Mo*Con VI: The Lowdown

Mo*Con is coming up on us again, May 20-22.  Brought to you by the Indiana Horror Writers, Mo*Con is a convention focused on conversations revolving around horror literature and spirituality (two great tastes that taste great together!). If you enjoy writing, horror, fantasy, poetry, and food, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at this convention. Basically, imagine a room party held in a con suite, and that’s Mo*Con.

As always, there are a lot of moving parts to what I essentially a hangout weekend.  In addition to being able to spend time with our spectacular line up of writer and artists, here’ how the weekend lays out:

*For those coming into town early, Jerry Gordon will be leading a pub crawl through Broad Ripple on Thursday night, but you all need to get with him*

Friday

(At Trinity Church) – 6151 N. Central Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220

6:00 p.m. Doors open

7:00 p.m. Dinner (Chicken marsala and fettucine alfredo)

9:00 p.m. Open mic – flash fiction and poetry readings

Saturday

(At Trinity)

10:00 a.m. Doors open

11:00 a.m. Conversation #1:  Alternative Markets:  examining comic book, gaming opportunities, and other places to sell our stories  (Cullen Bunn, Brian Keene, Bob Freeman, Lucien Soulban)

12:00 p.m. Lunch (seafood etouffe, lasagna)

1:00 p.m. Conversation #2:  Homosexuality, the Church, and the Arts (Lee Thomas, Gina Ranalli, Danny Evarts, Lucien Soulban, Brad Grammer)

3:00 p.m. Art Gallery

-Danny Evarts demo

-Steve Gilberts demo

*3:30 p.m. Comic book store signing (Cullen Bunn, Brian Keene) – at Comic Carnival*

5:00 p.m. Conversation #3:  Writing the weird (Andy Prunty, Gina Ranalli, D. Harlan Wilson)

6:00 p.m. Dinner (Indian/Jamaican cuisine)

7:00 p.m. Concert – there are a few bands, Grave Robber with Calabrese and Harley Poe

Sunday

Goodbye brunch

There will be a silent auction to raise money for charity.  For those threatening karaoke, there will be room parties at the main hotel (Quality Inn & Suites – 5011 North Lafayette Road, Indianapolis, IN 46254).

The early bird registration rate ($50) deadline is April 1st. Slots limited to 100 folks.  Basically, you know the drill.  We can’t wait to host you all.

Road to Mo*Con VI: Lucien, Dark Faith, and Mo*Con

A few years ago, I wrestled with my beliefs on the issue of homosexuality and what my faith had to say on  it as well as where I thought the church had missed the mark on how we dealt with the issue.  And like a good evangelical, once I figured out what I knew, I believed the issue done.  However, what I believe—or think the Bible has to say on a matter—doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  We balance our orthodoxy with our orthopraxis.  Which brings me to Lucien Soulban, Dark Faith, and Mo*Con.

Lucien Soulban.  Lucien and I have been friends for seven years or so.  He, John C. Hay, Richard Dansky and I formed a writers group called the “Bastard Sons of Mort Castle”.  Lucien’s also gay.  Because we’re friends, and thus free to push in on each other’s lives, we’ve had numerous conversations.  One time when we were at lunch at a World Horror Convention, I thanked him for being a part of my life.  It’s easy to come to some position, achieve some theological point, it’s another thing for your “position” to have a face.  So when people would come up to me and ask “What are we going to do about ‘so and so’?” (aka “the gay person in our church”), all I could think of, all I heard was, “what are we going to do about Lucien?”  And I only had one answer for that:  figure out how to love him better.

Dark Faith.  We got over 600 submissions for our anthology.  I saw the anthology as an extension of what we do at Mo*Con, that is, have conversations.  So when we invited authors to write their takes on faith (or art or race or sex or any of the other social justice issues we’ve covered under the umbrella of faith) the ones that resonated most with me came from a real place.  One of the things we noticed was how many stories turned on the idea of homosexuality, more specifically, religion’s stance and/or handling of the issue.

Mo*Con.  All sorts of folks come to the convention from all sorts of religions and worldviews to discuss issues.  I never get tired of listening to people’s stories.  I’m always especially curious to know what kept them from or drove them out of the church.  So many stories have the similar echoes:  rejection from the church when they found out what they wrote; rejection from the church when they found out they were gay.  Condemnation and shame were the lessons they took home from the church.

A pastor friend of mine called the issue of homosexuality and the church the “apologetic issue of the day.”  I’m sure we will be having a continuing conversation, on my blog, at Mo*Con, and beyond.  We’ll wrestle with the issue within the writing community and within the religious community.  But I figure it never hurts to have a conversation, build some bridges, and be a part of each other’s lives.  Put some orthopraxis to our orthodoxy, and figure out what it means to love one another.  As we continue to be in relationship with one another, talking and challenging one another, I’d say it’s worked so far for me and Lucien.  So we’ll give it a shot at Mo*Con.

