Tag Archives: Christian Larsen

Opinion: Contamination Defcon 4 Report


Copyright to Dave Dyer, 2006

Another Contamination has come and gone.

It was my second convention in as many weeks and my third Contamination. I enjoy this convention, not just because it’s in my hometown of St. Louis, but mainly for that reason. It’s a much smaller convention than most of the ones I generally attend, and that has positive and negative components. The positive being a more intimate atmosphere with the other vendors and the celebrities. The negative being less foot traffic and fewer opportunities to sell.

Like most conventions, Contamination suffered from a few logistical issues, but none that seemed to greatly alter people’s expectation or experience. That’s to say it wasn’t a near clusterfuck like Fandomfest the weekend prior (you can read my blog post about Fandomfest here). The KISS cover band, Rocket Ride, and tiki party were easy to find, as was the dance party the following night. In all honesty, the biggest issue for me was no ATM in the hotel. Really sucks when you’re trying to get drinks from a cash bar and you have no cash. So, Holiday Inn South County, get a fucking ATM, eh?

The only thing I questioned was the size as compared to the two previous years. It seemed much, much smaller this year, despite the reports that it was the biggest one yet. It didn’t seem that way to me, but I don’t crunch the numbers for the con, so who knows?

losingtouchI was able to hang out with some family and and old friend from high school (more on that later, I hope). Nearly sold out of Necromancer again, but missed the mark by a single book. As usual, it’s nice to hang with Mr. Beebe of Post Mortem Press. I also got to hang out with Chris Larsen for the second time, which was also very cool. His book, Losing Touch, is getting great feedback. I know everyone’s read my book by now (right?!) so check out Losing Touch today.

All in all, if there’s a fifth Contamination, I intend to go.

2012: The Edge of Glory

Yeah, I’m going to do the whole end of year blog thing, too. Why not jump on a moving bandwagon, right? I just didn’t see the point in doing it before 2012 was over. NYE is my wife’s birthday and it’s usually a wet night for me and this year was no exception. So I had to wait and see if anything worth reporting happened that night. It didn’t, and after a day of resting my aching oak barrel-aged body, I’m happy to report I can still drink coffee, bang the clam drum, and write.

Go me.

What I really don’t want to do with this post is give a list of my goals for 2013. What’s the point, right? They’re my goals, not yours, and do you really give a shit what they are? I’d be surprised if you said yes and probably call you a liar. Well, unless you’re one of a handful of people. So, with the 2013 goals sections now completed, let’s move on to the things I do want to touch on: my completed 2012 goals, my list of thanks, and then shout-outs.

I set three goals for 2012 and, ultimately, I met all three, though one was only semi-complete. I wanted to earn enough to join the HWA in some capacity. CHECK! I wanted to publish my first novel. CHECK! I wanted my writing to pay for itself. Uh, sort of CHECK! A half-check? Three-quarters maybe. I earned enough to pay for a good portion of my writing activities this year. I can live with that. As a matter of fact, I’m really happy with what I was able to pay for. Hopefully 2013 is as generous.

And while I take credit for the words on the paper, I still have to give a sincere thanks to certain people for their trust, encouragement, and boots to the head. My wife, Michelle, for starters. I couldn’t do anything without her, much less write a fucking story for people to read. She’s my glue. Love you, honey, here’s to 2013 being even better.

I also have to say thanks to Eric Beebe of Post Mortem Press for being kick ass while kicking ass in the small press world. Everything you do puts the small press on the map and I, for one, couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of that. Along with Eric, his wife Stephanie, and the rest of the PMPress family: Paul Anderson, Joseph Williams, Brad Carter, Kenneth W. Cain, Jessica McHugh, Alan Zacher, Nelson W. Pyles. You guys are awesome. I know that’s not everyone, but I only have so much room and the beer, you know?

As always, props to my peeps in CMC: Inanna, Matt, Val, Randy, Bill. I wasn’t around much in 2012, but you were always there on the Twitters, the Facebook, or the emails. Having your constant support is invaluable. Here’s to a better 2013 and keeping each other in words once again.

