Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

We Never Know Our Impact on People

Today I was in Cocoa, Florida doing a radio interview on Viewpoint with Seeta. http://www.seetamediainc.com/ The show was an hour long and we talked about many topics. We discussed my books and my background. Then we got down to the heart of the matter. We discussed grief, dealing with grief and loss and the new normal after a death. For those of you who don’t know I lost my 13 year old granddaughter on July 2, 1015 and six weeks later on August 10th I lost my father. It was a tsunami of loss and grief in a short time span. There was not time to grieve for the baby before we were traveling back to Atlanta to bury my father. That is the back story. I had previously written a book along with several other authors titled Pennies From Heaven. This little book holds stories from people talking about how they dealt or did not deal with loss. It is not a how to book, but a book to help someone cope and move forward.

Pennies From Heaven

Pennies From Heaven

When I got home I found this note on my facebook page, from Seeta the host of the show “Thank you for your continued support of our radio show Yvonne Mason.I wanted to let you know someone whose son passed away six months ago wanted me to let you know you helped her to let go of bottled up grief today.God truly sends angels when we need it♡”

Talk about humbled. I was truly humbled. After the show Seeta and I were talking and we both said, that is doesn’t matter how rich or poor one is, we all will be in the same place on day, that is death’s door. The important thing is the DASH between our birth and death dates. What we do to give back, how we behave, how we love and how we help others. That is what we will be remembered for- not how rich we were, not how much money we gave
away, not how poor we were not the clothes we wore or the car we drove, But the mettle of our character. I for one do not want to be weighed and found wanting. I wanted to be remembered for one thing, “She made a difference.”
I do not know the name of the lady that contacted Seeta, but I know that she was touched by the show. My prayer for her is that now she finds the peace that passes all understanding and that now she can celebrate her son’s life, to be grateful for the time she had with him, not bitter for the loss she suffered. That she will honor his life not mourn his death. Because I am sure he made a difference.

September 28, 2015 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gifts for the Silly Season

href=”http://www.brookforestvoices.com/BrookForestVoices/Yvonne_Mason.html” title=”AudioBooks” target=”_blank”>

Dream Catcher Failure Was Never An Option

Dream Catcher Failure Was Never An Option


I know that like me many of you are wandering around stories – click on sites and thumbing through catalogs looking for that special gift for the person who has everything. Well, I have the answer to your dilemma – order them an audiobook. That’s right audiobook.

My readers asked and it happened. Now is the time to spread the word. There are currently three out and two more will be released early next year. However, you can get in on the early ordering now. This is the perfect gift one that you can give over and over – With all of the electronic devices out there one can listen to books on just about anything, computers, iphones, ipads and tablets. You are not limited to just vehicles anymore. Think of it do you know someone who can no longer read the written word for health reasons, loss of eyesite, had hands, etc. Well, this is perfect, get them lost in an audio book. Get a device, a headset and turn them lose.
Why should anyone who loves stories be deprived of the written word.
All of my books are downloadable as well as on disc so there is no reason for you not to get them. Yes, they are even on itunes. Dreamcatcher is even listed in the enhanced versions so the listener can see the photos that are provided in the book.

Why make the silly season any harder than it already is? You don’t have to leave your home, you can let your fingers do the walking and you are giving a gift that someone can enjoy over and over again.
Think about this – do you know someone who is in the hospital taking Chemo or radiation and has to spend hours hooked up to a machine. It is very hard to hold a book while allowing the meds to drip through ones body. An audio book is the answer. It shuts out the noise of the room and allows the patient to lose themselves in a book. What about someone who is having dental work done. We all hate going to the dentist. Download a book plug in the headset and sail away.
As we all know hospitals are boring places to be. Audio books can take that person anyplace they want to go. On an airplane? No problem audio books – headsets and good to go. Long car trip same thing. Plug in and sail away.
So what is stopping you? Order today.

The Grand Canary

The Grand Canary

A Voice From the Grave Audio Book

A Voice From the Grave Audio Book

December 5, 2014 Posted by | Audio Books, yvonne mason | , , , , , | Leave a comment

IT IS ABOUT TO BECOME A REALITY!

