• Gaby Triana

HWA President Interview - LISA MORTON

Today on the Witch Haunt, I’m excited to be welcoming six-time Bram Stoker Award winning screenwriter, author of short stories and novels, and president of the Horror Writers Association, LISA MORTON!

WH: Welcome, Lisa! Thank you for being on the blog today.. Please give us a brief introduction of your fabulous self:

Hi! I'm Lisa Morton, and I'm a novelist, non-fiction author, screenwriter, and Halloween expert. I've published over 130 short stories and four novels, I've won six Bram Stoker Awards, and had some really awful movies made that don't look much like what I wrote. I'm a lifelong Southern Californian who also enjoys gardening and spoiling cats.

WH: So many wonderful accomplishments so far! What other career would you have if not writing/publishing?

I actually have another career that I love: I'm a bookseller. I work for a used and rare bookstore, where I get to catalogue some truly magnificent rarities.

WH: How awesome that you get to go through daily life surrounded by stories. Which of your written works are you most proud of?

I think my novel Malediction, which was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award (but lost to Stephen King's Doctor Sleep).

WH: Malediction, about curses, psychic powers, ghosts and such sounds like my perfect cup of horror. If you could have coffee with any horror author, gone or alive, who would it be?

He's not primarily a horror author, but I have to say Philip K. Dick.

WH: How do you like your coffee? Do you have a favorite dessert (I ask everyone this, since I used to own a bakery)?

Wow, you owned a bakery? That's awesome. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I love a good cup of oolong tea (and I'm a total tea snob - I prefer looseleaf teas that I buy from an herb store in Monterey Park). For a dessert, I'll take a crème brulée.

WH: Crème brulée has got to be one of my top favs as well. How have you changed as a person from your early life until now?

I've gained a tremendous amount of experience, and with experience has come confidence. As a twentysomething I had a hard time speaking up for myself, and I'm very pleased to know those days are looooooong gone.

WH: I find that’s a common denominator among many writers. I think that’s why we turned to writing in the first place, because it’s a quiet place to be heard without having to use your voice. So, you’re a self-proclaimed Halloween expert (and we know that you are). What’s your favorite Halloween tradition?

Yard haunts! We have some truly astonishing ones here in L.A., but for the past two years I've enjoyed putting on a (very small) one with my partner Ricky Grove.

WH: My favorite! We set one up every year but sadly, not too many homes in Miami do this, so we’re alone in our celebration. What is the witchiest thing about you (we’re all a little witchy)?

I love things like the changing of the seasons (and yes, that DOES happen in L.A.!), and animal companions, and nature in general.

WH: I’ve experienced a delicious range of temps in LA that have made me want to move there. Who would be your favorite Addams Family character?

Cousin Itt. I've always had a lot of hair.

WH: HA! Cousin Itt is the bomb. What are the pros/cons of being a woman in a male-dominated industry?

The cons are having to acquire confidence (in my case, via age); so many women (including me) grow up being taught to be quiet, polite, and passive...and while I'm all in favor of that middle quality, the other two don't work in the 21st century. The pros are getting to share tips and information with other incredible women writers.

WH: Confidence via experience and oh, yes, that small matter that you’re the HWA Presdient. JWhat do you feel makes a horror novel scary?

Honesty. If something doesn't genuinely make the writer uncomfortable, it's unlikely to affect the reader.

WH: Ah, that’s a great point of view to have when writing. As President of the Horror Writers Association, what’s the single most important move a horror author can make to break into the business?

Assuming they've already spent years reading and really looking at good writing and practicing on their own, then I'm going to say: get out and be around other writers. That can take several forms: join a writing group, attend some conferences, or join HWA, where you'll have access to things like the organization's Mentor Program, which will pair you with an established pro.

WH: Wonderful and thanks for your service because I know what it’s like to put on conferences and it’s A LOT…OF…WORK. What’s next for you? We can’t wait to see what you have coming up!

Thanks! I'm currently finishing up co-editing (with the amazing Leslie Klinger, the genius behind The Annotated Frankenstein and The Annotated Watchmen) an annotated anthology of classic ghost stories; that'll be out from Pegasus Books in 2019. This November, I'll be part of the "mosaic novel" The Lovecraft Squad: Dreaming, edited by Stephen Jones. And of course there's the usual assortment of shorter pieces, both fiction and non-fiction.

All exciting things that I cannot wait to grab and read! Well, thanks so much for joining me today, Lisa! Will see you at StokerCon 2019 in Grand Rapids, MI. To follow Lisa Morton, click the following links:

* Website: http://www.lisamorton.com

* Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B001JRZ8NC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1530647057&sr=8-1&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

* Latest release: Haunted Nights (an anthology co-edited with Ellen Datlow)

* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.morton.165

* Twitter: https://twitter.com/cinriter

Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, and award-winning prose writer whose work was described by the American Library Association’s Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror as “consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening.” She is the author of four novels and more than 130 short stories, a six-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award®, and a world-class Halloween expert. She co-edited (with Ellen Datlow) the anthology Haunted Nights; other recent releases include Ghosts: A Haunted History and the collection The Samhanach and Other Halloween Treats. Lisa lives in Los Angeles.

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