Friday, February 12, 2016


From Peter Straub's Amazon page

I'm calling this one MEETING AUTHORS(ish) because I technically didn't meet Peter Straub. I was in his presence, though. That's what this is about. And I think I'm on #9 of the series, but I'm too lazy to look back through years of blogs to check.

Once upon a time, I wrote for a website called Napalm Assault. It has long since perished, but I had a lot of fun working for them. It got me into some wonderful situations, but the best benefit was getting press passes to comic book conventions.

I was covering the first C2E2 when I saw Peter Straub. I had no idea he was going to be there. As far as I know, he hadn't even been announced. I've been reading his books since I was a freshman in high school, so imagine my surprise when I saw he was on the Vertigo panel. (He was promoting this.) I felt giddy. I don't go all fanboy very much, but I felt it rising in my throat.

When it came time for questions, you bet I had my hand up. Much to my dismay, I was never chosen. I learned later that Karen Berger (who moderated the panel) ignored me because I was wearing a suit, and she thought I was a convention worker. I never wore a suit at a convention again.

The panel ended, and I went into the bathroom to piss. I sensed someone approaching the urinal next to me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Peter Straub himself. I thought, "Holy shit! I'm pissing next to Peter Straub!" I'd been getting interviews all day, and my next thought was: "Is now a good time to ask him for an interview?" I almost asked him. I came within a hair of blurting it out.

I decided not to ask. I zipped up and washed my hands. Outside the bathroom, I decided I'd wait for him to come out and then introduce myself. My first book hadn't been released yet, so there was no way he'd know me. Hell, even if it had been published, he still wouldn't know me. I felt the giddiness returning.

And then I started feeling like a creep. I never asked for the interview. But looking back, I think I should have. It would at least make this story more interesting.

It's funny. When you go to cons, you never expect to be pissing with the guests. I also ran into Garth Ennis at a urinal, and I almost pissed next to Tom Atkins. You know how Seinfeld has that comedians and cars and coffee show? I think I should have a show about meeting authors at urinals.

Anyway, if you haven't read any of Straub's work (you fucking heathen), you should start with the one that will still be talked about 100 years from now: Ghost Story. But my favorite is Shadowland. Go forth and read.

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