The Paperback Pilgrim’s Perfect Panel

Hello All!

Today’s post is going to be a little different because I was inspired by Eventbrite  to plan my perfect panel of authors that I would love to hear speak at a conference.

The rule were simple in that I could pick authors, alive or deceased, or characters to speak at my dream conference.

And I must say, I went a little spooky for my theme.

Intrigued enough to read on? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions, if you dare.

*mwa ha ha ha*

The Panel 

947William Shakespeare – Ghosts and ghouls appear in many of Shakespeare’s most prominent works, and I feel that it would be a disservice to The Bard not to recognize just how dark his dramas could be.

King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth and Titus Andronicus are all examples of Shakespeare’s foray into the macabre and for that he earns a spot on my perfect panel.


11139Mary Shelley – Where would the perfect spooky panel be without the inclusion of the creator of Frankenstein.

A novel that has spanned countless retellings and adaptations, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus has captivated readers since its anonymous publication in 1818, and for good reason.

If grave robbing and reanimating corpses doesn’t make you stay up at night, Victor Frankenstein’s creature might…


44407Lord Byron – Byron was quite the character in and of himself but he also wrote some very dark work.

One such story was the unfinished “Fragment of a Novel” published in 1819 by publisher John Murray unbeknownst to Byron.

The story itself explored the theme of vampirism, but because the story was published before it was finished, the character of Augustus Darvell never reappeared to the narrator as a vampire.


4624490Edgar Allen Poe – In my opinion, and probably going against popular opinion, Edgar Allen Poe is the King of Horror.

From “The Raven” to “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” to “Lenore,” Poe has an ability to masterfully craft dark and twisted stories that make even the toughest blood freeze in terror.



3565Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my all-time favourite spooky stories, so of course Wilde would be invited to speak at my perfect panel.

Though categorized as philosophical fiction, The Picture of Dorian Gray is full of corruption, greed, murder, and revenge. Oh, and did I mention a magic painting.


123715Agatha Christie – The only other lady to make it on this panel, Christie is on here because — oh boy – does she know how to write murder well.

One of the best-selling authors of all time, Christie’s novels have spanned many adaptions, and was the inspiration behind Murder She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury (who as fate has it, also starred as Sibyl Vane in a 1945 adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray.)


5773Tim Burton – Though most think of Burton as a director, he published a book of poetry in 1997 called The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, which therefore makes him eligible for this panel.

“Voodoo Girl” is by far my favourite poem in the book, but others that stick out are “Staring Girl,” “The Pin Cushion Queen,” and “Stick Boy/Match Girl.”

If you haven’t checked out this book I highly recommend it, it’s quite the experience given that the poems are accompanied by Burton-esk cartoons that can make the hair stand straight on the back of your neck.

1221698Neil Gaiman – The last author on this list, and by no mean the last in my bleak heart, but rounding out the panel is Gaiman himself.

Coraline, both the graphic novel and the movie still scare the bejesus out of me.

Add that to Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book and you’ve hit the trifecta of spooky stories!

The Moderator 

e9054d79334077e2fcdf9dfaf5bd3fceA spooky panel calls for a spooky moderator, and who can you think is a better choice than the velvet voice, the king of horror movies, the master of facial hair, Vincent Price. And why did I pick Vincent Price as moderator, you might ask?

For starters, he’s either preformed works or portrayed many authors on this list.

Diversions and Delights had Price portraying Oscar Wilde, he did a spine tingling performance of The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe, and he narrated Vincent, which was written by Tim Burton, and tells the story of Vincent Malloy a boy who wants to be just like Price.

Second, Price would have to be dressed as ‘The Inventor’ from Tim Burton’s masterpiece Edward Scissorhands, but I see nothing wrong with that, do you?

Third, and probably most important, he could do the *mwa ha ha ha* from above in the style of “Thriller” and I could probably guarantee everyone would loose their collective minds.

The Questions


  • What do you think makes a good story?
  • What scares you?
  • Are your stories the products of nightmares, childhood experiences, fantasies?

(“Byron, Wilde, stop making googly eyes at one another”)

  • What are your favourite horror stories? Do these works inspire you to write the things you do?
  • Do you have any tips on how to scare your reader?
  • Do you have a nickname for your readers?

([Poe acting delirious] “Poe sit down!”)

  • What is the scariest thing you’ve ever read?
  • What attracts you to the macabre?
  • What is one thing you’d like people to know about you?

([Shakespeare speaking in iambic pentameter, Mary Shelley and Tim Burton discuss Frankenweenie, Neil Gaiman and Agatha Christie begin planning a Jane Marple/Chad Mulligan cross over story.])


Literary Conference

Talent this good demands its own literary panel.

But if I had to pick one, I’d have to pick Wordfest because then at least I’ll be able to purchase tickets to see it.

If only all of my authors were living, then maybe I’d be ambitious enough to use Eventbrite conference management software to host my own book conference.

Well, there is always a seance!




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