mon, I know it's just a name, but seriously - they can't begin to compare to something like Powell's in Portland!). Poor Gary was slightly hobbled by recent foot surgery, but he gamely trotted about Toronto with Lucy and I, and we talked film and literature with great zest.

It was also fine to spend some more time with HWA's prexy Deb LeBlanc, and the always-adorable Hank Schwaeble. Hank and I were in charge of making sure the Stoker trophies arrived safely in Toronto, and we had a few desperate moments before we tracked them down in the bowels of the hotel (literally - we finally found them stashed in some cage in some utilities back room or something).

(Me, Deb and Gary signing at HWA's table)

One day I really look forward to attending a WHC at which I'm just a writer, and not an official representative of HWA. The amount of work both before and during this convention kept me from spending more time with people I don't see often, or even attending any of the splendid panels (I attended exactly one panel, and - what a surprise! - it was the one I was moderating, on horror screenwriting). Fortunately, I did have my L.A. posse with me this year to help out with all the on-site schlepping: Vince Churchill, Armand Constantine, Mike McCarty and John Palisano (who are all part of the Dark Delicacies writing workshop in SoCal) kindly assisted me in lugging crates of booze and crackers from shop to hotel. I owe these guys, and love 'em to death. Oh, and they can all write like hell, too. I predict novel sales all 'round by 2009.

(Me, Mike, Armand, John and Vince - eat your heart out, girls!)

The mass signing was exceptional, and the first one I've been to where you didn't have to wait hours to get to the big names. I'm trying to collect sigs from all the contributors to the Dark Delicacies anthology, and I was especially thrilled when Gahan Wilson took one look at the Clive Barker drawing on the front free endpaper of the book and asked simply: "Do you want a bat"?

I did manage some fine networking, though: One successful pitch (to Peter Crowther), some good schmoozing, and...well, yeah, okay: A Stoker award.

I'm still floored by that. Okay, truthfully - I knew in advance. I had to know, as the Stoker Coordinator this year...and I can't tell you what a relief it was to finally have everyone else know, too. I was also thrilled to receive the award from two of my favorite writers - Tim Lebbon and Gary were the presenters in the Short Fiction category, and getting it from them gave it that extra little dab of specialness. It was also nice to have the opportunity to present a big full bearhug of appreciation to Steve Jones and Roberta Lannes, who (as I noted in my acceptance speech) basically gave me my start as a fiction writer. I was very happy with the huge round of applause Steve's thank-you garnered. He deserves it.

(The fateful envelope!)

It was also great fun to accept the Anthology award on behalf of my buddy/editor John Skipp. Skipp probably thought I wouldn't actually wear the sunglasses to accept, as he specified in the speech:

(Thanks to Sephera Giron for this pic!)

And jeez, talk about retarded - after the presentation was over, I was so focused on my duties as Stoker Coordinator (getting the after-event party going, getting the banquet hall cleaned out) that I nearly missed the photo session of the winners. Fortunately somebody else gave me a shove and got me up there with the boys:

(And by the way, I'm not utterly thrilled with having been the only female winner this year...)

And that was about it for me. I hung out in the parties until two-ish, but knew I had to rise early the next morning to finish out our suite, get the leftover trophies to our Toronto volunteer Michael Colangelo for shipping, and catch a noon plane back to L.A.

I swear, next year - no HWA duties. And extra days on either end of the convention.

Yeah, right...


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 8th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)

Thanks so much for that, Lisa! Although being here is really important, I do miss not seeing you guys. And my L.A. posse! Wow! They do rock, I must say. I would bear hug them all.

And congrats again! You rock in so many ways, lady. So, here's a little math I started doing:

Last year, there were 19 women on the Preliminary Ballot, but only five women appeared on the Final Ballot. This year, there were seven women on the Final Ballot with 18 on the Preliminary Ballot. (I might be miscounting for P-ballot. I've forgotten the rule as to how many max per category, etc.) I believe in both 2005 and 2006, only one woman won -- Charlee in 2005 (tied with a male in two categories) and you in 2006. Considering there were 19 and 18 women on the P-ballots, respectively, that's kinda ugly. Maybe 5% follow through? My math might be off, but if it's not, someone's got a whole lot of 'splaining to do.

I should put this in my blog and see if any blood splatters.

Apr. 9th, 2007 04:32 am (UTC)
It was great having the chance to have lunch with you, and big congrats again on the Stoker!
Apr. 9th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Lucy! And I can't wait for your book.
Apr. 9th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
Great report and pics, Lisa! Thanks for sharing. Wish I'd been there to bask in the greatness...
Apr. 9th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Dude, the Posse needs you at Salt Lake City in '08!
Apr. 11th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC)
"Armand Constantine..."

So THAT's the hotties name who I was stalking all weekend. I would ask you for his # but I'm assuming he's as straight as an arrow.
Apr. 11th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
Oh YEAH...he is a total hottie, isn't he? However, you surmised correctly: Straight and involved. Also suddenly becoming a very successful videogame writer!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )