C. K. Kelly Martin, author of The Lighter Side of Life and Death has offered up some of her time today to interview Mason, the main character from her novel released May 25th.
In The Lighter Side of Life and Death sixteen-year-old aspiring actor Mason Rice falls into bed with a close friend, a girl he’s had a crush on for years. When that doesn’t turn out the way he hoped he becomes involved with a woman almost eight years his senior. Last week we caught up with Mason outside the coffee shop where he works part-time and asked him a few questions, which he was kind enough to answer.
Q: You were friends with Kat Medina for three years before your relationship changed, literally overnight. Do you think she knew about your feelings for her previously and if so, why did nothing happen between you two earlier?
Mason: I think she knew, yeah. There’s always been a vibe between us. But at the same time I wasn’t really her usual type. Maybe part of it was also that she didn’t want to risk ruining a good thing. Crossing that line, things get really confusing. I thought I could handle it but it messed with my head a lot.
Q: Your step-sister Brianna, who you often clash with during the book, says that she feels you always want to be liked. Do you think that’s true?
Mason: It’s definitely true. I don’t like having people mad at me, especially my friends, but really I don’t like arguing with anyone if it can be avoided. I don’t know…maybe it has something to do with being a model when I was a kid too. It sets up a situation where you’re always looking for approval.
Q: And now you’ve decided you want to be an actor. Is that another way of looking for approval?
Mason: Not externally. I mean, I don’t want to be one of those guys that makes the sexiest man alive list. I want to be a real actor, whether on the stage or in movies, and tackle the difficult roles. I want to do it for myself, stretch myself, not for other people’s approval.
Q: Can you share some of your thoughts about your recent role in your high school’s production of All My Sons?
Mason: It’s a really emotionally intense play. Even when it was just the cast at practice you felt this buzz in the air but with the audience in front of us it became totally electric. I have a lot of admiration for the Chris Keller character. He’s principled to a degree that I think is very rare and he still inspires me to want to try to be a better person. I was lucky to be able to play him and the experience definitely intensified my interest in acting.
Q: Do you think The Lighter Side of Life and Death is fair to you? Do you believe you come off looking at sympathetic as you hoped?
Mason: Basically, yeah, I think it’s fair. There are things I wish I didn’t say or do during that time so I’m sure at points I sound like an asshole, especially with Brianna (who went out of her way to make it difficult to be nice to her but I still could’ve tried harder). What I’ve realized is that I wasn’t completely fair to various people and in some cases those same people weren’t entirely fair to me either. I needed to talk more and not just let things happen.
I have to say that I feel weird about some of the details of my sex life appearing in the book. I didn’t even have what could be described as a sex life before the events in this book and now everyone will know about my first time…and the second. Those aren’t things I would’ve told people about. It’s personal.
Q: What's your romantic life like now?
I don't think I can answer this in any depth without giving too much of the book away so let’s just say there is somebody in my life right now and she’s amazing.
A: And how about your sex life?
Like I said, it’s personal. At least from now on.
One winner will receive a signed copy of The Lighter Side of Life and Death and the t-shirt shown above by leaving their email address in a comment before July 4th. Open to U.S. and Canada. VIEW ALL CONTESTS.