Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Carol Mason fascinates us and has some books to give away

**Giveaway is now closed**

Carol Mason was born in Northern England and worked as an advertising copywriter before becoming a novelist. She took a trip to Toronto when she was 21 years old and met her (now) husband there, sealing her fate of where she would be living. She now lives in British Columbia with him and their dog and cat. She is the best-selling author of "The Love Market" and other novels.

She's here to talk to us today about what makes for fascinating novel material and she has two copies of "The Love Market" for some lucky readers in the US and Canada.

To learn more about Carol and what she finds fascinating, visit her at her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Why Women's Lives Make Fascinating Material for Other Women to Read About

After a night out with a girlfriend, my husband will always ask: What did you talk about? (Funny. Because after the guys have had a night out, I am NEVER curious about what they talked about.) When I am on the phone with a friend for an hour he’ll say: How can you witter on for all that time? I tell him I don’t know. We just can.

I tell him we discuss our feelings about any given thing that we are not happy about. Sometimes just one harmless comment starts it – the necessity to dissect details to death. Then of course we discuss our feelings about our feelings. Then we try to analyze how the subject of our conversation might be feeling - about themselves, and about how we feel. So it’s easy to understand how we can gab forever.

Sometimes it’s repetitive. Often it doesn’t change anything. But by the time we are done, we have a certain clarity on things. More importantly, we feel a tiny little bit closer to one other human being who we allow to know us inside out. Friendship between two women is like being part of an exclusive club with a membership of two: you don’t need, or want, anyone else to join – a lot like being immersed in a great book.

Weird, says my husband. Girls are plain weird.

Maybe. But women like to gather feedback from people they admire and trust. Most guys would be more likely to confide in a lamppost than confess troubles or misdeeds to someone they knew. Someone who would care, remember, and know them well enough, perhaps, to help – or worse: to judge. We all know the old cliché about male drivers who are lost but won’t ask for directions. Men generally don’t seek out help, advice, or enjoy trying to learn from how others navigate the major thoroughfares of life. They are happy to plug away blindly, giving the impression they know exactly what they are doing. But women see, if not an easier way, then a more collaborative one.

Women are more verbally and emotionally reactive, quicker to reveal pain and hurt feelings, yet we have all given and received the silent treatment. They can be ambitious without being competitive, and can be competitive without being mean. But sometimes they are unkind. How many of our friendships exist wholly on an appreciation of similarities and differences of each other, without ever crossing over into occasional pettiness or spite? Sometimes women are best friends and worst enemies simultaneously. Yet when two great friends fall out, it can be as traumatic as a break up between lovers.

When all this juicy stuff finds its way into fiction, it makes for a compelling, intimate read. We all know that feeling of having met a character in a novel to whom we can entirely relate. She thinks like we do, speaks like we do, wants what we want, gets frustrated about the same things as us, and there is an honesty and sincerity to her that makes her as real as anybody we know.

Once in a while a book comes along that’s written by a man, and it’s honest and real and shows perceptions and sensitivities that we never knew men were capable of (Tony Parsons, Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper to name a few). But mostly it’s left to women’s fiction to do that job - to feed a need we all have to pry into someone else’s conflict - the situations they put themselves into, or find themselves in, and what they do about it - because generally-speaking, their problems could be ours.

We love to live vicariously through the central character’s journey. Because women like to imagine lives other than our own. We might not desire to have an affair, but how many of us are not agog when hearing about someone else’s? We might never regret our divorce, but what happens if that happens? We like to watch the rollercoaster of others’ lives – the ebb and flow of their new romances, marriages, friendships. How they navigate crazy bosses, unreasonable in-laws, aging parents, parenthood, their own illnesses, dreams and disappointments. How they find time to be true to themselves when they so often have to adapt to the beat of others in order to make it through life’s challenges. We enjoy hanging out with women in fiction because we are observers of human nature, and good women’s fiction mines the dark and light side of how people tick: quirks and all.

When CS Lewis said we read to know we’re not alone, I am pretty sure he was talking about women’s fiction, even though he probably didn’t know it.

Special thanks to Carol for sharing her thoughts with us and her books with you!

How to win "The Love Market":
Please comment below with your e-mail address.
(Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: Who is the most fascinating woman you know?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

US/Canada only. Giveaway ends August 15th at midnight EST

More by Carol Mason:

41 comments:

holdenj said...

I enjoyed Carol's comment about not really wondering what her hubby discussed with his friends while out. That's true here too. Thanks!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I am a GFC follower.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Deborah R said...

I agree with Carol, who cares what men talk about! lol

thanks!
debr97 at yahoo dot com

gfc follower
facebook group

Kat said...

1) What a wonderful guest blog! Makes me want to read her book!
2) I find all the women I know fascinating because they each have their own story
3) I am a follower of the blog through GFC
4) I am a member of CLC
5) Posted on facebook

ladykathryn@rogers.com

Amy said...

Everything Carol says here is so true and I feel the same way. For instance when my best friend and I talk on the phone, many times its bc things at work are stressing her, and I'm stressed about a whole bunch of things. And yes most of the time neither of our stress goes away. But I leave the conversation feeling much better than I did in the beginning. First of all, as so many of us know, men try to "fix things" and women just listen (MEN ARE FROM MARS WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS)and I just know she understands.
Also women validate your feelings.