Okay everyone; I have some interesting news for you all.  You want to have your books on the shelf in bricks and mortar stores.  Well, Dressing Your Book is working on a way to make that happen for you.  The one thing it would require is that all books be published through Dressing Your Book and printed through Lightening Source.  This is not a big deal in any case.  The more authors and books I can get the cheaper it will be for all of you to avail yourself of this new and creative service Dressing Your Book will be offering by the first of the year.   There will be an annual fee for me to advertise your books through Ingram distributions catalog so that your books will be in bricks and mortar stores. Something totally new for independent authors.  I am trying to take you all to a place you have never been before. Please drop me an e-mail at dressignyourbook@comcastnet to let me know if you are interested in joining this great new adventure.  You can also post a comment on here as well and I will get them all and get you all ready for a great new year.

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Author, Book Stores, Books, Indie Authors, Marketing, new project, yvonne mason | Leave a comment

We as Self Published Authors are Not Leaving – That Genie is Out of The Bottle

The blog below was put on a friend of mine’s blog site, the information was taken from http://www.acreditedonlinecolleges.com

The article basically wants to know if Traditional Publishers really have anything to fear from the publications by self published authors. This article plain states that there are over 700,000 self published authors to 80,000 traditional authors – that means self published authors out produced traditional authors two to one if they only publish one book a year. We are hated that is a given. Traditional publishers hate the fact that we have cornered the market by making the net our friend, we are told we can’t write, we can’t market, we don’t know how to be edited and that we don’t have decent story lines.
News Flash! This is what is happening in the traditional publishing industry. Their authors are made to churn out several books a year same story line, same characters same drivel as they have been doing for years. The publishing house gets rich because they have brainwashed the reading public to believe that no one writes like their “well known” author. Another news flash. The content, editing and characters have become boring, dry and uninteresting.

The Genie is out of the bottle and we are not going anyplace. We don’t have to depend on a box bookstore, a distributor, an agent. We have broken that ceiling. Those of you who still believe that traditional authors are the only way to go are missing out on great reading. Your Loss! We are not stuck writing one genre, over and over again we are as diverse as there are subjects. We are dictated to about who to write about, how to write it or when. We don’t have to crank out one book after the other in order for the House to make money. We can take our time and do it write.
So those of you who think we are not worthy of your time- You Lose! We are not going anywhere we are here to stay. All the whining, crying and bitching is not going to make us gone. Oh and no self Publishing is not out of control we are in control for the first time and we are here to stay!

http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/9-signs-self-publishing-is-out-of-control-opinion-or-fact/

9 Signs Self-Publishing Is Out of Control: Opinion, or Fact?

To paraphrase the immortal words of Truman Capote, there’s a difference between writing and typing. And, to put it gently, we can say with a good amount of confidence that most self-published books were typed, not written. Because communicating with letters assembled into words is a skill most learn by the age of 5, and because written communication has become so ubiquitous in American life, everyone now thinks he’s a writer. Until recently, the publishing industry had been our sea wall, protecting us from a tidal wave of boring life stories and dreadful novels. But now, the ease of self-publishing threatens to drown us all in mediocrity. Here are nine signs the situation is out of control.

1. The estimated 700,000 self-publishing authors around the world

In a world of 6.8 billion people, 700,000 trying to make it big by self-publishing may not seem very significant. But compare it to the number of books traditionally published in America each year: 80,000. Of those, one author says, “most of them [are] not needed, not wanted, not in any way remotely necessary.” Assuming the U.S. makes up just one-tenth of the market (almost certainly a low estimate), AND assuming each author has the decency to self-publish only one title, that means self-publishers stand to nearly double the number of books published in the world every year.

2. The 20,000 titles Lulu adds each month

Lulu is a self-publishing company that has been in business since 2002 and is generally regarded as the leader in the field. One need look no further for proof that self-publishing is getting out of hand than the Lulu web site that reveals the company publishes 20,000 titles for unpublished authors every single month. The site shows no signs of slowing, as 12,000 new “creators” sign up every week, and the number of titles is growing about 10% each month. But as the founder of the company says, the average run is “less than two.”

3. The many seriously considering whether self-publishing is a bubble on the verge of popping

Basically, an economic bubble is created when a good is bought and sold at a much higher price than it is really worth. For example, the dot-com bubble burst when traders realized Internet companies had no way to justify the hundreds of millions of dollars at which their worth was being valued. Pundits are now looking hard at the massive popularity of self-publishing and asking: How long until self-publishers realize tens of thousands of them have grossly overvalued their products and the market crashes?

