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Author Interview: Robinson Mason

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the Indie Book Lounge and asked to provide answers to an author interview. I'm the featured author today. Here is a portion of the interview. Read the rest at the link below!
  • IBL: What was the first book you read that inspired you to become a writer?
RM: Rather than primarily through books, I became interested in second person storytelling and reader immersion through text adventures on my Commodore VIC-20 and ghost stories told around the campfire as a boy in the early 1980s. I also devoured horror-themed short story anthologies, Marvel Comics, and Norse myths and made my first attempts at writing books and comic books when I was around ten. For many years I was content to dabble in writing, mostly for myself.

I first took writing novels seriously after reading The Fountainhead in high school.

  • IBL: Did you try the traditional publishing route before going indie and if so, what was that experience like?
RM: In the 1990s, while living in Japan, I submitted a completed novel to a few publishing houses, but the form letter responses, cost of sending manuscript packages overseas, and the unchanging rules regarding printed submissions that ignored the rise of e-mail put me off. I was surprised to find that printed submissions are still preferred when I completed my last novel, Globe-Hurler this year. Being a computer user since the early days of home computing, the anachronistic and stubborn refusal of some publishing houses to change with the times only reinforced my decision to go with eBook publishing instead.

You can read the FULL INTERVIEW HERE.


A Commodore 64 Walkabout, a new eBook by Robinson Mason

My new book, A Commodore 64 Walkabout, is out and available as an eBook at Smashwords.com! Like this site and the blog and podcast by the same name that came before it, the intent of the book is to encourage people to enjoy the many aspects of the C64, VIC-20, and other 8-bit Commodore computers.

I've filled the pages of A Commodore 64 Walkabout with personal stories, interviews, game reviews, and recaps of things I've covered here in the past along with the fresh and new.

I hope that you'll check it out! Currently it is only available at Smashwords.com ( http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/65936 ), where you can sample a portion of it. Unfortunately the online samples don't look as good as the .PDF and Kindle (.mobi) versions do, but they'll give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to purchase a copy.

Who is the target audience? This book was written primarily for people new to the C64 scene or those who are eager to return to it after many years. It's also written for people who don't go outside of their C64 niche interest often, but would like to, such as a C64 remixer who may know little about playing the games he remixes, or the hardware tinkerer who knows nothing of C64 remixes or getting a SID player to work with proper song lengths. I try to touch on most of the niche enthusiast communities in the wide world of the C64 (and VIC-20). Many of the questions I've had posed to me over the years here have been from people who remember an old program, peripheral, or game and would like to know how they can enjoy it once again. Each chapter is written with that sort of novice in mind, but with something for C64 veterans as well.

Do you know someone who is on the edge and considering joining you in your C64 hobby? Someone mildly interested but put off by words like "emulation?" If you "gift" them a copy of the C64 Walkabout, my hope is that they'll understand and come to appreciate the enthusiasm behind the old computer platform and decide to give it a try. Accessibility is key. I don't review games that would leave a new user stumped or confused, and I'll offer tips on getting the programs running smoothly if there are any anticipated hiccups (say, for example, if the game only runs in NTSC mode and their emulator defaults to PAL, I point this out and how to fix it).

What about experienced C64 owners? I've written game and product reviews in a way that I hope will be of interest even to veterans. Tips and tricks for gameplay, advice, and interviews with personalities in the C64 community were written for consumption by old and new fans alike. I also hope that you'll enjoy my personal insight and stories.

The eBook was also meant to be affordable at $0.99, so I hope you'll consider getting a copy of your own!

If you'd like to gift a print copy to someone, I am working on getting a print version up at Blurb in the next couple of days.

Who knows, if this book does well enough, I might write a sequel of sorts, and I'm more than happy to hear your feedback!