Tag Archives: KillerCon

A Conversation with Photographer Stacy Scranton-Morgan

Stacy Scranton-Morgan is a popular photographer, and I’ve run into her at several different conventions. She’s not only great at taking pictures of the panelists and speakers, but also takes wonderful behind-the-scenes pictures of moments that wouldn’t otherwise be captured. Stacy also takes headshots, which is a necessity for every author. I tracked her down and asked for a little advice on how to take a decent author’s photo.

Mercedes M. Yardley: Hi, Stacy! Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. As authors, we’re used to using words and phrases to convey nuances and emotions. As a photographer, you do things visually. It’s a completely different world.

Take the subject of author’s photos. They can be quite daunting to a writer. Suddenly one photo is going to basically encapsulate us as a person. They’ll be used online, on the backs of our books, and as promotional tools. The experience of taking an author’s photo can be terribly awkward. This is where your expertise comes in.

Is it possible to take a good photo if the author is extremely nervous? What would you suggest is the best way to calm down?

Stacy Scranton-Morgan: The first part of the question reminds me of the episode of Friends when Monica and Chandler were having their engagement portraits taken. Chandler was so nervous that he just could not get a good picture. So I would say there are those extreme cases. Most people, especially ones that are not used to having their photographs taken, do get nervous in front of the camera. The best thing you can do is try to relax and have fun with it. Take a few deep breaths. When I’m photographing people, I try to have fun with them. I like to joke around and get them laughing a little bit. By being a little goofy, it usually helps to loosen up my subject. Just remember, you have the easy job. You just have to sit there and be yourself.

(more…)

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Down

The Frequency Brothers is a rock band on the cusp of great success. After a sold-out concert in Texas, they board their small private plane to go to a video shoot in New York. But their plane goes down in a forest and they end up fighting for survival—not only due to injuries, but because there is something in the forest stalking them.

At first the creature just takes their dead—but why? And where are they being taken?

The answers to these questions are frightening, especially as one by one they are led away from the relative safety of the crash site to a sinkhole in the middle of the forest that contains something horrifying.

Will any of them make it out of the forest alive?

Down, Nate Southard’s fifth and latest novel, is an exciting and creepy adventure story. The description of the plane crash is realistic and scary. (I’m glad I didn’t read this before flying to Las Vegas for KillerCon!) The first half of the book had me riveted; however, I was a little disappointed in the second half.

Once the story got into the supernatural, it fell a little flat. That aspect of the story made little sense, and was never explained. There was no reason given for the monster’s existence, what the symbols were for, and how the pit/sinkhole came to being.

But overall, Down is a good story, one most horror lovers would enjoy. This is the first I’ve read of Nate Southard, but I’m looking forward to more of his work.

Down is available through Sinister Grin Press, and other online retailers.

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Shock Totem Invades Killercon

This coming weekend, at the fourth annual Killercon convention in Las Vegas, joining the likes of F. Paul Wilson, Wrath James White, Jack Ketchum, John Skipp, Adam Cesare, and more, the Shock Totem Five will be meeting in person for the first time ever. We will have a vendor table all weekend long. If you’re attending, we’d love to meet you.

We are hosting a party Friday night as well. I say party, but since everyone shot down all my great ideas–bouncy castle, Sumo wrestler outfits/matches, Andrew WK karaoke battles–I’m not sure how much of a party it’ll be, but it’ll be fun…because when it’s time to party we will always party hard!

Yeah, I went there.

In addition, we will be doing a special pre-release of our upcoming collection, Beautiful Sorrows, by Mercedes M. Yardley. Own it weeks before its official release. We’ll have fifty paperback copies available (there will also be a limited edition hardcover release) at a special discount price. Mercedes will gladly autograph your copy. She’ll be doing a reading from the book as well.

For more info, click here. Preorders for the official paperback and hardcover release will go up later today and tomorrow. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Hope to see you there!

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A Weston Ochse Reading: Playlist at the End

Las Vegas, September 21, 2011, KillerCon. Weston Ochse reads—and rocks—”Playlist at the End,” his short story from the fourth issue of Shock Totem.

(Unfortunately the audio and video go out of sync a bit at the end.)

If you dig it, consider picking up an issue of Shock Totem or other works from Weston. Your support is always appreciated.

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