4. The huge influx of companies to the industry

The dilemma of finding a publisher is no more; say hello to the dilemma of choosing which publisher is right for you. From Author Solutions to Author House, from Booktango to BookSurge, there is a plenitude of publishers from which to choose to help you produce your book. But there’s also an entire sub-industry that has sprung into being from the self-publishing movement: the “how to self-publish” manual industry. Like any “get-rich-quick“-style book, these books will always sell better than the vast majority of the books they encourage people to self-publish.

5. The giant number of ebooks available for free

Millions of titles are available for free download in various formats. The average price of a self-published Kindle ebook for titles in the Top 100 on Amazon was $1.40, and this price is trending downward. Although many of the free titles hosted by companies like Amazon are books in the public domain, a huge mass of them are self-published titles that first-time authors are giving away for free in the hopes of receiving exposure. This means that deserving works are buried in the pile, and there is just too much for customers to sort through.

6. The respected voices advising everyone to self-publish

As if self-publishers needed any more encouragement, many visible commentators are using their platforms to breathlessly urge everyone who considers themselves a writer (which is basically everyone) to self-publish. On Dec. 13, 2011, USA Today featured a story about self-publishing success story Michael Prescott, who is “threatening to change the face of publishing” with his enormous success. “It’s a gold rush out there,” Prescott proclaims in the article. Over at Techcrunch.com six weeks later, traditionally-published and self-published author, blogger, and investment guru James Altucher was advising every entrepreneur to self-publish a book, basically anointing books the new business cards in the process.

7. The 4.2 billion words published by Smashwords

As one of the first comers to the new self-publisher industry, Smashwords alone has published more than 80,000 books since being created in 2008. It took one company less than four years to match the annual total of traditionally-published books in the U.S. To date, authors have smashed a whopping 4,242,989,557 words into their self-published books.

8. The number of copies of self-published books that are selling

On average, authors who self-publish sell 100-150 copies of their book. Considering the average Facebook user has 130 friends, this is right in the wheelhouse for explaining who is buying most self-published books: friends and family of the author. Of course, as this is an average, there are a handful of breakout self-publishing authors who are keeping the number elevated and making up for the thousands of writers who sell 50 or 25 copies, or worse.

9. The eight out of 10 people who think they have a book in them

If there’s any doubt self-publishing is already out of control, millions of books could potentially be in the pipeline for self-publishing in the near future. The New York Times has reported that 81% of Americans think they have the makings of a book in their brains, and that they should publish that book. An estimated 25 million novels and how-to books have already been written by Internet users in the U.S. but have yet to be published. If just 1% of those authors self-publish, the country’s annual book publishing by traditional means would be instantly tripled.

*Today’s article brought to you by http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com

May 11, 2012 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Cry for Help From One Artist to Another

As most of you know I am currently working on a new book titled The Pink Canary. No, it is not about a pink  canary and no it is not a love story.  What I will tell you is it is filled with crime scenes, twists and turns and other off the wall humor that only the voices in my head can produce.  I am working with my best friend who is gay and one of the funniest people I know, however, I need more input from the gay community especially those of you who perform in drag. You see the plot revolves around a Drag Queen club and its owner in Key West.

When I start a project and I am not proficient in the subject matter I do alot of research. The reason is simple the story has to be believable, if not then it will not be interesting to the reader. There are nuances that make the story – nuances that I am not familiar with  for instance name brand gowns, price range, name brand makeup, name brand shoes, length of time it takes to put on makeup for a show, favorite music artists that performers sing the most.

I have done some research, but I don’t think it is quite enough. If there is anyone out there who is willing to give me a hand here, of course you will be recognized in my acknowledgments.  My goal is to reach a new audience and in order to do that I have to understand the who, what, when, where and how. I want to know all I can about the Drag Queen entertainment world, I want my readers to read the book, enjoy the book and feel as if they are in the book.

I do know that not all Drag Queens are gay that some of them are just performers. I also know that as with all performers this is a craft and one that must be perfected. So that being said, if there are any of you out there who are willing to help a girl out, I would be forever in your debt.

The Pink Canary

April 28, 2012 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Traditional Publishers Are Really Running Scared

Y! Big Story: What an e-book might really cost, for all of us

  • iPad
Cheaper reads in store?

Yvonne Mason

You read this

Just why are e-books so expensive, and should they be?

