Tuesday, October 30, 2018

GUEST POST : GROWING UP ON HORROR by LISA LEPOVETSKY

Today we are joined by Author Lisa Lepovetsky.  Lisa recently had her story, MASKS featured in the Halloween anthology DOORBELLS AT DUSK from Corpus Press.  You can read my review of the book HERE.


So please welcome Lisa Lepovetsky as she shares with us her thoughts
on why she writes horror and how it ties into her story.

Growing Up on HORROR 

By Lisa Lepovetsky, Author Contributor to Doorbells at Dusk Anthology 
  
When did I first become interested in horror? It seems as if I’ve always had a propensity for all things that “go bump in the night.” Maybe it started with something as seemingly innocent as Aunt Marian reading  Beatrix Potter’s Roly-Poly Pudding, with the rats tying to make a meal out of  little Tom kitten. Or maybe it was Howard Garis’ Uncle Wiggly, trying forever to escape the clutches of the Skeezicks, who constantly bothered him. I remember being vaguely terrified by these stories as a little girl, but not knowing quite why. 

 Until I was four or so, my family lived in Atlanta, but all my parents’ relatives were in Pennsylvania. So, a couple of times a year, we would make the long trek north for holidays, vacations, and funerals. My father would read to my mother for hours as she drove, and usually read classics of some kind. He read Mark Twain’s books and Treasure Island, but also Les Miserables and On the Track of Unknown Animals about creatures like the yeti and the Loch Ness monster.  

And he read horror stories—Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Summer People” and “Afterward” by Edith Wharton and, of course, “The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier, along with the frightening stories of Ray Bradbury and M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. And, though I didn’t always understand the message of these stories, I was tantalized by their shuddery sense of mystery and fear. Also, I learned that men weren’t the only ones writing horror—women could write tales of terror, too. And sometimes better. I began telling myself that maybe one day I could do that, too. 

My mother was a writer, mostly of confessions, and she encouraged me to try my hand at writing. My first literary attempt, in fifth grade, was a story based on a dream my older brother had had, called “The Red Lady” about a scary woman who floated down the staircase in our century-old house, calling out to us to come with her. The dream was certainly scary, though I suspect my story didn’t quite do it justice.  

But I was hooked. Every story I wrote for my classes was a mystery or ghost story, or both. I entertained my friends and family with wild, dark tales about spirits and monsters and death, either natural or un-. Of course, my favorite holiday was Halloween. Every October, I would help friends put up scary decorations, and then when it was dark, I’d shine a flashlight under my chin and tell some creepy story I’d read or made up. One of my favorites was “The October Game,” a Ray Bradbury story about a Halloween party that goes terribly wrong. This story allows the reader to imagine what’s going on, rather than the author shoving her or his face into it. 

I loved horror movies as well, though I’ve always preferred to be really frightened to being grossed-out with blood and guts. One of my favorite scary movies is the original William Castle version of “The Haunting of Hill House,” based on the superb novel by Shirley Jackson. Nary a monster or drop of blood show up in this film, but it scared me to death, and still has the power to make my skin crawl. 
  
I believe in the adage that the reader is far more capable of terrifying himself than I am. This predilection for quiet, internal rather than external horror has ruled my fright-writing. Some of my poetry is actually more descriptive than most of my fiction, but either way, I tend to avoid graphic depictions of violence. For instance, my story in Doorbells at Dusk is just such a story, more concerned with the inner lives of the characters and the anticipation of horror than showing the inevitable bloodletting at the end. 

LISA LEPOVETSKY has published fiction and poetry widely in the small press, professional publications and anthologies. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Cemetery Dance and many other magazines, and such anthologies as Dark Destiny, Blood Muse, and HORRORS!, among others. She earned her MFA from Penn State, and her most recent book is VOICES FROM EMPTY ROOMS, a collection of dark poetry.

You can purchase DOORBELLS AT DUSK now on AMAZON

To learn more about CORPUS PRESS and all their other great books, you can visit their website HERE.

3 comments:

  1. Such a writer Lisa is, always shall be! Her stories and poetry never fail to make me shiver in delightful fear!

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  2. Add to this, I miss her so much.

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  3. I loved this--as I loved Lisa. Gosh, I hear her voice with every beautiful turn of a phrase. Miss you, my friend,

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