We didn’t meet in May. Instead, as we do each year, we staffed the HWA booth at the …
Bay Area Book Fair
Berkeley’s annual book fair had almost 100,000 visitors over its two-day run. Our local chapter chatted with the public and put a cheery face on the grinning skull of our genre. We filled three pages with the E-mails of people who overcame their fears to sign up for more info about the HWA, while a number of the more timid took brochures. As usual, we had a well-decorated booth that stood out, and local HWA authors displayed their books. We also put up a poster for the Death’s Parade film festival in October that Anthony De Rouen is organizing, and we received E-mails from people curious about that.
This year, we decided to try an interactive experiment with fair-goers. We put up a two-sided cork board. One side asked, “What Draws You To Horror?”, and people who came up to the table and expressed interest in us were invited to add why; the other side read, “Why Do You Avoid Horror?”, and those who did the “recoil” at seeing us were also encouraged to add their reason. We had some fun conversations as a result. Below are the responses:
“It takes me out of my comfort zone”
“I like to see my nightmares on the outside”
“Makes me feel alive and connected!”
“It makes me see my life lightly”
“With horror, anything is possible; plus, it explores what you most fear in life”
“Because it teaches me how to survive”
“There’s enough horrible things in the world!”
“It scares my friends??”
“All the vivid nightmares!”
“Horror is too real for me! Why add to my anxiety?”
“I’m a scaredy cat!”
“It scares me too much!”
“Don’t like horror because the images stay with me, unbidden and recurring.”
Two days before the festival, our local chapter’s anthology, Tales for the Camp Fire, came out and hit #3 in horror anthologies on Amazon. We had copies available for sale at the festival, and, because “camp fire” was two words, a lot of passers-by figured out from a distance that this was a charity anthology. On the first day, the public reacted so positively that all the authors returned the contributor copies they’d gotten just hours before, and still we sold out of all we’d brought. This bodes well for raising a good amount of money for the wildfire victims. And they need it—a number of the dispossessed are now leaving their community because the red tape makes things too difficult and their funds are low. You can find out more info at http://www.ellderet.com/campfire.
Book Release Party
We have a number of events lined up to publicize the book. The first, after the book fair, was the book release party at Books On B in Hayward. The owner was amazingly helpful and supportive, so, if you live in Hayward, check out the store.