Yep I got Mason to stop by and chat
T: Good Evening Mason thanks for joining me this evening. I hope the coffee is strong enough?
Ha. I can stand my spoon up in it, so it’s perfect …makes the hair stands up.
T: I promise for this set of questions I’m going to keep things fun and light (well light for me) so let’s get started.
You mean I can’t be all dark and heavy on your and downright horrific? *grins*
T: What about Lord of the Rings speaks to you, that would make you want to write a story like it?
Wow … erm. Do you ever remember when you were a child and you played games, I don’t know, like pretend games? You know some people played mums and dads. Some played cops and robbers … you know the kind of thing? I didn’t really have a great childhood, but I did have a great imagination. Two of the first things I read in my life were The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia books. I was 5-6 years of age when I read these … and yes I really was that young. What I discovered was I could sit behind the chair or under the dinner table and read and be totally transported from every bad thing going on my life to these magical places. Just reading these stories gave me that magic in my belly. I got so addicted to reading these worlds. I didn’t really have any friends. Nothing stands out more at school than the child who is abused at home, but these books. I had all these people in there that were so real to me. Even when I wasn’t reading, these characters were with me. It was the most amazing transportation. Reading was probably the best gift I was ever given.
T: A dislike of chocolate..? Have you always disliked it or did something happen?
God no haha. I used to eat tons of it. I don’t really dislike chocolate. I just don’t bother about it the way most people do. About two years ago I decided that I was going to cut down on sugar. So the first to go with this was actually sugar in my coffee. I Started to eat more fruit, more veggies. I started to exercise more. I quit smoking … well actually I had quit smoking a bit before this. I guess my life followed the typical bad childhood stereotype. I discovered smoking, then drink, then drugs, I quit the drugs (clean now for over ten years), drinking never really took off and last to go was the smoking. So I guess it is more of a treating my body to all the healthy stuff, now my body craves the healthy stuff. Haha sorry, I know you were keeping this light.
T: How did killing Stephen bring about his story?
Hahaha it’s a funny story. For me anyways. When I wrote Gemma and Cade originally, they needed things. The story for them was so different. She had this brother who had been killed in a war, years before and that had shoved her into a political place she didn’t want to be in. It also meant that it put a blocker between her and the guy she was supposed to be with. She talked so much about her brother in the story and Cade talked a lot about his friend, I decided to explore what had happened to him. It was never really going to be a story. More of a backstory for Cade and Gemma, but that shit (haha can I swear?) decided he wasn’t laying down so easily. I ended up writing the short story of the three of them, which is Dark Veil and not so short any more. And then Stephen had his own tale, what happened after the events in that story. Three damn novels is what happened. Once he started talking to me and telling me his life, he just grew.
T: In the Society Series there are a few darker undercurrents going on, i.e. racism, segregation, cruelty, bullying, to name a few, what made you want to bring them to light?
Lots of different reasons to be honest. I love to read the paranormal books, Kelley Armstrong, Laurell K Hamilton, Charlaine Harris etc and they were always kind of from the view of, the human meeting the shifter or vampire. So I thought well, what if the humans don’t matter? What if it’s a world of other kinds of people?
On a deeper note, though, one of the things I believe caused separation in the world is diversity. You know when you go for a job interview, or a dental appointment and you have to complete those forms that want your ethnic background, and your religion and sexual orientation … I refuse to complete those. I don’t know why any of that might affect my job or my health or whatever. It’s like collating statistics on whether I like to eat peas or not. Who cares? Does it make me less human? Does it make me less of a person?
T: How much of your neuropsychology do you use in your writing? Do you think it influenced the Society Series?
None whatsoever. Well there’s that one scene where Stephen gets this guy’s head and … I’m kidding.
I’d not say the neuro side of it has affected anything really. It’s all brain parts and what does this and that on a factual basis, but I’d say the psychology probably has. It’s helped me to understand a lot of tricks to use on my readers hahaha.
T: How often do you play Assassins Creed? Does it help relax you?
God not as often as I would like haha. Actually I play world of Warcraft mostly, but yeah all my games help. I love the story side of these games. That’s why I play them really. It’s like having a book and walking through it.
T: You’ve said your favorite author is Stephen King. What drew you to him? When did you start reading him?
My Nan bought me Carrie when I was teenager. God I loved it. I loved how he took this girl who had a crappy life and then one night, to hell with all of them, karma burnt them to pieces. I just fell in love with the way he used language and the way he spoke and the way I could get lost in it and so invested in his stories sometimes that I forgot I was reading.
