Name Mason Elliott
Where are you from:
I was born in the U.S., but raised half of my life in England, and I am currently in the U.S.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am the middle child and the youngest son. I always loved Science Fiction & Fantasy. I wrote stories since I was 14 and wrote my first full length novel ms. at 17. I was an English Major in college and Grad School, focusing on Creative Writing, Linguistics, and film studies. I also studied quite a bit of Shakespeare, Old English, and Arthurian Legends.
I don’t give out too much personal info. I’ve already encountered too many trolls and crazies.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The Gamma Quadrant, Book 4 in one of my three series, The Citation Series, came out in April of this year:
On Amazon: smarturl.it/TheGammaQuadrant
On iBooks: http://apple.co/1Ukl5hv
On Kobo: http://bit.ly/1O8vvVa
On B&N/Nook: http://bit.ly/22EXX3j
On Smashwords: http://bit.ly/24oPKzK
For quick summer reads, I’ve released an exciting novella called Naero And the Quick War, featuring my signature butt-kicking Science Fiction super hero Naero in a prequel, back when she was only 13.
Naero And The Quick War
On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/NaeroAndTheQuickWar
On Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2a1pSFc
On B&N/NOOK: http://bit.ly/2aK0JQT
Out soon on Kobo and iBooks also.
Another Naero Novella, Naero And The Gun Girls is due out 8/30/2016, another prequel, telling a story during Naero’s 2 year required stint with the 9th Spacer Marine Division. All Spacer tweens are required to serve in some branch of the military for two years during the ages of 16 through 18.
Get the Presale for Naero And The Gun Girls!
Only 99¢! (Out 8/30/16)
On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/NaeroAndTheGunGirls
On Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2atadR2
After that, my next projects will be:
Spacer Clans Adventures Book 5, Naero’s Valor
Book One in a NEW SF series, The Starward Surge, The History of the Spacer Age, set in 2095.
I have several contracted novels ongoing into 2017 and beyond.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Around age 13-14.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I won a poetry contest when I was 14, and that was the first time I was actually paid for writing something. But I decided to become a professional novelist at age 17, after I finished my first novel manuscript of about 400 pages.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The same geek stuff for most kids: a steady diet of comics, books, toons, anime’, TV, movies, etc. I gobbled it all up.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I write 10 to 14 hours each day when possible. I like to write early in the morning, and then in the afternoon and sometimes evening, when I’m under deadline. I do a rough draft from an outline and character sketches. After I go through the ms. 4 or 5 times, the novel is usually finished. I work on 1 to 3 projects at a time each week.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I usually have the title or a working title before I do the rough draft.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
With all of my Spacer stories, there are several themes at work revolving around courage, freedom, family, and friendship. My main character Naero is pretty much a super hero in a hi-tek future 600 years+ from now. Spacers are a sub-species of humanity who have evolved to be better in every way from landers, or normal humans. They do not betray each other as much, and that makes them more successful as a group.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Not much. It’s set in an advanced, hi-tek future. But the characters and their relationships are real.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A little on my youngest daughter, who has always been fearless. But I see my Spacers as an improvement on basic humans in just about every way.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Gosh, when I was young I read everyone and everything I could get my hands on. Where do I begin or end?
The usual suspects:
Edgar Rice Burroughs
George R. R. Martin
- K. Rowling
Kristine Katherine Rusch
So many others, too numerous to note.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m doing a great deal of reading research on the U.S. Civil War.
SF Books by Mike Moscoe/Shepherd,
And M. R. Forbes
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Like a lot of people, I can’t wait for Patrick Rothfuss’s next book.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I think I’ve already listed them above. I have lots of stuff waiting in the wings and in my head.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve always managed to have a good writing group, although I’m trying to find an online group now. I went to many of the Oregon Coast Writing Workshops run by the fabulous pair of super pros, Kris Rusch and Dean Weasley Smith. I can’t say how awesome they have been to me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It is now. I’ve supported myself and my family on my writing career for a few years now. Writing full time is awesome, but also very challenging and competitive—every day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I thought it turned out very well.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Mostly through exposure to all of the geek stuff in the world. I wanted to write books that I would like to read.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is from Naero And The Quick War:
Spacer senses functioned keener than most, and at thirteen, Naero’s were among the most sensitive of all among her people. She saw farther and more precisely, even without her binoculars, making out her mates in the busy distance down below.
