Saturday, March 29, 2014

My HWA Screw-up / Nice Authors

 Photo: HWA's Stoker Award for Specialty Press, won by Gray Friar Press from the UK.

Well, this is embarrassing, but here's my admission:

As a member of the Horror Writers Association of America, I thought I was eligible to vote for the HWA's Stoker Awards, but I'm not.  Unfortunately, I didn't know that until after I'd asked for some review copies of some nominated works.  In other words, I emailed a few writers and asked them for review copies (which voters are supposed to do) so I could consider voting for their works.

Except then I found out I wasn't eligible to vote.

And the books had already come.

So let that be a lesson to you: When you join a club, know its rules.

Immediately I knew I had to email all these writers back, admit my mistake, and ask them if they wanted me to pay for the book, or pay to send it back to them.  Books, especially hardcover books, are not cheap.  I'd received seven books overall.  The least costly: $14.00.  The most: $26.00.  Overall I'd received over $120.00 worth of stuff under incorrect pretenses.

Could this have gotten ugly?  I don't know.  But as a professional writer / novelist wannabe, I certainly didn't want to take that chance.  More importantly, bottom line: I had a writer's property that initially I shouldn't have had.  That's bad in of itself; for a professional writer / novelist wannabe like me, that's really, really bad.

I put off sending out the emails for a few hours, which is very unlike me.  But finally I sent them; each one began, "Well, this is embarrassing, but..."  It took me about seven hours to send out all of the emails.  Each one was painful.  Doing that really, really sucked.  What a professional they must think I am!

The writers were very nice, of course.  Some just asked that I post a review, which I was more than happy to do.  A few didn't ask me to do anything and said not to worry about it.  One of them even said that sending the emails was a classy thing to do.  (Having class is not something I'm often accused of.)

So one of the few good things to come out of this is that I can now review each of these books and collections.  Which I will do.  The voting has been done, too.  The results will be announced this summer during the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon.  I read these books and write these reviews now not for the Stoker Award, but for the books and the writers themselves, which I am more than happy to do.

And I'm happy to say that they are all nice people as well.  Each one could have given me a hard time, but didn't.  A few of them even said kind things.  So, here they are, in a list.  Please consider reading their books--the ones I'll review, or any other.

Eric J. Guignard, Editor: After Death... (short story collection)

Jonathan Moore: Redheads ("Part horror, part CSI, part revenge thriller..."--Jay Bonansinga, NYT Bestselling Author)

Michael Knost and Nancy Eden Siegel, Editors: Barbers and Beauties (short story collection)

S.P. Somtow: Bible Stories for Secular Humanists ("Skillfully combines the styles of Stephen King, William Burroughs, and the author of the Revelation to John!"--Robert Bloch, author of Psycho / "He can drive the chill bone deep."--Dean Koontz.)

Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson, Editors: Dark Visions, Vols. 1 & 2 (short story collections)

Christopher Rice: The Heavens Rise.  And check out the Internet radio show of this NYT bestselling author, too. 

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