Saturday, August 11, 2012

KillerCon 4 Interview: Don D'Auria

KillerCon 4 Guest of Honor Interview—Don D'Auria

Don D'Auria has worked in publishing for twenty-five years, most recently as executive editor at Leisure Books, where for fifteen years he directed their horror line. Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, he was the quintessential horror kid, growing up on a steady diet of TV’s Chiller Theater on Friday nights, Creature Features on Saturday nights, and horror novels and Famous Monsters magazine the rest of the time. After earning a master’s degree in English from Columbia University, he dove into publishing, where he’s been lucky enough to work in the genre he’s always loved. He is the recipient of an International Horror Guild Award for his contributions to the genre.

Don joined Samhain Publishing in January of 2011 and is very excited to be working for such an innovative company. He looks forward to bringing the best in horror fiction to his fellow fans.

KC: How did you first find out about the KillerCon Convention and what were your initial thoughts about a horror convention held in Las Vegas?  

DD: Actually, I first heard about KillerCon when Wrath [James White, KillerCon co-founder] was initially thinking about starting it, in the planning stages.  I was editing a couple of his books at the time, and he asked me my thoughts.  I thought Las Vegas would be a terrific setting, as it’s such a fun destination for so many people.  I knew folks would love the idea of a convention in Vegas, but I warned Wrath it would be a huge amount of work to get KillerCon off the ground.  Obviously he and the other organizers pulled it off well.

KC: What made you say yes to being a guest of honor at KillerCon 4?

DD: In just a couple years, KillerCon has developed a fantastic reputation as one of the best conventions.  I literally have never spoken to anyone who’s attended a KillerCon who hasn’t raved about it.  Everyone tells me it’s fun, low-key and still extremely professional.  So how could I pass up this chance?

KC: Can you share some amusing anecdotes from conventions past? What do you like and dislike most about conventions? 

DD: I’ve been going to horror conventions for more than fifteen years, usually at least a couple each year, so obviously I’ve seen many… amusing things.  But I’m too discrete to repeat them here.  Sorry.  Definitely what I like best about conventions is being able to meet and talk with people.  It’s a great chance to chat with authors whose work I admire, and just as importantly to meet new authors.  That’s one of the main reasons I go to conventions, to meet new authors and hear about their work.  I’ve published quite a few books that I heard about in pitch sessions over the years, and even books that were described to me over drinks in the bar.  I guess if there’s anything I dislike about conventions it’s the travel.  I’m not big on eight hour flights.

KC: What are you looking forward to most at KillerCon 4?

DD: There are so many things.  The people, the parties, the panels, and Vegas itself.  I hope I’ll get a chance to see the city a bit, though I usually don’t get much of a chance to leave the hotel at conventions.

KC: What can readers expect from Samhain Horror this fall? 

DD: This fall should be pretty exciting for Samhain readers.  We’ll be increasing the number of novellas we publish, with novellas from Hunter Shea and Greg F. Gifune.  We’ll have full length novels from Ronald Malfi, Brian Moreland, Nile J. Limbaugh, Peter Mark May, Maynard Sims and Aaron Dries.  We’ll also have books from extremely talented newcomers Damien Walters Grintalis and David Bernstein.  Plus, I’m very excited to introduce the amazing Stephen Laws to the Samhain list.  His classic epic novel Somewhere South of Midnight will be published in December, with more from him to come.  Then in 2013 we’ll have more from Ramsey Campbell and a new book by Bryan Smith, among many others.  I think anyone who loves horror will find something they’ll like on the Samhain list.


KillerConLV would like to thank Don for taking the time out of his jam-packed schedule to stop by for this interview! :-)

Don will be involved in various panels and events during KillerCon4, including the pitch sessions on Saturday, September 22. For more information, please visit the Schedule/Events page.


1 comment:

  1. "I think anyone who loves horror will find something they’ll like on the Samhain list."

    And that, right there, is a really good example of/reason why Don has experienced so much success, why he revived Leisure (before what happened) and why Samhain has a bright future. He knows how wide and varied a genre horror is, and knows people have wide and varied tastes. I think to think of him in terms of a really good NBA coach - he knows how to put together an ensemble line up.


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