Mason has successfully submitted to CafeLit and we have recently published his captivating series all about The Jinn, a little magical fella.
Here he talks to me about his writing life in general and all about how he wrote The Jinn.
you write? Why this in particular?
What I write about changed dramatically over the years. When I began writing properly it was fantasy and mystery books. I love fantasy worlds and solving mysteries so those were my favourite genres to write. More recently, having stepped away from publishing books, I’ve been writing short stories in every genre and style available. That’s thanks to discovering the world of prompts to write for. That’s been a game changer and so much fun.
you started on writing in the first place?
For me it began when I was about eleven. I’d grown up reading books and always had one tucked under my arm. So, when my English teacher presented me with a title and told me to create a story for creative writing exercise, I was immediately hooked. My friends would do a page, I would do about twenty in the same time. I’ve been writing pretty much ever since.
have a particular routine?
I do. Routine is important for getting things done. I begin my day with breakfast and a nice long walk with Lucy Dog. I get to my computer about 9 AM and I catch up with all my emails and social media. Within that, I discover my day’s prompts from great places such as WordPress. Then from about 10 AM I begin writing my short stories and poems for the day until lunchtime. I continue writing and posting my work until I fulfil the prompts for the day. Then I put my chef’s hat on, bake cakes and cook dinner. From 4PM to about 6PM it’s blogging, catching up on all those who wrote for prompts, networking and trying my best to promote my own stories. This I do Monday to Friday. Then Saturday and Sunday are days off. It’s a routine that works and allows me to be fruitful with my writing.
have a dedicated working space?
I do. I’m very fortunate to have a little room for my office. My desk is in front of a window with a view over a farmer’s field. I work there with Lucy Dog at my feet, a T-Rex watching over my laptop, and a nice cup of tea on the mat beside my notes. For me a proper workspace is essential to help you feel like you’re at work. In that way it aids your productivity.
5. When did you decide you could call yourself a writer? Do you do that in fact?
I call myself a storyteller. Writers can do all the complex stuff like punctuation and grammar well. They have styles, they can make professional books and publish them. I can’t do those things well; I just tell a good story and hope people enjoy it. So, now I’m a storyteller not a writer.
6. How supportive are your friends and family? Do they understand what you're doing?
I’m lucky in that my parents enjoy my stories and
encourage me to try to publish and do well with them. I feel I let them down, knowing
all my proper novels are languishing almost forgotten in a drawer.
As for friends, they are all writers too. That’s a big help. Without them all supporting me I’d have probably put down my pen a long time ago.
7. What are you most proud of in your writing?
Being proud of my writing is something that comes very difficult for me. Through my failed publishing endeavours, I learned my writing was terrible. That nothing on my pages was any good. So, I’m proud of my progress. The people reading my short stories now actually enjoy them.
8. How do you get on with editing and research?
I love research. Don’t get to do so much as short
stories. There’s no room for great detail when you only have a thousand words
to tell a tale. Yet I do my best to squeeze in enough tantalising details to
make my story interesting. It’s so much fun using the Internet and proper
old-fashioned books to learn about a story’s subject. It leads you to falling
down rabbit holes filled with information, chasing leads and discovering all
manner of wonderful things.
Editing on the other hand is not my friend. I worked so hard trying to make my story’s the best they can be. And yet the very next person to look at a story with a view of editing it usually wishes to change huge amounts of the text. It leads me to say, ‘Don’t love your story or characters.’ To love them only makes editing that much more painful. If you write with a publication plan, you must write like a business person and not a passionate writer. You can be sure the published article will hardly ever be the story you wrote in the first place.
9. Do you have any goals for the future?
This is a hard, fast no. With my deteriorating hands and very little chance of publishing the books I’ve written, there are no goals worth setting for me. Instead, I just try to enjoy writing my short stories each day and be happy with any progress I make. Just like the progress I made with The Jinn!
10. Which writers have inspired you?
This could be an enormous list. Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie really gave me my love of mystery solving as I grew up. JR Tolkien and Alan Garner imbued me with a sense of wonder with their beautiful fantasy stories. These days I love Clive Cussler and Andy McDermott as they take me on a wonderful adventure. Patricia Cornwell, Ruth Rendell and Val Penny for a good mystery. I think every author and their story can be great inspiration with a little imagination.
And now about The Jinn
- Tell me about your book.
As the title suggests you will meet the Jinn. At five inches tall he is sassiest little red man you’ll ever meet. The Jinn is a demon who works just like a genie. When summoned by his talisman, he will grudgingly endeavour to help you with whatever troubles you. Be careful with what you wish for though; this Jinn’s methods are unique to say the least. In this book he will encounter an eclectic group of humans and a dog looking for help. Join him as calamity and chaos ensues. I tell you, the little guy had me in fits of laughter just writing about him!
- Tell us about your research for this book.
How do you research a completely made-up fictional character? Truth is I didn’t really. My research for the book focused more on setting locations and situations that would allow the Jinn the maximum amount of chaos possible. From there it was just a little fact checking as I let my imagination run completely wild!
- What inspired you to write this?
The Jinn first appeared in answer to a 750 word prompt picture with thanks to Author Miranda Kate for those prompts. The prompt picture was of a great fiery demon. Unusually for me the image failed to conjure a story. Then I realised the demon wasn’t ten feet tall, he was only five inches. With that realisation the Jinn was born. He garnered fans immediately when I released the tale on my website. So much so that my friend and fellow upcoming author M C Sheridan prodded me into writing more. I’m glad I did it as it was so much fun. Then Gill James came along and suggested Jinn would make a good short story book. It was with my sincerest thanks to her that the Jinn now does have his book.
- What's next?
What next for me is to continue writing more short stories for my website and enjoying every moment of it.
- How can we get a copy of the book?
The Jinn is readily available on Amazon in both paperback and e-book forms. I believe it is also available through the Chapeltown website as well.
You can also buy it via the Bridgetown Cafe Bookshsop: http://www.thebridgetowncafebooksshop.co.uk/2021/04/the-jinn-by-mason-bushell.html
- Do you have any events planned?
Sadly, no. I have no funding or ability towards having events for me.
Do join me on my website https://masonsmenagerie.wordpress.com to discover my world of poetry and short stories.