Cheré Dastugue Coen
Southern Writer Spotlight: A.C. Mason/Anne Clayre Mason
Updated: Jun 6, 2022
Name: Arlene Messa w/a A.C. Mason/Anne Clayre Mason
Book(s): Mystery series set in South Louisiana: "April Fools," "Mardi Gras Gris Gris," "Deadly Bayou," "A Grievous Sin."
"The Mistletoe Murders" is a stand-alone mystery.
Romantic Suspense: "Renaissance Woman," "Golden Labrys"
Facebook: Facebook/Arlene Messa and Facebook/Anne Clayre Mason
Hometown: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Gives us a brief description of your book(s). Feel free to list as many as you like.
My mystery series, written as A.C. Mason, features Susan Foret, mystery writer, and is set in South Louisiana. "April Fools," is the first story and set almost entirely in New Orleans. Susan is an aspiring mystery writer at the time, but not yet published. She takes on a real-life mystery when she decides to prove her twin brother didn’t murder his wife, much to the dismay of her New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) homicide detective husband.
Books 2-5 are set in a small Louisiana town, Cypress Lake, (fictional, of course) where her husband accepted the job of Chief of Police. In order the titles are: "Mardi Gras Gris Gris," "Deadly Bayou," and "A Grievous Sin."
The fifth book in the series, "Deadly Family Secrets," will be released June 1, 2022, by Wings ePress.
"The Mistletoe Murders," a stand-alone mystery, is set in another fictional South Louisiana town and as you might have gathered takes place in December.
The two romantic suspense novels, written as Anne Clayre Mason are set in Europe.
"Renaissance Woman" takes place in Venice, Italy. The characters all discover they shared a past life in renaissance Venice. "Golden Labrys" is set on the Greek Island of Crete and involves contact by the heroine with the spirit of a Minoan priestess and a stolen artifact.
What brought you to write these stories? For instance, was it a personal experience that inspired you, your “day job” or perhaps an overactive imagination?
I grew up reading mystery series like Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon, and several other “girl detective” mysteries. The love of a good mystery led me to write my own.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Police procedure and investigation type books and some online crime blogs. "Deadly Family Secrets" involves events in the 1920s so online research and a few history books were used.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
In elementary school I wrote stories and read them to the class. I wrote a skit in the fourth grade and talked some of my classmates into acting in it with me.
When did you write your first book? And how was that experience?
I wrote two stories in the early 1990s, but those were put to bed after being rejected numerous times. "Renaissance Woman" was my first published novel, released in 2009 by The Wild Rose Press. It was a very exciting and satisfying experience. However, I still get excited with each new book’s release.
Is writing your primary job or do you have another career?
I’m a retired state employee, so I guess you could say writing is my primary job.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family has always supported me. They sometimes do PR for my books to their friends, and have assisted me at book signings.
What suggestions do you have for aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Never give up on your dream. Don’t let the rejects stop you.
How can readers find and purchase your books? (Please list all outlets and links.)
All books are available on Amazon. The two romantic suspense novels are also available online at Barnes and Noble. The mysteries are written as A.C. Mason and the romantic suspense novels are under Anne Clayre Mason.