14 June 2017

Special Guest Post ~ After You Left, by Carol Mason



When Justin walks out on Alice on their honeymoon, with no explanation apart from a cryptic note, Alice is left alone and bewildered, her life in pieces. Then she meets Evelyn, a seemingly chance encounter, but Alice gradually learns that Evelyn has motives, and a heartbreaking story, of her own. As Alice delves into the mystery of why Justin left her the questions are obvious. But the answers may lie in the most unlikely of places…

It comes to me about a couple of times a month. Usually if I take a nap in the middle of an intense writing day. On the fringe of sleep, I will be transported so vividly to my childhood, to the home where I grew up. Every insignificant detail will be alive with the sort of profundity that leaves me longing for a time gone by.

Nostalgia. Maybe I am besieged by it because I emigrated from England to Canada when I was 21 and have had not nearly enough opportunity to go back. In my memory the grass is definitely greener. Are we all like this? Pulled back because it’s more certain than what lies ahead of us?

The haunting painting of Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World was something I’d never set eyes on until I read an interesting article in the New York Times about how looking at visual art can help dementia sufferers remember things. In the painting, Christina is lying, almost crawling on the grass, staring up at a lone house in the distance. Her family home? After much research, I believe it is. Was Christina haunted by her memories, as I am? How touching that a person who has forgotten everything may remember a single poignant detail… Suddenly a book idea was born.

At the time I was moving my mother from the North East of England to Canada to live with us – she was 79. I had gone back to essentially sell the family home and say goodbye to the area where I had grown back. Goodbye forever – what reason did I have to go back there now? It was a tremendously unsettling experience for me, and affected me more than I’d have imagined. When I look at Wyeth’s painting of Christina, I saw myself – and a character for my new novel – so very strongly.

Christina's World (1948) by Andrew Wyeth
(Wikimedia Commons)

After You Left took about 5 years to write. I was off it, then on it. Oh the mercurial moods of a writer! It was published on April 1 and has already been an Amazon bestseller in the US, UK and Australia. I have written 3 other novels, but perhaps this one is closest to my heart. How Christina’s World fits into the story? You’ll just have to read it to find out.

Carol Mason 
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About the Author

Carol Mason is the bestselling author of 4 women’s fiction novels – After You Left, The Secrets of Married Women (to be re-released by Lake Union on June 22), The Love Market and Send Me A Lover. Her novels have been described as emotionally poignant page-turners with characters who are real, in believable situations. She has been reviewed everywhere from Australia’s Cosmopolitan Magazine to the UK’s Financial Times. She is from Sunderland in Northern England but has lived for the past 24 years in Canada with her Canadian husband. Carol’s books can all be found on Amazon. Visit her website at www.carolmasonbooks.com and find Carol on Twitter @CarolMasonBooks.

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