On July 24, the news exploded that Elizabeth Massie's young adult horror anthology series, Ameri-Scares, will soon come to television screens across the states in which these stories find their settings. Margot Robbie and her production company, LuckyChap Entertainment, alongside Assemble Media and Warner Horizon, will adapt the book series for either a streaming service or traditional television.
I am excited and beyond honored to have had the chance to speak briefly with Elizabeth about her book series, Ameri-Scares, and the recent deal.
Elizabeth Massie is a two-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author of horror novels and short fiction. Her fiction has appeared in Best New Fantasy and Horror, Best New Horror, Splatterpunks, Inhuman Magazine, Grue, Hottest Blood, A Whisper of Blood, and others! Additionally, she has written historical fiction for young adults, mainstream fiction, media tie-ins, and non-fiction for American History textbooks and educational readers, and for testing programs.
She had the following to say about Ameri-Scares and the upcoming television series:
"I’m so very excited regarding the new television deal with Warner Horizon (Warner Brothers), LuckyChap (Margot Robbie’s production company), and Assemble Media regarding my book series, Ameri-Scares!"
Can you tell me a bit about the Ameri-Scares book series?
EM: Here’s how it all began . . . Back in the 1990s, I came up with an idea of a book series for middle grade readers, a series in which each story is inspired by or based on an actual legend, folktale, or historic event from that state. The series was called American Chills. The first book, Maryland: Ghost Harbor, came out from Kensington in 1995. It was well received and even was a featured book in the Troll Book Club. Then Kensington dropped the series as they moved away from publishing for younger readers. I got the rights back to that book from Kensington, and then sat on the concept for a number of years as I worked on other novels and short stories. Then Crossroad Press expressed an interested. I was back in the saddle! I revised the Maryland book a bit, renamed the series Ameri-Scares, and was up and running. Since then, 9 Ameri-Scares books have been released, with two by author Stephen Mark Rainey who came on board to help. I’m currently working on Montana and Mark is working on another one, as well.
How did you find out that Warner Brothers and Margot Robbie’s production company, LuckyChap, were interested in adapting Ameri-Scares for television?
EM: Brendan Deneen of Assemble Media submitted the series concept to a number of producers and writers, and the paring of LuckyChap and Warner was the ultimate choice! I’m beyond thrilled that these incredibly talented and creative people are coming together for Ameri-Scares!
When can we expect to see this series? Is there a production schedule? Is there a projected premier date?
EM: As to when a show might appear or on which network, I have to say that with television deals, you never know until you know. From my end it seems that things are moving in the right direction and it’s looking good! So, I’ll say this, “Stay tuned! There’s more to come on this front and I’ll certainly announce new updates when I have them.”
Where can people find the Ameri-Scares series while we wait for it to air?
EM: In the meanwhile, people can catch up with Ameri-Scares by checking out the book series. Each book is available in print or for Kindle, with most of them also in audio book format. See:
You can find more about Elizabeth Massie and her work at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Massie and https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/90413.Elizabeth_Massie
Ronald J. Murray
Ronald J. Murray is a Horror Writer, dog dad, and overly enthusiastic about all-day coffee habits.