Lisa's March 2018 Newsletter (#15)
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Hi Gang!

This month's going to be kind of a short newsletter, because as I write this I'm just a few days away from heading off to Providence, Rhode Island, for the third annual StokerCon. I'm one of the heads of the event, so these last few weeks have been the usual mad flurry of last minute tasks and disasters to solve. 

Next issue, I'll report back on the convention, complete with photos and news. For now, stay warm and keep reading books!

Still Life
In which I rhapsodize about favorite movie photos from my collection
In case you didn't know, I'm a fanatic for Hong Kong cinema.

My first full-length book (aside from a chapbook called The Free Way) was The Cinema of Tsui Hark. It was a biography and critical study of the man who I believe is Hong Kong's most influential filmmaker. Tsui Hark not only partnered with John Woo on his early classics A Better Tomorrow and The Killer, and made Jet Li into a superstar with his Once Upon a Time in China series, but he's also one of the great horror filmmakers. The shot above is from the 1986 classic A Chinese Ghost Story, which Tsui produced.

This next week at StokerCon, I'll have the pleasure of joining another expert - author and New York Asian Film Festival co-founder Grady Hendrix - for an hour-long discussion of Hong Kong's wild fright flick history, which encompasses everything from the beautiful spirits that tempt innocent wayfarers (as in the photo above) to lunatic hopping vampires, to thrillers so bloody and nihilistic that they really need to be considered as horror movies. 

If you've never seen movies like Tsui's A Chinese Ghost Story, his completely-insane martial arts action/cannibal horror-comedy crossover We Are Going to Eat You, the punk-flavored Bio-Zombie (directed by Wilson Yip), or the more recent feminist/social commentary slasher movie Dream Home (directed by Pang Ho-cheung) do yourself a favor and check 'em out.

About the Still: I apologize for the poor quality. This is taken from a book I purchased in Hong Kong when I flew there to interview Tsui Hark. Despite the quality, I think it captures the gorgeous, haunting visual sensibility of the film.
The Halloween Spirit
Tips for keeping it going all year 'round
Halloween haunts are not just for Halloween any more.

Remember how it used to be that you had to wait for October to get your haunted attraction fix? Well, take (bloody) heart, because many haunted attractions are now adding other holidays or times of year to their calendars.

Some - like Greenville, South Carolina's Nightmare Dungeon (shown in the photo above) offer special one- or two-day only events tailored to other holidays, like Valentine's Day. Others, like Illinois' The Halls of Madness or Demon Acres' Camp Dread in the aptly named Hannibal, New York, take advantage of warmer weather in spring and summer to offer outdoor late-night experiences. 

Although not strictly a haunted attraction, one of the most interesting horror fan experiences to utilize a particular date is the upcoming Crystal Lake Tours VIP ticket. Set to take place on April 13th - yes, a Friday the 13th - and April 14th, this event will allow dedicated Friday the 13th fans to stay overnight at Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco, where the first movie was filmed. Fans will be joined by Friday the 13th co-star Adrienne King for this event. Tickets are available via auction.

Looks like the Halloween Spirit is spreading across the calendar, doesn't it?
Strange Fruit
The weirdest thing I've recently uncovered in my research
Hopefully "Strange Fruit" will return next month with some juicy tidbit of research. But for the last month my research has been confined to problems with managing a large convention and it's all incredibly dull, so we're going to take a hiatus with this one!
Behind the Screams
About a Story
The Lucid Dreaming (novella)
Since my Bram Stoker Award-winning novella The Lucid Dreaming has just been re-issued by Cemetery Dance (with a fabulous new cover by Lynne Hansen), I thought I'd talk about it this month.

This story started life in a much shorter form, as a submission to an anthology called Going Postal (I'm not sure this anthology ever happened, at least not under this title). It was co-edited by the late, great Tom Piccirilli (I don't remember the name of the other editor, but he was someone known more for science fiction than horror). The theme was post-apocalyptic stories. I thought it would be fun to do a story in which the protagonist would be someone you don't normally find saving the world: a paranoid schizophrenic girl. And I've always been fascinated with dreams (and thought it would be interesting to explore what might happen if we started dreaming when awake), so I knew my young heroine - Spike - would be stuck in a breakdown that happens because of dreams.

