Please don't ignore this post because you think you have nothing to do with horror as a genre. Mo*Con II: The Intersection of Faith, Race, and Art went so much deeper.
I've seen his name before, Maurice Broaddus.
Genre horror is predominately written by white males and they're generally not Christian. Not really news to anyone, just the way things are. Maurice is male (I'll bet his wife's happy about that) he's also black and Christian. But male, black and Christian aren't the things that make Maurice intriguing. It is this man's ability to stand in the middle and on one side of his life is his church family, the other is his horror writing family and this past weekend for the second time, he succeeded in bringing them together in a mighty way.
Want to get a bunch of atheists and agnostics to church? Maurice did. Think about it, a horror convention at a church. How many churches do you know that would be wiling to host? Uh-huh. That's what I thought. Thank God for Maurice and The Dwelling Place.
I admit I did it again. I went to this event not knowing a single person. I'd heard of Maurice and I'd heard of Brian Keene. That's it. I had no clue what I was going to gain by attending and I had ideas that I'd probably not fit in (that's usually a given, doesn't matter where I go.)
Brian Keene, horror author and absolutely wonderful guy. What I enjoyed about Brian was his willingness to be so open about his faith (or lack thereof at times) I found it refreshing to hear that he'd been searching for God, looked in a lot of wrong places, still sometimes looks in the wrong places, but yet at the end of the day knows that if you search for Him, you will find Him.
Wrath James White extreme horror author. I guess I looked like a not-so-extreme chick. I asked Wrath the title of one of his stories (so I could read it) while he was on the panel discussing themes of God running through his stories even though he didn't believe in God, Wrath hesitated then gave me lots of warnings until I said, "It's ok. I read extreme stuff." And he looked confused. I probably looked like the innocent congregation member vs. the horror writer, huh?
Chesya Burke, horror author. Chesya and I bonded during the after conference gathering at Maurice's house. I think there's pictures of the ambulance floating around. Maybe I'll tell. Maybe I won't. Maybe if you find Maurice's wife's MySpace page, maybe she'll have pictures.
Gary Braunbeck, horror author and his wife Lucy Snyder, Sci-Fi author. Gary will get his own post. Let's just say he blindsided me with his essay on Sunday morning to the church congregation and conference attendees about why he writes horror. (Thank you Gary for allowing Maurice to put this up. Part One. Part Two) I would like everyone to read Gary's essay, however, if you're a Misfit or if you're Delania, Jill, or Kimmie--Do Not Pass Go...This is a must-read for you.