31 Days of Horror – Day Nine
Day Nine of 31 Days of Horror is all about meeting your heroes. Often in the process of admiring someone’s work, it’s easy to set them up on a pedestal that’s impossible to live up to. Other times you realize the pedestal you’ve constructed isn’t nearly grand enough.
I could pretty much go through Michael’s entire back catalogue and recommend every book or short story collection (and yes, Michael’s short fiction is absolutely superb). So yeah, I’m a bit of a fan-boy, and if you haven’t read any of his work, shame on you.
I had the chance to go to StokerCon last year, which is the Horror Writer’s Association’s big annual convention, and while it was cool to see and meet George R.R. Martin, I was far more excited to go to a small panel in a back room where Michael was one of the guests. The panel was fantastic and more like sitting at a brewery or “pub” with some old pals. Afterwards, I ran into Michael and had the chance to chat for a bit. Not only was he gracious but he seemed generally interested. And yes, maybe that was the booze speaking, but for me this was a defining moment as his fiction had such an impact on me in my earlier years. Meeting one of your literary heroes always carries a bit of mysticism with it, and while this interaction was something he certainly won’t remember, it’s amazing to think how each of our small circles of influence can dramatically affect someone’s else’s circle without us even realizing it.
So whether it’s a horror movie icon, a horror author, or an actual real world monster, make sure at some point in your life you have the experience of meeting one of YOUR heroes, of connecting those dots into a solidified line. And if one day you become the hero to someone else, take a few moments to make them feel special.