Black History Month is nearly over, but we’re not done celebrating it. I had the privilege of chatting with independent horror author and filmmaker, Stacy Cox. She has a deep passion for horror and has put out quite a bit of writing material already and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. She’s tip-toeing her way into filmmaking as well and has already made her first experimental film. Learn about her favorite movies, her favorite Black directors, details about her stories, upcoming projects, and more!
PopHorror – Hi Stacy! It’s great to talk with you on a personal level. At what age did your love of horror begin?
Stacy Cox – Hello! Thank you for having me! My love for horror began when I was 8 years old. The very first horror movie I watched was Leprechaun (Mark Jones, 1993).
PopHorror – Oh gotta love that love! What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Stacy Cox – Wow, I always dread this question because there are way too many to list them all! I think I will narrow it down to my TOP FIVE favorite horror movies of all time. These are the movies that I can watch over and over, and never get tired of them.
Stephen King’s IT (1990’s TV movie adapted by Tommy Lee Wallace). I also like the 2017 remake adapted by Andy Muschietti, but the original 1990 TV movie will always hold that special place in my heart. Leprechaun (Mark Jones, 1993). Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (Rachel Talalay, 1991). Child’s Play (Tom Holland, 1988). You’re Next (Adam Wingard, 2011).
PopHorror – You have great taste! You’re also into reading and writing. Do you have any favorite black horror authors? If so, do you have any books you’d like to recommend?
Stacy Cox – I can’t recall any horror books I’ve read by black authors as of yet. My favorite books by black authors are not horror, per-say, but they will still be some of my favorite books of all time. Romiette and Julio by Sharon M. Draper, The Coldest Winter Ever by Sistah Souljah, Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree, and Her Husband Made Her Do Him by Ms. Downlow. These are all among the romance-drama-erotica genres, and they are great page-turners, so if you do like that genre, definitely check them out!
PopHorror – Adding them to my book wish list! Who are your favorite black horror icons and/or movies that are directed by black directors?
Stacy Cox – I love Get Out and US (Jordan Peele), Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans (Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2 – Keenan Ivory Wayans), Tony Todd (Candyman, Bernard Rose, Final Destination – James Wong), Danny Trejo (From Dusk Til Dawn, Robert Rodriguez, Halloweed – LazRael Lison).
PopHorror – Love those too! You recently had a film that came out called Clouded. Can you tell us about it?
Stacy Cox – Clouded is more of a drama, fantasy with horror undertones. It tells the story of a woman (played by myself), who suffers from recurring nightmares and visions that stems from a dark and depressive time in her life. She isn’t aware of how bad this affected her until she discusses her problem with her doctor (played by C.J. Whitcomb).
This is actually an experimental film, as I was (and still am) learning my way around film production and filmmaking, also film editing. So, this was a project that was kind of put together in the spur of the moment. I knew the concept I was going for. Everything else just kind of fell into play with it and spiraled around the concept.
PopHorror – That’s great. Got to start somewhere! What was the inspiration behind it?
Stacy Cox – The inspiration behind Clouded actually stems from my personal experiences with insomnia. Granted, my issues don’t get as extreme as the main character experiences in the movie, but I do have some bad dreams from time-to-time. Also, I take some inspiration from like-minded films, such as Dead Awake (Phillip Guzman, 2016). Films that revolve around mental and psychological issues, such as insomnia, intrigue me.
PopHorror – That’s cool. You’ve also written some books. Can you tell us about them?
Stacy Cox – I currently have nine titles published, and many more in development. My first ever published book is Mental Eclipse: A Collection of Meditations, Poetic Works, and Lyrical Verses, which recently went through an entire revision, re-imagination, and re-branding. I got my start in writing when I was 14 years old, and poetry [and lyrics] is what I started with. At that time, it was a means to channel a weird, sporadic phase of anger that I was experiencing. I still can’t understand to this day, why I was angry. My life was great, home life was great. I thought, maybe it was just a random, passing phase that I went through. And, it did eventually pass. But, whenever I was angry, I would write a piece or two, and I instantly felt better. This is when I discovered that writing is a passion and a talent I never even knew I had.
From there, I shortly transitioned to writing short stories. I started with romance and erotica. I then quickly transitioned to novellas and novels. And, actually, the very first novel I wrote was several years ago. It was called Checkmate. And it was inspired by Fear (James Foley, 1996). At the time, I didn’t really care about becoming published. I just loved to write. I would write something and save it on my computer, so Checkmate is lost, although I remember the story fondly.
After Mental Eclipse, my first published novel was The Monster Pack: The Wasteland. This has actually been through many stages. Initially, it was supposed to be a film (and it still will be in the future), but at the time, I didn’t have the funds or resources to make a film, so I decided to turn the screenplay into a comic book. Well, I couldn’t draw at the time and I couldn’t find a comic artist, so I put the comic book idea on the back-burner and decided to turn the story into a novel. At first, it was supposed to be a one-off, but as I developed the story, I realized it was more complicated than just a one-off project. There are so many stories intertwined, and it would take more than just one book to get it all out. That’s when I decided to make it a series, and – later – an entire franchise.
The general concept of The Monster Pack follows a group of young misfits [middle-aged teenagers], who are all going through all forms of neglect, ridicule, and abuse in their lives. They meet coincidentally, and they form a strong friendship bond that turns into The Monster Pack. The story takes place in two worlds: The Real World (Cleveland, OH), and The Dream World (the Town of Serafin Falls), which is a fictional town on the outskirts of Cleveland. The Pack becomes mediocre vigilantes and fight criminals and crime in the Real World, and battles monsters in the Dream World.
