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  • Writer's pictureCandace Nola

TEXAS AUTHORCON 2023


And another con down, and another one down, another one…. oh sorry. Queen popped in my head. Texas in July, man, probably not my best idea. LOL. Who planned this?! Oh yeah, Merrill David planned this awesome event, and I must say, it truly was a good time.

Held at the lovely Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel, on July 14-15, I was once more surrounded by author colleagues, friends, and fans. While this event was open to all genres, the indie horror crowd dominated the event, both authors and fans. I was able to have one of Uncomfortably Dark’s authors at my table, Mike Ennenbach, whom I call family, and we were right beside Eric Butler, another one of my chose family.


Eric and his amazing wife, Dawn, hosted me for the event and I got to spend quite a bit of time in their lovely home, talking to Dawn, and petting the huskies, Totoro, and Kittle, both beautiful girls loved having me there. They were so sweet and loving. They loved getting pets and being right where their people are. Eric picked me up on Thursday when I arrived at the airport, welcomed me to the suffocating Hell that is Texas heat, and even remembered to bring me a water, nice cold water. I approved.


Eric and I made a store run to get cupcakes for the birthday dinner we were attending that night for our author friend Jason Nickey, and some drinks for me, because I’m picky. LOL. Once we finished that, it was back to Eric’s to drop off my bags, meet Dawn and the huskies, and then off to the hotel to meet everyone for dinner.


This is the special part of this event for me. While I say that many of the authors there were and are my friends, there are about a dozen of us that have a group chat where we all can be ourselves, get advice, vent about real-life issues, encourage and support each other and we truly function like a small family. Most of this group attended this event. There were only 3 of us that were not there, and most of us were all meeting for the first time. This made this event special. To be there with truly close friends, to share in a birthday celebration, to meet each other and hug everyone and share days of real laughs and conversation, this was everything for me.


The event itself was wonderful. There were so many great fans that came out to support it. A lot of local horror authors also attended to meet and greet folks and buy books. I was on two panel discussions, one was the “Publish It!” panel with Rebecca Rowland, Holly Rae Garcia, D.W. Hitz, and Patrick C. Harrison, moderated by Chris Miller and the other was Monsters vs Madness, with Chantell Renee, Mike Ennenbach, Chris Miller, Patrick C. Harrison, III and Rowland Bercy, Jr., and Dicey Grenor. Both panels were well attended and were fun to be a part of.


Merrill David was wonderful at handling everything, and as far as I could tell, the entire event went off without a hitch. The vendors were all friendly and kind. Many of the creators there had incredible set-ups, tons of great-looking books and merch. I was able to meet D.W. Hitz of Fedowar Press, whom I edited for last year. That anthology, Camp Slasher Lake, is currently up for a Splatterpunk award for Anthology of the year, so D.W. and I are on the nomination list for that. Stay tuned for those results here in a couple weeks when KillerCon is over.


I also met Duncan Ralston, author of Woom, for the first time and his Woomie group admin, Danika Myerson, who was truly delightful. Another close friend, Rowland Bercy, jr. was right across from my table and Chris Miller and Wile E. Young were on my other side. Jay Bower was there, as were Ronald Malfi, David Viergutz, and Holly Rae Garcia. The lovely Jae Mazer was there running her table and The Last Waltz table for Daemon Manx, both of which had beautiful displays of books and merch. Rayne Havok made an appearance. Ben Chadwick was there with his new books. Narrator Joe Hempel was there as well, and we had a great chat.


All in all, we met so many great people, authors and readers alike, and it was truly a great experience. I was able to help sponsor this event and lend the Uncomfortably Dark name to the t-shirts and brochures, add some freebies to the swag bag and hopefully reminded people to be the “kindness in the dark” as in my motto.


To end the weekend, on Sunday, Donna Latham, fellow author, and Eric’s partner on their podcast “What’s In the Box”, and her friend Kim, who is a faithful indie horror reader, joined us for the day for lunch and Husky petting. Which was a wonderful way to end this event. Good friends, good food, and belly rubs, for the dogs, not for us. LOL! We had a great time, despite all three of our planes being delayed multiple times.


I cannot say enough great things about this event. If you get the chance to attend next year, please do. To Eric and Dawn Butler, thank you for welcoming me into your home and into your family. It was wonderfully perfect in every way. To all of those that came out to support the event, I thank you, on behalf of us all. It is the readers that allow us to do what we do. We thank you for every moment of support and encouragement that you give to us.

See you next year!



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