The Cemetery Dance Interview: The Homegrown Horror of Elizabeth Massie

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Elizabeth Massie
Elizabeth Massie

Elizabeth Massie is a modern master of horror, thrillers, and all things spooky, not to mention just about every other genre known to mankind. With her new collection of short stories, Madame Cruller’s Couch and Other Dark and Bizarre Tales, she reminds fans how a forty-year career is still improving. Yes, she’s won a pair of Stoker Awards, one for Best First Novel (Sineater) and Novella (Stephen), but she’s always gone beyond the expected, spinning her tales with a homegrown voice. She’s an eighth-generation Virginian and has incorporated an Appalachian flavor to many of her stories. While many of her tales hail from the Shenandoah region, she is familiar with many an era and local folklore. Novels such as Hell Gate and her Young Founders series, not to mention her new historical The Great Chicago Fire display her love for the the past.

Yet it is her success of the Ameri-Scares series, which focuses on folklore horror from a different state in every book, that shows the breadth of her love for dark tales for all ages. Optioned by Warner Bros, the series embraced fascinating stories while educating young readers.
When she was a little kid in Waynesboro, she wanted to be either a writer, actress, or horse when she grew up. The last two didn’t pan out (although she did perform in a variety of local theater shows back in the day and she could cut loose with a fine whinny), but the first finally came true. She juggled teaching middle school life science during the day and typing (no computers for her until the mid-1990s) books and stories at night for nine years before taking the scary plunge into full time writing.
Now Beth juggles writing and life with her wonderful husband, illustrator Cortney Skinner (she tried juggling him, too, but…), in their country home in Augusta County. She’s had more than 30 novels and collections published as well as countless short stories in anthologies and magazines and is constantly bombarded by ideas for new tales. She and Cortney like to place and find geocaches, spend time at Starbucks, and drive around, seeking roads they’ve never traveled before. Beth is fascinated by abandoned amusement parks, hospitals, and houses and always keeps an eye out.

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Review: Madame Cruller’s Couch by Elizabeth Massie

cover of Madame Cruller's CouchMadame Cruller’s Couch and Other Dark and Bizarre Tales by Elizabeth Massie
Crossroad Press (August 2021)
290 pages; hardcover $31.99; paperback $18.99; e-book $4.99
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Elizabeth Massie is an American literary treasure. Yes, she’s won the Bram Stoker Award twice but she’s far more than a horror icon. Ameri-Scares, her middle-grade series that tackles dark legends in every state, was optioned by Warner Horizon. Then there’s the mysteries, psychological suspense, historical fiction, and simply great weird stories.
In this new collection, readers will be treated to a wide swath of masterful stories, from the horrific to the oddly weird and everything in between.

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Review: It, Watching by Elizabeth Massie

It, Watching by Elizabeth Massie
CreateSpace (June 2017)
220 pages; $13.95 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

In her first collection in several years, Elizabeth Massie returns with a thrilling collection of short stories. The Bram Stoker-winning author has put together eighteen tales, several of which are new to readers, and there’s not a clunker in the bunch.Continue Reading

The Women I Have Known

The Women I Have Known
by Mary SanGiovanni

As a horror writer coming up in the first decade of the new millennium, I’ve had the opportunity to see the dual perspectives of women’s place in the horror genre, the former reflecting where we used to be, and the latter reflecting how much progress we’ve made. Continue Reading