Monday, 12 June 2017

Bute Noir and Bloody Scotland



I'm going to be appearing at a couple of festivals later this summer; one old, one new and I can't wait.

First up, Bute Noir, now in its second year, and running 4th - 6th August. I'll be appearing on two panels: Americana with Steve Cavanagh and SJI Holliday, and State of Emergency with Steph Broadbribb. Apart from that, I'll be hanging around all weekend and checking out some of the other great events with Alex Gray, Denise Mina, Craig Robertson, Luca Veste, Caro Ramsay and many more.

The lineup is excellent and ticket prices are a steal - check out the Bute Noir website for more.

After a signing at Waterstones Oban on Saturday 19 August, I'm delighted to be appearing at Bloody Scotland for my fourth year running, this time with US bestseller Chris Carter. Our panel is called From Tinseltown to Sin City, it's on Saturday 9 September, and you can book tickets here.

As always, Bloody Scotland has a fantastic lineup including Ian Rankin, Simon Kernick, Lynda LaPlante, Val McDermid and Denise Mina, so if you're thinking about going, you definitely shouldn't hesitate - download the full brochure here.

I'll also be at Harrogate in July, details to follow of what should be a very fun event on Friday, and will add be adding new events to my website as they're confirmed/

See you on the road!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

After the storm...

So it all began when I attended parents night last week.

While you're waiting to speak to the teacher, the school encourages you to look through your kid's folder to see their work over the past year. While browsing through my older daughter Ava's portfolio, I found an amusing example of feedback about the school that was entirely typical of Ava. I took a picture, tweeted it the next morning, and then things went a little nuts.



I thought I would blog about it, because it's been one of the weirdest things I've been involved in, having something your daughter wrote becoming a brief internet sensation.

I sent the tweet before heading into a meeting, thinking fellow parents would find it amusing. During the meeting, my phone was buzzing regularly, so I put it on silent. I'd forgotten that I had turned off all notifications except new followers, so that wasn't even the retweets.

When I got out, it had been retweeted over 3,000 times. Considering my previous most popular tweet probably got 60 RTs, this was a little surprising. My wife had texted saying journalists wanted to get in touch. I tried to find some of them in the replies and got lost. The Glasgow Evening Times did a story on it, then the Huffington Post and the Independent. I decided to cap it off by buying Ava some ice cream and tweeting a pic, thinking it would die down now the story had a beginning, middle and end. It didn't stop. By the evening, she had made Teen Vogue.

The next day it got even wilder. The Daily Mail and the BBC wanted to talk to me. The Sun and the Mirror and TES ran stories on it. Ava's note got a mention in Time. I was interviewed by the New York Daily News. Patricia Arquette and George Takei weighed in. We were offered a slot on Australian breakfast TV (unfortunately it clashed with going to see KISS, sorry). For a while it was the number one most read story on the BBC website.



By midnight Friday, it had been retweeted over a hundred thousand times, and liked by over half a million people. Most of the reaction was great, but as you'd expect from something seen by millions of people, there was a little negative stuff too.

A surprising number of people were utterly outraged that I would even consider grounding a bright young girl for speaking her mind. I had thought that the words 'ice cream' appearing in a musing about punishment would signal that I wasn't entirely displeased, but I would probably have given it more thought if I'd known hundreds of thousands of people were going to be reading it. Then there were the Truthers, who posited that I had invented the whole thing to get RTs. One hilarious pundit went so far as to carry out amateur graphology to highlight small inconsistencies in Ava's handwriting, which proved... I don't know... that there was a second eleven-year-old on the grassy knoll? Or maybe just that she sharpened her pencil.

As someone else pointed out, it was interesting that almost everyone doubting the note's veracity was a male of a certain age. I think that's telling. It's the same unlovely part of the male psyche that spawns Birthers and 9/11 Truthers and Moon Landing Deniers: the need to be the one to see through the big illusion, to be more clued-in than the sheeple. Some of them seemed really angry at the suggestion an eleven-year-old girl could be smart, articulate and funny all by herself.

But the overwhelming majority of the replies were very positive. Most people ordered me to buy her ice cream, and maybe a car, and definitely enroll her for law school. Depending on their location, people suggested she run for UK prime minister, or president of the United States, or secretary general of the UN.

It was hard to keep up, since the notifications, to put it mildly, were a little more frequent than I'm used to.



So why did it blow up so big?

I think a big reason is that it struck a universal chord. Whoever you are, wherever you live, it's likely that at some point in your educational career, you were punished as part of a group for something you didn't do. It's also funny that a young girl was so outraged she went and looked up human rights law and applied it to her complaint.

It helps that anyone who has, or knows, or can remember being, a smart eleven-year-old can identify with this. I was like this at that age, bashing out polemics on the injustice of having to wear school uniform, or not being allowed to see Terminator 2 in the cinema, and I didn't have access to Google.

