Elizabeth Massie, a ninth generation Virginian, has been writing professionally since 1984. Many of her works are in the horror/suspense genre (Sineater, Hell Gate, Desper Hollow, Wire Mesh Mothers, Homeplace, Afraid, It, Watching, and more), but she also writes mainstream fiction (Homegrown), media tie-ins (The Tudors, Versailles, Dark Shadows), educational materials, and poetry (Night Benedictions). Her first novel, Sineater, won the Bram Stoker Award. Her Tudors novelization (Season 3) won the Scribe award. She is currently working on Ameri-Scares (Crossroad Press) a 50 novel series of spooky books for middle grade readers (age 8-12), as well as new novels and the Silver Slut series of superhero adventures (intended for adults, teens, and mature tweens.)
On the Outside Looking Up: Seeking and Following God Beyond the Gates of Organized Religion, a nonfiction memoir/exploration of religious beliefs from the point of view of an un-churched believer, was released June 2016. A clear departure from horror, On the Outside Looking Up is part spiritual memoir, part musings on issues that religions tend to tackle, and part extended hand to un-churched believers to assure them they are not the only ones. A believer for years, Massie offers up her personal spiritual journey, struggles, and understandings to help bridge gaps between the unchurched, churched, and nonbelievers.
A member of Amnesty International for more than 30 years, Massie writes numerous letters on behalf of victims of human rights abuses worldwide. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, well-known illustrator and theremin player, Cortney Skinner, and enjoys hiking, geocaching, knitting, traveling roads she’s never been on before, eating an occasional Pop Tart, and visiting amusement parks (the older, the better.) She founded and for nearly four years managed the Hand to Hand Vision project (on Facebook) that raised thousands of dollars to help others during these tough economic times. Though she has a home office, she likes to work at Starbucks a couple of days a week. There she can feel like part of the human race. And have a chai.
Please help me welcome Elizabeth Massie to Roadie Notes……..
1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I don’t know if “wrote” is the best word, since I have been making up stories for as long as I can remember, well before the time that I knew how to put pencil to paper! I do remember specifically, when I was four, telling my family a story about a squirrel who tried to eat an acorn but the acorn wasn’t having it, and it gave the squirrel a run for his money. My dad, who worked at the local newspaper, when down to his office that night after I’d gone to bed, typed up my story, found clip art of squirrels and acorns in the ad department’s big book, glued the art to the pages, and presented it to me the next morning. It was my first “book.” I was thrilled.
2. How many books have you written?
Let’s see – I’ve written thirteen horror novels/collections, five media-tie in novels, eight historical novels, one contemporary mainstream novel, ten nonfiction/educational books, and one book of poems/meditations.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
My leanings have changed over the years…. now I tend to write much less graphic violence than I have before. I like to challenge myself to create disturbing fiction without buckets of blood and goo everywhere. In fact, less can be more if done well. As to what I actually won’t write about – I won’t describe violence against children.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job etc…
I am married to my long time honey, Cortney Skinner, who is the best illustrator around as well as a kick-ass theremin player. We live in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA. I have two children from my first marriage and they are grown and out on their own. I was a seventh grade science teacher for a number of years but stopped to write full-time in 1994. It’s a crazy and sometimes scary (as in uncertain) way to make a living but I love it.
5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
That’s hard to answer. My favorite tends to be the one on which I’m currently working, which would be The House at Wyndham Strand, a YA horror novel set in the late 1800s on an island off the coast of South Carolina (USA).
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Simple answer. Life inspired and inspires me to write. So many things to explore and share, and I tend to do that through writing.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
I knit hats and really long scarves. I read. I go geocaching (a world-wide scavenger hunt using satellite coordinates and GPS devices). Whenever the opportunity arises, I travel to the beach. Nothing better than the beach.
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Not really. I might take a nap or go to Starbucks for a chai.
9. Where do you write? Quite or music?
I have a home office that looks out over a field/forest filled with deer and foxes and rabbits. It’s very nice. More often than not I write without music, though there are times when just the right instrumental collection does the trick. The instrumental music I choose tends to be of the more peaceful, moody type, in spite of the fact that a lot of my fiction is scary!
10. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I just want to keep writing and sharing things I hope have some value to the reader….and the value might be a good scare, a good laugh, or even something that moves the heart or soul. I’m lucky to be able to make a living with what I do
11. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
It’s a job that I can do in my pajamas if I want. I can set my own hours. But best of all, I get to share my imagination, my fears, hopes, views, and sometimes my innate bizarreness with others in a form that lasts longer than a simple conversation might.
12. What is coming next for you?
I have been contracted to write a novella that will be out next year, but I can’t divulge anything more about it quite yet. As I mentioned earlier, I’m writing the YA horror novel, The House at Wyndham Strand, which I hope to have completed by year’s end
You can connect with Elizabeth Massie here:
Twitter: ElizabethMassie https://twitter.com
Some of Elizabeth Massie’s books: