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This weekend I spent some time at the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon, and attended the Bram Stoker Awards banquet last night. This was my first horror convention, my first book-signing and my first experience rubbing shoulders with other horror authors on a large scale. It was a really terrific weekend!

The event happened with fortuitous timing for me, because my new book Zombie Rebellion comes out on June 3, only a few weeks from now. On Friday evening I signed some advance copies of the book and also gave away two copies of my 2013 release, Zombies of Byzantium. Both books are put out by Samhain Publishing, which was one of the sponsors of the convention.

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E. Michael Lewis and I at the book signing on Friday night.

My table-mate at the book signing was fellow Samhain Horror author E. Michael Lewis, who wrote the chilling novella Lost and Found. The book signing was a great experience and I hope I was able to expose some of my writing to some new fans.

The Bram Stoker Awards is like the “Oscars night” of the horror world. I was amazed to go into the ballroom and find that my husband and I had seats right up front. (Thanks again to Samhain!) We were reminded of the various episodes of Mad Men where the characters attend the Clio Awards and complain about being seated too far back. Not so this time! At the very next table, only a few feet away, was Rocky Wood, President of the Horror Writers Association. We definitely had front-row seats.

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Our table at the Bram Stoker Awards. I thought I saw Don Draper and Peggy Olson sitting at a table way in the back.

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William F. Nolan, age 86 and still very dynamic, accepts his award at the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards.

The winners of the awards were very prestigious, as were the presenters and guests. William F. Nolan, author of the iconic 1967 science fiction novel Logan’s Run, won the Stoker for nonfiction for his book Nolan on Bradbury: Sixty Years of Writing About the Master of Science Fiction. The Best Screenplay award was won by Glen Mazzara for the Walking Dead episode “Welcome to the Tombs,” although Mazzara was not present to accept. R.L. Stine, creator of the Goosebumps series, accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award via a video feed. Stephen King, who was also not present, took top honors–the Best Novel award for his book Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining.

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My husband made this awesome .GIF that shows the entire Bram Stoker Awards banquet in a few seconds!

The most fun part of the evening was the after-party, which was also sponsored by Samhain. I got to meet William F. Nolan, who told me all about the upcoming comprehensive edition of Logan’s Run. I also spoke briefly to David Gerrold, a longtime science fiction author best known for writing “The Trouble With Tribbles,” arguably the most famous episode ever of the original 1960s Star Trek series. Despite the great luminaries, my favorite part of the evening was hanging out with other horror authors, such as Stephen Graham Jones (author of The Gospel of Z) and Patrick Frievald (who was nominated for a Stoker for his novel Special Dead in the Best Young Adult Novel category). The photo at the top of this article includes William F. Nolan, Stephen Graham Jones and me.

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The cover art for my upcoming book Zombie Rebellion was featured at the after party.

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David Gerrold, famous for Star Trek, was a guest at the after party. He won a Stoker for his short story “Night Train to Paris.”

And of course, my editor, Don D’Auria of Samhain Horror! He was one of the hosts of the party. For those fans out there I’m happy to tell you that he’s not only squarely behind my new book Doppelgänger, which will be out in February 2015, but the new book I’m working on now, which has the working title Portland Noir (though that will probably change).

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My editor, Don D’Auria, is every bit as responsible as I am for bringing you Zombies of Byzantium and Zombie Rebellion.

Overall it was a really terrific weekend. I can’t wait for the release of Zombie Rebellion, and also can’t wait for the 2015 World Horror Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, which I hope I can attend.

Enjoy the pics!

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