But mainly, Ava had a solid point, albeit expressed in an amusingly over-the-top way. The Twitter storm prompted a really good academic piece on collective punishment in school by international childrens' rights expert Professor Laura Lundy, which is worth a read.

Ava's teacher, to his immense credit, was very amused by her feedback, and the way it's gone viral. Ava herself was kind of bemused by the reaction. Excited at first, mildly disappointed when I broke it to her that internet fame doesn't bring riches, and now she's pretty much over it. But she says it was worth it for the ice cream.





Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Killing Season - 99p UK Kindle deal


Just a quick update to say that the first Carter Blake novel, The Killing Season has been selected for the Start a Great Series 99p promotion on Amazon in the UK, so if you don't have it yet, now's the time to remedy that situation!

Lee Child said it was "My kind of book", Lisa Gardner warns "Prepare to read all night", and even a certain former President of the United States said it "looks terrific". Still don't know if he got around to reading it.

Get it on Kindle here for 99p


As usual, the deal is being price matched at the other ebook retailers, so you can also get The Killing Season is 99p on your preferred platform:

iBooks

If you want me to let you know when there's a deal like this, or just get occasional updates when something happens, sign up for my Readers Club and you'll get a heads up. 

Happy reading!

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Don't Look For Me launch, and some reviews


Belatedly posting some pics from the Don't Look For Me launch evening at Waterstones.

It was a really good night, with a great turnout even though there was competition elsewhere in town from Stuart MacBride and Chris Brookmyre. Neil Broadfoot did a fantastic job on the questions.

The new book has picked up some nice reviews so far:

"Another gripping release from Mason Cross in what was already an excellent series."

- Keith Nixon, Crime Fiction Lover

"This fourth Carter Blake book is a well-plotted and tension-filled tale, delivering more twists and turns than the Hampton Court maze and is packed with memorably drawn characters"


"If you're a thriller fan who packs a summer blockbuster as a holiday read then don't leave home without this."

- Peterborough Telegraph

"Mason Cross has succeeded yet again in delivering that pace and drive and character and story all in one neat package that sweeps you up and carries you along for the duration, never allowing you back down until you are sated by the ending and wishing you could go back and start all over again. A five star read."


Next up... Crimefest, where I'm looking forward to appearing on a couple of panels and particularly doing a drinks reception with two of my very favourite Steves: Mosby and Cavanagh.






Wednesday, 3 May 2017

UK Giveway - Don't Look For Me



In the UK? Want to win a signed copy of Don't Look For Me?

Click to register for the Goodreads giveaway on the handy button below!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Don't Look For Me by Mason Cross

Don't Look For Me

by Mason Cross

Giveaway ends May 06, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway



Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Time to Kill - UK Kindle deal


Just a quick update to say that The Time to Kill has been selected for the Mayday weekend 99p promotion in the UK, so if you don't have it yet, now's the time to remedy that situation!

Get it on Kindle here for 99p - offer ends Monday.


*edit to say eagle-eyed reader Sue got in touch to report that the deal is being price matched at the other ebook retailers, so you can now buy The Time to Kill for 99p on whatever device you prefer:

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Don't Look For Me - publication day


The fourth Carter Blake book: Don't Look For Me is published today in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. You can get it in all formats from the usual places - links below for your preferred online book emporium.

The advance reviews have been fantastic, and Simon Kernick says it's "A fast-paced, high octane thriller".

I hope you like it too - if you do, I'd love it if you could take a couple of minutes to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
 
You can also let me know on Twitter or Facebook what you thought of it, and since it's being released at this time of year, you can let me know if you find the hidden Easter egg...


Trade paperback (large format)

ebook

Audio
Audible  




Don't look for me.

It was a simple instruction. And for six long years Carter Blake kept his word and didn't search for the woman he once loved. But now someone else is looking for her.

He'll come for you.

Trenton Gage is a hitman with a talent for finding people - dead or alive. His next job is to track down a woman who's on the run, who is harbouring a secret many will kill for.
Both men are hunting the same person. The question is, who will find her first?

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Giveaway winners

The Goodreads giveaways to win signed copies of The Time to Kill and The Samaritan have closed, and they got a really amazing response.

The winners are Kristen from Staten Island, NY and Marion from Courtenay, British Columbia. Congratulations Kristen and Marion, and thanks to everyone who entered.

If you want to find out about future giveaways and exclusives, keep an eye on the blog or sign up to my Readers Club for occasional, non-spammy updates.



Thursday, 13 April 2017

Ett Långt Spår Av Blod (The Killing Season - Sweden)




I love seeing translated versions of my books and this Swedish edition of The Killing Season (or A Long Trail of Blood) from Modernista is a particularly beautiful hardback edition.

