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Thomas Harris Wins Lifetime Horror Award

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Fava beans, Chianti, and liver aren't on the menu, but the writer who suggested that horrific meal is being honored at a special dinner.

Thomas Harris, who created iconic serial killer Hannibal Lecter, has been awarded the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Harris is credited with popularizing the serial killer genre with his novel "The Silence of the Lambs," and also scored major successes with his psychological horror novels "Red Dragon" and "Hannibal." Stephen King called the series "one very long and scary ride through the haunted palace of abnormal psychiatry."

A former crime reporter, Harris began writing fiction in the 1960s and was a journalist for the Associated Press in New York from 1968 to 1974. His first novel, the prescient "Black Sunday," was published in 1975 and features terrorists attempting a mass attack at the Super Bowl. His first four books were adapted into blockbuster motion pictures. Harris’s latest novel featuring Lecter, "Hannibal Rising," was published in December 2006, with the film version scheduled for February release.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious of the Bram Stoker Awards, given by the HWA in acknowledgment of superior achievement not just in a single work but over an entire career. Past Lifetime Achievement Award winners include such noted authors as Stephen King, Anne Rice, Joyce Carole Oates, Ray Bradbury, and Peter Straub. Winners must have exhibited a profound, positive impact on the fields of horror and dark fantasy, and be at least sixty years of age or have been published for a minimum of thirty-five years.

"The Silence of the Lambs" won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel in 1988 and "Hannibal" was a 1999 finalist. His newest novel has been recommended for this year’s award.

The HWA Annual Conference and Bram Stoker Awards banquet will be held on March 31 in conjunction with the 2007 World Horror Convention. The convention runs from March 29 through Apr. 1 in Toronto, Canada.

The Horror Writers Association is a worldwide organization promoting dark literature and its creators. Started in 1985, it has over 500 members who are writing professionally in fiction, nonfiction, videogames, films, comics, and other media.

To learn more about Harris, visit his official Web site at www.thomasharris.com.

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Note: Both the conference and the banquet are open to the public. Members of the press wishing to attend the awards ceremony should contact Steve Wedel, HWA publicity chairman, at steve@stevenewedel.com.

More information on the Horror Writers Association is at www.horror.org. More information on the World Horror Convention is available at www.whc2007.org.

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