When I read in the Market Report of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (the professional writers’ organization I belong to) that a new volume in the Full Spectrum series of anthologies published by Bantam was open to submissions and the eminent editor, Jennifer Hershey (who now pretty much runs Random House), was spearheading the project, I sat down at once to write a story I’d long wanted to write. I hadn’t done so yet because I didn’t know where I could publish it. The story was not genre science fiction or fantasy and not strictly mainstream because it was historical and had some speculative elements.

Lest that last sentence sound like gobble-dee-gook, I assure you that fitting a work into a niche was important back then and is all the more imperative these days.

I know, I know. A writer shouldn’t have to think about this stuff, but simply write whatever she is drawn to. You may certainly write whatever you want to if you wish, but—as they say—it won’t sell.

My story was inspired by the Surrealist art of women. We all know about the guys—Max Ernst and his set—but the gals are not as well-known and approach the Surrealist imagery from a totally different perspective. A woman’s perspective.

The art of Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington, while unique to each artist, shares a detailed vision of the fabulous and the fable-like, with images of women as powerful, confident, magical creators. Not the queens and slave girls, sex objects and rape victims, madonnas and mothers of classical art. Both artists were superb craftswomen as well, whose fathers had been engineers and taught their daughters how to draw perspective. Nice dads, huh?

So I had my story and, thanks to the sophisticated Ms. Hershey, I had the perfect place to publish it!

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria is exclusively free on Kindle till March 1, 2013! At that time, the story will be back on Barnes and Noble, so Nook owners, please look for it then.

The year is 1941, and Hitler’s armies have swept across Europe. Nora, a budding young Surrealist artist, has fled to Mexico with B.B., a much older and acclaimed Surrealist playwright down on his luck. Hundreds of European artists and writers have formed a colony in Mexico City, and Nora befriends Valencia, a fellow Surrealist artist and refugee. Together the friends explore Jungian psychology and the power of symbols in their Art.

But Nora is plagued by an abusive relationship with B.B. She embarks on a harrowing journey deep into her own troubled psyche.

Inspired by the lives and friendship of the brilliant visionary Surrealist artists Remedios Varo and Leonora Carrington.

A List of Sources where you can see the art follows the novella.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria was published in Full Spectrum 5 (Bantam). Full Spectrum 5 also included stories by Michael Bishop, Karen Joy Fowler, Jonathan Lethem, and Neal Stephenson.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook and Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook and Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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Coming soon! Celestial Girl: A Lily Modeska Mystery. Romantic suspense!