Blurring The Line is the new anthology of horror fiction and non-fiction, edited by award-winning editor Marty Young, published by Cohesion Press. You can get your copy here or anywhere you normally buy books (the print edition is coming any day now).
To help people learn a bit more about it, I’ve arranged for each fiction contributor to answer the same five questions, and I’ll be running these mini interviews every weekday now that the book is available. (And yes, I have a story in it, so I’ll be interviewing myself too!)
Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, award-winning prose writer, and Halloween expert whose work was described by the American Library Association’s Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror as “consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening”. Her most recent releases include Ghosts: A Haunted History and the short story collection Cemetery Dance Select: Lisa Morton. She currently serves as President of the Horror Writers Association, and can be found online at http://www.lisamorton.com .
1. What was the inspiration/motivation behind your story in Blurring The Line?
I work in a used bookstore (the Iliad Bookshop in North Hollywood, California) and some time ago we acquired a remarkably strange volume: a nineteenth-century home-made scrapbook called SWEET DEATH. The owner, whoever s/he was, had pasted hundreds of newspaper clippings into the pages of an old math textbook; the clippings ran the gamut from ghost stories to true crime tales to just oddball bits. I was really knocked out by a story that fell into the latter category, about two teenage girls who tried to escape their abusive families by dressing as men and fleeing on the train. The story was horrifying and melancholy and strange all at once, and I had to write about it.
2. What does horror mean to you?
Any work of art in which the primary intent is to horrify or disturb. My personal favorites are those works that you find yourself still thinking about days later, maybe with a little mental shiver.
3. What’s a horror short story that you think everyone should read?
Anything by Dennis Etchison. He’s the world’s most under-recognized horror author. There are stories by him I’m still thinking about thirty years after first reading them. It’s just criminal that he’s not much recognized outside of a small circle of horror readers.
4. What horror novel should everyone read?
Bram Stoker’s DRACULA. It’s the great grand-daddy of all modern horror novels, and it’s still a damned fine read.
5. Name something that you think just might be real, or might not…
Ghosts. Having just finished writing a big nonfiction history of them, I’m still not convinced that we’re haunted by spirits of the dead, but it would be downright silly to deny that SOMETHING’s going on. I tend to think the answer might be neurological – that certain people are wired to take stimuli, like ultralow frequency sound waves, and convert that into hallucinations of humanoid figures. Or it could be something completely different…
Previous posts in the Blurring The Line interview series: