Panel: We Once Were Monster Kids
We Once Were Monster Kids: Experiencing and Writing About Weird Childhoods
Some of the best Weird and horror fiction features child protagonists. Do children have not just a sense of wonder but also a greater comfort with The Weird? How did the panelists' own childhood experiences and pop culture favorites lay a foundation for their own horror and Weird fiction? Panelists will also share their favorite Weird tales featuring kids, both classic and contemporary, including the recent Cooties Shot Required: There Are Things You Must Know from Broken Eye Books.
Moderator: Anya Martin Panelists: Gwendolyn Kiste, Craig Gidney, Ian McDowell, Eden Royce
Anya Martin has always rooted for the monster and regrets abandoning her earliest career aspiration--paleontology. She's also half-Finnish, still likes punk rock though now with a heavy side of blues and experimental jazz, has a bachelor's degree in anthropology, cooks dangerously hot curries, earns her living as a journalist and abides in Atlanta. Her fiction appears in such anthologies and magazines as the upcoming Eternal Frankenstein, Cthulhu Fhtagn!, Giallo Fantastique, Cassilda's Song, Xnoybis #2, Borderlands 6, Resonator: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond, and Womanthology: Heroic. She is also associate producer of The Outer Dark podcast, which interviews weird fiction creators and was awarded Best Podcast for 2015 by This Is Horror. She grew up with Weird as the daughter of William C. Martin, First Fandom member and one of the world's most prominent H.P. Lovecraft collectors.
Eden Royce is a writer from Charleston, South Carolina. She’s a Shirley Jackson Award nominee and her short fiction can be found in various print and online publications including: FIYAH Literary Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, Nightmare Magazine, and PseudoPod. Her debut middle grade Southern Gothic novel Root Magic is available now from Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins.
Craig Laurance Gidney is the author of the collections Sea, Swallow Me & Other Stories (Lethe Press, 2008), Skin Deep Magic (Rebel Satori Press, 2014), Bereft (Tiny Satchel Press, 2013) and A Spectral Hue (Word Horde, 2019) and the forthcoming collection The Nectar of the Nightmares and Other Stories (Underland, 2022). He writes in his native Washington, D.C.
Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, Boneset & Feathers, And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, Pretty Marys All in a Row, and The Invention of Ghosts. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, Vastarien, Tor's Nightfire, Black Static, The Dark, Daily Science Fiction, Interzone, and LampLight, among others. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at gwendolynkiste.com
An original Monster Kid, Ian McDowell grew up in Fayetteville, NC, where he watched Shock Theater hosted by Dr. Paul Bearer (of later Creature Features fame), lived for the semi-annual new issue of Castle of Frankenstein, and borrowed masks and books from his neighbor Tom Savini
Ian the author of the novels Mordred's Curse and Merlin's Gift. His fiction has appeared in Asimov's, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Weird Tales, Cemetery Dance and the anthologies Love in Vein, October Dreams 2 and the Science Fiction Book Club's Best Short Novels 2005. He currently lives in Greensboro, NC. In February of 2020, he won first prize in investigative journalism at the North Carolina Press Association Awards for his coverage of the case of Marcus Deon Smith, an African-American man fatally hogtied by the Greensboro police during the 2018 NC Folk Festival. That same month, his Alphabestiary: 26 Poems and Drawings for Easily Alarmed Children and the Adults Who Like to Alarm Them, was published by AM INK.