HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS

By Lisa Black Late November and December are the nation's busiest travel periods. Here are some life hacks to smooth your journey: Dress for comfort. You’ll be seated for hours, so that means soft shirts and stretchy pants—yoga pants and leggings or your nicest set of workout clothes. But you want...

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WE HAVE (ALMOST) ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE

By Lisa Black If you travel to Austria or Hungary, you’re likely to hear a lot about the vivacious “Sissi.” The beloved local celebrity embodies enough glamour and drama to fill a season of reality shows…even if she died 124 years ago. Imagine you’re a 15-year-old girl, Elizabeth, nicknamed Sissi,...

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MAD (WO)MAN? GETTING YOUR BOOK TRAILER ON TV

by Lisa Black I created a television commercial for my current release, Red Flags, and aired it on local channels twenty times in five days. The cost to me? A whopping—and deductible—$289. I should add that I know nothing about film composition, video technology, or advertising. We’ve all become...

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THE QUICKSAND EPISODE

by Lisa Black Young people today must have no idea why children of the 1970s had an irrational fear of quicksand—the colloidal of saturated loose sand by which one would die slowly and inexorably without hope of rescue. Even though it is impossible for a human to actually drown in quicksand, any...

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THE WEIRDEST BOOK EVER PUBLISHED

By Lisa Black Twenty-one years ago when I first picked up Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves from the library on my way to work, I couldn’t resist taking a peek at it after the office had emptied. By the end of the introduction I found myself reading aloud, delighting in the mesmerizing, lyrical...

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MURDER AMONG THE RICH AND FAMOUS

By Lisa Black This week I saw House of Gucci—really liked it—and started to wonder: What fascinates us about rich people killing each other? Sure, every society is subject to celebrity worship, but why does that interest increase exponentially when the story involves murder? I have several...

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THE BEST SCARY MOVIES EVER

by Lisa Black I love scary movies. I mean love. If you look at my streaming watchlist, it’s 90% horror movies and 10% British crime dramas. And I’m picky—if it doesn’t give me nightmares, it’s not scary enough (only 3 have ever given me nightmares)—and I’ve never found one scary...

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A VERY PRETTY PRISON

Lisa Black in front of the Ohio State Reformatory at Mansfield Don’t worry if you recognize the imposing stone structure—it doesn’t mean you have a criminal record. The Ohio State Reformatory at Mansfield was used in several movies but particularly featured in The Shawshank Redemption. The...

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