Mo*Con VI: Return of the Mo? (Stickied)

THE EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION RATE ($50) FOR Mo*Con VI IS QUICKLY COMING (April 1st). Be sure to get in. http://www.mocon.indianahorror.org/

May 20th-22nd, 2011

What is Mo*Con?

Mo*Con VI:  The Lowdown

Brought to you by the Indiana Horror WritersMo*Con is a convention focused on conversations revolving around horror literature and spirituality (two great tastes that taste great together!). If you enjoy writing, horror, fantasy, poetry, and food, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at this convention. Basically, imagine a room party held in a con suite, and that’s Mo*Con.

Who Will Be There?

Lee Thomas.  Lee Thomas is the award-winning author of STAINED, PARISH DAMNED (Telos), DAMAGE (Sarob), and THE DUST OF WONDERLAND (Alyson). In addition to numerous magazines, his short fiction has appeared in the anthologies A Walk on the Darkside (Roc), Unspeakable Horror (Dark Scribe), Wilde Stories 2008The Best of the Year’s Gay Speculative Fiction (Lethe Press), and Inferno (Tor), among others.  He has won both the Bram Stoker Award and the Lambda Literary Award.  Writing as Thomas Pendleton and Dallas Reed, he is the author of the novels, MASON, SHIMMER, and THE CALLING, from HarperTeen.  Lee currently lives in Austin, TX, where he’s working on a number of projects.

Cullen Bunn.  Cullen Bunn’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. Somewhere along the way, he founded Undaunted Press and edited the small press horror magazine, Whispers from the Shattered Forum. He also managed to win the infamous World Horror Convention Gross-Out Contest four times -– an honor for which he is proud, appreciative, and–at least a little–ashamed.  The first issue of Cullen’s horror noir comic book, The Damned, was released by Oni Press in 2006.  The first story arc,  Three Days Dead, has been collected in trade paperback.  The second story arc, Prodigal Sons, has been published as a three-issue mini series.  A third arc,  Daughter’s Danse, is forthcoming.  Cullen still makes some time for prose, and some of his more recent short stories have been published in the Dark Arts Book collection, Like a Chinese Tattoo.

Gina Ranalli.  A New Englander by birth, Gina currently resides in the emerald green heart of Washington State, where she enjoys consuming copious amounts of caffeine, playing with her animals and generally acting like a hyper seven-year-old.  Gina Ranalli is one of the leading authors of the bizarro fiction genre, as well as an author of horror fiction. Some of her novels include Suicide Girls in the Afterlife, Chemical Gardens, Wall of Kiss, Mother Puncher, House of Fallen Trees and Praise the Dead. Her collection, 13 Thorns (with Gus Fink) won the Wonderland Book Award for Best Story Collection of 2007.

Lucien Soulban.  Lucien hates writing bios.  So, 1) Born in Saudi Arabia; 2) Lived there for 12 years; 3) Went to school in Hell… er… Houston, Texas for 8 years; 4) Moved to Montreal, Quebec and in doing so, found the glove that fit my hand; 5) I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.Q. What are you most proud of having accomplished?  A. So many things. The Orpheus limited series was the crowning achievement of my years writing for White Wolf. As was my novel Blood In, Blood Out. The Dragonlance novel Alien Sea is definitely another, given how much I love the series.

ARTIST GUEST OF HONOR:

Danny Evarts.  Danny Evarts smartly quit writing long ago to pursue things he is more interesting at. Having lived in many places the world over, and experimented with many jobs and career paths, he discovered he was best suited to the visual realm, with an emphasis on playing with other peoples’ words. He now works as Art Director and Technical Editor for Shroud Publishing (www.shroudmagazine.com), as well as doing freelance design and illustration (mostly in wood and linoleum block printmaking), and goofs around with various other forms from bookbinding to fiber manipulations. Danny obviously enjoys playing with new things. View more of his works at http://gallery.dannyevarts.net.

Featured Guests Include:

Chesya Burke
With more than 40 publishing credits to her name, including the acclaimed Chocolate Park, Chesya Burke has been making her mark in the horror and fantasy worlds. She has several articles appearing in the African American National Biography published by Harvard University and Oxford University Press, received the 2003 Twilight Tales Award for fiction and an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction: 18th Annual Edition.

Jason Sizemore is not a fan of writing bios, so he makes up stuff to make himself sound interesting. For instance, he graduated from Transylvania University (okay, this one is true). He believes floods are the precursor to zombie infestations (again, true). And the first anthology he ever edited earned a Bram Stoker Award (all right, another fact). His latest anthology will be Dark Futures from Dark Quest Books. Jason maintains a personal website at http://www.jason-sizemore.com.  Most importantly, he owns and operates Apex Publications, the press that has helped Maurice Broaddus become a famous writer.


