Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

My Books, writing tips and reviews

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

There is a Story in All of Us!

Yes, Virginia there is a story in all of us. But most of us never let it out. The reason is simple. As children we believed in makebelieve, we allowed our imagination to run away with us. We could make a fort out of a sheet draped over a couple of chairs. We would take large sticks and the became swords. We climbed trees and believed we were on top of a mountain. But then something happened. We grew up. Actually we grew away from our inner child. We were told that it couldn’t come out and play anymore because we had to act like an adult. So that inner child went into hiding never to be seen by most of us again. We stiffled that creative side of our lives. I blame teachers, parents and other adults who couldn’t see past the word “adult” How many times were you told “grow up,stop acting like a child?” Granted there are times most times when we should be adult. We should be responsible, in our jobs, our families etc. But then there are the times when the inner child needs to come out and play. It keeps us young at heart, it helps us to see the world in a different light.
Tomorrow, Thursday, I am going to help some nice folks do exactly that. I am going to teach them how to allow the inner child out – how to let it come out and play and enjoy the light. I will be going to a retirement community to teach the folks there creatvie writing. I know they all have stories everyone of them. This will be fun. I am going to allow my inner child out as well. Of course she is out all the time. Her name is Layla and she loves to come out and play.
Layla was supressed for so long. When I was younger I knew I could write. I saw stories in everything I did. Everyplace I went I saw a story. But, the adults in my life didn’t want me to waste time writing. There were to many other important things that needed to be done. Like math.
My inner child went to sleep for many years. She refused to come out and play. She couldn’t stand the rejection, the harsh words of “you can’t do this, what would people think?” So she faded into the dark recesses of my mind. It wasn’t until many years later, that I decided to try again. If for no other reason than to leave something behind for the grandchildren so they would know about their Uncle Stan who is challenged. Who has succeeded because of those challenges. Who believes in himself even if no one else does. So I wrote his story.
I was just going to leave it unpublished so the children and grandchildren would have it. Instead I tried my hand at publishing. I was rejected to many times to count by the so called Traditional Publishers. So I waited, I bidded my time and when the time was right I did it my way. I have never looked back. The inner child Layla is so happy. She is out and playing like crazy.
So tomorrow I will teach these wonderful senior citizens how to allow that inner child to return to the forfront of their mind, how to allow it to come out and play without fear of rejection. How to embrace that inner child and use it to create wonderful stories to leave behind for those they love. To leave a part of them behind so the children and grandchildren can have a part of them for their memory boxes.
The written word is so powerful. It can help someone grieve, it cand offer comfort, laughter, and yes even tears. But is it still a memory. Something that if not shared is lost for all times.
So allow that inner child out to play, make a memory and write it down! You children and grandchildren will thank you for it.

February 1, 2012 Posted by | Events | , , , , | Leave a comment

My Grammer School Nightmares in Reading and Writing.

I have been reading since before I went to school. My mother taught me to read and write when I was five years old. Before that she read to me. When I was in first and second grade the lady who ran the library at school used to try to keep me locked into those one word books, “Run, Jane.” See Jane run.” I was bored. So I went to the next level and she almost didn’t let me check them out. She told me they were to old for me to understand. Seriously!

When we sat in a reading group I would be finished with the book before the group was through reading out loud. To say I was bored is an understatement. I had a teacher one time tell me that I had not finished a book and that if I had I didn’t understand what I had read. I had to tell her what was in the book.

When I had to write something I wrote above the heads of most of the kids in the class and the teachers didn’t believe I wrote it. To say that they never believed that I was so advanced in reading and writing is an understatement. The reason they didn’t believe it – I was not very bright in math. I hated it. Sure it was logical but it made no sense to me. So they tried to retard my other accomplishments. Which in turn made me feel stupid and under accomplished I was never given credit for the things I did right. The creative talent of writing. The creative talents of the arts. For years I hated them for that.

My words meant nothing to anyone and after a time they meant nothing to me. So I pushed it aside and the inner child, the voices in my head that created wonderful stories left. They hid for years. I became what was expected of me. I became what others wanted me to be. I became respectable. I still hated math, but I managed.

I succeeded at what I did but I didn’t feel successful. There was always something missing. I felt repressed and stifled. I needed to write. I needed to be able to express myself.

Had I been encouraged in my writing, had someone said, “I believe you can do this.” my writing career might have started off sooner than it did. Had there been an appreciation for the fact that I had a gift who knows where I might be today.

The point of this is- within all of us there are stories, within all of us there are creative juices which should be allowed to emerge and grow. No on should ever be allowed to destroy that without our permission. On the flip side of that coin we should never try to destroy someone else’s dream either. We should encourage them, walk with them and help them on their journey.

We are losing wordsmiths everyday to mortality. It is way past time to help the new ones up that ladder. Be a mentor- be a trailblazer- be a writer- Don’t be afraid to be unique! Don’t be afraid to let the inner child come out and play!

