31 Nights of Fright: An Interview with author Cory Mason

By Jordan Gerdes

Today we have Cory Mason, author of Cemetery Plots and The Boy Who Kissed Lightning!

FOF: First and foremost, tell us about yourself !

CM: Ooh. Broad question. Where do I start? My name is Cory Mason. I’m a storyteller. I write novels, short stories, tabletop RPG content, video game stories and lore, and whatever else I want. As long as I’m telling stories and making people happy. I also have a cat. Her name is Timmy.

FOF: What do you do? And why do you like it?

CM: Do you mean my writing? I do have a day job, but I don’t think anyone wants to hear about that. I know I don’t, haha. I write, in whatever genre and format I can or want to, because I like seeing people read my work and find a little bit of joy in it.

FOF: Explain a little bit of your process? Where do you find your inspiration?

CM: I write in several genres, and my inspiration comes from different places for different genres, and even for different stories. 

I’m just really open to every little idea that comes into my head, and I’m not afraid of “copying” somebody else’s story. Creative work is derivative. You’re influenced by the content you consume, and you influence the content other people create. My first book, a collection of paranormal short stories called Cemetery Plots, was written as a love letter to the TV show Supernatural, and that book spawned characters that I’m still writing about. My first full novel, The Boy Who Kissed Lightning, came from a song lyric that I misheard over a crappy super market speaker. No idea is stupid, if you’re willing to believe it’s not, and put in the work to make it good.

FOF:   What drew you to horror in the first place?

CM: I don’t know. That’s not an interesting answer, but I didn’t set out with the intention to do horror. I wrote plenty of other genres before I came to horror, and I still write in a wide variety of genres. My parents were very protective about what I was and wasn’t allowed to read or watch when I was young, but the restrictions went away once I got into my teens. Because of that, I had a really intense phase where everything horror that I watched really got to me on an unhealthy level. I didn’t like scary movies. 

But then I read a piece of writing advice, I think it was from Stephen King(who I also was never allowed to read). He said that everything scares him, and the key to writing great horror is to write what scares you. Between that and the kind of unintentional exposure therapy of watching more horror, I’ve become less fearful, and I think I sometimes write some pretty okay scary stories too.

FOF: What is your favorite horror work? (Movie, Show, Art, Book, whatever you want)

CM: The Evil Dead. Campy, tongue-in-cheek horror is something I wish I was good at. And Sam Raimi’s filmmaking style is very polarizing. Either you really hate it or you really love it, and the Evil Dead series is one of very few franchises I can watch over and over again and not get tired of it. Plus Bruce Campbell is really dreamy.

FOF: What has been your favorite thing you have gotten to work on doing this?

CM: Organizing and publishing the Don’t Open the Door anthology was a great experience. I love writing, but being able to help other writers get their work out there, and meet some great people in the process, is so fulfilling. It’s definitely something I plan to do again.

FOF: What role do you think your specific style of art plays in the community overall?

CM: Stories are important. Our history is made up of stories. 

Our lives are made up of stories. There are plenty of types of media or art that people use to tell stories, but in the end it all pretty much comes back to story, and what resonates with people. Like I mentioned before, stories can resonate with people, and people can find joy in stories. They can be a little bright spot in someone’s day, and I hope I’m giving that feeling to someone out there when I tell stories.

FOF: Anything you are working on that you want to highlight?

CM: Don’t Open the Door, the indie horror anthology I published and wrote for, came out in July, but it’s on sale for just 99 cents the first week of October, as a happy Halloween gift. You never know, it may go on sale again the week of Halloween…

FOF: :      If you could do anything with any horror franchise, what would it be?

CM: That’s tough. I think I’d like to do something with George Romero’s Dead universe. He deserves a lot of credit for the best of the horror film genre over the past few decades, and zombies were some of the first movie monsters I interacted with, so it would be nice to come full circle.

FOF: Anything else you’d like to say?

CM: If you’re a creator, regardless of the kind of things you make, always try to get better, for your own satisfaction, and so that your work can give as much as possible to the people who enjoy it. If you’re a reader/viewer, let your creators know that their work means something to you. That makes it worth it for us.

Thank you so much to Cory for talking to us and those words of wisdom!

Keep up with Cory on Twitter and their website at www.tomodachiworks.com

Check out his author page on Amazon. I have added his books to my Books list to read this fall!

Stay tuned for more creators this month!

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