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At Home With Author Paul Nicholas Mason

2015 isn’t even half-way through yet, but it’s already a big year for author-playwright Paul Nicholas Mason.

His third book, The Night Drummer, was launched to acclaim.

Blog Photo - Paul Nicholas Mason at book launch for The Night Drummer

He became a grandfather.

He retired from teaching.

He’s writing his fourth novel and his umpteenth play.



Paul lives north of Toronto. He writes in his study at home.

Blog Photo - Paul with TND book

“It looks out on conservation lands at the back of my property, so my view is of trees.  Trees are very important to me.”

Not surprising that one of his most favorite places is the Rotary Greenway Trail, near his home.

“During the summer I’m on the trail almost every day.  That trail, incidentally, is the setting for my first novel, Battered Soles.

The setting of an earlier home also provided inspiration — for the new book. The setting and some characters in The Night Drummer  are linked to Kingston, Ontario where he lived.

“Indeed, one of the characters – but only one – is based solidly on one of my high school classmates…  I don’t altogether understand my own creative process, but I can tell you that the character of Otis, the Aboriginal young man, came to me first.”

The Night Drummer tells the story of two teenagers in small-town Ontario: Peter Ellis, a white boy and Otis James, who is Aboriginal.

Blog Photo - Paul N Mason Book Cover TND

An excerpt from the Publishers Weekly review:

“Ellis’s memories of first loves and jobs and an endearingly oddball assortment of friends, including Otis, a preternaturally wise and kind Ojibwe boy adopted by devout Caucasian parents, give this portrait a welcome sweetness that draws attention to the innocence, sheer possibility, and blithe lightheartedness of youth. ‘Small towns can be ugly places,’ Ellis remarks, ‘but they can be warm communities too.’  Nostalgic but not sanitized, this novel shows the interplay of the two, with captivating results.”

Blog Photo - Paul in study

Paul taught high school students for 32 years.

“I loved the young people I taught, and I loved my colleagues. Teaching is a noble profession, but it is, at times, stunningly stressful.  I knew that I needed to get out while I was still whole.”

Having retired from teaching, Paul plans to write, of course.  He’s blessed with a deep and melodious speaking voice, so he’ll also do some voice work.

He’ll spend more time with family. For Paul, family is the real ‘home’.

“I am, first and foremost, a family man:  father to two children and two step-children;  grandfather to an infant granddaughter;  son to Michael and Muriel;  brother to Robin and Angie;  uncle to a niece and two nephews;  and partner to Denise.” 

Blog Photo - Paul with first grandchild 2

Underpinning the different parts of his life is what Paul calls his “moral scaffolding”. He describes himself as a liberal Christian.

“I’m the furthest thing imaginable from a Bible-thumper, but I am, quietly, a believer.  I don’t think a reader would necessarily pick up on that from reading any of my books, but my faith provides a kind of moral scaffolding.”

And his hopes for The Night Drummer?

“I hope it will move many readers to laughter and, perhaps, to tears.  And I hope, beyond that, that it will encourage them to be a just a little kinder to each other.”

Bravo, Paul.

25 thoughts on “At Home With Author Paul Nicholas Mason”

    1. Hey, Brad:
      My church is full of talented and interesting people, and I met Paul through his mother Muriel. She’s the great Canadian miniature painter Muriel Mason, whom you met through my blog. That whole family is artistic. Father Michael and brother Robin have also just completed a children’s book. I can hardly wait to see it.

      1. Nah. It’s the small-town girl in me. Plus, when you walk funny and fall over, you attract all kinds of people! If it weren’t for the pain and embarrassment, I’d recommend it highly.

    1. He is. It’s so rare to hear an author speak about their faith and family in the terms he does. That’s one example of why Paul is such an interesting person.

  1. Perhaps what sticks with me the most of what you’ve written in this post, Cynthia, is Paul’s hope that his book will inspire people to be a little kinder. THAT inspires me.

  2. Thanks for sharing Paul’s story I do agree the Masons are remarkable and wonderfully talented family. Best wishes to Paul with his writing and voice overs he has an amazing voice as well. Enjoy your retirement by doing what you love , I can see some script for plays movies and acting too. Lots of blessings and a grandfather and great friend like Cynthia.

  3. As a fellow liberal non-bible thumping liberal believer, who is married to someone who grew up in small town Ontario, thumbs up to Paul. All the best with the books!



    1. Hi MT: Thanks for this. I didn’t know the other McGuire was raised in Ontario. Hi to him!
      There are many quiet believers out there, I think. Bravo for Paul – and you – for saying ‘I’m a liberal, non-Bible-thumping, quiet believer’.
      Just as there are so many things we humans keep secret, for fear of being criticised. CBC Radio’s Tapestry program just yesterday afternoon interviewed author Patricia Pearson, whose research shows that 50% of people in N. A. and Europe have had a spiritual, inexplicable experience concerning the death of a loved one (or their own near-death) but have not revealed it, for fear of being thought wacko. She called it “social control” that keeps us in line.

  4. Thank you, Cynthia, for your kind words above — and for having taken the decision to profile me in the first instance. And thank you, also, to those good folk who have said such kind things above. A writer’s work is often lonely, and these small affirmations have real meaning and value.

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