November 14, 2011 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Even Main Stream Authors Get Beat Up!!!

When I first saw this article I had to read it twice. Here we have two established bestselling authors basically trashing another best selling author who writes for teens. The genres are compeletly different- Stephanie writes what is in her mind and imagination and is getting slammed and told she can’t write. Please.
Who is Stephen King to determine who can write and who can’t – This is the same man who describes a blade of grass to death. Ann Rice writes a completly different genre now. She no longers writes on the dark side.
This is a very important lesson to indie authors. Each of us are unique to this world. Each of us have our own visions and characters to explore. That doesn’t make one author better than another one. It doesn’t make what one author produces any less appealing to a market. Stephanie has a way of reaching teens on a level that most people can’t. She has found her niche- which is good for her. I am proud of her and her success. I am proud that she has gotten children who probably never picked up a book before and are reading her books faster than she can produce them.
It is this reason that I don’t pay attention to what others say about my work- I don’t pay attention to the rare unkind remarks some personal. I know what I can do and I do it. I know that my readers some who don’t normally read can’t wait for my books.

This profession is a demanding one. It is one that takes all of our time – our energy and our dedication. Many people spend their entire life wishing they could do what we do. The only think holding them back is fear.
All of you indie authors out there continue to do what you do! I know I am!

This is what was said by Ann Rice and Stephen King about Stephanie Meyer and Her Vampire Books“A vampire rivalry is brewing. Anne Rice, author of the popular ‘Vampire Chronicles’ series that includes ‘Interview With the Vampire,’ took to her Facebook page to knock the author of ‘Twilight,’ Stephenie Meyer. Rice said her vampires would “feel sorry for vampires that sparkle in the sun,” as the “Twilight” vampires do. She also knocks the fact that the ‘Twilight’ vampires remain in high school throughout the books. Wouldn’t you know it, Rice’s Facebook post has exploded. It has almost 9,000 “likes” and more than 1,800 comments. Most cheered her on, saying “Twilight is for kids, and the Vampire Chronicles are adult fiction.” But another person said, “Cutting on someone else’s success seems more than a little petty to me.” The comments escalated so much that Rice stepped in to clarify that “there’s plenty of room for a little humour in talking about the various interpretations.” Rice isn’t the first vampire author to knock Stephenie Meyer. In 2009, Stephen King said, “Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” Which vampire author do you prefer? Rice or Meyer?”
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/trending-now/vampire-chronicles-author-knocks-twilight-public-figure-sues-162007091.html

November 1, 2011 Posted by | Books | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I Write the Way I Do

The Last Rites

I have often been asked why I write the genres I write and why I write my true crimes the way I do. Well, I am going to tell you.
I decided a long time ago when I was still in school in fact that I would not ever be pigeon holed. In other words, I would not allow myself to be someone who wrote the same tired storyline, the same characters and the same book time after time. I have stopped reading good authors, who were well known because they wrote the same thing over and over again. It frankly got boring. Sadly the blame lies at the feet of tradtional publishers who force the authors to crank out two books a year with no thought as to the quality of the book. Garbage in Garbage out!

So that being said, this is what I do. When I write my true crimes I refuse to allow the criminal to be pitied. They knew what they were doing and they did it with forethought and malice. The victims are the ones who deserve to be remembered. They are the forgotten ones, the ones who are in unmarked graves because their families refuse to claim the body. The ones who are so mutilated that there is no open casket to say goodbye. The ones who are never found because the criminal likes playing mind games. I write about the victims who are forgotten. They are the ones who call to me who grab my heart and soul. Who get in my head and stay there.
I don’t write about every crime- every murder or every rape. I don’t do high profile cases. They are over done and the writers just keep regurgating the same old words. I write about the ones who have fallen into that black hole of obscurity the ones who were forgotten as soon as the case was closed.
Because of my degree and background I can get into the head of the criminal even thought they are not in front of me. I understand how they think especially serial killers. I am an expert on Gerard Schaefer. I find everything I can on them as well as the victims, I get case files, newspaper reports and talk to those involved in the cases. I study all involved in the case. I put myself there. I see it taste it, smell it and feel it.I hear the cries of the victims as I tell their story. I see the pain and fear and hopelessness in their eyes. I can taste the tears that stream down their faces as they struggle to understand why someone would want to destroy their life. I see the evil in the face and soul of the murderer, I feel his need to be in control, to hurt, to maim and to kill. I have to tell the story.