D Harlan Wilson. Award-winning novelist, short story writer, cultural theorist, screenwriter, pseudobodybuilder, and associate professor of English at Wright State University-Lake Campus. DHW’s books include Dr. Identity, or, Farewell to PlaquedemiaBlankety Blank: A Memoir of VulgariaPeckinpah: An Ultraviolent RomanceTechnologized Desire: Selfhood & the Body in Postcapitalist Science FictionThe Kafka EffektStranger on the Loose and Pseudo-City.  Dr. Identity, winner of the Wonderland Book Award, marks the first installment of The Scikungfi Trilogy. Book 2 isCodename Prague. Book 3 is The Kyoto Man.  This year Atlatl Press will release DHW’s latest fiction collection,They Had Goat Heads. DHW holds a M.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, a M.A. in Science Fiction Studies from the University of Liverpool, & a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University.


Anderson Prunty.  “I write things. My latest book is called MY FAKE WAR.”

Steven C. Gilberts
Steven and his lovely wife Becky now live in a spooky Queen Ann cottage within a small Dunwich-esk village of southern Indiana, near the now abandoned ammo plant of his youth. While hiding from the townsfolk, Steven concocts odd illustrations for the small press industry. His work has graced magazines from Apex Digest to Cemetery Dance, Dark Wisdom to Shroud Magazine.


Gary Braunbeck
Gary A. Braunbeck is a prolific author who writes mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mainstream literature. He is the author of 19 books; his fiction has been translated into Japanese, French, Italian, Russian and German. Nearly 200 of his short stories have appeared in various publications.



Lucy Synder
Lucy A. Snyder is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels Spellbent and Shotgun Sorceress and the collections Sparks and Shadows,Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. Her writing has appeared in Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Hellbound Hearts, Masques V, Doctor Who Short Trips: Destination Prague, Chiaroscuro, GUD, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

DETAILS AND THE LATEST UPDATED INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON THE MO*CON WEBSITE.

Mo*Con Report Part II

AKA “My rambling, sure to be maudlin recap of why it means so much to me”

Picking up from this year’s report, there are several reasons why I decided to start Mo*Con:  1) I wanted to create a space where we could have some of the conversations I inevitably get into at conventions (typically spiritual, but also any of a number of socially relevant topics from race to politics); 2) I wanted to throw a local convention for writers; and 3) I wanted to love on and spoil writers because I know how hard it is to be a writer.  Cons are often a collection of ego, fear, and insecurities.  But I know Mo*Con’s a different sort of convention experience, one often measured, as one person put it, by how much they feel loved.

The feeling is very much mutual.  To start, I need to go back to a few things about Mo*Con IV, which at the time I even said I wasn’t going to talk about.

A friend of mine asked me how I have seen God working in my life through all the stuff that had been going on last year.  I said that I had seen Him at work both through my wife and through Mo*Con.  My wife he could understand, but a convention of horror writers?  Not so much.  In some ways, Mo*Con functioned as a “church” for me, people exploring the idea of faith, walking into each other’s lives.  Last year’s Mo*Con was the first time many had a chance to let me know how they felt, including giving me what became known as the Mo*Con greeting by a couple of friends:  I was slapped (so that I understood just how pissed they were at me) and then embraced (to let me know that I was still loved).  But the sense of community didn’t stop there.   I watched as guest after guest rallied around Sally, literally forming a protective hedge around her, to support her through the time.

With our previous church pulling out of any involvement with Mo*Con, it bumped up against so many of our stories of the church dropping them after a sin or finding out what they write (which is why I was so grateful to Trinity Church for taking us in and welcoming us, so that it could be seen that “the church” was bigger than just one particular expression).  But even as I spoke last year, it was pretty obvious, that I was in a shaky place with my faith.  So much so that Wrath James White, not exactly know as a champion of Christianity, several times was half out of his seat to come stand next to me.  Afterwards, I asked him what he was doing.  He told me that it looked like I could use some support.  Though he didn’t believe what I believed, he didn’t want to see me fall from it.  So yeah, I saw God at work in Mo*Con and the people there already a part of His story even if they personally may reject the story.

The guest list for Mo*Con changes every year, though this year (our five year anniversary), I wanted to focus more on the sense of family.  Next year, getting back to some of our more controversial topics, there are a few social issues I want to have conversations on.  But that’s next year.  For now, I want to just bask in the memories of camaraderie and love from this year.  If folks can leave Mo*Con feeling welcomed, engaged, and loved, then we’ve done our jobs.

