ROCKY WOOD BIO AND AWARDS/NOMINATIONS
Rocky Wood, who passed away in 2014, lived in Melbourne, Australia and was the author of major works about Stephen King. Three of these were nominated for the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction, including Stephen King: The Literary Companion, which won the 2011 Award.
He was also the author of two graphic novels, one of which – Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times – was awarded the Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel.
A freelance journalist since the 1970s, his articles were published all over the world, including on subjects such as UFOs, the security industry and popular culture.
He spoke at numerous conventions, including the SKEMER Con in Estes Park, Colorado (2003); Continuum 3 (2005) and Continuum 4 (2006) in Melbourne; Conflux 3 in Canberra (2006); the 2nd Annual Stephen King Dollar Baby Festival in Bangor, Maine (2005), the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City (2008); the World Horror Convention in Austin (2011); the Bram Stoker Award® Weekends (Burbank, 2009 and Long Island, 2011); Worldcon in Melbourne (2010); was a Special Guest at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City (2012); and even addressed Stephen King’s hometown Historical Society about the author’s works and motivations. He was also Chair of the World Horror Convention 2013, held in New Orleans. Rocky undertook seven research trips to Maine, rediscovering many previously lost or unknown pieces written by King; and is still recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on King’s work.
He served as a Trustee of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) from 2008 to 2010; was elected President of the HWA in 2010, and re-elected in 2012. He was also an Active member of the International Thriller Writers and a founding member of the Australian Horror Writers Association.
He met with Stephen King in Atlanta in April 2012 and thanked the master for all the help he provided in his research over the years.
Rocky was born and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand. Apart from his Australian citizenship he was also a proud New Zealander, particularly when it came to sport.
In fact he was a bit of a sports nut. He had a passion for Rugby Union (and was in the crowd when the All Blacks won both of their World Cups), in which he supported the All Blacks, the Wellington Hurricanes, and the Wellington Lions; Association Football (Soccer), in which he supported Manchester United (and was fortunate to be at Old Trafford to see the Red Devils vanquish Liverpool in 2010 and to see Wayne Rooney score); Baseball, in which he supported the Boston Red Sox (he went to Fenway for a number of games, even seeing David Ortiz hit a game-winning home run); and Cricket, in which he generally suffered from supporting the Black Caps (although he did remember the Glory Days of Hadlee, et al and was at the Basin Reserve when New Zealand first beat England in a Test Match).
Rocky had a long term love affair with the United States and its history. He visited the country around 50 times over 35 years, indulging his passion for (almost) all things American, particularly the Civil War. A long-time supporter of Australia’s Alliance with the US, he was President of the Australian American Association of Victoria (founded by Sir Keith Murdoch) from 2008–2010 and was elected a Life Member in September 2010.
His professional career concentrated in the Logistics Industry, having had senior leadership roles with UPS, TNT, Australia Post and Telstra. He was a member of the Australian Logistics Council (the industry’s peak body) from 2008 to 2012.
An inveterate traveller, he lived in New Zealand, Australia, Belgium and England and visited much of the world – only the continent of Antarctica escaped his tread (although he flew over it on a tourist flight – a unique and awe-inspiring experience).
In the 1970s and 1980s Rocky was deeply involved in research into the theory that our planet has been visited in the past by extra-terrestrials and had the good fortune to spend time travelling with Erich von Daniken, author of Chariots of the Gods? and many other books. Erich even signed Rocky’s first edition copy of that book atop the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, Mexico (the tombstone from this pyramid features on the cover of the book). During this time he spoke at a number of Conventions including the 5th World Conference of the Ancient Astronaut Society (Chicago, 1978); the 7th World Conference of the AAS (Auckland, 1980) and the MUFON Conference in San Francisco (1979). He even met Dr J Allen Hynek, the man who coined the term ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ in his classic book, The UFO Experience.
He was also the proud father of two daughters – Alicia and Natasha, and a grand-daughter, Bailie.
In October 2010 Rocky was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The disorder causes muscle weakness and atrophy throughout the body caused by the degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons. Unable to function, the muscles weaken and atrophy. Individuals affected by the disorder may ultimately lose the ability to initiate and control almost all voluntary movement. Patients progress differently but about 95% die within 3-5 years of being diagnosed. There is no treatment for the underlying disease (only for the symptoms) and no cure. We encourage you to learn more about this disease and contribute to your local support groups and research charities. In the US a good place to start is http://www.alsa.org/ . In Australia please visit: http://www.mndaust.asn.au/ .
Rocky Wood passed away on December 1, 2014, from complications dues to MND.
Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction (2011) from the Horror Writers Association – Stephen King: A Literary Companion (McFarland, 2011).
Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel (2012) from the Horror Writers Association – Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times
Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction (2006) from the Horror Writers Association – Stephen King: Uncollected, Unpublished (Cemetery Dance, 2006)
Bram Stoker Award® for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction (2009) from the Horror Writers Association –Stephen King: The Non-Fiction (Cemetery Dance, 2009)
Black Quill Non-Fiction Award (2010) – Horrors! Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators (McFarland, 2010)
Aurealis Awards – Best Illustrated Book or Graphic Novel (2010) – Horrors! Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators (McFarland, 2010)