Guests of Honor
JOSH BOONE – One of the biggest surprise hits of 2014 was the cinematic adaptation of John Green’s young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars. With a budget of just twelve million dollars, the film went on to earn over three-hundred million worldwide, and gave its director Josh Boone carte blanche in Hollywood. But what Hollywood didn’t know was that Boone was a lifelong horror fan who was more interested in adapting Stephen King than additional teen romances. With production partners Knate Lee and Jill Killington, Boone used his newfound success to pursue dream projects like cinematic adaptations of Stephen King’s The Stand and the X-Men spinoff film New Mutants. He was recently tapped to write the screen adaptation of the King/Peter Straub novel The Talisman, and he continues to be a voracious horror reader, although he admits that these days his schedule keeps him confined mainly to short story collections since he spends his work days immersed in the novels he’s adapting.
KATHE KOJA is a novelist, playwright, performer, director and independent producer. Her work crosses and combines genres, from horror to historical to YA. Her novels—including The Cipher, Bad Brains, Skin, Strange Angels, Going Under, The Blue Mirror, the Under the Poppy trilogy, and Christopher Wild—have won awards, been multiply translated, and optioned for film and performance. She creates performative fiction events, both solo and with an ensemble of creative artists, including Drunk on Words, Dracula, The Heights, and Night School.
She is based in Detroit USA, along with her husband, artist Rick Lieder, and Dash the cat.
JOSH MALERMAN is the author of the books Bird Box, A House at the Bottom of a Lake, Black Mad Wheel, Goblin, and Unbury Carol. He’s also the singer/songwriter of the High Strung, whose song “The Luck You Got” can be heard as the theme song to the hit Showtime show “Shameless.” He lives in Michigan with Allison Laakko.
ROBERT R. McCAMMON – In the 1980s, as horror exploded in popularity and books featuring glowing eyes and demonic children crammed supermarket paperback racks, critics and fans alike often talked about the genre’s three primary practitioners: Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Robert McCammon. A one-time journalist who grew up in the south during the era of civil rights activism, McCammon produced a string of popular novels beginning with Baal in 1978; he explored ancient cults next with Bethany’s Sin (1980), vampires with They Thirst (1981), the legacy of Poe’s most famous family with Usher’s Passing (1984), a post-apocalyptic world in Swan Song, and werewolves in The Wolf’s Hour (1989). He took horror seriously enough that in 1985 he co-founded (with Joe and Karen Lansdale) the Horror Writers of America (later the Horror Writers Association), and he was one of the first recipients of the organization’s Bram Stoker Award (he won both the first short fiction award for his story “The Deep End” and the first novel trophy for Swan Song; later, he edited HWA’s first anthology, Under the Fang. In 1991, he released what many consider his best book—the coming-of-age tale A Boy’s Life. He is a recipient of HWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and his forthcoming releases include The Listener and He’ll Come Knocking at Your Door.
KAARON WARREN published her first short story in 1993 and has had stories in print every year since. Her stories have appeared in Australia, the US, China, the UK, and elsewhere in Europe, and have been selected for both Ellen Datlow’s and Paula Guran’s Best of the Year Anthologies.
Kaaron has lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Fiji. She has published four novels (Slights, Walking the Tree, Mistification, and The Grief Hole) and six short story collections, including the multi-award winning Through Splintered Walls.
Her novella “Sky” from that collection won the Shirley Jackson Award and was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award. It went on to win all three of the Australian genre awards, while The Grief Hole did the same thing in 2017.
She has stories upcoming in Ellen Datlow’s Mad Hatter’s and March Hares, Looming Low from Dim Shores, Nate Pederson’s Sisterhood, Cemetery Dance’s Dark Screams series, and “Bitter”, a novella, from Cemetery Dance.
Kaaron was a Fellow at the Museum for Australian Democracy, where she researched prime ministers, artists and serial killers. In 2018 she will be Established Artist in Residence at Katharine Susannah Prichard House in Western Australia. She’s taught workshops in haunted asylums, old morgues and second hand clothing shops and she’s mentored several writers through a number of programs.
She will be Guest of Honour at the World Fantasy Convention in 2018 and New Zealand’s Lexicon in 2019.
You can find her at http://kaaronwarren.wordpress.com/ and she Tweets @KaaronWarren
STEPHANIE M. WYTOVICH is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous anthologies such as Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories, Shadows Over Main Street: An Anthology of Small-Town Lovecraftian Terror, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others.
Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University and Point Park University, and a mentor with Crystal Lake Publishing. She is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, and An Exorcism of Angels. Her debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press.
Follow Wytovich at http://www.