Lisa's April 2018 Newsletter (#16)
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Hi Gang!

StokerCon and Providence were both amazing! Yes, I got caught in a real Nor'easter (my first), and yes, the convention was a lot of work, but I had an incredible time. Even braving the storm's winds and freezing rain was weirdly fun. See the "Strange Fruit" column below for more about my walking tour of Providence and historical sites associated with the work of H. P. Lovecraft.

But I'm also glad it's all behind me now so I can get back to the business of writing. It's time to stop the flying and start the writing!

Still Life
In which I rhapsodize about favorite movie photos from my collection
Once upon a time...

...I was a modelmaker in Hollywood.

I was very young, not even a legal adult yet when I started. Through the science fiction and movie conventions I frequented as a kid, I'd gotten to know a gentleman named Greg Jein. Greg is one of cinema history's great modelmakers, and somehow he liked me enough to offer me a job. The movie was Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

I only worked on that one for a few days, but during that time I shot photos - a lot of photos. I went on to work for Greg again on Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Special Edition. Eventually I worked for other effects outfits, and even spent the better part of a year on The Abyss.

I've got a massive album filled with hundreds of slides from these movies, most of which I've never done anything with. I'm now making it a side project to digitize these and post them for all to enjoy. I'm starting with Star Trek.

The above photo shows the model of V'Ger I worked on, all lit up just prior to filming. The gentleman you can see at the right is Bill George, a good friend who wound up working for ILM and winning an Oscar for Innerspace

I plan on posting more of these photos as I work through the digitizing process, so if you like these, check back from time to time or follow me on Facebook, where I'll try to mention whenever I upload another batch.
See more STAR TREK photos!
The Halloween Spirit
Tips for keeping it going all year 'round
Welcome to the Septo Cemetery.

That's the name of my goofy little yard haunt. 2018 will mark its third year, and while I love doing it, I wouldn't begin to compare it to some of the incredible yard haunts in the L.A. area - our small display, for example, can't hold a haunted candle to something like the incredible House at Haunted Hill. My partner Ricky and I have neither the time nor the money to turn this into something that beautiful and extensive.

But what I can do to make our little haunt special is what I do best: write about it.

I'm thus pleased to present the debut of the Septo Cemetery website. Not only does this include photos and video of the haunt, but it also features a detailed back story that I'll expand upon from time to time. This story features famous historical figures from Southern California's history; you may not know much about William Mulholland or Isaac Newton Van Nuys, but I'll bet you recognize their last names! 

The ongoing saga will weave together fact and fiction in a portrait of a valley so haunted by the sins of the past that it transforms both the living and the dead.

Click the button to begin the journey!
Beware the Septo Cemetery
Strange Fruit
The weirdest thing I've recently uncovered in my research
Sometimes the research process goes in reverse: you research something that you may use later. That comes into play especially when traveling.

At the beginning of March, I found myself in Providence, Rhode Island, the home of H. P. Lovecraft. I've been a Lovecraft fan since a cousin sent me a boxed set of Lovecraft paperbacks when I was about 12. I recognized the man's virulent racism even as a young reader (it's fairly obvious in a story like "The Horrors at Red Hook"), but I couldn't stop reading his better work. I still consider "The Outsider" and "The Call of Cthulhu" to be among my favorite short stories. 

I had only half a day away from the convention, and fortunately that turned out to be the one day of perfect weather (before a Nor'easter blew into Providence). I found an excellent walking tour online, and on a sunny morning set out with Ricky Grove and John Palisano.

Our hotel (the Biltmore) was only a short distance from the College Hill area where Lovecraft spent much of his life; this is also the home of Brown University. We saw the original site of Lovecraft's final home (which has been moved from that location to just a few blocks away), the house itself, the one-time mortuary (now a house) where Lovecraft's funeral was held, the gates of Brown where he once sat for a photo, his memorial and the delightful sign marking "H. P. Lovecraft Memorial Square", and the astonishing Fleur-de-Lys Studio, which he used as the studio of the crazed artist in "The Call of Cthulhu".

Most incredible to us - as one would expect of three bibliophiles! - was the Athaeneum, the old and extraordinarily beautiful library where he spent many hours, and which now holds the stunning bust of Lovecraft by sculptor extraordinaire Bryan Moore. 

By the time we finished our tour, I felt like I had a new understanding of Lovecraft. It's easy to see how both the architecture and layout of Providence helped shape his fiction. I hope to use this knowledge in some future work.
See more photos from Providence (and StokerCon)
Behind the Screams
About a Story
"Summer of Sharks" (from Scream and Scream Again!)
I haven't had much experience writing young adult horror (although I love reading it), so this was an interesting challenge. 

I knew right off the bat what the story would be about: people who  live secretly among us and have the ability to shapeshift into animals. I once tried to write a novel with that theme, got halfway through it, and decided it sucked. Although that novel didn't work, the idea seemed like a rich one to explore in a YA context.

After deciding to set the story in my neighborhood (the San Fernando Valley), I then decided I wanted to place it within the Latino culture which is such an important part of the Valley, and which I've been around almost my whole life. I love the idea of the quinceañera - how fabulous to celebrate girls! - so I started with that.

Since the anthology was through the Mystery Writers of America (of which I'm a member), I submitted the finished piece via their blind submission process. Although I was pleased with the story, I was still shocked to get the acceptance on it.

Hmmm...maybe I need to dig into this young adult stuff a little more...!
Get SCREAMing!
My current works-in-progress
I have a hard time staying away from short fiction, especially when I get invited to contribute to delicious new projects (which happens fairly often).

But I'm also starting a new novel. I'm aiming to finish it by the end of this year. I'm not ready to talk about it yet, but I'm excited by the idea and the broad expanse of the writerly canvas with this one. 

More soon...

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 Beauty of Death 2: Death By Water is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated anthology that includes my tale "The Wash"..
Dive Into The Beauty

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!
This one's really cool: I'm giving away not one, but TWO advance reading copies of the forthcoming YA horror anthology Scream and Scream Again!, edited by Mr. Goosebumps himself, R. L. Stine, and including my short story "Summer of Sharks." Click the button below to enter, and good luck!
Sorry - this giveaway has ended
Copyright © 2017 Lisa Morton All rights reserved.

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