Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mike Mason Website Launch! "The Blue Umbrella" Coming Soon!!

Wowie Zowie! On the eve of the release of his remarkable new book "The Blue Umbrella" (coming in October), local writer Mike Mason has just launched a new website, and it's swell. ("Purveyor of fine sentences" indeed!)

How about this? The new site's got...
"A trailer of The Blue Umbrella!
An audio interview!
Slide show!
Tons of pix just like in a glossy magazine!
Exclusive Web Only material!
Unpublished short stories!
Blog Page!
Excerpts from 2 books-in-progress!
And much, much more!"

Lots of Pacific Theatre / Soul Food connections here. I met Mike back in the earliest days of PT's history, through Loren Wilkinson at Regent College. We became friends, and collaborated on turning his book of short stories "The Furniture of Heaven" into a theatre piece. "Furniture" was one of our first Emerging Artist showcases, featuring - can you believe it! - Lucia Frangione (ESPRESSO, CARIBOO MAGI, CHICKENS, HOLY MO, etc, etc - at that time our first PT apprentice), Craig Erickson (before theatre school, Stratford, Shaw, Bard On The Beach, or GOD'S MAN IN TEXAS, GRACE, etc, etc), Anita Wittenberg (before I AM THE BROTHER OF DRAGONS, Chemainus Theatre, AGNES OF GOD, MOURNING DOVE, etc, etc), Karen Ydenberg (before she was an opera star), John Hetherington (DRAGONS PROJECT, etc) and Andrea Smith (YOU STILL CAN'T, WRINKLE IN TIME, and half a zillion other Stones Throw shows). Crazy.

Mike and I ended up in a writers group together - still going strong - and fellow WG member Tim Anderson (DREAMS OF KINGS AND CARPENTERS) not only designed Mike's new website, but helped us choose one of my photos for the cover of the reissued book - which tickles me to no end. (I'll put up the alternate cover ideas over at the Oblations blog - again, lots more threads leading back to Pacific Theatre or our writers group).

But what's most exciting in all of this is Mike's new book, "The Blue Umbrella." (Who knew novels had trailers? Love the narrator!)

Mike's been mostly known for his non-fiction, books like the classic "The Mystery Of Marriage," "Practising The Presence of People" (hoping to coax Mike into reading an excerpt at PRESENCE), "Champagne For The Soul," "The Gospel According To Job," and lots more. But a few years ago he returned to his first love and started work on a novel. Our writers group was frankly astonished: Mike's writing is always strong, but this book is truly something remarkable. The story is gripping, the prose is extraordinary: I think this book is going to be read by a lot of people, for a long time. After hearing it grow, chapter by chapter, over the months and years, I can't wait to hold the real thing in my hands! And settle in to read it all over again.

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