You’ll notice my tag line: “Purveyor of Fine Sentences.” I write sentences, not books. Annie Dillard, when asked by a young would-be writer whether she thought he was author material, replied, “Do you like sentences?” I agree that a writer’s job is to craft good sentences and the rest will look after itself. I want my readers to be ‘sentranced’—an invented word for the state of being captivated by a well written sentence. As Hemingway put it, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” For my part, I try to make every sentence true, interesting, and beautiful. As the sentences accumulate and start heading in a direction, books happen. (Maybe my website should be MikeMasonSentences.com?)
This is not just a philosophy of writing but of life. It’s moments that count, more than the grand scheme. Live great moments and the rest will sort itself out.
My first great moment happened in 1952 when I came into the world in Peterborough, Canada. By age eleven I wanted to be a writer, and although I got many things wrong in life, one thing I got right was to hang onto the writing dream and pursue it single-mindedly. After earning an M.A. in English from the University of Manitoba, I spent my twenties doing odd jobs to support my writing, from garbage-collecting to journalism to library work.
In 1982 I married Karen, a family physician (now retired). We spent our first year of marriage studying theology at Regent College in Vancouver, and lived in British Columbia for the next 35 years. In 2018 we moved to Bracebridge, Ontario, to be closer to our daughter Heather. Married to Sean, she is pursuing a dance career in Toronto.
In over three decades of writing, I’ve published many devotional books, three collections of short stories, and a pair of children’s fantasy novels. Currently I blog regularly and I’m working on a novel called Angels and Aliens.
Turning to novel-writing later in life has meant a radical change. In many ways I had to learn my craft all over again and work through many fears and insecurities. The result, however, is deeply satisfying, and now with more fiction on the way I have a renewed sense of challenge and joy in my work.
All in all I enjoy a simple life filled with family and friends, books, music, and prayer. And if you’re wondering about that photo on my Home Page of a little boy at a typewriter, it’s from a 1955 calendar. My mother saved it when I was three years old because she thought it looked like me. She had no idea back then that I would become a writer! And a rather bemused writer, at that. How often have I gazed off into space just like that kid, wondering where my next sentence was coming from…