It was a totally surreal weekend.
First, StokerCon 2017 was held on The Queen Mary. If you’ve read my short story “Some Divine,” you’ll have some idea of the spooky-crazy stuff that I’ve experienced on that ship. The experiences were so powerful that I had to fictionalize them. Otherwise, who’d believe it?
I’m not asking that question anymore.
Anyway, I’d agreed in advance to play Werewolf: The Apocalypse onstage that Friday with George R.R. Martin, Stephen Graham Jones, Chuck Wendig and Nancy Holder. I couldn’t have asked for a more prestigious, hilarious, creative group of people. Our Storyteller Bill Bridges brought us on a fun adventure battling Black Spiral Dancers (mais bien sûr) and The Wyrm they serve. Someone in the audience was sweet enough to lend me and Stephen fuzzy wolf ears to wear as we played. I just about DIED when I saw the photos.
(Speaking of dying, I was suffering the worst allergies of my life. I’m surprised my eyes don’t look even puffier in this photo, although the right one looks swollen for sure.) Anyway, Patrick Freivald took this group tabletop photo as proof of the madness. That’s me next to GRRM on the far left.
After the game, I was so sick from allergies that I crawled back to my room, totally forgetting I had a YA panel to be on at that time. Ugh! It was the first time I’d ever missed a panel in my life. I began self-flagellating between power sneezes. I eventually got some “severe” cold medication from the gift shop, which seemed to dam the tide for slightly longer intervals than double-Sudafed doses. (Which is bad, I know.)
Saturday was looking better now that I had some almost workable meds. I was on Lee Murray’s terrific panel about Collaborations in Horror, and then the equally awesome Libraries and Authors panel moderated by the wonderful JG Faherty. There, I at last met the librarian Becky Siegel Spratford, whose blog I’d read without even realizing it!
After the afternoon signing, I had to get ready for the Bram Stoker Awards banquet. This year, I wrote a speech, which some folk might think would jinx the whole thing. But for all my woo-woo beliefs, I actually don’t believe you can “jinx” something that was decided by other people five weeks ago. I’m really glad, too, because I freaking won!
Hey, @abuckslater! I WON AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/EbT839xT7v
— Maria Alexander (@LaMaupin) April 30, 2017
This award meant a lot to me. As far as my stories go, Snowed is the love of my life. It’s the best thing I’ve published to date, and I’m really proud of it. That said, I’m truly humbled and honored by the award. The ballot was fierce, you guys. I’m grateful that my peers found my work worthy. To everyone who read and voted, you have my heartfelt thanks.
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