Pacione recaps the signing at Gothicfest 2007. The reprise of the festival that basically helped him take off as a writer and a publisher.
Pacione at Gothicfest 2007
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One thing I will say about Gothicfest is Jeff Swanson does a good job putting this one together every year and it was an impressive set - I didn't really get a chance to do an interview but I was in no shape to be interviewed (exhausted from three days lack of sleep and losing my voice.) Doing book signings at events like this are always hit and miss. The only reason it was slow for the writers in general is that it was raining like mad on the second day. Even my signing mates didn't really sell any books - they were cool people to hang out with and yeah I wouldn't mind going on tour with them.
It seems like Jeff out does himself every event he does. The fact I am grateful that I am able to come out and do the event every year (or this one was two years because it took two years planning it.) It was well executed but the thing I think that I should suggest and recommend for next year is have a mass book signing. All the authors having a table and put their stuff out, the authors involved have a row all to themselves. I can compare notes on this one because I was at the 2005 incarnation the bands were good there but I had a family emergency which I had to take during my book signing so I made it up later in the night.
It was two days worth of darkness inside the event this year because it was one of those things that could been a twilight zone episode for me because there were a lot of things that happened on my part that let a lot of bad luck to my signing. My ex-room mate showed up and had to be everywhere that I needed to be and her friend stalked me the second part of the first night when I was trying to make a few sales and sabotaged those (this bitch is done in Chicago. I had to have one of the bouncers keep a look out for the loser.) I almost got into a fight too that first night and was trying to avoid it. All in all it was an okay night - there were plenty of moments there I found myself freaking out. The nice thing was that they did allow ins and outs this year so I was making food runs for the writers at my table. The writers this year I was signing with were the first time I met them and damn they were good writers in their own right.
Swanson knows what he wants when he does events like this and he listens to the people who are involved with the event on the direction were to go with it. I had a lot of fun at this event despite the fact I did lose my voice and exhausted. I accomplished the fact I managed to make one of my other crates lighter by the end of the night and gave a copy of The Storms of Armageddon and House of Spiders 3 to Belle Morte. It was cool to finally meet them and also met Don Henrie. I was comparing notes with Henrie about impossible journalists and the ones who were unprepared.
It was a cool weekend overall - just wish it didn't rain. A couple copies of the magazine I had sold and so did all my Tabloid Purposes IV anthologies. A band bought one for their tour read (which is always cool when a band buys a book - the fact one member will be the one picking the book up then I was given a free shirt from Underground Inc. The author of Tour Smart had a killer seminar - the fact that I was thinking what would work for bands will also work for a writer when they start touring.) Yeah the weight gain was evident on my part but I didn't really have the gut showing either, but then again that was because of the medication and being in the hospital for three weeks earlier in the year. There were times I found myself playing referee because Don got a little mad at two interviewers - I was trying to keep him from actually doing something to them.
"Don, they do apologize and here's two drink tickets."
Meeting Don was like sitting in a room with two dark forces from two different spectrums. The one that tends to draw more to the elegant while the other was more real and gritty. I was talking with the interviewers myself off record telling them they should be more afraid of me than they are of Don.
I was candidly showing them my scars on my back of the head and telling them the 13th was an anniversary of when a classmate I knew personally murdered a cab driver. Then showed them the scar about being stabbed in the head and was hit by a car when I was 20. These two sat and listened with some real fright behind it - they were saying, "Fuck. We should be more afraid of you than him." Then I told them they had nothing to really worry about when they spoke with me - the fact this made them a little more at ease. It is easy to have a mode that would see people become afraid of a person, but when someone is casual and candid about their dark side -- they get a little more shocked by it. I didn't even show Don these scars.
This chapter in the two year history of the festival was one of the more interesting ones - cool friends coming out of the event and more tour mates. It was cool meeting with Gashley Darcane after two years. Time has some perspective on things - time makes people better friends or in some cases with the one dressed as a fat Marie Antonette in the white dress on day two, bitter enemies. (That person was getting heckled the whole night from me and being given the middle finger. I was giving the "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE?" look.)
It was cool that a friend of mine showed up that saved my life at Convergence 10 was there this time around, and seeing it was a weird night. Saturday was cool but Friday was just plain weird. My signing mates and I got along really well - they got some kick ass projects but I wish they managed to push a few copies there. The fact my career is going to take off from this event, which is cool and I can imagine what kind of things Jeff would add next to the next year incarnation. The fact that DJ Genesis I got to hang out with the whole time there and I told my cousin about this - he had no idea who he was then I asked him if he played HALO yet, he mixed Halo's soundtrack.