She could not smell them from this far away, even on the slight breeze that arose up from within the starport.
She breathed in deep, closed what she knew were her wide violet eyes, and detected the combined scents of hundreds of thousands of Spacers busy at work just after star rise.
Then she took in all of the machine and tek odors of thousands of starships, all in the process of operation, repair, upgrade, or construction.
A heady aroma, that, starships coupled with dawn star shine and the filtering ozone of low clouds and wind outside, passing over the domes and wide shielded openings of the starport ceiling.
She smelled trade goods beyond count and variety: Food and medical supplies; machines and vehicles; tronics, weapons, and parts for more ships going to and from the adjacent Spacer shipyards.
She keyed on her friends once more.
Even as high up as she was hiding, their voices could still be made out
Her latest master prank proceeded perfectly thus far.
She reclined on a soft black mechanic’s nanopad, concealed in the shadows. The time passed slowly. Munching tasty weird snacks kept her occupied and her slender belly from grumbling while she waited for her master plan to pay off.
Naero Amashin Maeris had succeeded in covertly planting the tiny balorth spores strategically within her friends’ hyper stretchy Nytex flight togs.
When the wild reaction of those spores triggered, the result was going to be sooo hilarious.
Gallan, Chaela, Saemar, Zhen, and Tyber, her best buddies, not one of the poor saps suspected a thing as they made their way to their scheduled glifter duties.
Her best friend Gallan with the short dark hair was by the far the tallest and biggest of them all. Next was blonde Chaela, like a tall slender Viking girl. Auburn-haired Saemar ran at the mouth usually, and normally couldn’t shut up, except under certain circumstances. She was also slightly taller than Naero now.
Naero hated that. She couldn’t stand being so short among her mates and other Spacers in general.
Zhen’s light brown hair was in a pixie cut these days, and she was about the same height as her best buddy Tyber, with his curly dark hair and goofball attitude. But both of them were still taller than Naero, and that irked her something fierce.
Some people thought that Z and Ty were somehow brother and sister; they hung out together so much.
But those who knew them best guessed that somehow, that was not going to be the case in the end.
Like Naero, all of them were lithe yet strong. They had to be.
Merchant fleet service was a daily grind for tweens and most older Spacers past the coming of age set at twenty standard years. Everyone worked their butts off for the fleet.
Those were the standing orders.
Down below on that deck, fleet team and mission leaders barked orders and commands, getting one glifter unit after another up and running, according to a precise schedule.
Everything proceeded in an organized and orderly fashion. When Spacers worked, they worked hard.
Naero eyed the one and two stripers’ glowing blue rank bands on the leaders’ forearms with a covetous eye.
Already her mates did their standard checks and prepared to climb into their zero-G glifters with those powerful robotic arms, perfectly engineered to load cargo. Today they would do so for ten hours. That was their part of the rotation.
Buzzing, floating gravitic glifters popped around here, there, and everywhere in teams. With their flashing red and amber work lights, black and yellow fluorescent stripes, and padded crush cages, from a distance it was quite easy to mistake them all for busy bugs at work.
Her mates’ slightly older shift leader for that day snapped at them in a well-known and accepted slightly belligerent patter. “Move it you goons. Let’s go. We’re making money for the fleet today…not picking our butts!”
At peak times, loading shifts could last two days without sleep. The loading teams sometimes ate and drank while they worked.
All of the arriving merchant fleet cargoes certainly weren’t going to load themselves, today or on any day. And once those tasks were accomplished by the hard working glifter teams, all of the transports themselves would need to be stuffed inside the fleet’s six trade vessels.
That did not take into account the unloading and distribution of said goods upon arrival to their buyers. That was a very similar process, but in reverse.
First, on this morning there just might be a little odd excitement to start the day for her mates, courtesy of the Spacer princess of pranks.
The poor fools.
Naero squirmed in anticipation, suppressing more than a few giggles from her concealed vantage point beneath one of the many Gorulian-3 starport observation decks. These stations were strategically placed at intervals all around the ginormous complex.
The starport was not unlike a vast arena, awash in constant activity.
From above the starport looked like a huge spiral, coiling into the planet’s surface, nestled among a large range of sub-tropical verdant hills and river tributaries. The starport actually straddled an important isthmus on that world. It’s immense sprawl and coupled population covered almost two hundred square kilometers.
It could also be viewed from orbit, especially at night on that world with all of its lights. That was a truly beautiful sight indeed.
