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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Friday, February 8, 2019

Women in Horror Month #4: Elizabeth Massie, Stoker Award-Winning Author of IT, WATCHING

Welcome back everyone.  I'm absolutely over the moon about today's guest, who wrote one of my all-time favorite zombie shorts, "Abed."  Rather than listen to me prattle on, let's meet Elizabeth Massie and then jump right into the interview.

About Elizabeth Massie:

Elizabeth Massie is a two-time Bram Stoker Award-winning and Scribe Award-winning author of novels, short fiction, media-tie ins, poetry, and nonfiction. Her horror novels and short story collections for adults include SINEATER, HELL GATE, DESPER HOLLOW, WIRE MESH MOTHERS, WELCOME BACK TO THE NIGHT, TWISTED BRANCH (under the pseudonym Chris Blaine), HOMEPLACE, NAKED ON THE EDGE, AFRAID, THE FEAR REPORT, DARK SHADOWS: DREAMS OF THE DARK (co-authored with Stephen Mark Rainey), BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: POWER OF PERSUASIONIT, WATCHING, and more. She is also the creator of the AMERI-SCARES series of spooky novels for middle grade readers. She is currently at work on a new historical horror novel, THE HOUSE AT WYNDHAM STRAND, a new AMERI-SCARES novel, and other odds and ends. Massie is a ninth generation Virginian who lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her husband, talented illustrator and theramin-player Cortney Skinner. Until her new website launches, she can be reached through Facebook, Twitter, Crossroad Press, Amazon, or through e-mail.


SK: How are you involved in the world of horror?

EM:  I began writing horror – or at least spooky stories – when I was a child. My first professional sale of a very short story (“Whittler”) was in 1983, to an excellent magazine called "The Horror Show," edited and published by the late, great David Silva. Since then, I’ve had countless short stories published in various magazines and anthologies, and have had fifteen horror/supernatural suspense novels and seven collections of horror shorts published. So short answer: I’m a writer.

SK: Who or what terrifies you?

EM:  While I can get major chills from supernatural stories that I read, in real life I’m most frightened by things people do to one another. A person or a government or a religion or a society having total, ultimate control over an individual is terrifying. Also, I’m very claustrophobic….shit, don’t try to put me in that damned thing that rides to the top of the St. Louis arch!

SK:  Are there unique challenges to being a woman in horror or do you feel like gender is irrelevant?

EM:  I can’t think of a time when being a woman has hampered my ability to stand tall and work squarely in the horror world. Maybe I’m just lucky? I have written edgy/gritty horror and have written more subtle horror. Neither approach should be considered “male” or “female.” I enjoy writing both – it just depends on what the story requires of me. However, I do know that some of my female horror writer friends have found themselves slighted without any justification other than their gender. They were victims of the idea that women either shouldn’t bother writing horror or can’t write effective, hard-edged horror. It’s changing though. Slowly. These things are generational mindsets that time can, and hopefully will, flip. 

SK: Who are your favorite female horror icons?

EM:  There are so many… Here are a few that always produced or continue to produce kickass works: Lisa Mannetti, Joan Aiken, Shirley Jackson, Nancy Kilpatrick, Lisa Morton, Paula Ashe, and Lucy Snyder. There are quite a few more.

SK: What are you working on/promoting currently? Why should folks check it out?

EM:  I’m currently finishing up my seventh book of the 
AMERI-SCARES series (scary novels for middle grade readers) which should be out later this year from Crossroad Press. The title is TENNESSEE: WINTER WITCH. I’m also working on a new horror novel for adults, THE HOUSE AT WYNDHAM STRAND and editing a novella, EATING CANCER.  As to what I’m promoting at this time, that would be my novels HELL GATE and DESPER HOLLOW, my insane-rude-and-hilarious trilogy of not-for-kids picture books (DAMN YOU, DEMON, YOU GONNA DIE, FLY, and SUCK IT UP, SLUG), my newest collection IT, WATCHING, and my AMERI-SCARES series (those who have young readers in their lives should check these books out…they are geared for kids 8-13 who love spooky stories.) My website is down as I create a new, better one. But I can be easily found on AmazonFacebook, or the Crossroad Press website.


Turn, and you see nothing.
But it is surely there.

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.

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