Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Author Spotlight: Lisa Morton

Posted by LD Keach on Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lisa Morton is a multi-award winning writer who wears a few different hats. Her horror fiction has appeared in markets like Cemetery Dance and Bad Moon Books, her screenplays have been invited to film festivals, and her non-fiction work like The Halloween Encyclopeida has been nominated for Black Quill award and snagged her yet another Stoker. A native Southern Californian, Morton writes fiction that is "consistantly dark, unsettling, and frightening" according to the American Library Association. Also, she was a modelmaker on the set of the original Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which probably makes her cooler than any one of us. We recently caught up with Lisa for a little Q & A.

DM: First, thanks for chatting with us! We're excited to feature someone who's not only a great horror writer, but also a Hollywood insider and a Halloween expert.

Well, I'm not sure how much of a "Hollywood insider" I am...but I'll totally own the "Halloween expert" tag!

DM: Tell us a little about your upcoming books, Netherworld and Zombie Apocolypse: Washington Deceased.

NETHERWORLD is the first book in a trilogy chronicling the adventures of Lady Diana Furnaval, a British noblewoman who travels the globe in the late nineteenth century fighting evil of both the supernatural and human varieties. In the first book, she's searching for clues to solve the mystery of her husband's death, and she acquires an assistant in the form of Yi-kin, a young Chinese sailor. Together they travel to India, China, America, and finally the fearsome Netherworld.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: WASHINGTON DECEASED is a tie-in novel to the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE anthology series edited by Stephen Jones, and it charts the fall of the U.S. capitol during a (surprise!) zombie apocalypse. There's a female president, a sinister pharmaceutical company, and of course lots and lots of flesh-eating zombies!

DM: Along with novels and novellas, you also write screenplays. What form do you enjoy the most?

I have to say short stories. I really do believe that horror works best at a shorter length, and I love being able to develop an idea and a character in one quick burst.

DM: You've won how many Bram Stoker awards? Two, three--six?! How does it feel to be so lauded?

It's...ummm...actually six. Of course it's deeply gratifying to be so recognized by your peers, and to know that they've chosen your work to represent the best of the horror genre. That latter part makes me acutely aware of a certain duty I now carry, though, and sits quietly in the back of my head constantly urging me to produce the best new work I possibly can.

DM: What is it like working with JournalStone and Evil Jester Press?

I'm absolutely delighted to be with both companies, and I can truthfully say that both are publishers I chose to work with on the basis of the quality of the books they publish and the support they provide their authors. I couldn't be happier with the end product in the cases of NETHERWORLD (JournalStone) and MALEDICTION (the novel I published with Evil Jester last October).

DM: Do you have any advice you can offer new writers?

Persevere. If you're serious about a writing career, it won't happen quickly ("careers" - as compared to "jobs" - seldom do!). Be prepared to put years into it before you begin to sell regularly and develop a readership. And I'm going to offer an extra tip here that's aimed especially at women writers: Be confident, be bold, and don't be afraid to mix it up with your male colleagues; your road's going to be a little harder to travel, and you'll need to be a little tougher to make it.