An Interview with Science Fiction Author Sara A Mason

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
Updated:
April 28, 2014
I am so excited to have this opportunity to introduce you to science fiction author, Sara Atherton Mason. She was raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, with an amazing immediate and extended family. She attended Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, graduating with highest honors in Chemistry. She then graduated from the Florida State University College of Law with high honors. She lives in Florida with her toy poodle, Melvin, and clerks for a United States District Court Judge. She enjoys coffee, wine, sports, and science fiction television shows.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing short stories as a hobby since I was in high school. While I was in college and law school, I mostly wrote during the summers since I was doing enough writing for my classes. Once I graduated law school, I took a stab at writing a book, and that was Renegades!
Author Sara A Mason

Author Sara A Mason. You can find more about Sara at The Blog of Sara A Mason.

What or Who inspired you to write Renegades?

Renegades was actually inspired by the television show Firefly. I wouldn’t call Renegades fanfiction because it takes place in a whole different universe with new characters, but the Firefly inspiration is definitely noticeable, if you’ve seen the show. (If you haven’t seen it, you should watch it immediately.)

Where did your interest in Science Fiction originate?

I’ve liked science fiction for as long as I can remember. My parents were always watching Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, etc. on television, so when I started reading, I was drawn to that genre. I would classify Renegades as scifi light. I wanted the story to be more character based and driven rather than focusing on the science fiction aspect of it.

Elora, the heroine in your book, is a spunky woman, did you model her after someone you know?

I didn’t, actually. I just wanted to write a strong, female character that could inspire people. Almost everyone asks if I modeled her after myself, but I definitely did not. We’re so different.

Are there any techniques you can share with us to help us get over those "I don't want to write today" blues?

Honestly, just sit down and do it. Usually starting is the hardest part for me, and once I get going, the creative juices start flowing.

Do you have a writer's group that helps critique your work?

I don’t have a group, but I do have several trusted beta readers that give me feedback before I edit and send the manuscript to my editor. My beta readers are awesome and give great comments.

Who Did the Cover Art for Renegades?

Deborah from Tugboat Design designed the cover for Renegades. She’s also designing the cover for Redemption. I love her. She’s great at translating my few ideas of what I want into something amazing.

Your bio reads that you graduated college with a Chemistry degree. That seems an unusual transition for a writer. Did you have to suppress that whispering writer's voice while you were "getting the degree?"

It was mostly suppressed because of how busy school kept me, but I always had an interest in writing. I was also very good at the sciences, and at one point, I thought I wanted to pursue a career in medicine. I ultimately decided to go to law school, and my day job is basically sitting at a desk writing all day, so I like it.

Further Thoughts

If you are a writer and you are looking for hints on how to be a better writer then visit Sara's blog at Sara A Mason's Blog and writing tips. She has some wonderful thoughts on creating characters for your story, for science fiction authors: how to create worlds, editing your book and finding those "beta readers." What are beta readers? Those first people you ask to read your book and offer insights into general impressions and huge massive plot holes. How did the hero get to Randivell in one hour at the end of the book when it took him 4 days early in the story?

Anyway, Sara is a hardworking person with great insight into writing and the ability to keep it simple for us.

Here is My Review of Renegades

I just finished a fun and interesting Science Fiction book, Renegades, by author Sara A. Mason. The story has everything an SF fan loves, an evil dictator, the computer geek, a smart and spunky woman, a love interest, trained assassins and more.

The first couple of chapters you get to know the characters, Elora, Nigel, General Pertin and the Emperor of the space empire. Then the story becomes one of those classics you don't want to put down. I thought the pace of the book flowed nicely with periods of high tension and moments when you can catch your breath.

The author has a degree in chemistry and uses that knowledge to create a world you can believe in with exotic materials used to build bombs. The action scenes are realistic and described well enough to draw you into the worlds.

The characters interacted realistically with each other. Author Mason kept the tension between characters tight and that love / romance thing just on the edge. Why do characters do what they do? Why would someone be willing to die for someone else? What keeps them involved? All these questions are answered in the book.

I enjoyed the story and will definitely read the next book by Sara A. Mason.

A description of the book, Renegades, from the author and publisher.

Elora Pertin spent her life trying to please her father, an esteemed General for the Empire.

When he convinced her to leave her quiet life as a scientist to advance a secret project for the Emperor, she had no idea what she was getting into. The seemingly innocent projects she engineered were actually being used to develop a genocidal weapon. After uncovering the Emperor’s plot, Elora had no choice but to act.

Elora finds herself fighting for her life against the Empire she once served, abandoning everything with only a handful of friends and an unlikely ally—the Emperor’s deadliest assassin. Will he prove himself true as her protector, a loyal servant of the Empire, or a romantic distraction? With the law and assassins searching the star system for them, Elora and her team are determined to accomplish their mission . . . or die trying.

Renegades - A Science Fiction Thriller by Sara A Mason

The cover photo for Renegades. Get the book at Amazon Renegades Link or Smashwords Renegades Link or Barnes & Noble Renegades Link.

Thank You Sara

Sara, thank you for taking the time to share your story with my readers. I enjoyed your first novel, Renegades, and I hear you are working on your second book, Redemption. I am looking forward to spending more time with Elora, Nigel, and any love interests that might try to get to know Elora more intimately.

FTC Disclaimer

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by The Virtual Book Tour Cafe', no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely of my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

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