The knee-jerk answer to the second question is of course not. Does it make sense to pay a higher price for a digital title than for its print counterpart, especially after factoring in the cost of an e-book reader? (Tangential aside: Purchasing an e-book reader is believed to be a more environmentally sound choice than buying new books.)

So, while most government action these days draws criticisms of busybody interference, the Department of Justice’s price-fixing charges filed April 11 against Apple and “five of the six largest publishers in the United States” brought a sense of satisfaction for anyone who has seethed while downloading a pricier title.

Three publishers—HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group, and Simon & Schuster—settled to avoid the expense of a civil trial. But Apple and two others, Macmillan and Penguin USA, are fighting back. The two publishers believe that a monopoly would will return to the marketplace. Apple thinks the government’s case is weak (the Wall Street Journal and the Yahoo! Daily Ticker agree) and will ask for a trial in a June 22 hearing.

Borders going out of businessDespite arguments that publishers have been technologically out of touch, the defense claims that the agency model actually led to a more robust e-book marketplace. And one best-selling author claims that the Apple deal actually staved off the death of brick-and-mortar bookstores. (Turns out paper and print costs make up only 10 to 15 percent of a book price.)

Whom to believe? What’s the agency model? How much is a book going to be? Read on.

Forget the merits of the case. When are prices dropping? Summer book reading may actually get a little cheaper. CNN has a spellbinding list of things Amazon could do, like $1.99 fire sales, giveaways, or bundles. Non-Amazon e-book retailers could pump up their loyalty programs to compete.

Even iBookstore patrons could benefit in the short term. While its armies of gray suits do battle in the courtroom, Apple could either drop all the publishers that agree to the agency pricing (see explanation below) and lose a chunk of its offerings, or it could negotiate with all publishers now. Who knows, maybe “The Hunger Games” could get a place in the iBookstore.

[Related: eBooks invented in 1971]

Attorney General Eric Holder at press conferenceHow a book is priced, Uncle Sam’s tale: Now for the merits of the case. According to the DOJ antitrust complaint, publishers usually sell a title to retailers for about half the list price. Retailers can then sell the book at any price. That’s the wholesale model.

When Amazon launched Kindle in 2007 and priced all books at $9.99, competitors rushed to match or beat the price. Publishers, the DOJ said, feared that “Amazon and other retailers would demand that publishers lower their wholesale prices, again compressing their profit margins.”

Apple’s iBookstore entry took on the agency model, which lets publishers set the e-book price, and gave Apple a 30% commission as the selling agent. Publishers sell directly to readers rather than through a retailer.

All these publishers scheming (and doing so “in private dining rooms of upscale Manhattan restaurants“) resulted in higher prices, the government claimed, and cost readers more than $100 million. Another clause that tickled DOJ antitrust antennas: the Most Favored Nation (MFN), common in all agency contracts, in which a publisher guarantees that no other retailer could set prices below what was set for Apple.

On many adult trade e-books, consumers have witnessed an increase in retail prices between 30 and 50 percent. In some cases, the agency model dictates that the price of an e-book is higher than its corresponding trade paperback edition, despite the significant savings in printing and distributing costs offered by e-books. (Case 1:12-cv-02826-UA, Competitive Impact Statement)

As for Apple, the Wall Street Journal says the agency model “has been upheld by federal courts and is common across many industries.” The lawsuit claims it’s targeting the collusion, not the business model.

Incidentally, Random House wasn’t sued. One Los Angeles Times opinion piece says that’s because Random House didn’t participate in the dinners. Note to potential conspirators: best to meet at a food court.

Apple publisher partnershipHow the agency model fought the monopoly, the book publishers’ tale: HarperCollins, which said it settled because of a “business decision,” claimed that readers have “choices of devices, formats and prices that never would have existed but for the agency model.” The Hachette Book Group, also echoing denials, said it made “less money than before the adoption of agency“:

Two years ago, Amazon effectively had a monopoly on the sale of eBooks and eReaders, and was selling products below cost in an effort to exclude competitors. Today, consumers have multiple sources to choose from, and the price of dedicated e-readers has fallen dramatically. And the fact that 82% of Hachette’s eBooks are currently priced at $9.99 or less — including many books by our bestselling authors — belies any notion that we increased prices on all eBooks. (HBG’s statement on the US Dept of Justice Case)

Macmillan, which had a tiff once with Amazon that resulted in its books being pulled off the retailer’s site, stated it would fight:

