A little whirlwind tour of my experience at NecronomiCon Providence 2022. Enjoy! There are links at the end of the gallery for anything you might wish to know about further.
Every General Pilgrimage Pass comes with an amazing program full of fiction, poetry, interviews and art. These are gorgeous and make for wonderful reads as well as great collector’s items. I also liked the COVID comfort-level stickers for our badges. Masks were required at all indoor events, but this avoided any conversation—you just glanced to see if someone was green, orange, or red. This was a GENIUS way to keep people comfortable without tainting the atmosphere or bogging each other down in pandemic conversation and allowed everyone to focus on the subject at hand. Applause.
The junior suite! This proved to be a fantastic home away from home; Kristina and I would convene during the day, pull out our journals, and compare notes on the panels/academic presentations we attended. Those moments were some of my favorites at the con. I love going to cons where I can take notes and learn things. And, of course! We had our share of social gatherings in the living room in the evenings.
Hangin’ with the Maine contingent! Top, Michele (who owns Portland, Maine’s amazing THE GREEN HAND BOOKSHOP!) and my childhood bud Kristina. Lower left, me and Brandon Kawashima, who was the featured artists for 2019’s NECRONOMICON and is also a Staff Contributing Artist for 34 ORCHARD. Lower right, me and Kristina—roomies. We often joke about making great room sharers. We’ve known each other since we were six, so…yeah, a lot of sleepovers as kids. There’s just something very sister-like and easy about sharing a room with her.
The New England Horror Writers table in the Grand Emporium of the Weird (otherwise known as the vendor’s room). More stock was added to it as the weekend progressed as more writers showed up to vend.
New England Horror Writers board members: Scott Goudsward, who is absolutely the genius guru of running all of the vending tables for members at shows, Trisha J. Woodridge, and me. This might look like I did work. I didn’t. They did it all. It was done by the time I got there. That said, those two thrive on this stuff!
At the NEHW vendor table, copies of Grinning Skull Press’ COLOUR OUT OF DEATHLEHEM—their 2021 Christmas benefit anthology which opens with my story, “Feeding the Babies”—sold out. Since I paid full price for all of those copies, all of that money went to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDs foundation, and I’ve set aside this cash to buy more copies so there’s another donation. I’m very, very happy about that.
A bunch of us get ready to set off for the ARS NECRONOMICA Art Show, Necro’s exclusive weird art exhibit. From left, Jack Cullen, Scott Goudsward, Gevera Bert Piedmont, K.H. Vaughan, and Bert’s husband Will.
As at every art show, things speak to me. There were several at this year’s ARS NECRONOMICA Art Show, Necro’s exclusive weird art exhibit, which this year was held at AS220 (I took classes there 30 years ago, so that was a nice trip down memory lane!). I love this. Nick Gucker’s I WANT TO BURN AGAIN talks to me about the stupid things you do over and over again because they make you feel good—even though they destroy you. Boy… do I know THAT dance!
There’s probably no art more appropriate for my collection than this fabulous weird volcano piece, TERRAFORMONAUT, by Rodger Binyone. I didn’t buy it because it’s paper, and I honestly don’t have a glass case to display it in and keep it safe. Otherwise, I would’ve brought this baby home.
Hey, it’s just not Necro without visiting the Haven Bros Diner for fries and shakes! I don’t eat that much anymore, so I only made it over here one time, but OH THOSE FRIES!
THIS is what I’d been waiting for—Narragansett’s limited edition beer for this year’s con. “Colour Out of Space” is my very favorite Lovecraft story for many reasons. I’ve special memories of seeing the Nicholas Cage film in Providence, I was thrilled to have my story “Feeding the Babies” in the Grinning Skull Press anthology COLOUR OUT OF DEATHLEHEM, and now here’s this cool beer! This grapefruit IPA not only had the coolest label art ever, it was light, refreshing, and delicious.
Clowning around at THE PARTY UNDER THE STARS, a kick-off street party with bands, food, and … beer.
It was a beautiful night in Providence. A shoes-off, camp out on the sidewalk kinda night.
Part of the reason NECRONOMICON is in August every year is because HPL’s birthday is August 20.
I had a bucket list of people I wanted to meet for the first time or see—and the passionate, do-it-all folks at the HP Lovecraft Film Festival were high on my list. Pre-pandemic, they were only doing the event live out in Portland, Oregon. Being a lover of short film, I was always bummed I could never afford to go all the way to the west coast to do it—but then the pandemic happened, and they streamed, so I got to “go”! They did a hybrid in 2021, and they’re doing a hybrid this year. Of course, I visited their vendor table prepared. I wanted to get the BEST OF 2020 collection, and had deliberately waited to buy it in person.
My microfictions, “Ghosts on the Sand” and “Dominion” were winners in the HP Lovecraft and Cthuluthon’s micro fiction contests and were published in these cute little books full of great writing everyone should own… and here they were on their vendor table (they were turned over to show the other half of the book—the CHALLENGE FROM BEYOND—but I flipped them over just so I could get a photo for my scrapbook. Then I put them back the way they were).
