November 10, 2008

Being a Female Writer: Author J. D. Mason

The Author

J.D. Mason is the author of several bestselling novels including, And On The Eighth Day She Rested, This Fire Down In My Soul, and her latest novel, You Gotta Sin To Get Saved. She is the recipient of the Atlanta Choice Award and has been nominated for the American Literary Award Show 2008 Award and The Romantic Times award for Best Contemporary Fiction. Her novels have all been selected by The Black Expressions Book Club as main selections.

Her work has made the Dallas Morning News and Black Expressions, and’s bestseller lists. She is currently hard at work on her next book, and her upcoming novel, That Devil’s No Friend of Mine, will be released in March 2009 from St. Martin’s Press.

You can learn more about J.D. by checking her out at MySpace and her website.

The Book

Charlotte Rodgers has always wanted too much; love, attention, and to live the life of her dreams in a rich man’s arms. It was the reason she ended up abandoning her two daughters, Connie and Reesy to chase after a man and the promise of her dream life. Now, twenty-seven years later, her whole world shifts yet again with a letter from one of her daughters. And the past is about to bust wide open.

Reesy has always been obsessed with something, including finding the mother who abandoned her and her sister when they were children, That is until Reesy is brought crashing back to earth to find that her perfect marriage is in tattered pieces.

Connie has always expected too little, from the man in her life, and especially herself. Until she discovers she is pregnant again and decides that this time she is keeping her baby, sending her life and her relationship into a tailspin.

Thrown back together again, in a maelstrom of shocking truths, Charlotte, Reesy and Connie will discover on their journey to forgiveness and redemption that you just might have to sin first in order to be saved.

Click the cover above to order YOU GOTTA SIN TO GET SAVED today!

The Question: Reflect on the stories you have written – the stories waiting to be written. What themes, topics do you find your writerly mind pushing you to write? How do these themes, topics portray themselves through you as a female writer?

I think I’m psychic! LOL Or, maybe just very intuitive. I seem to find myself pursuing the story within the story, meaning, the story of turmoil or revelation going on inside the characters, in addition to the turmoil and revelations going on around them. I don’t know if anyone else would agree, but that’s the heart of the story to me. I look at it like this, five totally unrelated people could be going through the exact same problem (or pretty similar); they could all be broke, or sick, or having problems in their romantic relationships. But those five people will each have a different perspective of their issues, and they’ll each approach their solutions to those issues differently. For instance, one woman might discover that her husband is cheating on her, and go ballistic beating him with a broomstick. Whereas another woman could have the same discovery, but ends up throwing his clothes on the front lawn, sets them on fire, changes all the locks on the house and files for divorce. WWTCD (What Would The Character Do?)? Once I determine who the character is, that’s the question I continually ask myself from the beginning to the end of the story. And that means that I have to know this character well enough to realistically create her storyline from her perspective. Sometimes that means going against tendencies that would come naturally to me. In my first novel, And On The Eighth Day She Rested, my main character Ruth Johnson stayed in an abusive marriage for 14 years because she was the kind of woman who would do that. I personally wouldn’t stay in one for 14 seconds, but the story wasn’t my story. It was hers.

So, I get a kick out of writing stories that force me to step outside myself and to wear someone else’s shoes for awhile. The biggest challenge I’ve had doing this so far was when I decided to write from a man’s perspective, which I did in One Day I Saw A Black King, and even more challenging, from a crazy man’s perspective in my short story "The Lazarus Man", in my latest book, Sleep Don’t Come Easy, co-written with Victor McGlothin. Being a woman, and like most women, I think I know what men are really like, but I can admit that in most cases, I get it wrong. Writing from a man’s perspective is tough, and if

I’ve been successful; it’s because I’ve been pretty doggone lucky. I have loved doing it, though, and look forward to venturing out and trying new and different types of characters who absolutely do not represent me. That’s the heart and soul of creativity.

More and more, I find myself really wanting to step outside my comfort zone to try drastically new and different storylines and genres. I’ve recently decided to take a shot at writing science fiction/horror, which is odd because I tend to scare quite easily. But I’m excited about it, because it’s exhilarating and new and challenging, and what’s even funnier is that, when I’m doing the writing, I’m not afraid. I don’t get it, but that’s how it’s worked. I guess the creative side of me thrives on new challenges and on venturing out into new frontiers. My attention span is very short, so once I feel as if I’ve accomplished one goal, then I set my sights on something new, and with that, I’m always being driven forward as a writer, reaching out to those undiscovered and unsuspecting types of characters that, while on the surface may not appear to be very interesting or outstanding, under the surface, may have vivid and compelling stories, the kind that hold readers captive and keep them riveted.


Yasmin said...

Awesome interview ladies! Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer C. said...

Great interview.

Shonell Bacon said...

Thanks - it was all J.D. and her awesome response, :-)

Jennifer C. said...

I hope some time next year I will be able to finally read something she has written. So many authors, so many books, such little time.