[T]he terms the DOJ demanded were too onerous. After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that the terms could have allowed Amazon to recover the monopoly position it had been building before our switch to the agency model. We also felt the settlement the DOJ wanted to impose would have a very negative and long term impact on those who sell books for a living, from the largest chain stores to the smallest independents. (April 11, Macmillan)

As for Penguin:

The decision we took in January 2010 to move Penguin’s e-book business to agency pricing has been vindicated by the very rapid subsequent growth in the volume of e-books sold by agency publishers, and by the benefit to consumers of the steep decline in the price of e-book readers that that has resulted from this open competition. (April 11, Penguin)

CNET has agreed and says that Amazon’s bargain pricing “was helping devalue consumers’ notion of what a new book ‘should’ cost.” Plus, publishers were giving a shot to retailers who couldn’t compete with Amazon. The Wall Street Journal says the lawsuit has caused investors to jump ship from Barnes & Noble.

 

 

042412 e-books Jeff Bezos Happy Amazon, unhappy agents and authors, their story: Amazon, which used to be the biggest retailer, is calling the move “a big win for Kindle owners.” The suit, however, has upset writers, as well as the literary agents who represent them.

What this lawsuit probably will do instead is return to Amazon the power to monopolize the e-book market through predatory pricing to the detriment of publishers, authors and, ultimately, readers. (April 16, Op-Ed, Los Angeles Times)

Author Scott Turow wrote a cautionary letter well in advance of the civil case:

Amazon was using e-book discounting to destroy bookselling, making it uneconomic for physical bookstores to keep their doors open …

Just before Amazon introduced the Kindle, it convinced major publishers to break old practices and release books in digital form at the same time they released them as hardcovers. Then Amazon dropped its bombshell: as it announced the launch of the Kindle, publishers learned that Amazon would be selling countless frontlist e-books at a loss. This was a game-changer, and not in a good way. Amazon’s predatory pricing would shield it from e-book competitors that lacked Amazon’s deep pockets.. By the end of 2009, Amazon held an estimated 90% of the rapidly growing e-book market.

The irony bites hard: our government may be on the verge of killing real competition in order to save the appearance of competition. (March 9, The Author’s Guild)

 

 

 

 

Big corporations, indie booksellers—finding the best way to get a book out there: As mentioned before, print costs make up only a small fraction of a book’s price: CNET notes that “[a]uthor advances, design, marketing, publicity, office space, and staff” account for the overhead. One author laid out a “publishing pipeline” to prove that publishers are irrelevant and to advocate the J.K. Rowling “Pottermore model” of direct author-device-reader relationship.

True, publishers also provide marketing (although precious little, for most books) and the imprimatur of quality (you’ve read some bad published books, but you have no idea how much better they were than most of what festers on publishers’ slush piles.) But is there any reason other than history and momentum that editing, copyediting, design, typesetting, marketing, and quality assurance live under one corporate roof? Small presses already do an excellent job of all of these things, frequently by outsourcing them. So what’s so necessary about the Big Six, in an era of shrinking advances, when their biggest names can and will pull a Pottermore and start to sell books themselves? Very little indeed. (April 21, TechCrunch)

Some still advocate for the one-stop shop, but publishers could cut one expense: Cut down on digital rights management requirements. If the agency model presided, indie booksellers could charge a lower commission and publishers could keep their margins.

DRM is supposed to prevent piracy and illegal file sharing. In order to provide DRM, you need at least $10,000 up front to cover software, server, and administration fees, plus ongoing expenses associated with the software. In other words, much bigger operating expenses than a small business can afford. By requiring retailers to encrypt e-books with DRM, big publishers are essentially banning indie retailers from the online marketplace. (April 6, Paid Content)

Time for an ironic aside?: On July 27, the question of whether federal settlements are in the “public interest” will be addressed at a hearing. In a nice twist, the government litigator collecting public comment on the case is John Read.

