An interview with Jolie Mason

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Ha. That was too far back. I remember the first thing I ever turned in for feedback from another person. I wrote a romance short story for a creative writing class with an amazing amount of really desperate tragedy. It encouraged me to keep writing, since Mrs. Bracy, one of my best teachers, said I made her almost cry.

I kept writing basically because I made a teacher cry.

What is your writing process?
My process is to treat it like a job. I write what I call a rough legend where I can keep track of characters, events, place names, but, after that, I plod through one chapter at a time writing what comes next. Sometimes, they surprise me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It wasn’t my first, but it was MY story. Jane Eyre. I can quote that thing, and I always have a dog eared copy somewhere.

The story, the prose, the message; These all speak to me, but I think I have always been moved to appreciate the female trailblazers who made it possible for the rest of us, and Bronte is that. Making her a kind of hero to me.

How do you approach cover design?
I have a designer for that. As much as I love playing with words, I do not Art. I do try and do something acceptable for the free items, but for my scifi line on Amazon I hire out.
What are your three favorite books, and why?
Jane Eyre because it was the first romance that hit me in my heart. The Maude Reed Tale because it was the first novel I ever fell in love with, and Home is the Sailor because it was the first I ever put out there for the world to see.
What do you read for pleasure?
Scifi Romance, some erotica. The occasional mystery. I read constantly.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My android. I spend more time reading on my phone than talking on it.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Twitter. My presence on Twitter seems to be the most effective thing I do at this early stage. Plus, I love communing with the other geeks.
Describe your desk
Cluttered, but it’s just an old second hand table I picked up a few years ago, and a chair. It was part of my decision to make this happen, to write and sell my work.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Oh, Southeastern Missouri, right on the river. It’s basically southern, and I was just like every other kid talking about how I was getting out of there one day. We all come back. It’s inevitable. There’s something about the place. It gets in your blood. You’re surrounded by battle scars and history and tragedy all the time, and it seeps in, I think.

I think it made me curious about people, and that led to creating new ones and toying with them, building stories that were so like the stories we grew up on. It was a story telling culture. Even when I talk to people, sometimes I’m spinning stories just like the ones who raised me, and there were a lot of people who raised me.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Seeking Redemption is the third in my 47th lancers story. I hope to do, at least, two more after I finish my current novel. It’s simple really. I said to someone in a chat that I really missed my mechwarriors novels. They got sucked into a gaming abyss in the nineties and never returned. So, this guy said to me, you’re a writer, write one.

Yeah, I’m a writer. So, I did. It really all began with my original concept of two mechpilots who have to struggle to get it together after breaking up. What it became in Riding Redemption was something else. I love Dahlia. She broke my heart on more than one occasion, and she inspired me to accept my own inner warrior. Riding made me want more. I hope it does the same for my readers.

Published 2015-11-22.

2 thoughts on “An interview with Jolie Mason

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  1. Great interview. Would be interested in knowing more about your thoughts on if favorite books necessarily have an effect on writing & if that can be a detriment if it’s not recognized.

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    1. They most definitely do. There’s a quote somewhere, I don’t know who said it, but it’s “We are the books we read”. Writers must be readers.

      As to the detriment, I imagine it’s more a focus or interest. Most writers write what they like. I mean, who wants to put that kind of time in on characters and places we don’t care about at all. It’a matter of choosing a focus and enjoying the writing.

      I, personally, gravitate toward strong, independent female voices. I also tend toward stories that depict flourishing from suffering, strength in adversity. That’s directly informed my reading taste, and my childhood influences.

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