One of my complaints about the Horror Writers Association has always been that the organization does very little to promote individual members who pay $65 a year in dues. As my three-year term as an HWA trustee winds down, I’m proud to say that’s been changed quite a bit. In large part that’s because President Deb LeBlanc went toe-to-toe with the lawyer and got it to where chapters, at least, can establish an HWA presence at local conventions. Not everything I wanted to do came about, such as HWA providing organizational press releases for member new releases, organizing group signings outside the convention circuit, etc.
That’s why I’ve become one of the founding members of a new regional group currently called Okie Horror. This isn’t a critique group. The purpose of Okie Horror is promotion of regional speculative fiction authors, whether they write horror, fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, paranormal romance, or some other related subgenre.
We’ve set up a Web site at www.okiehorror.com. There you’ll find a calendar of events, list of members, an Amazon Associates store, and blog posts about new releases. Going forward, we’re looking at doing podcasts and what I think will be most valuable, a newsletter that will be sent to booksellers announcing new member releases, write-ups on members and reminders about books in the member catalogue. And, of course, we’ll want to organize group signing events and offer free writing workshops at libraries.
For those who know their history, the term Okie didn’t just apply to migrant workers from the Sooner State; it was applied to anybody from the Great Plains area moving west to California during the Dust Bowl years. So, you don’t have to be an Oklahoman to be a member. Membership is open to authors in bordering states. The idea being that we’re all in reasonable driving distance. There are no dues to pay, but if we print and mail material we’ll need member donations to cover those expenses.
So, if you live in Oklahoma or a bordering state, have a book-length piece of speculative fiction that has been published by a legitimate publisher (NOT self-published), and want to join, please send me an email at steve(AT)stevenewedel(DOT)com. When you do that, tell me your Web site URL and list your available titles. Providing the ISBN would be a big help, too.
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