I wrote the story as a short piece, and submitted it to the anthology. Not long after submitting it, I had one of the most remarkable rejections ever: "Pic" (Tom Piccirilli's nickname) actually called me to tell me that he loved the story but was pretty sure his co-editor would turn it down because of the violence. He was right, but that phone call was one of the most stunning moments of my life!

Anyway, flash forward...and somehow I kept thinking about Spike, and how her adventures would be even better with a little expansion. So I wrote the novella...and shopped it for about two years. It wasn't that it got rejected, it was that I just plain couldn't get the major small presses to read it. Finally my friend Gene O'Neill introduced me to Roy Robbins, who ran Bad Moon Books. Roy agreed to take a look, and made an offer almost instantly. 

The Lucid Dreaming (in novella form) went on to win the Bram Stoker Award for Long Fiction and garnered me a lot of great reviews. Bad Moon Books is out of business now, sadly, but I'm thrilled to have the book available again from the fine folks at Cemetery Dance. 
My current works-in-progress
Since the Mystery Writers of America just officially announced the contents of their next anthology Odd Partners, edited by Anne Perry, I can now reveal that my story "Whatever Happened to Lorna Winter?" will be appearing in the book. I'm especially pleased by this because it's my first fully non-horror mystery. It's about a failed filmmaker who stumbles across a 50-year-old film that seems to show the murder of a famous missing film noir star. It was great fun to write, and I couldn't be happier to have it coming out in 2019 in such a prestigious book.

I'm also thrilled about the Cemetery Dance re-issues of The Lucid Dreaming (see above) and the 20-story collection Monsters of L.A. (a Bram Stoker Award nominee). 

The Samhanach and Other Halloween Treats

The Samhanach and Other Halloween Treats is now available in e-book and print from JournalStone. It collects four novellas, ten short stories, a new introduction by Nancy Holder, and new notes about the stories from me.
Keep Halloween Going!
Ghosts: A Haunted History
My acclaimed book Ghosts: A Haunted History is now available in an affordable trade paperback.
Haunt Yourself
CD Select: Lisa Morton
CD Select: Lisa Morton is a mini-collection gathering together four tales chosen by me, with accompanying notes. Available in either e-book or signed & limited hardcover edition.
Reserve Yours Now!
The Art of Horror Movies
The Art of Horror Movies is Stephen Jones's stunning follow-up to his multiple-award-winning The Art of Horror. I wrote the chapter on "The Evil 80s".
Dive Into the Art

Haunted Nights

This anthology of all-new Halloween (and Dia de los Muertos/Devil's Night/All Souls' Eve) fiction features sixteen stories by some of the genre's hottest authors. The anthology received a starred and boxed review in Publishers Weekly, as well as raves from Rue Morgue, Locus, and many others.
Haunt Your Nights!
Halloween Carnival Volume One
Adam's Ladder , edited by Michael Bailey and Darren Speegle, includes my story "Eyes of the Beholders".
Unspeakable Horror 2
Unspeakable Horror 2: Abominations of Desire is the long-awaited follow-up to the Bram Stoker Award-winning first book. Includes my story "Ofrenda".
Get Unspeakable
CEA Greatest Anthology Written
"Drabbles" are short stories that are exactly 100 words long, and you get more than 100 of them in this cool book!
Drabble On!
For this month's giveaway, we're going to celebrate the Cemetery Dance re-issue of my collection Monsters of L.A. by rewarding one lucky winner with their own e-book copy! Slap the button below to enter (the contest ends at 11:59 p.m. on March 30), and good luck.

I Want to Win Monsters of L.A.!
Copyright © 2017 Lisa Morton All rights reserved.

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