Mo*Con Report Part I: The Wrath of God

“Now how is it that conventions are not just big parties of you hanging out with your friends?  And how does this constitute ‘work’?” –Sally Broaddus

Okay, I can see the confusion to the untrained eye.

There’s a lot I can say about why and how I do Mo*Con.  It is a convention that I intentionally keep fairly small and built around two things:  being relational and food (with helps with the opportunity for folks to be around one another).  I started it with one goal:  I want to love on and spoil writers.

Each year I try to have a theme that the conversations/panels revolve around.  Spirituality is a constant theme, mixing in various social issues from race to gender to love.  This year’s theme was family.  I felt like we had a warm up to the convention the weekend before when I had the honor of performing the wedding of Bill Lindblad and Jenny Orosel.

It’s also why we had so much cake at Mo*Con.  Friday we celebrated the birthdays of me and John C. Hay (and Brian Knight).  Saturday we celebrated Wrath James White’s anniversary.  Sunday we celebrated the birthday of Lucy Snyder (and previous Mo*Conners, Mark Rainey and Douglass F. Warrick, in abstentia).

“Things happen here- that aren’t to be spoken of. But the pictures sure are fun!” –Gregory Hall

[Now go check out the pictures!]

Here’s the formal breakdown of a con:

Since nothing creates a sense of family like enjoying meals together—and since I had guests arriving Thursday, and since SOMEONE announced this on my blog—then you know that Mo*Con began unofficially with midnight (Jack Daniel’s) steaks.

Friday

I like to take the guests to an interesting local restaurant for lunch, in this case, Yats, a Cajun restaurant.  The cooking at 3:00 p.m. with the doors opening at 6:00 p.m. and our traditional opening meal (fettucine alfredo and chicken marsala) which we might as well call our tribute dinner to Alethea Kontis.  At 9:00 p.m. we had our open mic of poetry and flash fiction (we won’t speak of the appearance of the bionic cow pope).

Saturday

“I don’t twitter because I can’t punch you.” – Wrath James White

We jammed a lot into our day.  Because of how late folks stay up Friday night, it is at this point in the convention schedule that we fully function on an “ish” schedule, as in the doors opened at 10-ish. The first panel “blogging dos and don’ts” began a conversation that became a running one during the course of the convention about how much of an artist’s life is free game to write about vs. privacy issues.  At noon (ish) we brok for lunch (Sara Larson’s marvelous lasagna).  This was followed by Steve Gilberts’ art seminar for the kids who were present.  Brian Keene’s incredible reading of his story from Dark Faith, “I Sing a New Song” which led into our spirituality panel, a broad mix of atheists, Christians, agnostics, Jews, Odinists, and Hindu practitioners.  The stories shared were thoughtful, heart-breaking, and I know impacted several people.

“I sat down to make monsters and butterflies came out.” –Alethea Kontis

Next up, our art gallery celebrated the work of Emma Overman, Steve Gilberts, Kristin Fuller, Alethea Kontis, and Jim Leach.  Adding to the mix, the Funky Werepig did a live broadcast from amidst the chaos.  Then Alethea Kontis gave a reading of her book, H is for Halloween, for the kids (which included a rapt Gary Braunbeck).  And we debuted Dark Faith with a massive signing.

Lastly came dinner (chicken enchiladas and a taco bar) right before we had a panel conversation on sex and literature.

“I hate arguing with people who are obviously so wrong.” –Wrath James White

So yeah, Mo*Con has the feel of part family reunion and part convention.  As with any con report, we can’t help but leave out all of the magical moments that always seem to happen that make the event so special:

-the late night spiritual discussions
-watching the Moseley fight while Wrath broke it down with commentary
-my boys, in the throes of their entrepreneurial spirit, setting up a lemonade stand
-Alex McVey, who was unable to physically make it to the convention, managed to be there in spirit
-the Funky Werepig folks bringing me candy after they heard about Wrath stealing my Sweet Tarts last year.

But here are some other con reports:

Brian Keene – Weekend Update

Kelli Dunlap – Lemonade Stands and Vulvasaurs

Horror World – Mo*Con V

Bob Freeman – Mo*Con V: Saturday in the Dark

Jason Sizemore – The Mo*Con Experience

“It’s a story, but it’s a great f&*#@n’ story.” –Geoffrey Girard

Mo*Con is far from a one man show.  It couldn’t be done without the hard work of Sally Broaddus, the welcome of Trinity Church, and the efforts of the Indiana Horror Writers, especially the indefatigable Sara Larson.  Thanks so much to all those who helped.  And to our guests  who never fail to make it so memorable!  (This means you, Kelli Dunlap Owen!)