In that sense - Gothicfest 2007 might not have been the year I made a killing, but it was the year I made some valuable contacts that will advance my career and in the long run push more books. It was a fun event and one thing I would like to see are some rat rods parked out in front. The event is always cool to see in motion but I would like to see the heavier bands play and people actually getting caught in a mosh. This is the weekend even the devil feels like someone's puppet - the fact I was pulling the devil's puppet strings this time around. The fact that the Underground Inc gave me another America Runs On Damage shirt was one of those unexpected moments. I met some cool people overall during the weekend there and some of them I could actually imagine hanging out on the weekend somewhere and getting drinks or going to the diner with and scaring waitresses.
Would I do the event again, in a fucking heartbeat -- as either an author or one of the photographers shooting the event (I would do it as both, the fact I love the event; and it would be cool to see it go into a bigger venue. But Excaliber Nightclub was the perfect compliment for the vendors and performers) My buddy Ig was doing the photo duties so there will be some kick ass photos going into VF Magazine. Yeah meeting the guy from Mad Mad World - felt like I was stepping into the Night Gallery in some ways. You wonder if he was a character from a horror film or a real person - then the frightening realization he's both (Don, I say this in a good way man. Knowing me this is the kind of the way I think - the eccentric horror writer, and someone who is more fond of special effects.)
Two years ago I kept it simple with the spiderwebs - this year I wanted to do something cool since I was grand unveiling Tabloid Purposes IV. I toyed with the idea in passing and when I was getting ready to go to a new years eve party a few years ago I showed the blacklight to Shawn Borri (those of you wonder who he is, this guy was the source material for the story The Typewriter,) and his younger sister, Ivy Goth, to see how it looked - I never thought I would actually do a book that could be read under a blacklight. Don told me that blacklight will make someone's skin wrinkle faster (for a guy who seems to say he's a hundred years old - I am making an educated guess that he's about my age because he looks about twenty-nine. That's science talking there - I am looking at him from a Scientist's point of view. I wonder if the tanning lamps are those that use the blacklight aspect.)
So what I wanted to do was use both the black light and the strobe lights for the booth and all that fun shit but time constraints in getting things ready to go was something I wish I had more time to do. I also want to mention this was my first signing under the roster with Naked Snake Press. The thing that had set back the book signing was that I had a family emergency to take care of and the fact there is a malicious blog twisting the truth around (stealing copyrighted photos and artwork) - I will go on the record right now and say my grandfather had a stroke. That happened during the start of my book signing so I had to go later with it. It was cool because friends actually got to play this year -- thought I was disappointed that I missed their set because of the running around. Knowing that Leper played this year it gave them a huge chance to reach a lot of people. One of the reasons I brought Coach on with his project.
I sold some here and there but I am guessing a few other writers had a slow night too as far as the books went. Note to self: next time focus on just one book during the signing not an entire catalog of books or a few publications at a time - because it will overwhelm the visitor. I let people make off with other titles by Naked Snake Press as a giveaway item, but I will be offering a special giveaway the next one though in fact the one I was trying to get done here couldn't get done in time. My networking began to grow because of this event - the fact I wish I had more flyers and all of that, well something to think about for the next one.
I do have video from the set up on day two but it is like a minute long each. Those will go up in a few days to a week when I have the speakers to do so. I am finally happy to get this video camera working and now I can do more video with it - the fact I have to start investing in more memory cards for this. I did wish I had more pictures this time around but I got a few that count and this time they are for my publishers too. What made my night I think is when Graveyard Theatre invited me on the show to be a guest to promote Tabloid Purposes IV - they bought a copy of the magazine too. I told them the story in there isn't APT 2W but it is just as potent. I didn't do as many pictures this time around because Ig got some good ones - I lost my tripod at the event which sucked but other than that it was a fun weekend. My uncle came and got me then saw some interesting hot rods at the gas station when I stopped off and got something to eat. As much as I like to write horror novels, I also like to take a look at some killer rat rods too.
