Randy Mason on
"Falling Back to One"
By Monica Viera
Randy Mason, author of Falling Back to One, shares her interesting transition from rock musician to psychotherapist and novelist.
Mason taught herself how to write fiction and worked on her book for over two decades in order for it to be the work that it is today.
I had the opportunity to talk to her about her new book.
Is this your first novel?
Yes, it is my first novel. This story has been a part of me since I was in high school, but it wasn't until about 1993 that I first began putting words on paper.
After some "practice" writing, I finally sat down and started writing the book fresh from the beginning to the end, then kept writing and rewriting.
Could you tell us a bit about Falling Back to One?
My novel takes place in New York City in the 1970s. It's the story of how a troubled kid and cop cross paths and are forever changed.
What was your impetus to write this novel?
As per the book's dedication, the therapist I was seeing when I was around 18 years old suggested I write the story down.
Before working as a writer, you started in the music industry, could you tell me a bit about your music career?
I used to play rock, and when I started, it was a harder rock style. Over time, it became less so. I would say that, if I had to define my sound, it would be a cross between Heart's early music and REM. I just think that music is so powerful and healing, both for the musician and the listener.
Playing music helped me get through some of my darkest times.
You've also worked as a psychotherapist. How did you shift from music to psychotherapy?
Well, when I'd finished high school, I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a physicist, a musician, or a psychiatrist. Back when I went to school, most psychiatrists did talk therapy, which is what I was really interested in.
Since I'd been accepted into medical school when I was a college freshman, I ultimately decided to go. However, I hated it. And after a year, I dropped out and began to play music.
It wasn't until I ended my musical career that I decided I wanted to go back to graduate school and become a psychotherapist.
So it seems like the common theme here is that you always had a passion for healing others, whether it be through your music or your therapy practice.
That is correct.
How do you feel that your experiences in the music world and in psychotherapy influenced your novel?
Music plays an important role in the story, but there's also a sense of rhythm within the writing itself. As a musician, you learn how to hone your intuition when it comes to feeling a certain sense of rightness of things, whether it be placement of notes or words.
Having a background as a musician has made it easier for me to feel that rhythm within the structure of my novel.
What writers have most influenced you?
I definitely go through my stages. I have always loved Thomas Hardy, especially the kinds of horrible coincidences in his stories as well as his imagery.
I've also appreciated science fiction authors like Arthur C. Clark and the fact that he could create such a vivid, real world. Joyce Carol Oates also stands out for me.
I enjoy all sorts of different writing styles, especially when they're full of imagery and complex characters.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?
I want readers to read the book and learn that they can heal. I hope the story I've written helps them realize that no matter what has happened, where you are, or what's been done to you, you can always change. There's always hope.
Are you currently working on another book?
Not right now, but I had a fantastic time helping create the book trailer for Falling Back to One. The whole process of doing this has given me the idea of potentially turning my book into a screenplay.
That would be amazing! Where can readers find your book?
The book is available in stores and online. There's more information on my website, www.randy-mason.com.
Mason has been featured on a variety of radio shows, talking about her book as it pertains to mental health. Her book has also been reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and The US Review of Books.
If you're a fan of dark literary fiction, psychological suspense, urban fiction, or crime, give Falling Back to One a read.
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