Interview with Karen Mason

How do you approach cover design?
I have a theme (as everyone can see!). I like the single female on the cover that encapsulates the essence of one of my main characters. I took inspiration from the 1970s Roxy Music album covers with the impossibly beautiful girls with glossy, pouting lips and alluring eyes. I like to think my covers are a thing of beauty, and I also like to choose a font that relative to the time period of the novel.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Jane Eyre - because it is the ultimate love story, and of the triumph of the meek. I love that she ends up the one with the power, both financial and physical. And Rochester is so sexy!!
Star Dreams by June Flaum Singer - this book was very influential to me. It's loosely based around Jackie Kennedy, but with added storylines. It's quite obscure, but I love it!
Lace by Shirley Conran - the first grown up book I ever read.
The Profession of Violence by John Pearson - the biography of the Kray Twins. Anyone who reads my books will know that there is usually a crime element, be it a seedy 1950s club, or a murder. I also write my Phillipa Hardcastle books.
Stuart a Life Backwards by Alexander Masters - a wonderfully touching portrait of a homeless man which makes you think twice about those who are living on the streets.
What do you read for pleasure?
Crime novels, rubbish celebrity magazines and the Daily Mail website (although that's usually to shout at it and mentally correct the hundreds of typos that litter it!)
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a tablet and unfortunately Kindle doesn't work, so I use the Kobo app.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Giving away my books for free. If you make one of the books in a series, people will usually end up buying the rest of the books, and if they like them, they will end up buying your other books.
Describe your desk
I don't have one. I write on my laptop, on a laptray, on my sofa.
When did you first start writing?
When I was about four or five. I used to ask my mum to buy me exercise books so I could draw stories and from what I recall, they were usually quite grown up in content.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's the latest instalment of the Never Forget saga. It's the next generation of women, based in 1978 and reflects the choices girls of that generation had - choices their mothers and grandmothers never had.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was fed up of being rejected by agents. I became an indie author around the time that there was a proliferation of celebrity, ghost written books, which angered me and made me realise that a lot of publishers put the lure of profit over quality, so, with tremendous faith in myself, I published Summerset via Lulu five years ago and I have no regrets. But that doesn't mean I won't go down the traditional route in the future.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Greatly. Being distributed to sites such as Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Sony and Kobo has widened my audience and I have to say, I probably have more readers in the US than I do in the UK. Interestingly, I have friends who are traditionally published authors and they have no audience in the US because their books haven't been released over there, whereas with Smashwords, I have been able to reach a worldwide audience with very little effort
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to inhabit worlds that I haven't lived in, via my head. Researching interesting subjects and interpreting them in my own way. After a long day at work, it's nice to hunkle down on the bus with my tablet, visit my 'mind palace' and write, and by the time I'm done, I'll leave the palace, shut the door and I'm home!
Who are your favorite authors?
Lesley Pearse, Barbara Vine, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jackie Collins, Mark Billingham and Louise Bagshawe.
What is your writing process?
I write it all down in linear order, usually it's full of errors and structurally weird. Then I quite often leave it and work on something else, then go back, read the work through and make basic edits. Then I will print it out as a paperback book as it's easier to read a book to get an idea of what it will read like when published. I edit it then, then usually it goes to my editor (mum - she's brutal), then back to me, then I read it edit, read it edit and it goes on and on until I hope the mistakes are few and far between and the story makes sense. I think when it gets to the point when you've read the story so often that you hate it, then you have probably reached publishing point.
Published 2013-09-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Where The Heart Is
By
Series: Never Forget, Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 109,350. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2014. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Book 5 of the Never Forget saga. Ellie and Viva are now successful businesswomen, battling to keep their marriages, families and careers. In the greedy 1980s, can these two young women really have it all? Or will sacrifices have to be made?
The Lucky Ones
By
Series: Never Forget, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 149,820. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2013. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Book 4 of the Never Forget Saga. Ellie and Viva, daughters of sisters Annie Holland and Iris Lindholm are now eighteen and desperate to make their way in the world without the help of their famous mothers. Fate brings the cousins together and a tentative friendship is formed, but the feud that has divided their family for years threatens to break the fragile bond that has been forged between them.
Teenage Kicks
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 48,830. Language: English. Published: August 11, 2013. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
When Phillipa Hardcastle is given the task of finding out who sent an anonymous email to Levi O'Neill - Crime Editor of The Sunday Wire, claiming to be from the killer of two recently murdered radio DJs, she uncovers an horrific secret linking the men; and faces a race against time to stop another murder from happening - this time on live television.