    • http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/y-big-story-e-book-might-really-cost-234713944.html
    • I read this story this morning on the heels for the story from the other day. Now what I got out of this is that traditional publishers are now whining because they no long have control over the book market. Wake up people. We are in a new era. Indies now have a voice and they are beginning to drive the publishing train. In the body of this article was a statement that stuck in my mind.  “True, publishers also provide marketing (although precious little, for most books) and the imprimatur of quality (you’ve read some bad published books, but you have no idea how much better they were than most of what festers on publishers’ slush piles.)”
    •  Seriously! that is all they can come up with. That what they print is better than what most indie’s write and print. Please, I have been reading since I was old enough to hold a book, trust me, some of the books that “mainstream” authors throw out there is garbage. The old adage of “Garbage in, Garbage out” has never been so true as it is now in mainstream publishing. It is the same old tired plot, characters, settings and endings. The quality of indie authors is so much better in content and pricing. And to add insult to injury not they don’t provide marketing, that is what agents do.
    • Their complaint is is cost so much more for them to publish books, please with kindle and Nook all one has to do is upload the already formatted book and hit the send button. Traditional publishers have become greedy and sloppy as do most large corporations when they get so big they have no control.
    • As Indie authors popularity grows and as more and more indie’s get their books listed on Nook and Kindle Traditional Publishers will have to get in our line. They will no longer be able to call the shots. If they try they will lose sales and so will their authors. The writer of the above article is correct the royalties authors receive are pennies on the dollar because of all the overhead. They don’t even want to pay a decent royalty on kindle or nook when there is very little overhead involved. J.K Rowlings had it right when she took control or her electronic book market.  Why should she pay someone to hit the send button?
    • Now is the time to support indie authors, they are the ones who will drive the book  and publishing train not the traditional publishers. They are the ones who have pulled ahead in the publishing industry and that is why we are hated so much by the Traditional Houses. They  no longer can dictate what you read or who you read.

April 25, 2012 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Do We As Humans Hate Change?

Why do we hate change so much? That question is as old as the world. I have my own theory.

We hate change because it requires us to rethink the way things have been in the past. We hate change because it requires us to rethink our mindset about the way things should be. Let me explain.

For years the publishing industry has condition us to read books written in a certain way. They have also conditioned their authors to write in a certain way. In other words if you read a James Patterson novel you will see that each book has the same story line, the same type of character and the same setting just different cities. This never changes. The reason is simple, by doing this he can crank out three books a year with no effort on his part. The publishing industry is happy and he is happy. It is a win win.

He is just one of many who come to mind. I have been reading books since before I started school way back in the day. The more I read the more the story lines stayed the same. As much as I enjoyed the late Robert B. Parker he also wrote the same thing over and over and over again. Different day same plot, same everything.

See how this is working? We are conditioned to accept the same thing over and over and over again. These authors get caught in a rut because it is demanded by their publisher. It is easy money because subtly the reading public is sucked into the swirling madness of the publishing industry. We never see it coming until …. well most of us never see it coming at all.

Now, this brings me to another point of this blog. The movie industry. The same thing happens here as well. The same old tired plots whether it is action, or romance or whatever, we are conditioned to accept what is thrown out there as gospel. When someone like a Tim Burton and a Johnny Depp dare to take a “classic” and rework it most get their panties in a wad. The reason is simple. They have been conditioned to accept the “norm”.  I have heard well no one can do it like Jonathan Frid.

Hello! Tim Burton knew this. That is probably why he chose to take it in a new direction.  Please people, think for yourself. Stop living in the past, there is nothing there. Stop living in a vacuum. Yes, Dark Shadows is a classic, but remember it was redone several years ago with a new cast and trust me it was not the original by any stretch of the imagination. The few episodes I saw were stilted and not well done. There was no passion.

The point of this blog is this.  While there is nothing new under the sun, there are always new and inventive ways of changing things up. For instance there will always be crime stories true crime, fiction crime, etc. But do we always have to read the same plot line the same tired trip from first page to last? No, we don’t that is why when you read my books be they true crime or crime fiction you don’t have a clue as to what you are getting. I refuse to be in that box. My true crimes are raw, explicit and un -sanitized.  I refuse to sugar coat anything that is done to the victims. They deserve better. Yes, I have been criticized for it. My answer to that is simply don’t read my books if you can’t stand the facts.

My crime fiction is the same way. It is what it is. You will not sit and turn the page bored out of your skull. Because you don’t know what the next page will bring. You can only guess and most times the guess is wrong. This is called change. This is called thinking outside the box. This is called taking care of your readers. People who read my books can say anything they want about them. But the one thing they can’t say is they were bored, that is unless they refuse to understand why I write the way I do or they are just plain stupid. And I have had a few of those comment but we all do.