By the way, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year (Bob Freeman wins teh interwebz for today with this one):

Ascension by Kristin Fuller

For this year’s art gallery at Mo*Con, we have a few artists making their debut showings. One of them is photography Kristin Fuller. Here’s a brief description of her powerful project, Ascension. It’s a moving piece that spoke to me.

Ascension
A photo essay by Kristin Elizabeth Fuller

In my most recent project, “Ascension”, I have been exploring the spirituality of the desert. Desert Spirituality is rooted in the idea that in the desert places of our lives; in the barrenness and brokenness of our souls and the empty places of our planet; there in solitude as we seek God, we will find what is most true and real in the world. As we empty and expose ourselves we will find God reshaping our identity and our perceptions. I am fascinated by the idea that as we retreat into a desert environment (whether literal desert or quiet sanctuaries found throughout our daily lives) we find ourselves stripped of our emotional baggage, quietly refocused and more attuned to our environments. How is it that as we step away and disengage from the world around us and enter into the solitude of the desert we then find ourselves more aware and cognizant of what is real when we return?

This project, “Ascension”, began while on a 60 mile backpacking trip through the Pariah Canyon in northern Utah. About 2/3rds of the way along the trek, while approaching one of the highest and most picturesque parts of this journey, I photographed my subjects entering into the metaphorical (and literal) desert experience: observing, choosing to enter, struggling to find rest, battling to let go of illusions and find their true selves, entering into solitude, into worship, leaving a piece of themselves behind.

Oh No She Di’int – Kelli Strikes Back … Again (Mo*Con Updates)

Guest Blog by Kelli Owen

Maurice asked me to write a little something regarding Mo*Con. Or as it’s being called this year, Kelli*Con. So let’s start there. Why “Kelli*Con”? Well, let me tell you a story…

There are a variety of conventions for writers to choose from. There are the publishing cons, the writer cons, the genre cons and then there’s Mo*Con. It’s got panels, books for sale, writers and publishers to talk to and the icing on the cake—Maurice makes everyone steaks at 1am. Unlike other cons, it’s not all at a hotel. The panels and main meals are served at the official location, but then everyone goes to the Broaddus household and this convention becomes a backyard barbeque from hell. The atmosphere is relaxed but business it discussed. In many ways, it reminds me of a smaller version of Necon.

And near the end of Mo*Con two years ago, Maurice said that the next one (2009) would be the last one.

“The hell it will! You have to have one more, so I can be guest of honor—my book will be out!”

Let me tell you now children, never tease your friends when they’re wielding their mighty scepters of power…

“Okay, we’ll have Kelli*Con and then that will be the last one.”

Of course, I figured he was just humoring me. He wasn’t. And over the next year he would bring it up and ask silly questions like “do you want to be in charge of the panels? Not be in charge in the sense of scheduling or staffing, but topic…”

A. Con-Goers. Dream.

“Hell yes!”

I’ve been to many cons over the years. Many. And I’ve always had a complaint or two regarding panels, not because I know everything (I really don’t) but because I have opinions and people know it. And they know if they ask me, I’ll tell them. (No, don’t ask me if those jeans make your ass look fat unless you really want the truth.) How would I change panels? Well, my chief complaint has always been that we seem to do the same topic over and over and over and over and, oh yeah, OVER and only change which con or who’s speaking. Time for something new!

Now of course, I have to keep with the themes of Mo*Con: Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll. No wait, I meant Spirituality, Art, Race & Gender. Or, if I’m allowed to tweak them just enough: Gawd, Sex and Blogging. The panel titles and basis are as follows for Kelli*Con, er Mo*Con V, er the last Mo*Con ever…

“Oh no you di’int” – aka, Why Maurice shouldn’t be allowed to blog, er I mean, blogging dos and don’ts.

“We don’t need no steekin’ gawd” – Spirituality and writing about religion from an atheists point of view

“Elbow, knee, penis” – because if you can’t call it what it is, you have no business writing about it!

Of course, the other reason he agreed to this crazy notion of me taking of his convention is because my first novel was coming out right before the con. Note I used the word “was.” The novel, “In the Shadow of Darkness,” has changed publishers—don’t worry, it’s a good thing—and will still be coming out, just not until December of 2010. Meanwhile, I do have stories in Dark Faith, Dark Futures and an online guilty pleasure at Choate Road as the March spotlight scribe.
So why should you go to Mo*Con? Steak at 1am, we’re talking about penises IN A CHURCH, it will be the last time Sally ever lets Maurice gather this many people in her house and call it “working,” (she ain’t lying! -MGB) and I’m sorry, but have you seen the guest list? Brian Keene, Wrath James White, Alethea Kontis, Gary Braunbeck & Lucy Snyder, Alex McVey, Jason Sizemore, Chesya Burke… and people NOT listed on the official page: Bob Ford, Michael Knost, Kyle Johnson, Doug Warrick (Kim Paffenroth, D. Harlan Wilson and many more –MGB) … oh just show up, or you’ll be lost when it’s discussed down the road.