Never Tear Us Apart
By
Series: Never Forget, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 110,980. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2013. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Book Three of the Never Forget Saga. Sisters Annie Holland and Iris Lindholm continue their bitter feud. Can motherhood and the success they find in the world of fashion change them? Or are the wounds both women carry from childhood, too deep to ever repair their relationship?
The Exciting Life
By
Series: Never Forget, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 65,560. Language: English. Published: January 28, 2013. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
The sequel to Never Forget. Annie and Kenneth Holland, the brother and sister adopted by Nesta Villiers at the beginning of the second world war are now young adults. Annie widowed and debt ridden after the suicide of her racing driver husband, and Kenneth running Tanner Beresford, his aunt's company. Into their lives comes the mysterious Iris Lindholm, and things will never be the same again.
Paradise Lost
By
Price: Free! Words: 112,830. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2012. Category: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
A new family saga from Karen Mason. All her adult life, Evie Wallis has held the secret that she is the true heir to Barnham House, the stately home nicknamed 'Paradise' because of its beauty. When she finally gets the chance to visit the house, a chain of events occur that make her question if her inheritance is what she really wants.
Scorpio Rising (A Phillipa Hardcastle Mystery)
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 51,770. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2012. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
When private investigator Phillipa Hardcastle is accidentally handed the wrong bag, she finds herself embroiled in a case involving an amateur plastic surgeon who is disfiguring young girls. Is the person operating alone or are they part of a bigger organisation? Whatever the answer, Phillipa suddenly finds herself in more danger than she's been in a long time.
Never Forget
By
Series: Never Forget, Book 1. Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 130,310. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2012. Category: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
1912 and on-board the Titanic, two very different women are embarking on journeys that will change the rest of their lives. Alice is the poor, pregnant girl running away with her criminal boyfriend. Nesta is the wealthy but barren wife of a cruel man who is threatening to divorce her. When the mighty ship sinks, a terrible crime is committed which means these women's lives are entwined forever.
Julia (The Line of Passion Trilogy - book 3)
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 53,920. Language: English. Published: March 5, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
MP Julia Newbury is the Labour Party’s biggest star, and when the Prime Minster starts losing at the polls, he decides the time has come to step down and pass the reigns to Julia. What he is unaware of, is that Julia is having a passionate affair with a Polish builder, and someone is out to expose them. Will Julia choose her career? Or like her mother and grandmother before her, give into passion?
Kate (The Line of Passion Trilogy - book 2)
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 66,440. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2012. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
At thirty-seven, Kate Ryder is the beautiful actress, embracing the Swinging Sixties and living life to the full. But with the onset of middle-age, Kate begins to question her lifestyle and knows her days as the starlet are numbered. When she embarks on a passionate relationship with an ambitious young actress, she risks not only her reputation but her career as well.
Maudie (The Line of Passion Trilogy book 1)
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 53,710. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Historical
First in a trilogy of novellas about three generations of women who risk everything they have for the sake of passion. When wealthy Maudie Ryder falls in love with an Irish poet she risks losing her marriage, her fortune, and most of all the daughter she adores.
Two Become One
By
Price: $1.75 USD. Words: 140,980. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
What would you do if you were told your long lost twin is actually one of the most famous and well-loved women in the world? That is what happens to 'bad-girl' Farrah O'Rourke, who is requested to go to the bedside of Antonia Smedley, the much-adored wife of the Mayor of London, who, at just thirty-eight, is dying of cancer. What will happen when these two very different women meet?
Mad About The Boy
By
Price: Free! Words: 108,730. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » General
Former soap queen Elizabeth Maine is about to make her glorious comeback when she is suddenly faced with ghosts from her past, who threaten to expose the lies she has surrounded herself with over the years. She feels the time has come to tell the world the truth and write her biography, telling all about her traumatic childhood and the secrets she has kept hidden for so long.
Mrs Osbourne Regrets
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 29,320. Language: English. Published: September 22, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
When a British MP is exposed as homosexual, his wife Diana finds herself a social outcast. Her perfect 1950s, upper-class world is blown apart and she learns a lot about herself, motherhood, love and what is really important to her.
The True Tale of Jezebel Cole
By
Price: Free! Words: 86,390. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2011. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
When world famous novelist Patty Belleville goes missing, her daughter goes on a quest to uncover the real story behind her mother's disappearance and on the way discovers some horrific truths about the woman who has always been so distant with her. Will she ever find Patty? Or has something more sinister happened to her?
Only You
By
Price: $1.50 USD. Words: 135,280. Language: English. Published: September 17, 2011. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
The epic tale of Violet Spencer, a woman who rises from humble shop girl to the head of one of the world's biggest cosmetic companies. After surviving heartache, loss and an horrific attack, she faces her biggest challenge - holding onto her precious company when it's threatened with takeover.