As far as the shout-out section, I really have two parts to this. The first belongs to the writers whose work stands alongside mine in a few anthologies, or have been a constant voice in my ear, or just impressed the hell out of me for some reason: Alexis A. Hunter, Brady Allen, Christian Larsen, Lydia Peever, and artist Lydia Burris. If you haven’t been acquainted with these people, then you need to. They are fucking astounding. And a special mention to Jonathan Maberry. He gets a thank you for all his kind words and help at Confluence this year. He’s a super nice guy; I hope to talk with and share a panel or two with him again.

The last portion of shout-outs goes to two people that have impressed the living hell out of me for various reasons. This is one of the only times I’ll go way off topic and discuss issues that don’t pertain to writing, but are personal to me, on this blog. These next two have spoken out on several topics close to my heart: bisexuality, gay marriage, and depression. The amount of sexual discrimination in this country is outrageous; get the fuck over it, people. And depression… I’ve been diagnosed with depression, was on medication (though no longer), and still suffer from prolonged fits of either anger or solitude. In the wake of recent tragedies and the national dialogue on mental health and wellness, it’s important to start recognizing and talking about depression.

So, my first shout-out goes to a lovely woman named Jen Sylvia. She makes stuff. Like clothes, bags, and stuff, all of which you can peruse and purchase here or here. She blogs about lots of stuff (and Twitters about it too, btw), but the one I want to draw your attention to is Dahara’s Depression. It’s a no bullshit look at the disease and it’s one of the strongest, most heartfelt blogs I’ve read in a long while. For anyone who suffers from depression (mild, severe, or other), you should subscribe. Oh, and did I tell you also runs the Ohio Straight People for Gay Marriage Facebook page? Yeah. Check this woman out, throw her your support, even if it’s just to read.

The second person I want to mention here is a writing group crony, Valarie Clark, whose blog used to speak about the trials and tribulations of being bisexual. Her blog is no longer focused on bisexuality, but on her writing instead, and you can find that at the link above. But just her openness to discuss it and throw it out there in the first place earned my respect.

Both of these women tackle(d) “taboo” subjects and did so with style, grace, and humor. Now, don’t expect to agree with everything written by them (cuz I sure don’t) but it’s also been my experience that each of them is more than willing to have a conversation about any topic you have. A conversation without rancor, without hate, without judgment. And that, in my opinion, is almost as important as their subject matter. They’re strong women who should be heard. My proverbial hat goes off to them; I believe they’re a force for good here in central Ohio and hope they continue on continuing on. If these subjects are important to you, subscribe, like, read, listen, follow.

Join the conversation.

I titled this blog post “The Edge of Glory” because sitting here in my dining room, surrounded by NYE party mess, a sick dog, and a beer, that’s the dominating feeling I have concerning 2012. I feel like I’m right there at the edge, holding hands with all of you, waiting to go over.

Whether I jump into oblivion or something greater remains to be seen, but I’m flexing my toes even as I finish typing this.


Here we come.

Fright Night (for real!) and more info on West Pigeon Press antho

So the Fright Night Film Fest was a success. Post Mortem Press sold a fair number of books and I was able to sell three copies of Necromancer. Not too shabby for an urban fantasy book at a horror convention catering mostly to movies and fans. It helps there are zombies in Necromancer, of course.

I was also able to meet the fine folks that run zombieinfo.com. Great people, so go check out their webpage. I was also the lucky raffle winner of an original Lydia Burris print on Saturday. That was pretty fucking awesome, I tell you. I spent a buck on my ticket and came away with kick ass art. Been a fan of Lydia’s work for awhile now and any chance to add to my growing collection is one that I’ll take.

In the news department, received an email from West Pigeon Press who will be publishing my story “Bless You.” We’re scheduled for an August release (yay! happy birthday to me!) and I’ve been given a glimpse at the cover art, which I can’t get to upload, so you will have to wait on that. Also, the title has been released and it is… wait for it… “For When the Veil Drops” I’ll be sharing pages with such authors as Lydia Peever, Christian Larsen, Samuel Minier, and BV Lawson.