If you're in Sweden, you can pick up a copy when it's published on 22 April.

Trevlig läsning! 







Saturday, 8 April 2017

Book giveaway time


There are a pair of Goodreads giveaways running at the moment to win signed UK paperbacks of The Time to Kill (aka Winterlong in America) and (The Samaritan).

These giveaways are open worldwide, and it only takes a second to register to win by clicking on the handy links below, so what's stopping you?



Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Time to Kill by Mason Cross

The Time to Kill

by Mason Cross

Giveaway ends April 16, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway




Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Samaritan by Mason Cross

The Samaritan

by Mason Cross

Giveaway ends April 16, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

For more news, competitions and exclusives, you can sign up to my Readers Club with a couple of clicks. No spam, scout's honour.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Don't Look For Me - trade paperback

One of my favourite things about being an author is getting to see and touch the completed product for the first time. So here in all its orangey glory, is the trade paperback edition of Don't Look For Me.  

The cover people at Orion have done another stellar job on this one, and I'm so pleased to have a brilliant jacket quote from one of my big influences as a thriller author - Simon Kernick.

As it happened, I got my first copy in the post on an unusually beautiful day, so the new arrival got some fresh air and sun. 

If you want one of these babies, you don't have long to wait. It's published on 20 April in the UK, and you can preorder from Amazon, Waterstones and all good bookshops.














Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Aye Write and Ian Rankin and Orkney Library

I haven't updated in a while, mostly because I've been busy writing the fifth Carter Blake book (Five? How did that happen?), but also because I've been busy on lots of other fronts.

For starters, last month I had the pleasure of chairing Ian Rankin at Glasgow's Aye Write festival. Ian is such a natural storyteller that he made my job very easy, and the hour flew by. We covered a lot of ground, from Rebus's recent healthy(ish) lifestyle change, to a French translator deciding that a Wizard of Oz reference meant that Rebus must be a fan of AOR giants Toto and Kansas. Glasgow Royal Concert Hall holds a slightly bigger audience than I'm used to...



But it was a brilliant crowd, and they had some great questions. It was nice to catch up with Steph Broadribb (aka Crime Thriller Girl) and Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books afterwards.

After that, I got to visit a radio station for the first time and Cat Gibson interviewed me about the books live on Camglen Radio - you can listen again here. She even let me pick a record to play halfway through, I went with Dead Flowers by the Stones. I think Rebus would have approved of that over Toto's Africa.

Audio-wise, I also appeared on my favourite podcast - Two Crime Writers and a Microphone. It was great to chat to my fellow authors Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste, and we discovered Luca's darkest secret -

he's never seen Die Hard.

I know. That's what we said. Don't worry, it's now rectified.

The following week, I was able to sign the northernmost copies of my books so far when I visited the famous Orkney Library to talk to their crime fiction group.

It was a hastily-organised event since I was going to be in Orkney anyway, so I was really impressed with how quickly they were able to pull everything together. I had a great evening chatting to readers, and even had time to sign some copies in the Orcadian Bookshop, and do some sightseeing.






Other stuff...

There's a nice American review of The Samaritan here:

I love that the detective in this story was a woman. It’s so much easier for me to relate to stories where there are strong female leads. Introducing the mysterious Carter Blake was a great touch because I kept trying to figure out whether or not he really was the serial killer. Once I started the book, I honestly could not put it down. When the ending came, it completely shocked me because it wasn’t what I expected at all.


And I'm published in Sweden, in a gorgeous hardback edition from Modernista



The big thing on the horizon is, of course, the publication of Don't Look For Me on 20 April. The official launch is going to be on publication day at Waterstones Argyle Street in Glasgow at 7pm. Ace tartan noir author Neil Broadfoot is going to be chatting to me about the new book, and there will be wine and all the usual launch festivities. If that sounds good and you're going to be in Glasgow on that day, you can register for free tickets here.

If you can't make it to the launch, keep an eye on my events page to see where else I'm going to be in the near future. More to be added soon, but I'll be at East Kilbride Library on 12 April, Cambuslang Library on 25 April, and Crimefest from Friday 19 - Sunday 21 May.

If you can't make it to an event, you can still buy a copy from your chosen outlet right here:




UK pre-order:

Trade paperback (large format)

ebook

Audio



Don’t look for me.

It was a simple instruction. And for six long years Carter Blake kept his word and didn’t search for the woman he once loved. But now someone else is looking for her.

He’ll come for you.

Trenton Gage is a hitman with a talent for finding people – dead or alive. His next job is to track down a woman who’s on the run, who is harbouring a secret many will kill for.

Both men are hunting the same person. The question is, who will find her first?

