Simon Mason

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Simon Mason

Simon Mason was born in Sheffield. His father was captain of Sheffield United and his mother was a sex therapist. He was happy at school, miserable at Oxford uni, and happy again in publishing, where he has worked all his adult life.

As a young, incompetent editor he was shouted at by some of the most distinguished authors of the day, including John Updike and Ted Hughes and, memorably, VS Pritchett, who was 90 years old at the time and couldn’t shout very loud or for long, but who helpfully called his younger wife to the phone to continue the shouting.

In his spare time Simon has written books, including three novels for adults, several novels for younger readers, and a work of non-fiction, The Rough Guide to Classic Novels.

He likes reading, day-dreaming and doughnuts. He runs five miles three times a week. He dislikes crowds and prefers to sit quietly at the edge of things, watching. His dreams are like B movies in black and white, and almost always involve being chased in terror along rainy streets at night.


Interviewed 26 November 2016

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

In a minute I am going to do something successful.

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

Laptop. Printer. Suitcase containing the effects of my deceased aunt. Optex Express Ear Drops. Seated Neolithic Female Figure from Cernavoda, Romania. Approximately 2,700 books. Hand-drawn cartoon depicting myself as a beaver and my wife as a bat. Notebook. Pen.

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

A hard-boiled egg. Quite ambitious for me.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

I don’t drink. However: Ivan Turgenev, Obama, my father, Elizabeth Bishop, Tom Waits, King Offa, Agatha Christie.

Six things you can't live without ...

Writing, cheese, sad music, regular runs, socks, my family.

Five favourite words ...

Treat, wibalin, veranda, bucket, chuff.

Four places you'd run away to ...

The Peak District, Lady Margaret Hall library, the end of the garden, Lynton in Devon.

Three books you've bought recently ...

Cold Calls by Christopher Logue. The High Window by Raymond Chandler. Make Me by Lee Child.

Two things that make you rant ...

Politicians, inanimate objects.

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

Cheer up.