I Was On A Virtual Panel Talking JAWS

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This past weekend I was on a virtual panel with a whole bunch of incredible authors talking about Steven Spielberg’s Jaws on its 45th anniversary. Turns out there was no shortage of things to talk about and I could’ve done another hour with this gang. Come on in and check it out.

The panel was Victor LaValle, Jonathan Janz, Hillary Monahan, Adam Cesare, and myself (moderated by Glenn Rolfe). We had a great time, some big laughs, and even grander insights. I was amazed and delighted by the perspectives brought to the table, and even happier to find I’m not the only person who enjoys the absurdities of later sequels.

There’s plenty to discuss in Jaws, but at this moment in 2020 we found ourselves seizing on some of the obvious social and political parallels you simply cannot escape during this ongoing season of the pandemic. I’ll probably never watch Jaws the same way again, though we had such a good time we’d love to do an encore (hopefully in person at next year’s Scares that Care in Williamsburg, Virginia), diving into greater detail on the sub-subgenre of Jaws rip-offs.

This panel was part of Scares that Care’s virtual charity weekend, which went on to raise more than $18,000 for people in need. You can learn more about that over at Brian Keene’s website and I’d also encourage you to click through Brian’s YouTube channel and dig on some of the other incredible panels he arranged.

I loved participating in a digital Scares, even though it’s no substitute for the real thing. I’ve gone to every Scares that Care convention aside from the first and it was a real bummer to put this year on pause, as my trip down to Virginia has come to define my summers as clearly as anything else. It’s a lot of work packed into a really fun weekend, but I love seeing my friends and peers (as well as many of the same hotel employees year-after-year) so it always feels like a vacation to me.

There’s no way around it. We’re all just biding our time until the season of the coronavirus has lifted and everyone’s hoping for a better 2021. But this was a nice distraction, a fun way to touch base with some great folks for an even better cause.

I hear we may even do it again this fall.

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