T: What challenges did you have writing with a partner? Would you do it again?
What if … that’s the biggest challenge. I mean I write with Lucian and I say, well what if blah blah does this, and then this ignites his imagination and he’ll reply oh yeah, wow, but what if…. The hard part is knowing when to stop that. When do we get to a point and say, yes, this is it, because two imaginations, two muses, there’s always room for one more what if and before you know it, Cinderella is putting on a spacesuit and heading out to mars to heard elephants when really she was just meant to meet Prince Charming at a ball.
And yes of course I’d do it again. With the right person, it’s such fun to do.
T: Who approached whom for the calibration?
Well we had started a book together a few years ago. And then one thing and another, it got put in a cupboard and gathered dust. Then there was this rumour that Lucian and I were the same person. So we started to joke about it. What if we were? See haha, there is that what if again. It’s a little bugger of a phrase. So we never really decided to write together, kind of, we what if’d the possibility of it.
T: Why do you consider tea vile? What about coffee, black, strong and like tar is appealing?
I used to drink tea. Actually I drink green tea haha. But Since I quit smoking, I think I replaced my cigarettes (I was on 30 a day) with extra strong coffee.
T: Three cats? How did they get their names?
Well they’re called Sam, Dean and Castiel do I need to say more?
T: You’ve said your biggest life triumph was getting clean. What does that mean to you exactly? What kicked your ass into gear to take back control?
Ah I was a mess. If you’d have seen me back then, I was one of those guys you’d have walked past, even crossing to the other side of the toad. Not that I was horrible or mean, but I looked the mess. I live the mess. Every penny I had went on my next high. I lived between a drugged up haze to sleeping it off, never anything in between really. But I also had a child with me when I was going off the rails. I wasn’t doing him any good. My friend, she’d lost her child to the care system and suddenly social services came into my life and I had a choice, sort my shit out and be the father my son needed or lose him to social services and carry on shoving stuff in my veins.
I was 20 years old. I had nothing. No money, no real family, just these friends who were into the same life as me and I had my son. So we packed everything up. I left all of my friends, everyone I knew and moved into a flat. I had no furniture but his bed and a stove. I had to rebuild my life from basically nothing. So now, I own my own house, my son is married and has his own child, I’m heading to my Phd .. I have my books out, I have supportive friends … I have a life because when I was 20 I made the right choice.
T: If you could sit down and have a cup of coffee with Stephen King what would you ask him?
Wow. I don’t even know. I’d try not to bore him with the usual questions. I guess I’d just chat, about anything, it wouldn’t matter to me.
T: You’ve said your favorite band is Korn. Is there a song or two that you always listen to? One to start or end the day, or to get you in the mood to write or study?
They have a song for every mood. Daddy is a song when I am feeling angry at my father. It’s a hard hitting song, so listen with caution and there are two daddy songs. One is called Hey Daddy, and the other is Daddy. I mean the latter.
Alone I break is the one when I want to kick my own ass out of a mental slump.
Hater is a good writing song when I want something fast.
Never never is my running song
Here to stay is a good song when I want a determined mood
Beg for me is a song for Stephen haha.
T: How did you start writing?
Well if you go back to the one about The Lord of the Rings and reading, I started there. Once I discovered that I could travel to all these places in books, I soon learnt that I could travel to all of these places with my pencil too. One my god, once I learnt that, I got so addicted to it. I could do whatever I wanted. I was five years old the first time I got published. It was just in the paper; my nan had mailed it off. But sometimes my little hand couldn’t write fast enough for where my mind wanted to go.
T: How long does it take you to write a novel?
For the first draft, not long at all. I wrote the original Gemma and Cade in ten days, that’s 100k words. Right now, though, with trying to study, it takes me a lot longer, but I finish soon and then I intend to right so much.
T: What comes next?
Dinner time hahah… oh you mean in my writing? Well Dark Veil is out at the end of the month and then Hidden comes out just after that. At the moment I am just editing Exile before I send it off for final edits, but I think that might take a while to come out if I am honest. Maybe end of the summer. SO while I wait for that, I’m going to write some other stuff … no idea what, and get that out there.
T: Well Mason that’s all I have for you today? Until next time thanks again for joining me, now get back to work and write your next book.
Haha thank you. Have a lovely evening.