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Biography of the author, R. Harper Mason
Richard was born in El Dorado, but spent his early years in Norphlet, Arkansas, a little town of 650 people located in the south Arkansas oil fields. When he was eight-years-old he moved a mile out of town to a farm on the edge of Flat Creek Swamp. The stories in The Red Scarf and Lyin' Like a Dog novels are based, in part, on his adventures in and around Flat Creek Swamp. While these stories are historical fiction, they are based on incidents and situations that happened to Richard and his good friend John Clayton as they prowled the swamp. Richard was the town paper boy for several years during this time and his relationship with many of the characters mentioned in The Red Scarf and Lyin' Like a Dog are based on his actual interaction with these people.
Richard graduated from Norphlet High School, enrolled in the University of Arkansas, and graduated with a bachelors and masters degree in geology. He spent six years working for Exxon; initially on the famous King Ranch in South Texas and then in Benghazi, Libya, where he worked in the desert as a well-site geologist. During his time in the desert he began to write his first novel, but before he could finish the manuscript, he was transferred back to Corpus Christi, Texas. It would be over thirty years before Richard would begin to write again. This time it was after he had quit Exxon, started his own company, and moved back from Texas to South Arkansas, and instead of a 1920 oil boom novel, it was The Red Scarf.
Richard has numerous interests, and he has received many awards for his environmental work and for historic preservation. He was president of the Arkansas Wildlife Federation for three years and was named Conservationist of the Year in 1989. He has received numerous awards for historic preservation, the most noteworthy being the highest statewide award given, The Parker Westbrook Award. In August of 2008 Richard was featured in the High Profile section of the Arkansas Democrat- Gazette.
Richard is 6’ 2” tall and weighs 170 pounds, an avid tennis player, collector of antique maps, nationally published author, and an honored conservationist