In my last profile with Mary San Giovanni, I had mentioned this man, Brian Keene. Mr. Keene is a household name when it comes to horror and zombies…hands down. It’s been said that his zombie themed stories have greatly influenced the new resurgence in the zombie sub culture. He is a two time Bram Stoker award winner, and has had several of his stories optioned for film. Currently GHOUL, based on his novel, is in production. The Last Zombie comics are well known, as are his wide array of fiction and non fiction novels, short stories and graphic novels. The Rising and City of the Dead, were the first two novels I read which gave me insight to this man’s incredible talent.
Ok..that’s a small sample of his extensive bio. Let’s get into the real meat and taters from my meeting this legend for the first time. It all started on a lovely, warm evening in Austin, TX. in a hotel lobby room buzzing with activity and excitement on the second day of the 2011 WHC convention. I was speaking with Mrs. San Giovanni, when she introduced me to her fiancee Brian Keene. Mr. Keene’s hand was slightly faster on the draw than mine, as he shook it with great enthusiasm. He immediately said “I know your father! It’s really nice to meet you” and proceeded to say some very complimentary things about my father’s work. He was on his way to a reading as he continued his conversation with me. I must say I was impressed by the fact he didn’t cut our conversation short, even though he was under a time constraint. Inside, he was the first to read. Talk about energy and passion ! The room came alive. I don’t know about the others, but I felt like I was part of the story as he read. When the Q& A started, I finally got a good look at his sense of humor. He was asked a political question, which, when he responded, struck my funny bone. Oh yes! I thought. I really need to party with this guy! And by coincidence, that’s exactly what happened at 11pm. After the reading, I followed the crowd to a press party where he made a special announcement about another great man… Nate Southard. I was amazed by Brian’s support of this man, and all those around him. It’s true what I’ve heard about his loyalty and commitment to his friends. This, I thought, is what makes Brian Keene the man he is. I only wish that my friends who have read his stories could have had the pleasure of actually meeting him. The next morning I rose early thinking I was probably one of the only few that didn’t have a hang over. I headed to breakfast at 9am believing the hotel guests were still fast asleep. To my surprise, sitting on a couch next to his fiance Mary San Giovanni , was Brian. First, I wondered if he had gone to bed. Next, like the true gentleman and professional he is, he struck up a conversation with me. After a brief photo op, I gave him a Dead,Buried,and Back! t-shirt, then left him to his thoughts. That was the last time I spoke with him at length during the convention. I will say this to summarize. I have met a great man of many talents. I look forward to supporting his work, his fiance’s, and any of his friends. Most of all though, I look forward to the time when I’ll get to sit with him again and have a few laughs. Thanks for the great memories Brian!
Please visit him at briankeene.com and join the Keenedom!