How many times had she descended from the dark clouds at night with the braking ships of the fleet glowing all around from re-entry? She beheld the wide glowing jewel of that starport stretched out and shining below. That view often brought tears to her eyes.
Like her warrior poet father, Naero had written stirring poems about such beauty and wonder.
Inside the spiral, the structure was quite unique, as all Spacer starports were. Unlike strings of drab, repetitive lander starports, no two Spacer ports ever looked the same.
Organization and functionality were key, but great efforts were made to decorate the interiors in fascinating and pleasing ways, with color and astounding works of art. Each Spacer starport was nearly like walking through a museum, coupled with a shopping center, and an information and entertainment trading hub.
Naero always enjoyed the dazzling fluted ceilings, domes, sky panels, and supports.
All of the supports were a combination of load bearing duranadium, titanium, and plasteel. Some had been fashioned into stone or crystal towers and columns, while others were shaped like enormous trees of many alien varieties.
One of her favorite works of Spacer nanoart was a dazzling display that stretched half a kilometer in length and thirty meters high along the eastern bulge. It was subtly entitled “Danse,” and showed shifting humanoid forms of many sizes and numbers, flowing with color and light as if to silent music. Ever changing, never repetitive, the hyper complex math that made it all possible was some of the greatest and most challenging in existence.
The eight hypercomputers that controlled and operated that artwork alone were constantly being upgraded and replaced.
It was said that only a handful of Spacer savants and visionaries could perceive the entire Danse system in total from afar. Many fainted and passed out at the attempt.
Interstellar travelers, artists, and thinkers came from many parsecs away to gaze upon it in wonder and contemplate its meaning.
Naero could spend hours walking along its length and enjoying it just for the miracle that it was.
Somehow it made people feel happy and wonderful. Danse had that effect. It was invigorating to observe, and when people walked or skipped or danced beside it or tried to keep up with it, they felt as if they became a part of its strange beauty and majesty.
Entire sections were even designed to respond to onlookers and interact with their voices and motions.
This was just one of the fascinating experiences that the starport contained and had to offer. Naero had only witnessed about a third of them in the years she had spent there, on and off again.
Altogether, there were seventeen parks, nine playlands, an interstellar zoo, a planetarium, an aquarium, a river, tributaries, and a working canal system. Several waterfalls and numerous scenic vistas abounded. Four event arenas held sporting contests, 3-D holo events, live concerts, shows, theaters, and countless other entertainments.
Most of the ceilings had nanomaterial facings that could be programmed, shifted, and pweaked into a myriad of decorative schemes and ways. Much of the starport was open on top for the many ships to come and go. But a passive diffusion shield above it kept out the rain from passing sub-tropical showers.
There were holo displays and pop up blurt boards and vid screens too numerous to track within the twisting, curving maze. All of these could be manipulated and changed at will, according to the imagination and advertising.
Naero’s Maeris Clan merchant fleet routinely made this crucial, bustling starport one of their many bases of trade and operations in that far flung expanding arm of the galaxy.
Naero knew the Gorulian-3 system extremely well, and all of the other megacities and ports of commerce and their regions dotted about the globe.
During the last war with the Corps, this system had been a safe haven for many Spacer kids.
Naero could still venture out each day and experience something fresh, exciting, and new. She tasted and savored it all like an ever changing selection of the freaky snaks she relished.
Like those yummy paks of blue Spum meat cubes in their tangy blue sauces. Sooo good!
She had already bolted two of those down, her mouth and fingers still stained bright blue. Cleaning wipes got rid of the stickiness, but not the stain and the lingering smell and aftertaste of the delicious treat itself.
She often went around with her fingers and face colored with some kind of bizarre treat or delicacy.
Her merchant fleet distributed any and all types of goods, tek, and supplies. That gave her access to a strange cornucopia of goods from thousands of worlds; it was a truly delightful plethora of odd novelties seemingly without limit.
Naero would have been stuck working this same duty shift alongside her friends, if she had not scheduled personal time to pull off a bit of mayhem.
She lifted her auto ranging binocs to her eyes and settled in again to watch the show. After her little feast while she waited, she still had plenty of novelty lix and snax from exotic, far away systems to gnosh, half of which already filled her slender belly. A lick of her stained lips occasionally brought back a salty sweet hint of the savory pleasures that she had enjoyed from her ongoing experiments with alien goodies.
