Mason, Felicia 1963(?)–
Felicia Mason 1963(?)–
Called a “super storyteller” by Publishers Weekly, Felicia Mason did not choose to become a writer. She was interested in relaying the truth, through news, to the public, so her love for the writing of creative fiction came as a surprise. She soon discovered, however, that writing was very important to her. “I write because I have to,” Mason told The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star.
The daughter of a Baptist minister, Mason grew up in Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Virginia when she was young, and Mason has spent most of her life there. Graduating from Hampton University as a mass media arts major in 1984, she went on to become a staff developmental editor for the Daily Press in Newport News, recruiting and training for the newsroom.
It was her love of fiction and of writing that led to of her first novel, 1994’s For the Love of You. With this book, Mason’s writing career was off to a laudable start. The book received Glamour magazine’s readers’ all-time Favorite Love Stories award. Since that time she has won many other awards, including the Best Selling Multicultural Romance Award from Waldenbooks for both Body and Soul and Seduction. She was also a finalist for the 1999 Romantic Times Career Achievement Award.
Mason’s next book, Body and Soul (1995) was called a “funny, warm, sensual novel,” by Cheryl Ferguson of the Romantic Times website, “It’s no wonder that in less than a year, Ms. Mason has gone from fledgling writer to award-winning author.” The novel presents the story of a May-December romance between a successful business-woman and a man 15 years her junior. Mason won an award for the Best Contemporary Ethnic Novel from Affaire de Coeur for Body and Soul as well as the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times. In addition, the book was also optioned by the African Heritage Network for a television movie.
1997’s Rhapsody, according to Ferguson on the Romantic Times website, is “a compelling story of love, betrayal, and restoration that will make the reader sigh, cry, then shout for joy at the triumphant, healing power of true love.” The story is about two college lovers who have been separated for years and brought back together with a friend’s assistance. The friend has died and left a will giving the two a fortune if they’ll live together for one week. Gwendolyn Osborne of the Romance Reader website said that Mason “injects humor, style, emotion, and even a few surprises” into the novel. “The dialogue is snappy and the pacing is rhythmic… [Mason] knows how to tell a great story and she has a healthy professional respect for the written word,” Osborne concluded. Publishers Weekly said that in the novel Mason “creates magic.”
In Foolish Heart (1998) Mason “reaches new levels of excellence,” according to Ferguson on the Romantic Times website. The story starts with revenge, a woman revenging her family’s humiliation on the man who’s family caused the embarrassment, but in the tradition of all good romance novels, Mason manages to end the story with true love. Amazon.com called the book “a tale that deftly deals with the full range of human emotions,
Born c. 1963, in Pennsylvania; daughter of a Baptist minister. Education: Hampton University, mass media arts, 1984.
Career: Writer, journalist Author of: For the Love of You, 1994; Body and Soul, 1998; “The Dreamers,” published in Man of the House, 1999; “The First Noel,” in Something to Celebrate, 1999; “In Love Again,” in Rosie’s Curl and Weave, 1999; A Valentine Kiss; lsland Magic, 2000; Forbidden Heart, 2000; “Truly, Honesty,” in Della’s House of Style, 2000.
Awards: Favorite Love Stories award, for For the Love of You, Glamour; Best-selling Multicultural Romance, for Body and Soul, for Seduction, Walden books; Best Contemporary Ethnic Novel, for Body and Soul, Affaire de Coeur; Reviewer’s Choice award, for Body and Soul, Romantic Times.
Addresses: P.O. Box 1438, Yorktown, VA 23692.
from the dark instinct of revenge to the heady inspiration of love.” Publishers Weekly said that “Readers will enjoy Mason’s compelling characters and the ease of their dialogue.”
Mason has also written a number of short stories that have been published in anthologies. “The First Noel” was published in 1999’s Something to Celebrate, a collection of winter holiday romances. The story involves a woman raising her nephew and a woodworker. The two meet at a Christmas pageant rehearsal. Library Journal said of the book, “Although these enjoyable stories focus on the African American experience, they will bring holiday cheer to readers of all backgrounds and should not be considered a niche-market item.” For a 1999 Father’s Day anthology called Man of the House, contributed “Man of the House,” a story about a father whose wife was killed by a drunk driver the day his daughter was born. He struggles alone to raise his daughter until he meets just the right woman to help him with his daughter and his own life.
Rosie’s Curl and Weave (1999), with four stories centered on a hair salon, is another collection containing a Mason story. Mason’s story, “In Love Again,” shows the romance between Louis Sweet, the owner of the salon, and one of his customers. 2000’s Della’s House of Style is the sequel to Rosie’s Curl and Weave. Mason’s “Truly, Honestly” involves a successful and very conservative businesswoman who decides she’s like to experience a little more in life.
About novels, Mason told The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star: “The reason you pick up a novel is to go away for a while. Novels are places people go to experience something else. For two hours, you’re Sam Spade.” And many readers have certainly found themselves in another, pleasant world with Mason’s books. There is no doubt that she will continue to help readers find another world to escape into for a long time to come.
Black Issues Book Review, September, 2000, p. 23.
Essence, August, 1999; September, 1999; January, 2000; October, 2000; November, 2000.
Library Journal, November 15, 1999, p. 56.
Publishers Weekly, May 5, 1997, p. 206; October 26, 1998, p. 63.
The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star, June 22, 1997, p. 13.
—Catherine Victoria Donaldson
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