Because this one WILL be discussed…

…For years to come!

Kelli Owen
~The Artist Formerly Known as Kelli Dunlap

There will be a silent auction of rare books and art. Books for sale, starting with THE LAUNCH OF DARK FAITH. Artists and authors on site to collect autographs. Steve Gilberts will be leading a special interactive art seminar for kids. There’s a thread on my message board home for those looking for roommates, you can post your queries here (register on Brian Keene’s board). Remember, THE CUTOFF DATE FOR THE ADVANCE RATE OF $50 IS APRIL 1ST!!!

Most importantly, you do NOT want to upset these ladies. You better show up!

Mo*Con Web Site … LIVE!!!

THE MO*CON WEBSITE IS NOW LIVE!!!!*

We will be continuing to add footage from previous years’ discussions. Authors who are debuting books at Mo*Con, drop me a line and we will put your book up on a dedicated page.

So make with the clicky-clicky and check it out.

*Special thanks to my Dark Faith co-editor, Jerry Gordon

For the clicky impaired, here are the relevant Mo*Con details

April 30th – May 2nd

What is Mo*Con?

Brought to you by the Indiana Horror Writers, Mo*Con is a convention focused on conversations revolving around horror literature and spirituality (two great tastes that taste great together!). If you enjoy writing, horror, fantasy, poetry, and food, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at this convention. Basically, imagine a room party held in a con suite, and that’s Mo*Con.

Who Will Be There?

Kelli Dunlap
Kelli spends her free time pounding on the keys with the bloody nubs that used to be her fingers. She has sold several short stories to both online and print magazine, and even dabbled in a poetry sale here or there. Her first novel will be available in 2009 through Morning Star, an imprint of Bloodletting Press. She has a family and pets, but more importantly, a website–where you can stay up to date on the novel or other output from the bloody nubs: kellidunlap.com. Visit her and she’ll refrain from shaking her nubs at you, thus splattering you with bloody goo.

Brian Keene
Brian Keene is the author of over twenty horror, crime, and dark fantasy novels and short story collections, including Castaways, Dead Sea, Unhappy Endings, Dark Hollow, Urban Gothic, and many more. He also writes comic books for Marvel, DC and others. The winner of two Bram Stoker Awards, as well as several other literary awards, Keene’s work has been translated into German, Polish, French, Spanish, and Taiwanese. His novel, The Rising (published in early 2003), is often credited (along with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later) as ushering in the current resurgence of zombies in pop culture. Several of his works have been optioned for film and other media. His short story The Ties That Bind was released on DVD in July 2009 as a short independent film. Also in 2009, his novel Terminal debuted as a limited release stage play.

Gary Braunbeck
Gary A. Braunbeck is a prolific author who writes mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mainstream literature. He is the author of 19 books; his fiction has been translated into Japanese, French, Italian, Russian and German. Nearly 200 of his short stories have appeared in various publications.

Lucy Synder
The author the author of a trilogy of novels that are set be published by Del Rey starting in 2009; the first book in the series is entitled Spellbent. Also the author of Sparks and Shadows, a cross-genre short story collection from HW Press, Lucy A. Snyder may be most known for her humor collection Installing Linux on a Dead Badger (And Other Oddities). With over 70 short fiction sales and over 20 poetry sales, her fiction goes all over the road, although she does tend to write genre stories (science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, etc.) more often than straightforward mainstream fiction. She also writes a column for Horror World on science and technology for writers.

Wrath James White
Succulent Prey marks his first mass-market release from Leisure Books. If you have a taste for extreme fiction with socio-political and philosophical messages that push boundaries, break taboos, and leave you thinking long after the book has ended then check out Teratologist co-written with Edward Lee, Poisoning Eros co written with Monica O-Rourke, The Book of A thousand Sins collection, His Pain novella, Orgy of Souls with Maurice Broaddus, Hero novella with J.F. Gonzalez, and Population Zero. If you have a weak stomach, a closed mind, rigid morals, and Victorian sexual ethics, than avoid his writing like the plague.

Artist Guest of Honor

Alex McVey
Alex McVey is an award-winning, Chesley-nominated illustrator whose work has been published internationally, ranging from album art to graphic design to book illustration. He has illustrated the works of Stephen King, Joe R. Lansdale, Gahan Wilson, Brian Keene, Ramsey Cambpell, and Richard Matheson, among others. His clients incl
ude ad firms, gaming companies, film studios, bands, and book and magazine publishers.