I would much rather read a book that I had no clue where it was headed than to sit down start one and less than half way through the book know how it will end. I do this all the time with shows on TV I know how it will end because they are all written the same way.

This brings me back to Dark Shadows- we all know Barnabas is a Vamp that is a given what we don’t know is how is he going to handle the 21 century. That is what will make this excellent. We know that Johnny Depp brings a new dimension to the Character and we know that Depp is Depp no matter who he plays.

So instead of trashing what you don’t know embrace what you do and run with it. You won’t be sorry, remember “Twilight-” Who says Vamps can’t handle the sun?

April 24, 2012 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Write What I Tell You!

I get asked all the time how long have I been writing. My answer is I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write either in my head or on paper. When I was a small child most of my writing was in my head because I was discouraged from writing by those who taught me in school. Well they didn’t actually discourage me in the sense of not writing- but they wanted to control my ideas. It became a game of write what I tell you to and not what you feel- But yet the instructions were to write what I felt. Go figure. When I wrote what I felt the paper was returned to me with a big red mark and a note that said, “This is not what I expected from you.” Really? You told me to give you my thoughts not yours.

A prime example was when I was in seventh grade we had to read “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. Yes, boys and girls we were not censored by some idiot parent who thought their tender little children didn’t need to read such a cruel and horrible book.

Anyway, our wise and wonderful teacher had us write a paper. Part of this paper was to define which perpetrator was the most guilty.

Okay, for those of you who are sitting at your computer going what the hell is she talking about let me just give you the back story.

In Cold Blood is the true crime- one of the very first ones I every read at 12 years old- it is about two men who broke into a home and raped and murder the women and killed the males. There were two perpetrators one who sort of just followed and the leader who was a narcissistic psychopath. They were both condemned to  death and Truman Capote decided to write their story. He became friends with the one who was the follower and believed he should have received a lighter sentence. This book is a classic in the true crime Genre and has been made into a classic film. Circa 1960’s. Okay fast forward to my seventh grade year.

I am 12 years old reading this very graphic true crime and understanding all of what I am reading and knowing what and how I want to write this paper. I am very proud that I have thought this thing through with logic. So I sit down take pen to paper (for you young ones it predates computers) and set t0 work.

As I carefully and thoughtfully write my paper I see the crime in my head. I see the family members brutally murdered with a shotgun blast to their heads. I see Richard “Dick” Hickcock   and Perry Smith as they attack this family in Kansas. Perry Smith was the less violent of the two – Hickcock on the other hand was as unstable as a vial of nitro.

After very careful deliberation I determined that even though Smith didn’t participate in the actual murders he stood by without doing anything to stop them. When I wrote the paper I stated that both me were equally guilty because Smith did nothing. Now remember I was told to write my thoughts and feelings not the teacher’s.

Imagine my fury when I was handed the paper back and told that was not what she wanted. Seriously? I was pissed. So I went back to my pen and paper and really ticked her off. I stated that since my previous thought process was not in line with her opinion then as far as I was concerned Smith was more guilty because he did nothing. He stood by and allowed Hickcock to slit Cuttler’s throat then blast him with the shotgun then killed the rest of his family.

She didn’t like that one either. I used logic and explained my argument simple enough that a child could understand. But needless to say I didn’t receive a good grade all because I thought outside the box and it was my opinion not hers. I never forgave her for  that.

I just decided then and there that I would never be put in a box, I would never be the one who allowed others to tell me my opinions.  Because of that my creative style of writing was slammed by teachers for years. All because I refused to think like they did. I was not encouraged to be creative in my own right. I was not encouraged to stretch my imagination beyond the boundaries of  the norm.

Instead I blazed my own path, I took the road not traveled and I never looked back. For those of you who read my work you know that about me. Those of you who take pride in criticizing my work live in that same world as my seventh grade teacher. You haven’t yet opened your mind to things outside of your comfort zone. What a shame.  You miss so much! You cheat yourselves of  new things and exciting things on a road not traveled.

Capote was criticized for In Cold Blood, Edgar Allen Poe died penniless, Shakespeare was laughed at. If these men can do it and not worry about what the world thinks then so can I . That is why my  true crimes are different than any you have ever read before, they are not sanitized, they are not sugar coated and they are not kind to the perpetrator. They are raw, factual and for the victims. Even my crime fictions are not sugar coated.

