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Cissy had heard Mrs. Whalin’s venomous words, declaring her to be evil. For all Cissy’s precocious and seeming maturity, she was but five years old still. Her mind reeled. Was she evil? Surely Clara was the good twin, the perfect one. Clara obeyed Mama and Papa nearly always, and without being scolded over and over. Clara never tracked mud on Mama’s newly mopped floor, never spilled paint on the linen tablecloth. She never tore her frilly dresses climbing trees and never lost her shoes in the creek.
“I’m the evil one,” Cissy mumbled. “I’m the bad sister.”
-excerpt from CISSY by Robin E. Mason
Now, let’s get to know Robin, author of the Unsavory Heritage series:
What inspired you to start writing?
In 1995, I was going though therapy for depression, and I started writing the “happily ever after” version of my own story. I discovered that a) I LOVE writing, and b) I’m pretty darn good! I pursued writing at the time but life happened and publication didn’t, so I more or less abandoned it. Fast forward 13 years, and the first sentence (maybe two) “came to me” while I was taking a walk. I got home and started writing the story. The rest, as they say, is history.
How much research, if any, do you do when writing a book?
I’m relentless. From the smallest detail, to critical issues and factors, I look up endless factoids that would otherwise be trivia! My current WIP, Cissy, is a dual timeline, so I’m constantly checking for accuracy and data on Civil War Era events and technology. Thankfully, one of my team members is a Civil War buff and I run a lot (a LOT) of questions by him!
Do you use an outline, or do you prefer to write by the seat of your pants?
Straight up pantzer! I have a vague, general idea where the story needs to go but how it’s getting there, not so much. For instance, in Tessa, I knew she and her mother would eventually reconcile. How or when that would happen, I only found out as it was about to happen!
Do you work on more than one project at once?
Can’t do it. I get very detailed in my stories, much of which never sees print, and it’s all I can do to keep up with what I’ve got! (I used to not be able to read more than one book at a time either, but that has changed.) Case in point—my books are part of a series, the Unsavory Heritage, and there are a lot of family gatherings. I create extended family trees so I know who is who, and who is how old, etc. But only a small portion of those people show up.
Where do you write?
Sitting comfortably on my love seat, laptop perched on my lap. I “nest” and have a myriad of notes and printed research next to me or nearby. If I stretch, I can actually reach my printer from where I sit.
How important are book covers to you, as both an author and a reader?
Invaluable! As is the blurb on the back. Like a job interview, or a resume, an author has but that first moment a potential reader’s eye lands on their book to register whether it even appeals to them. And that all-important blurb is that second fleeting moment, to draw a reader further in and convince them to spend their money on what I’ve written.
What was the inspiration for your latest book?
Funny story. When I wrote Tessa, I had no thought of a sequel. When several people asked me about it, I looked and there are two places that point right to Clara Bess! I was amazed! I started writing Clara Bess and kept getting “stuck.” Not writer’s block, the writing was flowing. It just wasn’t fitting together right, like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces that sort of match but not quite. I finally realized, what I was writing was part of the third book (again, I had no clue there even was a third book). So I cut 5000 words and saved them in the file for Cissy. In a way, the very first inspiration for Tessa, eight years ago, really became is the inspiration for the whole series. And no, there are no more in this series; Cissy is the final piece of this puzzle. But fear not, there are LOTS more stories rambling around in my head.
About Robin E. Mason
I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!
I write stories with dark elements, demons of the heart. My stories also contain nuggets of truth, buried as gold, within the pages. This nugget is the Truth found in the Word of God. Scripture is woven into the weft and warp of the fabric of who the characters are as surely as His Word is woven in my own heart.
I make my home in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina with my five kitty babies.
Where to find Robin:
Where to find Robin’s books:
Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a FREE signed print copy one of Robin’s books. Comments will be taken to enter to giveaway through midnight on Thursday, June 16, 2016.