What do you get when you combine a self-styled Santa Claus, an eleven-year-old boy runaway and an attempted kidnapping that goes awry? That's the premise of Stephen V. Masse’s delightful new book, A Jolly Good Fellow, published by Good Harbor Press.
We have Stephen here with us to find out more...
Thank you for this interview, Stephen. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’ve been writing for about 40 years. I wrote my first novel at 13, an embarrassing little tome about a teenager who saves a girl and himself from nuclear war by going down into a metro tunnel. It was hand written into a composition book. Then as a freshman in college, I wrote Downwind From Fire, about a nineteenth century woodsman whose wife becomes ill and needs to travel to Boston for medical care. Both “novels” will remain in my archives, to be dealt with or disposed of by my future biographer.
Do you write full-time?
Are you kidding? I’ve got a mortgage, two cars, Massachusetts mandated health insurance for the self-employed, and assorted bills which require a day job. So I write when I get the time, which means at least one or two major masterpieces that would have uplifted all humanity will have been sacrificed for a few bags of groceries.
At what point in your life did you make up your mind you were going to become a published author?
When I was about thirteen.
Was there anyone in your life that you can give credit to helping pave the way?
Absolutely! My father and mother were both fantastic providers of rich life experiences to us as children. Both read stories from day one, and I recall a time at 3 or 4 years old when my brother and I play acted “Hansel and Gretel” with my mother. My father used to make up stories to tell me.
When I was a little older, my brother Bob used to make up stories about ridiculous people, and get me rolling on the ground with laughter.
In the eighth grade at a Catholic school, Sister Mary Eleanor Galvin, SP was our English teacher. She assigned a lot of writing, but the most memorable assignment was a punishment: to sit at our desks and write out the entire poem, “Evangeline” by Longfellow. (This took over a week of English periods) I was the only one in the class who actually enjoyed the task, because it taught me the patience to sit for long hours writing, it was a short-cut to learning the craft of putting complex vocabulary together, and made me feel like a famous author for a while.