That whole weekend was interesting to say the least - there were things that got me freaking out a little bit but at the same time it was a blast. Graveyard Theatre made a hell of an MC the whole weekend so I am impressed that they got to host the show this time around. The whole crew are cool as fuck - they were curious about the haunted apartment story, I told them it was in More Frightening Than Fiction and Withersin Magazine 1.1: The Birth Issue. The fact the entire weekend I had two of the most talented writers and editors with me on this one - Scot Savage of Schamburg, Illinois, and Coach Culbertson of Crystal Lake, Illinois, (wait I know there is going to be a Friday the 13th joke tossed around there - both guys are huge horror buffs, Coach picked some damn good stories with his project. Scot - I read a few of his short stories before I picked him. I got the books both proudly displayed on my desk bookshelf.) I even got to hang out with the guy who is behind a horror store in the Cicero area, the fact I saw something that I actually recognized as something from Trilogy of Terror - I asked him if he read some of Richard Matheson's work.
The way I was dressed I was making a bit of a statement, the fact I wanted to be more honest with myself than hide behind any gimmicks, I wore black completely on Friday. There was more to being Gothic than dressing in black or the make up - I never needed the make up, and black clothing for me was more roadie like. The fact I did carry myself as a roadie who dabbled in horror instead of being a horror writer who looked like a roadie. I gave Don Henrie copies of Tabloid Purposes IV (the originally the end of the night giveaway item for day one. Then I gave him House of Spiders 3 on day two - telling him if it wasn't for seeing a Reality TV show, there wouldn't even be a House of Spiders period.)
All in all - this was a fun weekend - I wish I was able to catch all the bands, but I did catch a few of them - Withering Soul returned like I did this year and they kicked some serious ass. Grigori 3 came back with a new skin basher and a four string abuser. They both kicked ass there too. I am waiting for them to write some new material with the new personal. Seeing Martin Akins speak was a riot but I just wish I had some more coffee at the time - the fact the tips he was giving bands also applies to touring writers. Writers tour more than musicians and the fact I didn't really tour the first two years and now I am really considering a plan of attack. Gothicfest was always my first leg of a tour or the only signing I do pending on how many books I have stored up. This time around it was a slow year for authors but I think it would pick up more next year when Mike Philbin and Nicholas Tillemans come to Chicago to promote Chimeraworld. Oh shit - is Chicago ready for Philbin to come through? It's hard enough they got Tabloid Purposes IV tearing shit up - now you got another one coming in a Bloke who can scare the shit out of anyone just by the ideas he comes up with with an anthology.
Coach and Scott told me they had a real blast - the fact that Coach came back for day two cemented the fact. I asked them, "can they keep up?" The fact I did jump on the table this year I was testing the table out when I was setting up to see if it could support my weight. I was going to get a different table for next year that can support someone's body weight the fact that Philbin and I are going to do 2008 will be a crazy deal. That will be the one that I will have to ask Jeff if Mike and I can relive the interview in person that was one that some pussy decided to take down from their site. The fact that Philbin and I compare notes on the authors will be something that will come into factor when doing this signing - being that we were swapping authors from Tabloid Purposes II, when I saw an author that was too twisted for Tabloid - I'd send him along to Mike.
Seeing that he comes to Gothicfest 2008 will be the thing that will be a factor here for the other authors who signed this year - I am ready for him to unleash the Chimeraworld machine to Chicago, they're ready for it. The fact that Tabloid Purposes IV is one of those anthologies that basically set the tone for Chimeraworld 5 - not in the sense of ideas that Philbin has but in the sense of the level of intensity that it belts off. But with this event - Gothicfest 2007, it was intense. The bands and the atmosphere. The industrial scene clashing with the disco and house scene going down stairs. I lent my voice to one of Genesis' spinnings - when he was spinning some intense industrial I did a loud "DESTROY" scream. It was a fucking riot. Some were saying, "You're louder than the bands with the mic! You should front a metal act; got the throat for it."
I smiled at that point, that was the thrash throat coming into play there. Martin Akins was a head trip too (Sorry if I got your name wrong on the personalization - I was groggy when I was trying to sign the book.) I was a little bummed that none of my long time friends from the home area came out to this one but it would have been cool to see them too. But damn it was nuts, and this is what happens when something macabre this way comes - the input of one writer in the beginning began to be something huge the fact they had seven authors in all this year the whole weekend but I wish they had a better system to announce the writers. In closing Jeff, keep up the good work - I fucking salute you.