You may be accosted into some great reading; thereupon, I welcome you to Buttonholed Book Reviews ~ ranging from the ghastly literary fiction of mystery, thrillers & suspense to contemporary literary writings ~
You might find your next author to enjoy & uncover your next treasured read
Thank you for taking your time for my audience and myself ~
Who are your influences?
of my earlier work is dark and moody and I still write those types of book. My
current WIP is the darkest one yet. Recently I’ve started writing lighter and
frivolous work, especially satire. For the book in question “Salmonweird”, I
would say the main influences are Lindsey Davis who writes historical crime
with a touch of humour, Jasper Fforde who writes weird fi with a touch of
mystery, and Ben Aarnonovitch who writes the Rivers of London urban fantasy
When did you begin writing?
As soon as I was old enough to form
sentences. I always had an active imagination, so say my parents, and few
people who knew me as a kid are surprised that I’m writing today.
How do you come up with your stories, characters, character
names, POV, etc.?
Get this – most of my stories come to me in dreams. That was the case with
my horror comedy novella Dead Heat and at least three WIPs. Salmonweird was
different though. I just sat down one day and started writing a story about a
man living in a village full of ghosts as the only live person. Because this is
largely historical fiction, I researched names for authenticity. Cornwall in
England where the book is based has a distinct linguistic and cultural tradition
from the rest of England because the native Cornish language is Brythonic
(related to Welsh, Scots Gaelic, Manx, Breton, and Irish Gaelic) whereas the
English language is Germanic. Names of people and places are quite distinct.
Morwenna, Kensa, Corin, Ebrel, Jowan are all characters in the book.
If you could actually meet one of your characters, who would
Interesting question! Probably Hook
Hand Harry (the pirate captain) from Salmonweird. I had such fun creating him.
Despite being the comic relief, he has moments of genuine wisdom, will help
anyone who needs it, and isn’t scared about getting his hands dirty. He’s loyal
and has traditionally “gentlemanly” qualities on how to treat others.
Do you work from an outline?
wing it as I go along although sometimes I have ideas for chapters and scenes
which I then work to piece together into the narrative.
Tell me about your favorite scene in your novel(s).
The opening scene when my main character returns to
his bedroom after hearing his wife screaming the house down. I don’t want to
say too much, because I genuinely think it’s the funniest thing in the book.
Can you tell us a little about your writing philosophy?
To write the sort of book I would want to read rather
than writing what I think would sell. If I can make myself laugh at the funny
scenes, if I can set my pulse racing during the tense scenes, if I can cry at
the tragedies I create, and if I can feel something approaching sadness or
grief for killing a character, then it’s almost certainly going to have the
same impact on somebody else too. I love being creative, I love the ideas that
my mind throws up.
Have you ever tried writing in any other genres?
I never stick to one genre. Salmonweird is a
supernatural crime comedy with historical fiction. A current WIP I expect to
finish this year is a science fiction horror set during the Roman Empire. I have
written horror comedy and a current WIP is a tech thriller. So you could say
I’m a bit of a genre bender!
Do you have any interesting writing-related anecdotes to
only thing I can think of is meeting weird fi fantasy writer Robert Rankin at a
collector’s fair. I walked past his stall several times looking at his books.
Eventually he said “all the times you’ve walked past my stall and thought about
buying, you could have bought a copy of all my titles”. I went over, had a good
talk with him and bought his book purely on the banter we had. I met him
several more times after that and always bought his most recent book from the
stall. I still have those books (signed) today.
Do you listen to music as you write?
No. I need to absorb myself in the
place, the characters and situation and visualise myself being there. I can
only do that without distractions.
Where is your favorite place to read?
At the beach. I haven’t done it
enough this year yet but hope to remedy that soon. My nearest beach is about 15
minutes away so I have no excuse.
What is the current book your reading?
A New Scientist
volume of papers and articles about chance.
Matt, here are some suggestions I feel readers would like to
The inspiration behind your book, the benefits of your book
for the reader and any personal related story compared with the world of your
beginning of my book I have a Rudyard Kipling quote: “if history were taught in
the form of stories it would never be forgotten”. That is the essence of
Salmonweird. I want people to appreciate, understand, and enjoy history through
my fictional characters and see that people in the past despite maybe having
different worldviews or outlooks, were no different from us. They still fell in
and out of love. They had family clashes. They worried about the future. They
suffered happiness and grief. They got ill. They went to war and survived, or
they died. They wanted to live a good life. But sometimes things went wrong
with all the best intentions.
not my deliberate intention to do so, but in Salmonweird I feel I have brought
some elements of English and British history to life through the lens of a tiny
fictional village in Cornwall while not sacrificing the most important element
in a story – the story. I hope readers find it as entertaining as
I like how you come up with your stories Matt, I can relate to those. You probably dream in color too. I had a great time reading your interview and I wish you the best on your new novel. The ghosts are coming ~
On the behalf of my readers Matt, thank you for your time.
Read the first 3 chapters of Salmonweird here, folks!
MG Mason was born in Swindon in the 1970s but currently living on the Cornish south coast.
has had an eclectic professional life, reading archaeology in Exeter
but working as a web content writer. Without doubt, fiction is his first
A friend once asked him if he had considered writing a
book in one genre without throwing two other genres into the same story.
Until that point he hadn't realised just how much mashing up genres
defined his work.
They were right of course. But what else can you expect from a scifi nerd with an archaeology degree?
days, when not writing for businesses or fiction, he's usually found
somewhere in Cornwall with a camera attached to his face.