For those of you who haven’t been following my Author Bumping antics please check out my earlier posts. Bumping into authors is one of my many peculiar talents.
In October, I began with my tale of bumping into the belly of Robert B. Parker as I made a mad dash to escape a cockney ladies’ loo lurker in London. I followed up with Bumping into Zombie Authors – The Walking Dead premiere. In that post I shared a creepy childhood story told to me by writer, director, producer – Frank Darabont.
Mick Garris was next. He’s best known for his adaptations of Stephen King’s stories. Mick and I were chatting when the phone rang. It was Steven Spielberg congratulating Mick on the success of The Stand – which had premiered the night before. Through some sort of quirk in the atmosphere or some blessed black hole, I find myself in the most wonderful company of writers through no planning and complete accidents. I’m fascinated by my gift of Author Bumping which always occurs in strange ways, and I believe under a full moon.
In the beginning: I was at my first writers’ conference. Excited to finally be pursuing my dream of writing, I had signed up without paying close attention to the names on the speakers/attendees list. I’m a leap and then look person. The energy of a group of writers, particularly horror writers, can be like downing a six-pack of Red Bull on an empty stomach. My head was spinning with long submerged plots and characters. The encouragement I received from established writers made my knees weak and my fingers ache to be typing. I learned quickly that the energy cast off from gathered writers can be like the heat from the sun. It burns.
Needing a break from the heady vibes that cut like dragon flies from writer to writer, I sought quiet in the “Movie Room.” One room had been designated as a time-out zone. The movie that played continuously was Blade Runner.
I fumbled in the darkness and took a seat in the small auditorium. It was about ten minutes into the film. A tall someone sat next to me. He apologized and settled in. As Harrison Ford wandered the screen with a perpetually puzzled puss, the chap next to me struck up a conversation. The words weren’t important. It was the idea that someone would talk during a film. Movies are religious experiences to me. I enter them and disappear.
The tall stranger didn’t say much, but he did break the Harrison Ford moment. I’m not a shusher, I’m a glarer. But in the dark it was hard to throw a “quiet, please” look and have it recognized. He spoke with an accent. Boston? No. Maine. The lights went on and it was Stephen King. He was sweet and chatty and exhausted. He’d stepped into the darkness to collect himself, just as I had.
Later we shared beers in the bar. He was wearing a black t-shirt with fake seagull poop dripping down both shoulders. Childlike, he was tickled at the t-shirt joke. He suggested I sign up for the London Workshop which was set for that summer. From there it was a short distance to my sliding into Bob Parker’s belly. My career in Author Bumping had begun.