Empty lix and snak packs littered the hidden platform all around her position. At her age, and with her hyper advanced metabolism, Naero grew hungry every half hour. Strangeoid munchie foods were just one of the many added bonuses of the Spacer tween life.
She still grimaced, however, at one factor of her day’s plan.
The high price of those damned balorth spores and their delivery had been super annoying.
Most of the added costs involved the hi-tek manner of shipping and protecting the rare spores to keep them fresh and stable. They clearly would not work properly if they did not reach her intact, unexposed, and undamaged.
Such fragile, volatile scientific cargoes were always weird and pricey by their very nature.
Even for a scrawny Spacer girl in 2589 who dreamed of buying her own starship one day, those damn spores had set her skinny little butt back big time.
Haisha! Just ten such spores had taken a huge chunk out of the creds in her already pitiful ship savings.
But if she pulled off this gag, it would be righteously stellatorious.
Her name would live on in Spacer prank glory and infamy.
She had stumbled upon the knowledge concerning the highly unique and unusually reactive spores by sheer luck. She learned about them and their many weird properties while studying strange facts about other interstellar cultures and the limitless variety of the many known worlds within the Alpha Quadrant.
Naero often performed such quirky research in the little free time that she was given, outside of her endless Spacer training, education, and work details with the fleet.
But for all of her hard work and effort, she had yet to earn a single blue glowing rank band on the forearms of her Nytex, nanomaterial flight togs.
She could not help it. She always looked at the other one and two striper team and crew leaders with envy. It grated on her every day. She truly was that ambitious.
Her rank status definitely needed to change.
But like most tweens her age, Naero saw herself as more or less just another forgotten drone, another worker insect in the Maeris Clan hive.
Spacers weren’t insectoids, of course, but the comparison remained quite accurate in many ways. Merchant fleets were legendary for their demands for hard work and profiteering. And unlike Gigacorps wage slaves, everyone in a Spacer Clan merchant fleet shared in the profits to an accepted degree, if the fleet succeeded.
But a tween lost in all of that had to especially bust tail big time if she wanted any recognition at all, not to mention a flipping promotion. Those were rare.
And it was all so unfair. Haisha! Despite the fact that her champion parents, now retired from the lucrative Galactic Fight Circuit, along with her aunt Sleak actually owned the entire merchant fleet. Oh, no. They bent over backwards to never show any favoritism to their own flesh and blood.
In fact, with Naero being their daughter, they went out of their way to make it even tougher for her to prove herself and advance in any way.
Ooh! Something down below caught her eye. The bizarre reactions of those costly spores were just starting to activate. This was it.
Naero snapped the binocs up to her eyes and watched with a sly half grin she felt spreading across her face.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time. Time is the great enemy. Time is never our friend. I will never live long enough to write all of the story ideas I want to write. My goal is to publish 100 novels before I die.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Gosh, I honestly can’t pick just one. I’ve mentioned a few faves.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Like most clever writers, I always do some book research on any trip or holiday that I take.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My books have had several great artists, but one I can point out right now is Michael McAfee, firstname.lastname@example.org. He is excellent.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The rough draft. That’s the toughest half of the battle.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
You learn more from every project. That’s what makes writing so awesome! On this one I tried focusing on being true in the character’s head and writing humor.
Being funny in novels and anything else is extremely hard.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Believe in yourself when no one else does. Write as much as you can, finish what you write, and keep sending it out wherever you can, get it published, and build your readership. One book does not make a career. Write lots of books. Write with passion about things you care about in the ZONE!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love my books and my characters and I pour myself into them. I hope that my readers can grok the things I care about.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Wow! Hmmm…Andre Norton, Daybreak-2250 A.D.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
People are goofy/People are stupid and cruel for no reason; ignorance and greed.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I can’t pick just one. Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and J.R.R.Tolkien.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
He was a great dad, a good friend, and wrote books that countless people enjoyed.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Fencing, archery, sketching, D&D, PC Gaming, and combat pistol shooting.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Again, where do I begin and stop? Grimm (love Portland and Monroe), Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, Dark Matter, Killjoys, Naruto. There’s just so much good stuff out there now.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
King Crab, steak, ice cream, blueberry pancakes, Greens & Blues, Black, lots of pop, Celtic, and World Music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have tried to make it as an actor, which is even tougher than being a writer.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do most of my blogging on Facebook:
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Thanks, Fiona. This has been fun.