Lisa Morton

Author, Screenwriter, Halloween Expert…what's next?

Photo by Seth Ryan

Photo by Seth Ryan

SHORT BIO:

Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, Bram Stoker 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.”  She has published four novels, 150 short stories, and three books on the history of Halloween. Her recent releases include Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction from Groundbreaking Female Writers 1852-1923 (co-edited with Leslie S. Klinger) and Calling the Spirits: A History of Seances; her latest short stories appeared in Best American Mystery Stories 2020, Final Cuts: New Tales of Hollywood Horror and Other Spectacles, and In League with Sherlock Holmes. Forthcoming in 2021 is the collection Night Terrors & Other Tales. Lisa lives in Los Angeles and online at www.lisamorton.com.

LONG VERSION:

Lisa Morton is a screenwriter, author of non-fiction books, award-winning prose writer, and Halloween expert. Her work was described by the American Library Association’s Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror as “consistently dark, unsettling, and frightening”, and Famous Monsters called her “one of the best writers in dark fiction today”.

A rare Southern California native, Lisa’s career as a professional writer began in 1988 with the horror-fantasy feature film Meet the Hollowheads (aka Life On the Edge), on which she also served as Associate Producer. For the Disney Channel’s 1992 Adventures in Dinosaur City, she served as screenwriter, Associate Producer, Songwriter, and Miniatures Coordinator. Other screenplay credits include the feature films Tornado Warning, Blood Angels, Blue Demon, and The Glass Trap; in addition, she wrote numerous episodes of the children’s television series Sky Dancers, Dragon Flyz, Vanpires, and Toontown Kids. For stage she has written and co-produced the acclaimed horror one-acts Spirits of the Season, Sane Reaction, and The Territorial Imperative, and has adapted and directed Philip K. Dick’s Radio Free Albemuth and Theodore Sturgeon’s The Graveyard Reader. Her full-length science fiction comedy Trashers was an L.A. Weekly “Recommended” pick.

She has written more than 150 short stories, including the Bram Stoker Award-winning “Tested” (from Cemetery Dance magazine) and “What Ever Happened to Lorna Winters?”, chosen for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories 2020. In early 2010 her first novel The Castle of Los Angeles was published to critical acclaim, and was awarded the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel; in 2020, the book was optioned for film/television development. Her novellas include The Lucid Dreaming, The Samhanach, Hell Manor, Smog, Summer’s End, and By Insanity of Reason (co-authored with John R. Little). She also wrote the novels Malediction (nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel), Netherworld, and Zombie Apocalypse: Washington Deceased. Her works have been translated into eight languages.

Lisa’s work as an editor includes the anthology Midnight Walk, winner of the Black Quill Award and nominated for the Bram Stoker Award; Haunted Nights (co-edited with Ellen Datlow), which received a starred and boxed review in Publishers Weekly; Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense, co-edited with Leslie Klinger, which Publishers Weekly called (in another starred review) “a work of art”; and Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers 1852-1923, also co-edited with Leslie Klinger, which received starred reviews in Library Journal and Booklist.

As a Halloween expert, Lisa wrote the definitive reference book The Halloween Encyclopedia (now in a second edition), and the multiple award-winning Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween. She has spoken about the holiday in The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe, on the BBC and The History Channel, on the supplements for the Blu Ray release of the feature film Trick ‘R Treat, and at the Utah Humanities Book Festival. She supplied a section on Halloween candy for The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, wrote the Halloween chapter for The Art of Horror, and served as Consultant on U.S. Postal’s official 2016 and 2019 Halloween stamps.

Her other non-fiction books include The Cinema of Tsui Hark (the first comprehensive study of the influential Hong Kong filmmaker), the award-winning Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times (co-authored with Rocky Wood, illustrated by Greg Chapman), Ghosts: A Haunted History (which bestselling author Jonathan Maberry called “brilliant, insightful, and scary as hell”), and Calling the Spirits: A History of Seances (“an impressive piece of research . . . a must-read for anyone fascinated with Spiritualism,” according to Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger, The Deep, and Red Widow).

Lisa has also been a guest on dozens of podcasts and radio shows, including Coast to Coast, Midnight in the Desert, Bloody Disgusting’s The Boo Crew, and The Midnight Society. She also provides weekly “Ghost Reports” for the popular podcast Ghost Magnet With Bridget Marquardt. She has also been a Guest of Honor or speaker at WonderCon, The Utah Humanities Festival, the London Fortean Society, and many more.

She is a former President of the Horror Writers Association, and is also an Active member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.

Lisa lives in North Hills, California, and can be found online at http://www.lisamorton.com .


For Lisa’s complete bibliography (PDF), click here.

 For a gallery of photos of Lisa, click here.

See Lisa’s listing at the Bram Stoker Awards website.

Find Lisa on the Internet Movie Database