Editor Guest of Honor

Jason Sizemore
A young writer and editor from Appalachia Kentucky, Jason has seen his fiction appear in nearly two dozen books and magazines. He’s a prolific non-fiction writer, having dozens of essays, reviews, and editorials published in print and on the web on varied subjects such as gaming, geek culture, and politics. He earned his college degree from Transylvania University, making him an ideal candidate to head a horror magazine. He was a 2006 Stoker Award nominee for his work on the Aegri Somnia anthology. In 2007, he published his first chapbook (under the newly formed APEX BOOKS division of Apex Publications) titled Webs of Discord. He appears in Writers Workshop of Horror and has a collection of Appalachian horror titled Irredeemable from Shroud Publications coming out in the spring of 2010.

Featured Guests Include:

Chesya Burke
With more than 40 publishing credits to her name, including the acclaimed Chocolate Park, Chesya Burke has been making her mark in the horror and fantasy worlds. She has several articles appearing in the African American National Biography published by Harvard University and Oxford University Press, received the 2003 Twilight Tales Award for fiction and an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction: 18th Annual Edition.

Alethea Kontis
Alethea Kontis is the New York Times bestselling author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion, as well as the AlphaOops series of picture books. She has done multiple collaborations with artist Janet Lee including A is for Alice, The Umbrella of Fun, and the illustrated Twitter serial Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome. Alethea’s most recent work can be found in the Apex Publications anthologies Harlan County Horrors and Dark Faith.

Steven C. Gilberts
Steven and his lovely wife Becky now live in a spooky Queen Ann cottage within a small Dunwich-esk village of southern Indiana, near the now abandoned ammo plant of his youth. While hiding from the townsfolk, Steven concocts odd illustrations for the small press industry. His work has graced magazines from Apex Digest to Cemetery Dance, Dark Wisdom to Shroud Magazine.

Location:

Trinity Church
6151 N. Central Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220

Attendees are encouraged to book their rooms at the Quality Inn & Suites (where we’ve negotiated a special rate):

Quality Inn & Suites
5011 North Lafayette Road
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Phone: (317) 297-8880
FAX: (317) 297-8765
(mention Mo*Con)

Cost: $50 in advance/$75 at the door

There will be several debut projects, not the least of which will be our anthology DARK FAITH (each fully registered attendee will receive a copy as a part of their membership fee)

Mo*Con V: The Kelli Strikes Back (SAVE THE DATE)

*SAVE THE DATE*

April 30th – May 2nd

What is Mo*Con?

Brought to you by the Indiana Horror Writers, Mo*Con is a convention focused on conversations revolving around horror literature and spirituality (two great tastes that taste great together!). If you enjoy writing, horror, fantasy, poetry, and food, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at this convention. Basically, imagine a room party held in a con suite, and that’s Mo*Con.

Who Will Be There?

Kelli Dunlap
Kelli spends her free time pounding on the keys with the bloody nubs that used to be her fingers. She has sold several short stories to both online and print magazine, and even dabbled in a poetry sale here or there. Her first novel will be available in 2009 through Morning Star, an imprint of Bloodletting Press. She has a family and pets, but more importantly, a website–where you can stay up to date on the novel or other output from the bloody nubs: kellidunlap.com. Visit her and she’ll refrain from shaking her nubs at you, thus splattering you with bloody goo.

Brian Keene
Brian Keene is the author of over twenty horror, crime, and dark fantasy novels and short story collections, including Castaways, Dead Sea, Unhappy Endings, Dark Hollow, Urban Gothic, and many more. He also writes comic books for Marvel, DC and others. The winner of two Bram Stoker Awards, as well as several other literary awards, Keene’s work has been translated into German, Polish, French, Spanish, and Taiwanese. His novel, The Rising (published in early 2003), is often credited (along with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later) as ushering in the current resurgence of zombies in pop culture. Several of his works have been optioned for film and other media. His short story The Ties That Bind was released on DVD in July 2009 as a short independent film. Also in 2009, his novel Terminal debuted as a limited release stage play.

Gary Braunbeck
Gary A. Braunbeck is a prolific author who writes mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mainstream literature. He is the author of 19 books; his fiction has been translated into Japanese, French, Italian, Russian and German. Nearly 200 of his short stories have appeared in various publications.

Lucy Synder
The author the author of a trilogy of novels that are set be published by Del Rey starting in 2009; the first book in the series is entitled Spellbent. Also the author of Sparks and Shadows, a cross-genre short story collection from HW Press, Lucy A. Snyder may be most known for her humor collection Installing Linux on a Dead Badger (And Other Oddities). With over 70 short fiction sales and over 20 poetry sales, her fiction goes all over the road, although she does tend to write genre stories (science fiction, fantasy, horror, romance, etc.) more often than straightforward mainstream fiction. She also writes a column for Horror World on science and technology for writers.