Remember that bucket list? Gwen of the HP Lovecraft Film Festival was on it (AND YES, I was a very embarrassingly behaved fan girl, I’m sure). She and Brian do such an incredible job of running this huge, and very exciting, event. I also attended a panel she moderated on cosmic film. It was informative and I learned (as I always do at Necro) so much good stuff!
Yay! Me and writer Lauren Elise Daniels! We’ve shared more than one ToC together—including GENERATION X-ED and the upcoming OUT OF TIME: TRUE PARANORMAL ENCOUNTERS. We started corresponding (a native Rhode Islander, she now lives in Australia), love each other’s work, and couldn’t wait to meet! Her book, SERPENT’S WAKE: A TALE FOR THE BITTEN, is plain awesome. She was also a paranormal investigator, and I plan on featuring at least one of her eloquently-written true encounters stories in 34 ORCHARD, because…oh my God, what a treat that will be for our readers!
Woo hoo!! I met Anne and Kevin at the Eldritch Ball at Necro 2019, and we’ve been looking forward to partying together again ever since! WE FINALLY HOOKED UP IN THE VENDOR ROOM!! From left, Anne, Kevin, me, and Kristina.
Ogimos is an awesome artist, and I’ve met him at a couple of cons in the past (many years ago). It was great to see him again. He did the cover for the New England Horror Writer’s anthology, WICKED CREATURES, which contains my story, “Carving Grace.” Turns out, his friend is dating a friend of mine I’ve known for thirty years, who appeared as a character in “Carving Grace.” Talk about coincidence! So this was a very special meet-up.
Me and Ogimos
Ogimos did the cover for WICKED CREATURES.
Just before my reading, Kristina and I did some shopping. I came across this necklace—the artist had lots of hearts, but this one was special because of the dinosaur fossil inside. The story I was reading involves dinosaur ghosts, so I JUST HAD TO HAVE THIS! The artist’s shop is called Hibernacula.
Shot this just before my reading on Friday, August 19—the truth? I was hungover, and I have a lazy eye that was corrected, so it only sometimes presents itself when I’m tired, anxious, or hungover—and I CAN ONLY SEE IT IN PICTURES. So every time I have a big thing coming up, I take a bunch of selfies to see what’s going with that eye. It was actually looking close to normal here (if it was bad, the right eye’s iris/pupil wouldn’t be near my nose…it’d be floating out in the middle when my head’s turned). My friend Heather convinced me to use this as my headshot for my books going forward for a bit, and I think I might (and honestly? I actually look pretty decent for being hungover…)
Yay! The 3:30 pm New England Horror Writers reading crew! From left, Catherine Grant, Christine Lejewski, and Kevin Lewis.
Nothing’s more beautiful than the city of Providence from the Graduate Hotel’s 3rd Floor veranda on a warm summer night. This was taken during THE OUTER DARK PODCAST’s party.
SURPRISE GUEST ON SATURDAY MORNING! My good ol’ friend Stacey!
One academic presentation I was looking forward to was THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and Lovecraftian Horror.
HWA’s Rhode Island chapter had a reading and release party for their anthology, WE ARE PROVIDENCE. Check out this custom cake!
My friend Lauren Elise Daniels, who co-edited WE ARE PROVIDENCE, introduces the WE ARE PROVIDENCE party.
K.H. Vaughan reads from his short story, “Ghost Catch” at the WE ARE PROVIDENCE release party.
My accessories for the ball ready to go!
Me, Scott Goudsward, and Trisha Wooldridge dressed and ready for the Eldritch Ball. Right now, much to Scott’s chagrin, me and Trisha are threatening to put it in the New England Horror Writers newsletter. We probably will. It’s a cute pic.
The theme of the ball was Poe’s THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, and it was beautifully decorated. That committee in charge spent hours on dressing the room, and wow, did it ever pay off!
The evening’s cocktails. Basically? LIQUOR ON CRACK. Delicious too. I had one of each.
Kevin, Ann, and me, dressed up and ready to party!
The Eldritch Ball’s costumes are always a sight to behold.
From left, Trisha Wooldridge, Necro’s 2022 Poet Laureate Bryan Thao Worra, and Adam Bolivar take a much less serious photo for their group pic after their reading (I have serious ones, but this is pretty awesome).
Wow, what a weekend! I stopped to have a cup of coffee with HWA-CT’s Stephanie (we ALSO met for the first time!) before heading out of Providence and back to Portsmouth to my friend Heather’s, which was twenty minutes away. Yeah…there was NO WAY I was going to make a three hour drive all the way home. I was totally bone-tired. Which is, of course, always the sign of a great con.
My book purchases!
What an amazing weekend. See y’all in 2024, NECRO PEEPS!
Here are links to things mentioned in the captions, in case you want to check them out!
A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at kristipetersenschoonover.com.