Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
Thanks for stopping by Soulfully Romantic today. I have another interview for you this week. Robin E. Mason has stopped by to talk about her latest book, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn. Grab a hot drink and learn more about Robin!
About the Book
The Blurb: “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.
Scarlett was the shrinking violet in the group. Faithful to her friends, and hiding secrets of her own. When Mercedes steps in to rescue her, she unknowlingly plucks the thread that unravels Scarlett’s whole world.
But as Scarlett strives to hold fast to what is familiar the fabric of her life continues to come undone and secrets that are best kept hidden are exposed.”
Toni: Welcome, Robin! Thank you for joining me today to talk about The Tilting Leaves of Autumn. What made you fall in love with history?
Robin: I’m fascinated with stories of other people’s lives and the culture and era they live(d) in. Which is why Historical Fiction is my favorite genre, specifically Biblical Historical Fiction! Just wish I’d paid more attention when I was a kid!
Toni: Don’t we all. 😉 What kind of research did you do to provide authenticity to The Tilting Leaves of Autumn?
Robin: I started with history of the early settlement in America. The town was established in 1562 and I wanted (as I do with all my stories) an authentic history. FUN FACT: I discovered that there was, in fact, a French influence in the early settlement of South Carolina! How convenient for my story!
I researched manor houses, and servants’ positions and roles; nominal French language, as I have words and bits scattered throughout. I Google-map all.the.time, so I know where my peeps have been and how far it is from point A to point B. And so I know how long it took to get from point A to point B, I researched modes of travel. Being in the early 20th century, the automobile was a novelty, and Scarlett learns to drive one. FUN FACT: the top speed of a Model T was 45 MPH. I looked up specifics of Edwardian life, and details as I came to them, i.e. radiator heaters and specific to this story, ladies’ fashion.
Toni: Scarlett has a whirlwind life. Tell us more about her.
Robin: Oh dear. She was born into a family of the gentry and of considerable wealth. Upon the death of her mother, her father basically went off the deep end, and Scarlett lived a cruel life as a servant.
When she is granted her freedom, she struggles… against it rather than rejoicing in it. After so many years, it’s a hard thing for the mind to accept that something so elusive is finally reality. Her story then, is the struggle to accept the gift that has been given to her.
Toni: Kind of reminds me of Cinderella. What message do you hope readers will take away after reading your novel?
Robin: That hope always prevails, that God is always on our side, working in all things for our good—even when we fight against it.
Toni: Truth! What two authors influenced your writing and how?
Robin: Um, just two? Really? LOL I mentioned Agatha Christie the other day. It was while reading Death on the Nile that the thought occurred to me that she had to know the crime before she could write the discovery of the crime and the clues that led to solving it. It was my first “authorly” thought. I also nod to Pepper Basham for her swoony scenes. I truly didn’t know how to write those without crossing a line. ( I didn’t know quite where the line was… ) (sad story but I don’t really have much real life to go by) It was reading her stories, and so many others like her, that showed me proper and safe limits for the kissy-kissy scenes.
Toni: Both great authors! What is your favorite…
Robin: ummmm… not a big candy eater but I do love a 3 Musketeers, especially if I can find the mint ones!
Toni: *gasp* Mint ones?! Movie snack?
Robin: Popcorn, old fashioned kind, drowning in butter
Toni: But of course! Cold Beverage?
Robin: Iced tea, unsweet, 24/7
Toni: *shudder* You lost me at unsweet. Hot Beverage?
Robin: Coffee, cinnamon hazelnut; second, hot tea, also hazelnut – my own blend created for my series
Toni: Hazelnut is amazing. Dinner?
Robin: Pork roast with rice and asparagus; also seafood, any and all
Toni: Yay for seafood! Before you go, can you tell us what you’re working on?
Robin: Book #3 in the series, The Silent Song of Winter, coming in February 2018.
Toni: Praying God helps you with it. Readers, do you have any questions for Robin?
About the Author
“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!”
Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa, in 2013. Meanwhile, she cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned her BFA in Interior Design. Ms. Mason lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; she didn’t want to be who she was and struggled with her own identity for many years. Her characters face many of these same demons.
Ms. Mason writes stories of identity conflict. Her 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, her stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. “I know, I write from experience.”
Ms. Mason has four novels previously published. She is currently working on The Silent Song of Winter, Book Three in her new series, Seasons. It releases in February of 2018, following The Long Shadows of Summer which released in August and The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, which releases in November. The fourth and final book in the series, The Whispering Winds of Spring, will be out in May of 2018. Tessa, Clara Bess, and Cissy, in the unsavory heritage series. All of Ms. Mason’s books are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. She also has several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers, as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers.