About the Author
Horror Novels and Collections
Historical Fiction and Educational Writings
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Elizabeth Jane Spilman Massie was born and raised in Waynesboro, Virginia, a town in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Tended by a newspaperman/journalist father and watercolorist mother, she and her two sisters and one brother grew up surrounded by words, paintings, pets, open-minded attitudes, and wild senses of humor. As a child and young teen, Elizabeth dreamed of owning a horse, being a famous actress, being a famous writer, getting spanked by the Beatles, marrying Peter Tork or Robert Redford, and turning into Penny Robinson so she could fall through a mirror and meet a cute guy. She was a dreadful student; she rarely paid attention in class and frequently got bad marks on her report card for not "working to her potential." Little did the teachers know that the daydreaming, the goofy drawings, and the angst-ridden stories she was doing in class instead of the assigned science/social studies/math, would some day have some relevance. During the summers she worked as a counselor and lifeguard at Girl Scout, YMCA, and horseback riding camps. She enjoyed spending time with kids (most of them, anyway).taking them on scavenger hunts, helping them with their swimming in the goose-greased lakes, and haunting them late at night with tales of "Morgan" who lived in the rickety, tree- and vine-ridden house at the bottom of the dam, and with forced runs across that very dam at midnight. ("Move those legs, kids.Morgan's crawlin' up the side! Can't you smell him? Can't you HEAR him?")

A Waynesboro High School graduate of 1971, she attended Ferrum Junior College and Madison College (now James Madison University) and earned a degree in elementary education. She taught in public schools in Augusta County, Virginia from 1975-1994. During those years she married Roger Massie, had two children (Erin, born in 1976 and Brian, born in 1979) and sold many of her wacky pen and ink/watercolor pictures at art shows around the state.

This was also the time she began writing in earnest. Her first horror short story, "Whittler," was published in The Horror Show in the winter 1984 edition, along with the first published story by good friend and horror author, Brian Hodge. Many other story sales followed, in mags such as Deathrealm, Grue, Footsteps, Gauntlet, Iniquities, The Blood Review, After Hours, The Tome, and many more, as well as anthologies such as Borderlands, Borderlands III, Best New Horror 2, Dead End: City Limits, Women of Darkness, Best New Fantasy and Horror 4, Hottest Blood, New Masterpieces of Horror, Revelations, and many others. Beth's novella, Stephen (Borderlands) was awarded the Bram Stoker Award and was a World Fantasy award finalist.

Elizabeth added horror novels to her repertoire in the early 1990s, and has since published the Bram Stoker-winning Sineater, Welcome Back to the Night, Wire Mesh Mothers, Dark Shadows: Dreams of the Dark (co-authored with Stephen Mark Rainey), Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Power of Persuasion, Twisted Branch (as Chris Blaine), and Homeplace. She has also had four story collections published: Southern Discomfort, Shadow Dreams, the extensive The Fear Report, and A Little Magenta Book of Mean Stories. Her bizarre poetry is included in the early 2004 anthology Devil's Wine, along with poems by Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, and more. Her most recent horror novel is DD Murphry, Secret Policeman (co-authored with Alan M. Clark.) She’s also written novelizations for Showtime’s original television series, The Tudors. Her first comic book, Julie Walker is The Phantom in Race Against Death! was released in Jan. 2010. In 2010, several of her books were released as e-books from Crossroad Press and Necon E-Books — Sineater and The Fear Report. Several other books are slated to be out as e-books in late 2010 — her horror novel Welcome Back to the Night and a brand new mainstream novel, Homegrown. Beth has become a regular contributor of ghost stories to Woodland Press’s series of anthologies set in Appalachia, including Legends of the Mountain State 3, Legends of the Mountain State 4, Specters in Coal Dust, Appalachian Winter Hauntings, and the upcoming as-yet-untitled anthology based in Appalachian superstitions. She is currently working on a new novel and several new short stories.  

In the mid-1990s, Beth was divorced. She also branched out with her fiction and began to write historical novels for young adults and middle grade readers. She has said, "There is a great deal of horror in history, so moving from one to the other wasn't that big a step for my creative thought processes. I love the idea of putting my mind back in time to experience what people years ago might have experienced. And damn, but some of that stuff was creepy!" Her works include the Young Founders series, the Daughters of Liberty trilogy, and The Great Chicago Fire: 1871.

On the side, Elizabeth also writes supplementary materials for educational publishers (both fiction and nonfiction) and continues to wield her inky pen and watercolors to create the characters of Skeeryvilletown. In her free time, she likes hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, digging through antique stores, traveling roads on which she’s never traveled. She is also an active member of Amnesty International, the human rights organization to which she’s belonged since 1985.

In January 2011 Beth launched and continues to manage Hand to Hand Vision — Fundraising and Sharing With Others. This project, based on Facebook, auctions off quality hand-made items and then gives the money directly to those who could use some help during these tough economic times. In the same year she started and maintains Circle of Caring — Standing Up and Speaking Out Against Bullying, also on Facebook. This ongoing project brings attention to the problem of bullying by sharing information and encouraging people to be active in standing up and speaking out against it. Members receive free Circle of Caring bracelets that represent their willingness to come to the aid of those who are bullied.

Elizabeth still lives in the country in the Shenandoah Valley (a mere four miles from where she was born and next door to her best friend and sister, Barbara Spilman Lawson) with the very diversely talented illustrator Cortney Skinner. She regularly attends Necon in Rhode Island in July, and as of 2012 has been honored with the title "Necon Legend." Hey, ya hang around long enough, right? :) She knits very long scarves because that's all she can knit, and she continues to work on horror novels and short fiction, and educational books and poetry for kids. Her zombie novel, Desper Hollow, will be released in late 2012 from Apex Books and her historical horror novel, Hell Gate, will be released in 2013 from DarkFuse (Delirium Books Publishing.) She is also currently working on her first book-length work of non-fiction which has nothing to do with horror and is way different from her other books. So stay tooned, yuh-all!