Memories are Books
I was cleaning and organizing my bedroom closet the other day when I came across a massive box of memories: dozens of books I've collected over the years, mostly signed, from friends and acquaintances from my old horror-writer days. It reminded me of that time when I discovered that the writing world was full of people and opportunities, chances to see others fighting for the same dreams as me; in some cases, achieving them. A lot of life was lived in the years when these books came into my hands, some amazing moments, some pretty bad. All through it was my own struggle to craft my craft and find a way to reach that dream tucked away in my heart since I was a teenager.
Mostly, looking at these books, I remember some pretty amazing people, many of whom I knew online only, but many from New England author events and conferences, including the wonderful weekend of Necon. There is no particular order to these photos, taken as I moved them into smaller, liftable boxes for storage:
As mentioned earlier, Rick was a successful midlist writer with so many others during the 80's horror boom. That boom dried up in the 90's but with the 2000's it began to pick up, especially with the Pinnacle and Leisure lines exploding onto the shelves. Before this boom ended as well, Rick's catalog of horror novels was quite impressive, both under his name and pseudonym AJ Mathews. He even named a character after me once, which was fun. At Necon, Rick would hang out in the quad with his whiskey and cigars, and people - everyone - would come to him and just talk. He saw no hierarchy between someone who had twenty books to their name or hadn't written a full paragraph yet. He simply loved people and loved to talk about writing. Rick Hautala was, for so many, the highlight of Necon every year. He died 10 years ago as of this writing. He is very missed.