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Conclusion of Interview with Elizabeth Massie
This is the conclusion of my interview with Elizabeth Massie.
Thomas Edison did a dramatic turn around and spoke out against the mistreatment of any living creature. Why do you believe this was? Do you believe events could have transpired the way you wrote them in your story to bring about this dramatic change in what he believed?
I donít know why he seemed to have had a turn around in his views. Perhaps he thought he was kind to creatures and so believed he always was humane in their treatment (maybe he thought electrocution wasnít painful?). Perhaps as he got older he began to mellow and see life Ė in all its variations Ė in a new, kinder light? Itís all speculation, though. Thatís what makes writing fiction intriguing and even thought-provoking at times. When placing actual historical figures in fictional situations, an author needs to carefully consider what is known about the person and go from there.
Have you always had a desire to write? Has your talent to magically weave words into stories always been recognized by your family?
Iíve been creating stories since I could talk. While I love a lot of activities and have done many types of work during my lifetime (life guard, receptionist, house parent at a childrenís home, public school teacher), writing was always at the top of my list. My family is and was a creative bunch, supporting and recognizing each family member for his or her own unique pathways. My sister is a talented singer, actress, artist, and storyteller. My brother is also an excellent artist. My mom was a watercolorist. My dad was a journalist and poet.
How old were you when your first short story or book was published?
Letís just say my first short story was published in The Horror Show in winter, 1983. Heh.
You write historical fiction as well as horror. Which one is your favorite to write? Why?
I enjoy them both. I also enjoy writing contemporary mainstream fiction. To me, the characters make the story, and if I have an exciting or terrifying or poignant tale to tell, I love it. I especially enjoy exploring the deepest of human emotions, seeing how they compel characters to act as they do, and finding out if they can overcome their fears and weaknesses. One of my more recent novels, Homegrown, is contemporary mainstream. It's one of my two favorites of all my novels. Published as both an e-book and trade paperback by Crossroad Press, it explores the lives of three teenagers who live in a church-run children's home in the 1980's.
You have received the Bram Stoker award twice. For which books or stories were you awarded this honor?
My novella, Stephen, which was published in Borderlands (edited by Tom Monteleone), took the Stoker for long fiction. Sineater, my first novel (which is now available as an e-book and audio book from Crossroad Press), was my second Stoker.
Do you find your own books scary?
I find the situations that compel me to write certain books and stories to be scary. In particular, unchecked power, inhumanity and cruelty, ignorance, unabashed greed all lead to terrifying consequences. So itís not so much my books that scare me but the real things behind the fictional accounts that scare me.
Are you working on another book now?† If so, do you care to tell us a little about it?
I am currently working on a novel entitled Desper Hollow. It is a zombie novel set in the Appalachian Mountains, and has some different twists and turns from the traditional zombie tale. It will be out from Apex books next year. Also, I have a new collection, Sundown, coming out soon from Necon E-Books. It has 13 horror tales and 2 poems, one of which is brand new for the collection.
Do you have time set aside each day to write? Or do you write only when you are inspired?
Iíve been a full time writer since 1994, so I spend quite a few hours each day writing. Deadlines are shorter than they used to be, so I often find myself at the computer up to 10 hours a day. I canít wait Ďtil Iím inspired; I have to keep on plugging. Happily, the inspiration will often fall in line once Iím working. Waiting to get inspired, unless you are independently wealthy and arenít trying to pay your bills with your stories and books, is something most working writers canít afford to do.
Is there any advice you would like to give writers who are still working towards getting published?
Read a great deal. Write what you want to read. Attend writersí conventions to meet others in the biz. Get and read the most current copy of Writerís Market.
Thank you, Elizabeth Massie, for such a wonderful interview.
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