That paper- the first one I wrote was well done- it was articulated and logical, the problem was the teacher had a closed mind and refused to think about anything except her concept. Such a shame.

April 21, 2012 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should an Author Insert Their Own Political Persuasions in a Fiction Novel?

Should an author insert their political persuasions in a fiction novel? This questions haunts me all the time because I am an avid reader and many books I read are filled with the leanings of the author. I tend to say no they should not be inserted. It becomes a subtle message buried in the story line.

I don’t care what an authors political leanings are, I don’t care if they are conservative, liberal or somewhere in between those leanings have no place in any story unless the author is writing a book on politics. Readers read to escape not to be indoctrinated in the political leanings of that particular author. I am sadly finding the happening more and more, just like I see it more and more on shows on Television. The subtle little messages scream at me and it just turns me off. There are several well known authors I will no longer read for this very reason.

An author can be entertaining without inserting that much of  themselves into a book. Yes, we do insert a part of ourselves into every book we write- but it does’t have to be so in my face. I don’t need to know how you feel about the current party in office, the hatred you have for Fox News, the stupidity of the republican party, the importance of the “entitlement programs” or how unfair one party is vs another. I don’t care. It is not germane to the plot of the story. Get over yourself!

There are better and more logical ways to get your views across, not in books read for entertainment!

I would be interested in hearing from those of you who read my blogs as to your thought process.

April 19, 2012 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , | Leave a comment

An Excerpt From The Pink Canary to Be Released 2012- Not Your Every Day Drag Queen

The Pink Canary

Chapter One

  The Pink Canary is my pride and joy. It took me years to save up enough money between my day job and my night job to buy into the beautiful nightclub. It is situated between two other nightclubs the Bourbon St Pub and the I Love the Nightlife..I love to Boogie on Duval St., the main drag in Key West. I co-own this sweet little piece of paradise with a silent partner who I still don’t know. All of the legal mumbo jumbo was handled by the attorneys. My partner doesn’t bother me and I make money hand over fist.

She is a beauty this Pink Canary of mine. Her exterior walls are painted a Caribbean shade of pink, not quite the color of the bright pinks the sun throws on the sky in the evening when she sets at Mallory Square, but not quite the soft shade of pink of the flamingos that we sometimes see around town. Yes, my club is called The Pink Canary. There is one perched on top of the club in neon lights which act as a beacon when the sun sets and the party begins.

Even during the day the interior of this beautiful place screams Pink. From the carpet, to the bar to the stools and even the stage is pink. At night when the spot light drops to the stage one sees pink. What can I say, I look good in pink. My name is Lola and I am the headliner and owner of the hottest drag queen nightclub in Key West. Well, okay, I am Lola at night during the day I go by another name when I am undercover. No, I am not a cop. I am just a concerned citizen who wants justice for the killings that have been committed in my fair city. The killings which are hurting business for all of us especially the gay nightclub business. And what Lola wants Lola gets!

Chapter Two

   It all started when the first body was found a couple of weeks ago in the Alley next to the club. I had just stepped out after my first set to get a breath of fresh air when I saw what looked like a homeless person asleep next to the dumpster. I walked over in my five inch heels, throwing my pink feather boa around my neck to keep it from dragging the ground with one hand and holding the end of my pink sequined gown with the killer spaghetti straps with the other hand.

“Hey, man, are you okay.” I asked as I approached the non-moving person. “You don’t look too good.”

“Well of course he doesn’t look too good, dummy.” I said out loud to no one, he has a hole in the front of his forehead the size of a quarter.  As I bent over to stupidly check for a pulse I could smell the pungent scent of death and I could see the results of that smell which had puddled around his legs. “Yep, he is dead.”  I said as I straightened back up. “Great, just what I need. Another one. I thought I had put all that behind me.”

No, I didn’t run screaming like a girl back to the club. I had seen this a couple of times before. The MO looked the same. It just pissed me off because it was in my backyard and it meant that I would have to go inside and call the cops, which in turn meant I would have to put my replacement in the next sets. The customers were not going to be happy. Sure they liked the other acts, but they came to see me. Oh well, can’t be helped. “But you could have had the courtesy to be killed over at the Hog’s Breath or Captain Toney’s or even Sloppy Joe’s instead of here.” 

Turning on my pink heel I marched myself back into the club. I found my replacement and then I went into my office and called 911.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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