I would luv to meet Ellen DeGeneres. She came out, and was then shot down from the industry. However she didn't give up, and look at her now.

I follow via GFC, twitter and FB.

I posted this contest on my FB wall and twitter. Here is my tweet:

http://twitter.com/#!/abbeautycall/status/101319551920246784

amyrbromberg@gmail.com

Jane said...

The most fascinating woman I 'know' (through her writing)is Laura Ingalls Wilder. Imagine going from covered wagon to airplanes! And growing up on a farm in the midwest, I can relate to her childhood in the country.

sk8ersmom57@yahoo.com

Jane

Kim W. said...

1. Most fascinating woman I know is one of my close girlfriends who is always trying to improve & change things in her life and in herself (in a postive way, not in a kill-yourself kind of way), and is very motivating to those around her. She just gives off this energy that makes YOU want to walk right along side of her and make changes in yourself and the world around you. It's always a good time with her, no matter what you are doing, what kind of mood the night is set in or who's with you.

2. I already follow this blog

3. Posted contest on Facebook

4. I already belong to CLC on Facebook

kewalker1972@gmail.com

DarleneLF said...

What a great post! We girls are plain weird, but it's a good kind of weird, lol!
I'm a Facebook follower.
darlenelfmail(at)gmail(dot)com

Jenn B said...

What a great blog!

1. The most fascinating person I know is my mom!

2. I am a follower of this blog.

Jenn B said...

I forgot!!
jen428us(at)yahoo(dot)com

Felicia said...

That is a hard question to anwser. I find all my friends fascinating in some way or another. I couldn't pick just one or two. They all amaze me.

I follow on google reader, twitter and facebook.

I'm the oddball here. I always wonder what the guys talk about when they are out. You know they are not like us, talking about feelings and such. When you ask them what they are thinking, they say nothing and they really mean it. lol! So what do they gab about, I wonder?

felicialso @gmail .com

Felicia

Kara Mitchell said...

I know a lot of people will say this my mother is. we grew up in the country and in the spring, mom had a full time job, 3 kids and a huge garden to feed us. She also canned stuff and was always picking something. Now she is 70 and does all her yard work and mine with help from me. One hand mom can be the toughest woman I know. The next moment she is saying she thinks it safer to have a man around. I laughed at that because sh is so independent. I love my mom so much and wish I was as tough.

Anonymous said...

I'm a follower of this blog!

cat123hen(at)aol(dot)com

karenk said...

would love to read this novel...great cover, too.

the most fascinating woman i know is my mom :)

i'm a follower, too

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a terrific story.

The most fascinating woman I know is my father's significant other. She has done so many interesting things in her life.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

faithspage said...

My girfriend Jeanna, raising 3 kids, working full-time, went to college got a bachelors degree then got a masters, keeping a house, and a wife!!
I follow on gfc
I follow on fb

kyfaithw at aol dot com

meandmom said...

Sounds like a good book. I'd like to read it.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

meandmom said...

I think Hillary Rodham Clinton is pretty fascinating because she has been a wife and a mother and a lawyer and First Lady and Secretary of State.

I am a subscriber.

I am a Facebook follower.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Margaret said...

I totally want to read this! Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a follower.

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Margaret said...

I will say my fascinating woman is my sister in law. She has just retired and has never looked better. She's living life to it's fullest and having a great time! Always fun and always has time for her friends and family.

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

maria said...

This sounds like a good book!!

I am following!!!

While i don't know her personally Maria Shriver is pretty fascinating!

billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

the most fascinating woman I know is my mother

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via GFC

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via facebook

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter

Vilma said...

I would love to win this book.
My mom is the most fascinating woman.
I am a follower

vlopes@plymouthrock.com

Chica said...

I'm going to go with my mom on this one. She is the best kind of person! And I don't just think that because she's my mom. She's one of the nicest people with the biggest hearts in the world. She's kind of a dork which is awesome and she's the complete opposite of selfish. Really, she does things for her family that I don't know if I could ever do.

Chica said...

2. Blog follower!
3. Will retweet on twitter @krystaldorkface
4. Member of group. =)
5. I'm adding my friend Roger to the facebook group because he's staying with me and I'm making him read the rest of the summer!

miss_kris_11(at)yahoo(dot)com

Georgina said...

I enjoyed this post. The most fascinating woman I know is my mom.
Im a GFC and Facebook follower

georginascott1989(at)hotmail(dot)com

Allison said...

abrown546ATgmailDOTcom

Allison said...

I'm a GFC follower.
abrown546ATgmailDOTcom

Allison said...

One of the most fascinating women I know personally is a coworker, who tries to help others in everything she does.

abrown546ATgmailDOTcom

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I would love to read it. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

The most fascinating woman I know is my mom, she's great.

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

Follow on GFC!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: Who is the most fascinating woman you know?

My mother - for her amazing perserverance. She has survived so many tough situations.

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Already follow.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Already a member!

queenofcrunk at gmail dot com

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

My mom is the most fascinating person I know! She has been thru a LOT and at 82, she is still going strong!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!
@NancyeDavis

http://twitter.com/#!/NancyeDavis/status/103310393354633217

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Facebook

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net