"Mason Cross is a thriller writer for the future who produces the kind of fast-paced, high octane thrillers that I love to read." - Simon Kernick


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Don't Look For Me - book launch

It's almost that time of year again...




Book Launch for 

Don't Look For Me

Thursday 20 April, 7pm
Waterstones Argyle Street, Glasgow




Join Deanston Award shortlisted author Neil Broadfoot (Falling Fast, All the Devils) in conversation with Mason Cross for the official launch of his new novel Don't Look For Me, published by Orion Books.

Don't Look For Me sees manhunter Carter Blake on the trail of an old ghost from his past, in an adventure that will take him from the bright lights of Vegas to the Arizona desert.

There will be a reading, a Q&A and a signing. More importantly, there will be free wine. The event is free and all are welcome.

You can register for free tickets at Eventbrite.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

New York




I've always loved New York. Even before I visited for the first time a few years ago, I loved the idea of it.

Before I made the trip in person, I got to know the city through countless movies and books, and in particular from the wonderfully geographically-specific parts of town where Spider-Man or the X-Men would battle their enemies. I saw the city through many eyes before my own, from Holden Caulfield to Nick Carraway to Jerry the mouse. I love big cities in general, but NYC in particular.

So it was particularly enjoyable to make my first trip to the Big Apple as an author, even for a few short days. Even better - we were able to secure babysitting, so my wife Laura was able to tag along, which was great as we don't get to spend much time together, just the two of us.

Things started out well with a fairly smooth flight (I'm not the world's biggest fan of air travel), with a stopover at Reykjavik. I got some writing done and finally got to see Mad Max: Fury Road, which I enjoyed, although not quite as much as The Road Warrior.

Somewhere cold
Arriving at JFK, we took the Long Island Rail Road to Penn Station, getting into the city around 7pm local, which was midnight by my body clock. As it was a brief visit, I did what I always do, which is stay on GMT - why not take advantage of the fact you’re in a place that bills itself as the city that never sleeps? In truth, I’m not a morning person anyway, so a five hour time difference puts me in the sweet spot. We decided to walk the twenty-four blocks north to the hotel, soaking up the sights and the sounds.

Always a nice welcoming view

After breakfast the next morning, we visited the Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue and I got to see one of my books in an American bookstore for the first time. Winterlong was really well displayed as a new release, too.





After that, I visited the nearby New York Public Library and wrote some of the new book in the beautiful Rose Main Reading Room. I make a point of writing in interesting places whenever I can. I wrote part of a short story in the British Library last year, so it was nice to continue the tradition. 


We headed east to drop in on Grand Central Station, which plays an important part in Winterlong, and admired the Chrysler and MetLife buildings on the way in. I really like distinctiveness of the former Pan Am building, even though it isn't held in the same regard as some of the more classically beautiful towers like its neighbour. 



After getting dinner in a fantastic steak place, Laura opted to stay in the hotel with a book, and I took a walk up to Central Park and the Upper East Side, then headed all the way out to the East River and saw the Queensboro bridge in the fog. I love walking in cities, particularly big ones like NYC or London or Paris. It's absolutely the best way to absorb their unique characters: pounding the sidewalks and looking down the dark alleys, passing the doormen of upscale apartment buildings as they stand to attention beneath heated canopies.



Day two started out with a trip to the Top of the Rock. I had ticked off the Empire State Building on my first trip to the city, but this lived up to the hype of being a better view, since it actually includes the Empire State Building. From seventy floor up, I was struck again by what an incredible city this is; the towers stretching out to the tip of the island, now and forever a work in progress.




After a stroll in Central Park, I took the subway down to Chambers Street in time for my appointment at the world-famous Mysterious Bookshop, where I signed a stack of copies of Winterlong, which was a dream come true. The shop would have been worth the trip without that: it's a crime fiction fan's dream. I picked up some books, including a vintage short story collection by John D MacDonald - one of my big influences.


Serious author face


After the Mysterious Bookshop, we met up for dinner with Iris and Jessica of Pegasus Books, my US publisher and we had a great evening at an Italian restaurant in Tribeca talking about books and big cities and life in general. It was a pleasant night for a walk from the subway station to the hotel, but the news was saying a change in the weather was on its way.

Winterlong climaxes with a blizzard hitting New York, so appropriately, my last day in town did too.

6th Avenue Freeze Out

This was a big one; big enough for them to take the drastic step of closing the schools. Watching the news, it was comforting to see that Americans freak out about the weather just as much as Brits do. I started to get a little worried about delays, but by the evening things had calmed down.

By the time we made it back to the UK, Winterlong was published all over again, this time in paperback under its British title of The Time to Kill, and I signed some copies in Waterstones. It's always good to come back home, but I'm already looking forward to the next time I'm in New York.