(under the pseudonym Chris Blaine), Homeplace, Naked On the Edge, Afraid, Sundown, The Fear Report, The Tudors: King Takes Queen, The Tudors: Thy Will Be Done, Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark (co-authored with Mark Rainey), Homegrown, Night Benedictions, Versailles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Power of Persuasion, the Ameri-Scares series of spooky novels for middle grade readers, the Young Founders series of historical novels for young adults, the Silver Slut superhero adventure series, and more. Massie spends her spare time knitting, geocaching, and staring mindlessly into space. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her husband, illustrator and theremin-player Cortney Skinner.
When did you decide to start writing stories?
I’ve always written stories. Even before I could actually put pencil to paper, I was making up stories to entertain myself and my family. Not sure how entertained they were, but I kept on keeping on! They were my captive audience. However, it wasn’t until 1983 that I actually submitted and sold my first story, a horror short called “Whittler,” which was published by Dave Silva in his wonderful magazine The Horror Show. I’ve been writing ever since, and full time for the last 23 years.
Why horror and suspense versus the other genres?
For the first ten or so years, I wrote horror almost exclusively. I loved and still love the depth of emotion that can be obtained in a really well done horror story. In such stories, characters’ facades are stripped away and they have to face things as they really are and with whatever strength – if any – they have. That can make for not only thrilling storytelling but heartfelt storytelling, as well. However, I don’t just write horror. I’ve had historical fiction novels published as well as some mainstream fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and media tie-ins. It’s all fun.
Who is your favorite character in It, Watching and why?
Since It, Watching is a collection of short fiction rather than a novel, that’s a challenging question. I have a number of favorites. Three that first spring to mind are Darla and Gina (of “Darla and Gina Try to Keep Out of Debt”) for their creepy yet goofily charming sense of industry as well as Tracey in “The Replacement” for her stoic attempts to endure a heartbreaking situation.
What are your plans for the next writing project?
I’m aiming toward a November deadline for my next novel, The House at Wyndham Strand, which will be published by Crossroad Press. I’m also working on short story and a novella for anthologies to which I was invited to contribute. I can’t share their names yet but will soon.
What question do you wish I had asked you and what is the answer to that question?
– As someone from western Virginia, how does your homeland play into your writing?
Much of my fiction is based in Virginia. It’s not so much the old saying, “write what you know,” but rather because where I live – in the Shenandoah Valley in the shadows of both the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains – there is so much around me and near me to inspire me. There are dark caves and hollows, deep rivers and countless streams, strange and sometimes terrifying people, interesting or bizarre traditions. Not saying everything is scary, not by a long shot. There is a lot of beauty and a lot of wonderful people. But there is also a great deal to mine and twist and mold into tales that can make your hair stand on end. As well as make you laugh. And sometimes, both.
Dogs or Cats?
Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to answer my questions. It's been a pleasure getting a peek into your world.
You can also follow Elizabeth on Twitter.
Turn, and you see nothing. But it is surely there. Watching…
Enter a dark, terrifying world where it’s best to watch where you’re going, to keep a sharp look out, to be very careful. A world where a cheap, traveling circus keeps its darkest secret in the rear of a trailer. Where garden gnomes and ventriloquist dummies plan revenge. Where ignorance is hardly bliss. Where a visit to Grandmother’s house takes a horrifying turn. Where a doctor plays with the sanity of his underling. Where toothed creatures live and follow in the shadows. Where kids who ignore their mamas find trouble in an old oak tree. Where curiosity kills more than the cat.
It, Watching is Bram Stoker Award-winning author Elizabeth Massie’s long-awaited seventh collection of horror short stories. It offers tales of dread, suspense, terror, mystery, and an occasional touch of humor. The stories span Massie’s thirty-three year writing career, with goodies her readers may have missed as well as some brand new tales.
Cover art by Cortney Skinner
“Elizabeth Massie is personally one of my favorite authors. Her writing is true, heartfelt, and wildly original. She is one of the greats.” – Bentley Little, author of The Haunted, The Collection, and The Consultant
“Elizabeth Massie is a force to be reckoned with. She’s an accomplished writer who never fails to engage the heart and mind.” – Jack Ketchum, author of The Girl Next Door, The Secret Life of Souls, and The Lost
“Elizabeth Massie seduces you with her smooth prose and rich characterization and leaves you gasping when it all comes together.” – F. Paul Wilson, author of The Keep, Fear City, and Panacea
Included in It, Watching:
Darla and Gina Try to Keep Out of Debt
Don’t Look at Me
18P37-C, After Andrea Was Arrested
The Darkton Circus Mystery
My Treat (poem)
Sarah, In the Attic
I Have a Little Shadow