Updated: Jun 26
Hello and welcome back.
After reviewing his Claim Me: The Series, I couldn’t wait to have him as a featured author. Sit back and for the next few minutes enjoy “A moment with…Marvin Mason”. Keep reading after his Q and A for my review of his most recent release Play Date about the daughter of a prominent Congressman who knows the importance of keeping a smile on her face no matter what and she does that is until a high-profile dignitary is found dead in the Chicago River.
First a word from the author. "Secretly writing since I left college, I finally decided to share my passion after my lone critic died in 2017. No longer able to share my stories with my favorite audience, my mother, I transitioned to opening myself to the world.
Staring with the most personal story I could share about a family tragedy and its effects on us with “Curse of Black Hawk’s Treasure,” I have grown comfortable allowing an audience to hear my voice thanks to B. Love and Megan Joseph."
Under the tutelage of B. Love and the B. Love Publications family, I am continuing to sharpen my skills relaying the craziest, complex characters that have filled my life.
Q: Did you always want to be a writer?
A: I have always wanted to write since grade school. That desire first originated back in 1967. However, I was one of those people who have always needed someone to push me since my college years at Columbia College. I hated editing and rewriting, usually because once I exorcised the demons with the first draft, I was finished. I wanted to be a sound engineer or a cinematographer. Mostly, I wanted to frame a story and I thought those positions would help me fulfill that need. My dream of writing wouldn’t come until several years later in 2017 immediately after the death of my mother.
Q: Do you have a set schedule when you write? What dictates your schedule? What does that process look like for you?
A: I like to write backward. I usually see the resolution long before I see the exposition. For me, the night is my favorite time to write. It affords me peace and quiet that I can’t get during the day. I generally can knock out a chapter or two when I can completely be alone with my own thoughts and ideas. I can hear the characters clearly. Depending on the type of resolution and what those characters have to say a novel can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to pen. My first novel took nearly six months from start to finish, add another 3 months working with Megan Joseph and Roxanne Ridge for editing and polishing before officially presenting to B. Love directly. It’s a process, but one that I revel in each time.
Q: What do you think makes a good story?
A: I look for relatability from my authors or if they can immerse me into the world which they are trying to draw. My favorite authors range from Stephen King to Jacqueline Woodson.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A: The most surprising thing I have learned is how much of myself I am so readily willing to expose. It is the best therapy money can buy and all it costs me is the price of a handful of journal notebooks and a pack of BIC ballpoint pens. Plus, reams of paper. I can print a ton.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from when you write?
A: I started off as a film major, transitioned to working for a film distributor, before becoming an imprint myself. I have always read screenplays, still do. Thanks to my father, a historian, he instilled in me a love of history. So, I am always trying to capture his love for history in my stories. As you will see in the opening of my latest release, Playdate and my description and detail I include regarding the building of the Chicago River.
Q: To date, you’ve written 8 plus books, which is your favorite thus far.
A: You know my first novel was very personal, so I will kiss B. Love and Megan’s feet and babysit for them for life. (lol) I was beyond elated. Not nervous, but extremely happy. Now that I am on books nine and ten at the time, “Claim Me: The Gift” is my favorite. Mostly because most readers have no idea how much of that reflects my former life nearly 30 years ago.
Q: Do you hear from your readers much? What kind of feedback have you received?
A: The feedback I have received from my readers has been tremendous. I love the feedback, especially those who know where I came from. The new testimonies are really blowing me away. I appreciate all kinds of feedback- the positive and the negative. It’s like Kerry Wood, a former pitcher on the Chicago Cubs and his arm mechanics which everyone and their mother stated they could see, but he still struck out 20 batters in one game in his rookie year.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A: I love hitting the road which is hard to do when you teach nine months out of the year. I also teach summer school so I get my travels in when I can. For twenty-five years I traveled the entire United States and parts of Canada as a distribution manager of sales on average 45 weeks out of the year.
Q: Outside of your participation in local volunteer programs where you serve as an Instructional Teacher, Chicago Writers Association & Sisters in Crime where you’re a Mister in Crime what can we look forward to from you on the literary front.
A: I have a brand-new release coming out June 2nd titled “Desire Me Only – Book One: Three Little Words.”. It will be available on Amazon.
Q: Any final comments you would like to share with your audience?
A: I work with the most fantastic group of authors writing today as part of the B. Love Publications family. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of those writers for taking time out of their busy schedules to help their brother out. They have been there for me from Day 1. Also, to the other writers who have reached out to offer advice as I grow in my writing endeavors, I thank you. And most of all to my Fairy Godmother, Megan Joseph who believed in me from the start. Last, but not least: to Clifton Jones, Weimar King, the remaining members of the Family, and my wife of nearly 30 years, Diane who takes the time to listen to my crazy-ass stories.
Thank you for taking this journey with me.
If you would like to connect with the author, please click any one of the images below. I hope you enjoyed this moment with Marvin Mason. You can also purchase any or all books from his current catalog below.
My Review of Playdate
Play Date introduces us to many characters as the author sets the stage for this mystery/thriller storyline. However, our co-protagonists are Charmaine Keaton, a daughter of a prominent politician, and Tommy Howard, a sales executive. The two cross paths while Charmaine is dealing with the effects of a messy divorce. The two are brought together for business and their attraction takes hold. However, when the unthinkable happens -murder- and Charmain is the prime suspect their burgeoning love affair hits a rather sizeable bump in the road.
Mason opens this story by incorporating a bit of Chicago's rich history his father shared with him by weaving it into a murder the sets the stage for this thriller. A key witness in a federal case is murdered and it is labeled suicide despite the victim being shot in the back of the head. I know! How could that happen? Right? As the story unfolds, the author provides us background on Tommy, Charmain, and the supporting cast. There were twists and turns that kept me guessing as to who did what?
The author did a good job of creating tension that any good mystery must have within the confines of its storyline by introducing characters like Tembo, who shows up to meet Bruno and who presses Charmaine's soon to be ex about money. Or Archie who speaks with an old mafioso tone when he handles "job" for people You'll have to read it to find out more on that front. There was solid character development, good chemistry, very little romance, but relevant content for the most part.
I would have liked the story to be a bit less wordy so that I wasn't bogged down with flowery language to pretty up. Leave it gritty and leave it as raw as the murders committed by the many criminals in the story. All in all, I enjoyed the story and recommend it to those who like crime/mystery fiction. Mason really found his footing with this genre. Please get your copy below and support the author by leaving a review.
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Until next time, happy reading!