Last year, I attended Horror Realm in Pittsburgh and had an absolute blast: Dr. Kim Paffenroth schooled me on Guinness, I missed the opportunity to photograph myself as David Dunwoody's Reaper, and I had a brief romantic encounter with Jonathan Mayberry. Like I said: fun.
This year, I did it all over again. I flew in Thursday, and Jacob Kier from Permuted Press picked me up from PIT at midnight. We did the logical thing and went to the place for smiles, Eat’n Park, in memory of Travis Adkins (guy wouldn’t eat anywhere else).
There at the restaurant, we met a chatty waiter who complained about people that didn’t give him tips; he even told us about how he chased down one non-tipper in particular. The talkative, blatantly transparent, and vaguely threatening waiter was complaining about the fourteen-year-olds that come during the graveyard shift, when the creepy bald guy in the booth across from us asked, “Yeah, but are they hot?” This same creepy bald guy, a Rush fan, went on to tell Jacob and me that if we didn’t go see Mt. Washington while in town, we’d be weird. We gave the chatty waiter a generous tip and left. We never did make it to Mt. Washington...
The next day, the first day of the con, I went to the front desk to find my books, which I had shipped earlier in the week. The concierge couldn’t find my package. And the hotel’s event coordinator was “off the property,” so she was of no help. Got to tell you, I was a little freaked. No books?! Fu!!! Thankfully, I checked with someone actually from the convention and found my package. Phew!
My table this year put me right next to Kim Paffenroth, Jason Hornsby, and Tony Monchinski--all great guys. Jason stood much taller than I imagined, and Tony had a New York accent (not sure which one). Jacob Kier and I attended an author panel for Rhiannon Frater, and let me tell you: Rhiannon does not write erotica; she writes horror. We also went to the panel for Tim Gross and Jason Hornsby. Gross was hilarious and I’m pretty sure drunk; he read his review for the Leprechaun films, including Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood, in which the monster not only takes hits from the bong, but murders someone with it. Hornsby read a gory scene from his novel Eleven Twenty-Three, and laughed when he described the bit where a little girl rips out her father’s throat and then dances in the bloody spray--it was awesome; I can’t wait to read his book.
At the end of the day, I stayed up way too late at the bar with people, talking to one of Hornsby’s friends about astral travel. When I went up to the room that I was sharing with Jacob Kier, I realized the money clip on my wallet had de-magnetized my keycard, so I had to pound on the door in the hope of waking up Jacob. He didn’t respond, so I had to call his cell. Finally, he came to the door in his shorts. He doesn’t remember a thing.
Later this week, I’ll post about my experiences on Saturday and Sunday, including sex with Ken Foree...
D.L. Snell writes with Permuted Press. He edited Dr. Kim Paffenroth twice, John Dies at the End once, and provided a constructive critique to Joe McKinney on his next major novel after Dead City. You can shoot D.L. Snell in the head at www.exit66.net.
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