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Interview with Susan Mason

Susan Mason writes contemporary and historical stories. She lives with her husband and two children near Toronto, Canada. She is a part-time secretary at a local church and enjoys researching her family history online.

What or who inspired you to become a writer?
My Grade 6 teacher first planted the seed and led me to write my first (very bad) book as a teen!

Where did the idea for your newest release, Irish Meadows, come from?
A bit of inspiration came from my love of Colleen McCullough’s The Thornbirds, and a little came from my own family history. My great-grandfather brought his family over from Ireland in the late 1800’s and they settled in Brooklyn, New York. The rest of the story came from divine inspiration!

Did any of your family history research get woven into your story?
Just the similarity of being a large Irish family (with many more children than the O’Learys, though!) emigrating from Ireland and settling in New York.

What type of books do you read for pleasure?
HA! Need you ask! I read ROMANCE! Both historical and contemporary—mostly Christian fiction, but some secular as well.

What type of theme or message do you hope readers will take from this book?
The importance of being true to yourself. The message is relevant in any era since we’ve likely all experienced pressure to act in a way that is not true to our inner selves. Each character in Irish Meadows deals with this issue in one way or another and each must find the courage to be true to themselves and God’s calling for their lives.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
I like to incorporate subtle spirituality in my stories—messages of hope and love and forgiveness. I think it adds another layer of richness to the characters and their individual journeys.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
If I had to choose just one thing, it would be entering writing contests. At first the judges’ comments gave me direction as to what I was doing well, and what needed improvement. Then, as my writing progressed, two contests were directly responsible for being published with two different publishers.

Describe where you write.
It varies, but right now it’s been our kitchen table beside the bay window, which is bright and airy.

With your outside job and family responsibilities, how do you make time for your writing? How do you fit everything in?
It’s certainly challenging, but my secretarial job is part-time in the mornings, which gives me time in the afternoon to work. Sadly my most productive time of day is right when I’m supposed to be cooking dinner!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
The best advice is to keep writing and keep improving. Follow writing blogs, enter contests, and if you can, attend writing conferences. Learn all you can and your hard work will eventually pay off!

What other parting words do you have to share?
Never give up hope. I firmly believe that it was divine inspiration that made me enter the contest that led to Dave Long discovering Irish Meadows. It only takes one person to love your work!

Thanks for sharing with us, Susan Mason!

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