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An Interview with Mason Bushell

It is with great pleasure that I welcome English author Mason Bushell to the blog today to discuss his writing, books, and his unique relationship with his main character, Holly Ward.

Please tell my readers a little about yourself?

I’m a hobby naturalist and chef from Norfolk in the UK. I love to spend time in the woods discovering the flora and fauna that live there: something that my ever-present companion Lucy dog makes hard. I find a new mushroom; she’ll stand on it! Can’t be mad, she’s an adorable friend. I do a lot of woodworking with my dad just now and so don’t write as much as I used too. Sometimes I must fight my mental demons. They can prevent me from having confidence and enjoyment in my writing. I love to write sitting in the trees and cook delicious cakes and meals in between. What’s better than a good story over a slice of cake, hey?

What inspired you to become an author?

I was a lucky boy in that my parents and grandmother spent a lot of time reading with me as I grew up. I learned to read so vividly that I could put myself in the world I was reading about. My imagination sparked again when getting to write in English class and I’ve written ever since. It was ten years ago that I met my main character, a sleuth called Holly when she introduced herself whilst I was writing a story about her grandfather for a newspaper competition. I haven’t stopped writing since we met!

What is the best thing about being an author?

There is a lot of things that make writing so special. To be able to step out of life and spend time with my characters is a joy. To share my work and know my readers have a good time with my characters makes it even more special. Since becoming an author I have made true friends as well, nothing beats that.

What is your writing routine like?

On a normal day, writing for me begins at 9:30AM. I will work on prompts for stories and poems that go onto my website. Then after lunch I will move into editing and writing my series as much as time allows before I make dinner. Sometimes I’ll write again into the evening as well should the need be there.

How much time do you spend on research?

Research is fun. I love that a story can lead me to discover new things. I could research all day and get no writing done sometimes. I prefer the ‘Research as I go along’ method as opposed to researching in advance and only using bits of it. As a result, my research depends on what I need and how long it takes to find and verify the answers. The longest I spent was several months trying to find information about specific places in the Congo. That was a rabbit hole of amazing learning!

How much of the book is planned out before you start writing it?

When I wrote my first book, I was a total pantser and just wrote as it came. It took me well over a year to write sixty thousand words. I decided I wasn’t doing that again and so I created my story skeleton method. With that, each chapter gets a bit of preplanning and writing becomes much easier. I could then do a hundred-thousand-word story in just three months. I sometimes won’t get the complete book planned before I start, if Holly hasn’t told me everything but at least I have a good half the story or more ready when I begin writing.

I am very happy to share my skeleton method with all fellow writers. Just contact me and I’ll e-mail you a copy of the method.

What do you think is most important when writing a book?

Without a doubt, characters are the most important thing in a book. The plot and setting must be thrilling, intriguing, exciting, even worrying or disturbing to make it a good story. However, if the reader cannot connect with the characters, if they don’t love the lovable ones and hate the bad guys, they won’t enjoy the book. When a character makes you laugh and cry or when you want to hug or punch them, that’s when you love a book.

What is your latest book about?

My latest book is Holly Ward Investigates: Stolen Treasures. It is my special sleuth’s first full length mystery. Holly is the granddaughter of police detective Derek Ward. She was born with a gift for investigating and is nurtured by her granddad.

At eighteen years old, she is head waitress in her mother’s Workhouse Restaurant. Weeks after a bank robbery in the city, Holly is at work and notices a truly forlorn man at the bar. She knows she must help him. It is a decision that sends her world spiraling. Someone plots to stop her ruining their plans in the most heinous ways. Can Holly get to the truth and stop them or will she become a stolen treasure? Join her and find out!

What inspired it?

Stolen Treasures was in fact the first mystery Holly told me about. Although I always feel Holly is connected to me and tells me what to write. I remember a robbery in the news and a making an odd connection to a farm close to where I live that sparked the idea for this story.

Any new books or plans for the future?

If the future pans out the way, I hope. I have a great many of Holly’s mysteries to share. Before that I have exciting news which you get here first: I have a feel-good short story book planned for release later in the year! It will be published by Chapeltown Books. Look out for news on that on my social media pages soon.

What genres do you read most often?

I’ll read anything that looks good. I love mystery, crime, and action adventure best though.

Is there anything else you would like my readers to know?

It’s been a pleasure to join you on your website Val. I’m a great fan of Hunter and his police work in the streets of Edinburgh.

Thanks for having me. I invite you and anyone who loves a story to make a cup of coffee and join me at my website below. There you will find my literary zoo of characters and stories just waiting for a reader to enjoy them.

Have a good day everyone.

My links: Holly Ward Investigates, Stolen Treasures:



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Mason Bushell
Mason Bushell
May 16, 2022

Thank you for this, Val. What made the image go out of focus? I hope it wasn't what I sent to you.

Val Penny
Val Penny
May 16, 2022
Replying to

I don’t see it as out of focus, Mason. However it sometimes happens when images expand.


Great interview Val and Mason. Thank you for sharing.

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