Beignets, Tim Waggoner, and the Stoker Awards

Had another wonderful time in New Orleans yesterday–the city, the World Horror Convention (and the people who came together to make it what it is), and of course, the food. Started off having breakfast at Cafe DuMonde with a plate full of beignets, and finished the day sitting at the same table as two freshly-minted Bram Stoker Award winners.

BONE WHISPERS, now available from Post Mortem Press.

BONE WHISPERS, now available from Post Mortem Press.

In between, I finally met Tim Waggoner, who’s collection BONE WHISPERS, is one of the latest releases from Post Mortem Press, the same publisher that released my novel, LOSING TOUCH. He is an associate professor of English and coordinator of creative activities at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio and also teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, Pennsylvania. And he may be tied with William F. Nolan for being the nicest guy on the planet. Plus (like Nolan) he’s a helluva writer. Some people get all the luck.

Maureen and I had a great dinner at the Bram Stoker Awards banquet. We were a little worried it would be the standard chicken breast and baked zitti, but the Hotel Monteleone put out a really nice spread, and I kind of ate myself silly. I’d say the desserts were the high point, but the shrimp stuffing was really the best part. I wish I was eating it right now.

We sat at the same table as Mort Castle and Sam Weller who won the anthology category for editing SHADOW SHOW (HarperCollins). Two very nice people who were more than deserving, and Chicago guys, too, so that made it even cooler for me. Castle also won a Stoker for his fiction collection NEW MOON ON THE WATER (Dark Regions Press).

L.L. Soares, who contributed “Seeds” to ZIPPERED FLESH 2 in which my own, “The Little Things” also appeared, won the Stoker for superior achievement in a first novel for LIFE RAGE (Nightscape Press), and Gene O’Neill won the Stoker for long fiction for THE BLUE HERON. O’Neill and I both contributed to Michael Bailey’s charity anthology CHIRAL MAD, and struck up a correspondence shortly thereafter.

He said the following after reading LOSING TOUCH: “It’s been said there are amateur writers and unpublished and unknown pro writers. Larsen’s writing was unknown to me. But after reading LOSING TOUCH I can recommend his work without reservation. He is indeed a solid pro. The novel has an unusual premise, the prose precise, the plot compelling, and the story has satisfying closure. Do yourself a favor, read this interesting novel. Then you, like me, will watch for his byline.”

Congratulations to all of last night’s winners and nominees. You have achieved so incredibly much, and it was really nice to share your moment with you. Now–off to get some breakfast and then catch a plane…

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