Wrath James White
Succulent Prey marks his first mass-market release from Leisure Books. If you have a taste for extreme fiction with socio-political and philosophical messages that push boundaries, break taboos, and leave you thinking long after the book has ended then check out Teratologist co-written with Edward Lee, Poisoning Eros co written with Monica O-Rourke, The Book of A thousand Sins collection, His Pain novella, Orgy of Souls with Maurice Broaddus, Hero novella with J.F. Gonzalez, and Population Zero. If you have a weak stomach, a closed mind, rigid morals, and Victorian sexual ethics, than avoid his writing like the plague.

Artist Guest of Honor

Alex McVey
Alex McVey is an award-winning, Chesley-nominated illustrator whose work has been published internationally, ranging from album art to graphic design to book illustration. He has illustrated the works of Stephen King, Joe R. Lansdale, Gahan Wilson, Brian Keene, Ramsey Cambpell, and Richard Matheson, among others. His clients include ad firms, gaming companies, film studios, bands, and book and magazine publishers.

Editor Guest of Honor

Jason Sizemore
A young writer and editor from Appalachia Kentucky, Jason has seen his fiction appear in nearly two dozen books and magazines. He’s a prolific non-fiction writer, having dozens of essays, reviews, and editorials published in print and on the web on varied subjects such as gaming, geek culture, and politics. He earned his college degree from Transylvania University, making him an ideal candidate to head a horror magazine. He was a 2006 Stoker Award nominee for his work on the Aegri Somnia anthology. In 2007, he published his first chapbook (under the newly formed APEX BOOKS division of Apex Publications) titled Webs of Discord. He appears in Writers Workshop of Horror and has a collection of Appalachian horror titled Irredeemable from Shroud Publications coming out in the spring of 2010.

Featured Guests Include:

Chesya Burke
With more than 40 publishing credits to her name, including the acclaimed Chocolate Park, Chesya Burke has been making her mark in the horror and fantasy worlds. She has several articles appearing in the African American National Biography published by Harvard University and Oxford University Press, received the 2003 Twilight Tales Award for fiction and an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction: 18th Annual Edition.

Alethea Kontis
Alethea Kontis is the New York Times bestselling author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Companion, as well as the AlphaOops series of picture books. She has done multiple collaborations with artist Janet Lee including A is for Alice, The Umbrella of Fun, and the illustrated Twitter serial Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome. Alethea’s most recent work can be found in the Apex Publications anthologies Harlan County Horrors and Dark Faith.

Steven C. Gilberts
Steven and his lovely wife Becky now live in a spooky Queen Ann cottage within a small Dunwich-esk village of southern Indiana, near the now abandoned ammo plant of his youth. While hiding from the townsfolk, Steven concocts odd illustrations for the small press industry. His work has graced magazines from Apex Digest to Cemetery Dance, Dark Wisdom to Shroud Magazine.

Other guests confirmed so far include:
Debbie Kuhn, John C. Hay, Michael West, Sara Larson, Brian J. Hatcher, and Michael Knost.,

Location:

Trinity Church
6151 N. Central Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46220

Attendees are encouraged to book their rooms at the Quality Inn & Suites (where we’ve negotiated a special rate):

Quality Inn & Suites
5011 North Lafayette Road
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Phone: (317) 297-8880
FAX: (317) 297-8765
(mention Mo*Con)

Cost: $50 in advance/$75 at the door
Money will be accepted at the door or it can be sent to my paypal account [Maurice Broaddus – MauriceBroaddus@gmail.com memo: Mo*Con V]

There will be several debut projects, not the least of which will be our anthology DARK FAITH (each attendee will receive a copy as a part of their membership fee)

The dedicated Mo*Con web site is under construction and will feature some previous video of Mo*Cons past. This is strictly a save the date post so you all know what’s coming.

Mo*Con IV: In Absentia

What connections do you see between Spirituality and … Horror?

We’ve talked about scary stuff before. Way back in 2007, we published an interview with Bible scholar Marcus Borg, who is an insatiable fan of character-driven mystery novels, but we’ve rarely returned to the topic. We are aware that mysteries and scary stories in general are very popular with religious men and women. A number of famous religious writers, including C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, dabbled in both faith and fright.

Plus, nearly every major religious tradition has horrific stories within its sacred literature.

So, we invited author James Leach to write a short overview of a Horror-and-Spirituality conference he just attended in Indiana.

(Continue reading Horror and Spirituality here)

For the record, my favorite line in the article was “As I sipped absinthe from a Sponge Bob dixie cup at the after party…”

There were a couple of awards given out at Mo*Con IV, but the recipients weren’t able to make it. So I thought I’d share them here: