Remember To Use Stones (StokerCon 2017)

I just endured two and a half days of pure horror! But that’s kind of what you’d expect from a conference called StokerCon, which is organized by the Horror Writers Association. This past weekend, I attended the second annual StokerCon on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. Once one of the finest ocean liners in the world, she now serves as a hotel and historic site. The ship actually saw some action during WWII, when the Queen Mary was conscripted into the war effort. She was then known as “The Grey Ghost” due to her new paint job, and she played a role in transporting troops from the United States to Europe. Oh, and she’s also haunted.  (more…)

Tonight We Are Young

During a trip to the Philippines back in February, I had an interesting experience at a bookstore in the mall.  I was in the section for teens AKA young adults (YA), searching for a copy of The Maze Runner by James Dashner.  The movie kept me entertained for two of the fifteen hours I spent on the flight to Manila, so I thought it’d be fun to read the source material.  I found the book without much trouble and began perusing other titles, pulling them off the shelves to read the inscriptions on the back.  A young girl, maybe 13 or 14, joined me in the section.  She, too, searched through the book shelves.  From the corner of my eye, I saw her pick up Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  I wanted to scream, “No, any book but that one!” but I remained silent.  After all, who am I to frighten a complete stranger?

Then her parents showed up, asking her if she were ready to leave yet.  While she tried to convince her dad to buy the entire Twilight trilogy, her mom gave me a funny look as I continued to pull books off the shelf.  She gave me the once over, eyebrow arced upwards, before quickly glancing away.  As much as I hoped that she was a pro-wrestling fan and merely giving me the People’s Eyebrow, I knew what that look meant.  It’s the “Aren’t you a little too old to be reading these books?” look.  It only lasted a few seconds, and the girl ended up getting all the books she begged for.  I forgot about the whole thing until recently, when I walked into a bookstore back home in the U.S. with my nephew (who’s in the “correct” age group) and accompanied him to the YA section.  While thumbing through the selection, I glanced around me and realized something awesome.  Out of the six people there, I was one of four “regular adults” looking at the books.  So that got me thinking…  How many “regular adults” enjoy reading YA?