Married to a lawyer in British Columbia, Carol Mason writes adult novels about contemporary romance and marriage. Her publicity material unabashedly includes the information that she was "crowned Britain's National Smile Princess" as a teenager.

On her website, she has written:

"I was born in Sunderland, in northern England, to Mary and Ron, in 1969. When I was nineteen, I moved to London to work for the Foreign Office. That didn't last too long. Neither did other jobs in hotels, sales, modelling... I could go on. Nothing I was doing was anything I wanted to do, or saw myself doing for the long term. All I really knew was that I wanted to write - which was a hunch I'd had from about the time I first started reading adult novels when I was about eleven (my nana's Mills & Boon romances).

"I wasn't sure exactly what it was I wanted to write -- did I want to write news stories and be a journalist? Maybe, but then again, how often did I actually sit down and devour a newspaper, as opposed to a scandal sheet? I hardly had a nose for the news. In my interview with the Foreign Office, didn't I actually think that Ireland was part of the United Kingdom? So if I wasn't going to be a reporter I contemplated being a writer for women's magazines. That felt very glamorous. But at that point I didn't even have a degree, so I wasn't convinced that the editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine was exactly going to snap me up. So to avoid thinking about my future, I went on a little adventure to Canada (Toronto). I was twenty-one at that point. Had a fab time, and happened to meet Tony, a law student, who would later become my husband, and my reason to stay in Canada. Tony thought it deplorable that I didn't have a university degree. And when he kept pressing me about what I wanted to do with my life, I just kept saying the same thing. I WANT TO WRITE. So we decided - kind of together - that I should apply to do a writing-related degree, which I did. Three years later, I walked away from Ryerson Polytechnical University in Toronto with a degree in Radio and Television Arts.

"It was then that I decided that what I really wanted to do was write a book. So I wrote two. They took me two years. They weren't very good. In the meantime Tony and I got married and we moved to British Columbia. Our first house got broken into, my computer got stolen, and my two novels (which I hadn't backed up) went along for the ride. I decided to get a proper job.

"I found work as an advertising copywriter in Vancouver, which was a mixed experience, which eventually drove me crazy, so four years later, I decided to try to write again. I decided to give it a year.

"I wrote the book in a year, and tried to get an agent with it, but failed spectacularly. After countless rejections, two more unpublished novels, a diminishing self-belief, yet a stubborn refusal to give up, I finally wrote The Secrets of Married Women, which was bought by Hodder.

"The Secrets of Married Women came out Christmas 07 in the UK, and has since sold to 12 countries and is translated into 8 languages. Book 2 - Send Me A Lover came out Jan 09. We still live in BC, with Sadie and Rosie (our cat and dog). I still go back to England generally twice a year.

"Being published was a dream, and seeing my book in bookstores, and reading great reviews (generally!) in major newspapers and magazines, and knowing that somewhere, someone who I don't even know might be sitting down, sipping a glass of wine, and having a few chuckles or wiping a tear over my novel that I have written, is a bigger thrill than I could have ever imagined. I hope if you have found your way to my website that the person I have just described may be you..."


The Secrets of Married Women (Hodder 2007)

Send Me a Lover

The Love Market (McArthur & Co 2010). $24.95. 978-1-55278-845-5

The Shadow Between Us (Lake Union 2019) $21.95 978-1-54204-186-7

[BCBW 2019]