When I write fiction I write about things that grab my attention as in the case of A Voice from the Grave. I traveled to Andersonville Prison in 2006. The curator of the museum told me they didn’t receive any Federal Funding for the site. They operate on donations and a bit of State Funding. When I walked around at the site of the Prison I felt the dead cry out to me to be heard. I felt the atrocity of the needless deaths due to war, greed and stupidity. I could see the suffering of the men in the camp who had not food or water. Who were exposed to the elements and died because of it. I could smell the fields of battle the air filled with gun powder, blood and body parts. I could hear the screams of pain and death. I saw those prisoners as they were marched from those fields of battle and herded like so many cattle to box cars waiting on the railroad tracks then loaded like sardines into those boxcars. So many men there was no room to sit or lay down. The smell of unwashed bodies, wounded men with open wounds which had become infected on the long march. Men with broken bones, shell shocked and weak from lack of food or water. Those voices called out to me to be heard.

I knew I had to tell a story – I started researching that book then. I bought all the books I could not just on Andersonville but on the war in general. The reason I wanted to know all I could to put myself in that time period to try and understand why Americans felt it was necessary to kill and maim each other over nothing.
It took four years of research to get the story they wanted to tell.
My crime fictions were spin offs from researching my true crime. A distraction if you will. A prelude to the true crime. A character decided it had a story to tell so I allowed it to do so. Every story is different. In Tangled Minds a young 17 year old girl gets pregnant and she refuses to accept the responsiblity for her actions. She runs away from home, gets involved in unlawful acts and because if it her son follows that same path. This book was based on a real murder which happened in Gainesville, Ga in the 1990’s. A friend of my oldest daughter was involved with that murder. He refused to accept his part in the crime. He spent 10 years in prison. The girl in the book was taken from my oldest daughter who started having children at 15. She didn’t always accept the responsiblity for her actions and now her oldest son is in prison.
Brilliant Insanity was written while I was researching my true crime Silent Scream. There was a character who kept screaming to be heard. So I wrote the book in first person as the killer who is about to be executed. He has all the typical characteristics of the mind of a serial killer.
Dream Catcher, Failure Was Never an Option was written in the early 1970’s. As i had my children and was watching them grow and ineract with my brother Stan who is challenged it occured to me that one day there would be no one around to tell the stories of Stan and how he changed lives with his positive outlook on life even with the cards he had been dealt. His desire to make his life a positive thing instead of someone to be pitied. His belief that he had something to offer those whose lives he touched even when others didn’t. This was the first book i ever published and it is because of him that I am now a successful author. He is my yardstick.

When Fates Collide and Mardi Gras Bound were a complete 180 from my normal writing. It was all due to my author friend Andrea Dean Van Scoyoc who writes dark fiction. She had this wonderful idea to shock and awe our readers with a funfilled, comedy. It was something new and different and fun. Something that our readers didn’t expect. We will continue the series just to give us a break from out normal writing. It gives our brain cells a much needed break from the dark side.

As you can see, I create my own genre, my own place in the writing world. I use my own standards, I hold myself up to no other writer. I don’t listen to negative remarks by those who would try to steal my dream. I write because it is a passion, it is who I am – I write what I enjoy when I enjoy it. I write things that draw me in that cry out to be written about.
I refuse to allow anyone to dictate what I write, when I write or how I write. I research everything before I write before I write it whether it is fiction or real. I want my readers to feel the charcter, smell the smells, see the places and touch the emotions. I want me reader in the book. When the reader is finished with the last page I want them to say, “I want more.”

This is what is lacking in the traditonal books. I can say this with authority as I read them all the time and always have. Edgar Allen Poe always left the reader wanting more, he never failed. I have taken my direction from him.
He never failed to surprise and all of his stories were different.
Bottom line is this, if you are tired of the same old story lines, the same tired characters and the same tired conversations then you need my books. They never fail to surprise or stay with you. They are available at Amazon, Amazon kindle, Nook Book Lulu.com and if you want something to cherish and tell your friends about you can order signed copies from my online store at http://thebookattic.ecrater.com.
I am always available to my readers through email, facebook and this site. I always return emails and answer questions. I never refuse to sign books and I always have time for those who enjoy reading my work and those who want to know me better. That unfortuntaly cannot always be said of tradional authors who don’t even have control on their facebook page or their website.
All of these factors are the reason I write the way I do. So enjoy by books and tell your fiends, you won’t be disapointed.

October 10, 2011 Posted by | yvonne mason | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Writers Workshop at Jupiter Library Jupiter Florida November 17,2009

I will be in Jupiter Florida on November 17,2009 from 6:30-pm-8:30pm conductin a writers workshop. I will be talking about writing and marketing in the 21st century for indipendant writers. As indie’s we have an opprotunity that has never before been afforded to us. We have ways of publishing our works and marketing those works that until now has been closed to us.

    The key is dedication and hard work. I will be teaching how to market and where to get your works published. Come join me if you are interested in writing, have written and don’t know how to get published or what to do once you are published.

     This workshop is free and open to the public. You can either contact me at ysam51@yahoo.com or Jupiter Library for more information.

  I hope to see you there.

  Yvonne Mason 

 

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Author, writing workshops | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

   

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