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HallowRead: New book convention calls Ellicott City home

Authors and fans of novels of the spooky variety will gather in Historic Ellicott City this month for a new “mini-convention” dubbed HallowRead.

Organized by author Rachel Rawlings, of Aberdeen, the event is designed to appeal to authors and readers of paranormal, urban fantasy, steampunk and horror genres.

Events begin Friday, Oct. 25, with an Ellicott City ghost tour and a steampunk author tea with readings and a Q&A; session at Tea on the Tiber. On Saturday, Oct. 26, authors will hold book signings and panels on topics such as “Love, Light and Angels,” “Name That Vampire” and “The Good, The Bad & The Irresistible.” Saturday evening will include an outdoor performance of “Dracula” by the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company at the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute. A brunch with authors concludes the convention Sunday, Oct. 27.

Rawlings, an author of paranormal fantasy titles in The Maurin Kincaide series, decided to create HallowRead after attending and participating in several other conventions.

“I’ve been a panelist and featured author in the autograph alley at large pop culture conventions, and they’re great,” says Rawlings, “but you don’t get to spend a lot of time with the readers. I wanted to create something intimate and interactive where the authors and fans could really get to know one another.”

Rawlings, an Elkridge native who works at Main Street’s Salon Marielle, which is owned by her mother, says Ellicott City provides an apt setting for HallowRead given the historic vibe, walkability of the area, and shops, dining and entertainment options. Rawlings plans to make the convention an annual event.

More than 25 authors are slated to appear at HallowRead, including Darynda Jones, Jennifer Armentrout, Laura Kaye and K.B. Miller.

Ticket packages range in price from $25 to $75.

“It shouldn’t cost a fortune to meet one of your favorite authors or to find a new one,” Rawlings says. “I wanted HallowRead to be affordable for everyone.”

In an effort to maintain the “intimate nature” of the event, space is limited for HallowRead’s panels and activities, according to Rawlings. For details, go to hallowread.com.

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