A Quickie with Mason Cross

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

My latest book is Don’t Look For Me and it’s the latest of my series starring Carter Blake, a man of mystery who specialises in finding people who don’t want to be found. This time he discovers an unexpected emotional connection to the case when he realises that the woman he’s been hired to track down is an old flame.

Like all of my books, you can read it without reading any of the others, but you should read it because it has some of my favourite characters of anything I’ve written.

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

My wife is always exasperated with me because there’s usually an element of self-interest in anything I do, like when I offer to go out and get milk so I can miss stacking the dishwasher. But I always say I’m doing two things – getting out of the thing I don’t want to do, while also doing something positive and necessary. Enlightened self-interest is awesome. So the book would be called Doing Two Things.

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

I had someone contact me looking for advice on switching uni course. Neither of the courses sounded like anything in my area of expertise, so I assumed the message had gone to the wrong person. But then he kept following up and saying “I’m waiting” after every question. So eventually I just told him to go for it. I can add ‘adviser of studies’ to my CV now. Actually not sure if that counts as I have no idea if he was even a fan.

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

Got to be Stephen King. We could hang out in some spooky cabin on the shores of a lake in Maine and write a horror novel.

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

The first thing I do when I’m thinking up a new book is to write the blurb on the back cover. It gives you the setup, the key characters and the mystery, but you don’t need to have an ending yet. On one of my books my initial blurb actually ended up being 90% the same as the one on the published book, which was cool.

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

On Writing, Stephen King – because it’s a really inspiring book for writers and a great read for everyone else

Falling Angel, William Hjortsberg – it’s like a Raymond Chandler novel crossed with occult horror with an amazing twist. Filmed as Angel Heart.

Carter Beats the Devil, Glen David Gold – it’s a brilliant novel set in early 20th century San Francisco and telling a fictional life story of a real illusionist. Wish someone would make it into a movie.

Who is Mason Cross?  Mason Cross is a British novelist whose debut novel The Killing Season was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Book of the Year 2015. His second novel, The Samaritan, also featuring his inimitable lead character Carter Blake, was selected as a Richard & Judy Book Club pick. Mason has written a number of short stories, including A Living, which was shortlisted for the Quick Reads ‘Get Britain Reading’ Award and ‘Expiry Date’, published in Ellery Queen. He lives near Glasgow with his wife and three children.

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