Currently, The Monster Pack has two books published. The second installment is called Soulle Island. The third installment is in development. But the first phase is the novels. The second phase is the comic books. The third phase is the film productions. Eventually, The Monster Pack will be an entire franchise and universe.
My next title is ScavengeReaper, a horror-crime fiction:
A group of strangers who are thrust into a game that will test their patience and their endurance, and will send them on a race for survival.
This is actually the first of a collaborative experiment, where I presented an “activity” to a handful of people, where I asked them to “think of an activity that is unethical, unorthodox, unlawful, and extreme”. I later revealed to them that they would construct their own characters and path in the story. As a bonus “thank you” for their participation, I had special edition covers designed for each of their characters. So, in all, ScavengeReaper has a total of 8 cover designs to choose from; one for the general design, and 7 for the writers/characters. This will also verge off into a series of prequels, which will tell the origins of each character. This is in development.
My next title is Shadowrayne: The Murders Resurface, which is actually a novella, a horror-mystery-crime noir:
One night, during a terrible hailstorm, the Kaleidoscope Falls Community faces a power outage that leads to revelations and a frightening fight for survival. After the resurfacing of tragic incidents, Detective Sawyer and Officer Gaines are heavy on the case to solve a decades-old mystery.
There will be a continuation to be released in the future. My next title Kaleidoscope, which is also a horror, fantasy novella:
Welcome to the Kaleidoscope Falls Community. It’s a new way of life. It’s your home for life.’ Four groups of travelers, all seeking escape from their present lives, discover exactly what that means.
My next title is Twe12ve, a holiday-themed horror, fantasy novella:
Cleveland, OH., a sin-infested town has been cursed by a dark plague. The residents of the town must work together if they will stand a chance against the dark forces that is coming to claim everything they have.
This will have a continuation in the future. My next title is Catch Me If You Can, an illustrated fictional horror-fantasy series (ages 10+). Illustrated by Nia Kurniawati:
On September 5, 1619, a group of friends wandered into the woods to play a game. They would encounter different items and places that would each have a story to tell. They would find their realities, and the world in which they knew, distorted into a new, twisted reality, where everything was foreign. The game was “Catch Me If You Can”.
My next title is Journey Into the House in the Woods, a fictional horror-fantasy children’s book (ages 10+).
Grounded and stuck in the house on Halloween night, Brittany goes above her parents’ authority and sneaks out of the house. She meets a wanderer, who makes her a deal she can’t refuse. She will soon wish she had decided to respect her parents’ wishes.
My next title is Imaginary Monster Friends: Brandi Meets Abby the Yeti, an illustrated fictional fantasy children’s book (ages 7+). Illustrated by Nia Kurniawati. Imaginary Monster Friends will also be an ongoing series:
Brandi is a young girl who is shy and reserved. She also has different interests than most kids her age. She has trouble making friends because of this. To keep her life exciting, she dreams up imaginary friends, all of which happen to be monsters! She goes on exciting adventures around the world, where her monster friends live. In this first installment of the “Imaginary Monster Friends” series, Brandi meets Abby the Yeti, and finds herself in the Himalayan Mountains!”
PopHorror – Wow you’re one busy and talented lady! What are your goals for the future?
Stacy Cox – My goals for the future are to work on releasing more books, work on more film productions, and release more titles to my podcast channels.
PopHorror – Sounds fantastic! Do you have any upcoming projects?
Stacy Cox – Projects that are coming in the near future are:
VILLAIN, a fictional horror-crime novel:
Anyone can be a Villain. It takes real Courage to be a Hero.” How far would you go for justice? After discovering her daughter was the victim of a ruthless predator, Maria Smith travels down a dark and dangerous path, stopping at nothing to bring the monster responsible to justice.
There will also be an immersive audio experience companion that will be released to my podcast stories channels. This will also be a tribute to Women In Horror Month.
*Releasing by March 2021.
The InherItance: A Bramwell Ethan Phillips Epic, Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery – Book One, a fictional horror-fantasy-adventure:
The day began when I received an awkward package in the mail, containing a padlocked trunk and a letter informing me of an inheritance to collect from a mysterious family member I’ve never met or known. Then…things get strange.” Bramwell Ethan Phillips has been summoned to leave the life he knows behind and embark upon a quest that will challenge him in ways he never knew possible. 26 life-altering missions. “A” is for the Amulet of Aisley. “B” is for Baylee’s Game. “C” is for the Crown of Crandall. Each mission designed to test his knowledge, endurance and strength, and tap into his true potential. Taking his wife, Chloe, along for the journey, together, they will discover secrets outside the realm of normalcy, testing their abilities to survive the darkness that awaits them around each corner.
*Releasing by Summer 2021.
The Monster Pack: L’Omycro’s Genysis:
There once was an old fool’s tale that; ‘In the beginning, the world was empty and full of nothing, but darkness and space’. Then L’Omycro was created. The Pack meets L’Omycro and unravels a centuries-old legend. They are thrust into the battle of the century.
*Releasing by Fall 2021.
PopHorror – I look forward to it all. Where can we follow your work?
Stacy Cox –
Follow StaceMeister0 Productions
Author’s Spotlight: www.lulu.com/spotlight/StacyCoxStaceMeister0
Podcast Channels: StaceMeister0 Productions: