Today Was a Really Good Day at CT HorrorFest

I tried to think of a clever title for this post, but I’m exhausted, and honestly, that title pretty much sums it up. See, i spent the day at CT HorrorFest, which is my favorite show of the year. Not only is it a fantastic celebration of horror, but the show is put together by my friends at the Horror News Network, who are some of the nicest and most genuine people I am lucky enough to know. Each year I go to their show and hang out all day talking about horror and music with anyone that passes my table. Occasionally I will sell some books as well, but I’ve never been really good at promoting my own stuff, and I usually forget to mention my books as I’m excitedly talking about favorite movies and albums. Anyway, the show is a blast and I look forward to it every year.

This year, I was even more exited than usual, as two of my all-time favorite actors were going to be there–Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins. I adore Adrienne Barbeau, as she was in two of my favorite movies of all time, The Fog and Escape From New York, as well as Creepshow, Swamp Thing and the awesome TV show Maude. My favorite role of hers was Stevie Wayne, the local radio DJ in The Fog, though I’ve loved her in everything she’s been in.

Tom Atkins is a horror legend to me. He’s a Carpenter veteran, having done Escape From New York, The Fog and Halloween III for my favorite director. He was also in Creepshow, Maniac Cop, Two Evil Eyes, My Bloody Valentine 3D, and the amazing Night of the Creeps. In fact, the character Tom played in Night of the Creeps–Detective Ray Cameron–is the inspiration for one of the main characters in the book Jolene and I wrote–Harrowed. Our Detective Ray Atkins is a love letter to Tom’s character.

And today I got to tell him that.

My morning began with meeting Tom and giving him my print proof of Harrowed after explaining how he inspired one of the main characters. He was amazingly gracious and said he couldn’t wait to read it, even asking me when we were going to make a movie out of it. I was so happy I almost cried.

But it gets better.

I went back later in the day and bought a Night of the Creeps poster from Tom, which he signed to Jolene and I. And then he took a picture with me as he held our book:

I don’t even have words for how happy this made me. When I stumbled away in a daze, he called me back to his table to make sure he had my email address so he could tell me what he thought of the book. And he also asked me to say hi to Jolene for him. I was almost in tears. In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined any of that. He was amazing and I am an even bigger fan of his than I was before. What an awesome guy.

I then has the good fortune to meet Adrienne Barbeau and get a picture with her as well. Just being able to tell her how much I’ve loved her work and how I’ve grown up with her was so great. And she was absolutely lovely. Here’s us with the Crate Beast from Creepshow:

All in all, it was one of the best days ever. And now I’m going to bed.

Pay your respects.