Summer of Zombie Blog Tour – Zombie Fanboy for Joe McKinney by Armand Rosamilia
A couple of weeks have passed since the sights and experiences of World Horror Convention in New Orleans. I had a great time meeting old friends I’d never met in person, meeting new people I have since become Facebook friends with, eating in NOLA, getting to do two book pitches and seeing how it worked, seeing many great panels, selling some books, posing for many pictures… I had a great time and I know it helped build my career and my networking.
But of all the people I met that great weekend, Joe McKinney was easily the one I wanted to meet the most. Sure, I was super-excited to meet John Everson finally, see Jonathan Maberry and his shirts, see Jeff Strand again and his amazing better half, Lynne Hansen, and Tim Marquitz is a mountain of a man, but Zombie Joe is where it’s at for me.
I went to the zombie panel on Friday with authors Jaime Johnesee and Mandy DeGeit and Joe McKinney was the moderator. He did an excellent job but we ran off right after to something else and I didn’t have time to introduce myself. I went on a whirlwind tour of the convention after that, sitting in the dealer room with Stacey Turner and Angelic Knight Press, Jay Wilburn and T Fox Dunham and Hazardous Press, and generally bopping from place to place and taking pictures with whoever wanted one.
And then… a couple of hours before the Bram Stoker Awards, there was Joe in the hospitality suite with a glass of vodka and a big smile when I walked in. My heart skipped a beat. Here was an idol in the zombie genre to me, a man who’d spent many e-mails patiently talking to me over the last couple of years… a man who graciously added his name into our Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2013 and did the interviews and the guest blogs for it and elevated the other 8 authors involved simply by his presence.
He shook my hand, offered me a seat next to him, and we had a brief conversation about the convention and the blog tour before he needed to get ready for the Stokers.
To say this guy is genuine simply doesn’t do him enough service. He talked about being the main cook in his house, talked about his beautiful wife and kids, being a police officer, and a ton of other things that had nothing to do with writing. He was open and funny. He talked about his perception after being an officer for so long, and was just a great guy. Joe McKinney has a presence and all eyes and ears were on him at that table.
He didn’t win a Stoker that night but he was nominated in more than one category, a testament in itself how great a writer he truly is. And a great family man, and a great guy and a great influence on not only my own writing but the way you treat people and how accessible you need to be to other authors and your fans, especially a FanBoy like myself.
My goal for next WHC in Oregon next year will be to run into Joe again and share another great conversation with him. Oh, and being up at the podium winning a Stoker Award.