I’ve always had voices—er, stories in my head. I once said I should write them all down so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!
I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design. I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years. My characters face many of these same demons.
I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.
“Maybe you have to know the darkness to truly appreciate the light.” —Madeline L’Engle
Saw that quote the other day—and it says so much, and rather defines my writing—my life. I think most of us, as authors, draw from personal experience; I know I do. And the biggest part of my writing, truly my life, is my faith. But I don’t write Christian Fiction. I cannot market as such, because of “those” words. They’re rare, few and far between, maybe 5 in 100K manuscript. But they’re there.
But so is my faith.
Borrowed the words of my sweet friend, Carrie Schmidt, when she reviewed The Silent Song of Winter recently:
“In her novels, Mason wrestles with some of the darkest parts of human nature. But she also wraps each story in the loving arms of Grace… A realization that the words of Scripture are God’s heart written just for her. A new awareness that she is a child of the King who is dearly loved. As this transformation takes place in Pearl’s heart, it touches every area of her life – with some very moving results.”
I remember a phrase a pastor friend used to use, “Friendship Evangelism.” And it resonated with me to my core. I feel slack sometimes, that I don’t “do” more to spread the Gospel. But Holy Spirit reminds me, so gently as He is wont to do, I am spreading His Word. With my daily living, even and perhaps most especially, when I fail. Because that’s when I pick myself up—or He picks me up—and like Twila Paris says in her song, I look up for a smile. And Father’s arms are always always open to me. His heart is always always FOR me.
My writing manifesto says much the same as Ms. L’Engle,
“Stories for Christians to see or remember the ugly effects of the lies of the enemy, and for unbelievers to see the beauty of the Truth and transforming power of the Word of God.”
It’s how I live my life. It’s what I pray shows in my writing. It’s how I believe all Christians are called to do.
Jesus didn’t hide from sin or from sinners. He went to them, He reached out, met them at their point of need and desperation. Loved them in their ugliness. So, too, should we.
Is my writing Christian Fiction? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But it is Faith Fiction.
About The Silent Song of Spring:
When all the noise has gone silent, all that is left is her song.
The southern town of Saisons lies at the crossroads between North and South, progressive and genteel antebellum life. Between East and West, between history and heritage, and new frontiers. Downton Abbey meets Gone With the Wind.
It’s 1912, in a world where slavery is dying and women’s rights are rising, and four young women who once shared a bond—and experienced a tragedy—question their own truths.
Pearl had lived under the impossible taskmaster of perfection. Nothing she does or ever did pleased her mother. And nothing she ever did could disappoint her father.
Caught up in the mystery of her friend’s curious—and secretive—return, Pearl wrestles with her own decisions, and flees lest her own secrets are exposed.
Robin is offering an e-copy of The Silent Song of Spring to one lucky commenter. Drawing ends 3/31 at midnight.
Or you can buy it right away here.