FEATURES

Written In Blood: Interview with author Mason Cross
By James W, Sunday 28th October 2018

Mason Cross

Mason Cross is the author of the acclaimed, best-selling Carter Blake thriller books which have sold across the globe. In episode 3 of Written in Blood he invites Simon Toyne to his hometown of Glasgow to uncover a case that literally unfolded on his doorstep so we caught up with Mason to discuss his career to date.

CBSR: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to become a writer?

MC: Yes, I always loved writing stories in school. When my family got its first computer, I would write Choose Your Own Adventure stories, print them out and flog them at school to my classmates. My best one was titled Ninja City.

CBSR: Where did your character Carter Blake come from? Was he based on anyone you know?

MC: Not anyone I knew, but I wanted to write a classic hero character with a mysterious past. It was influenced more by some of the fictional heroes I love reading about, like James Bond, Travis McGee, Batman, Jason Bourne, Jack Reacher. The main thing was I knew I wanted him to be a free agent, to let him roam across the map getting into different kinds of adventure.

CBSR: How did Presumed Dead, the fifth book in the Carter Blake series, come about?

MC: I had done a great deal of research on real-life serial killers for my second book, The Samaritan, and that had raised a couple of related things I was really interested in. The first was the fact that when a prolific killer is able to operate over many years or decades, some of the victims are sometimes never found. I had an idea for a story that began with a live sighting of someone thought to have been a murder victim fifteen years ago. The other thing that jumped out was how many unsolved serial murder cases are on the books, the most famous in the USA probably being the Zodiac Killer. These cases exert a grim fascination because everything is left unresolved, and we don’t know why the killings started, why they stopped, or if they could one day start again. People often assume the perpetrators died or went to prison for something else, but there are some cases of killers just quitting and living an apparently normal life. In Presumed Dead I look at a hypothetical example of that: why the killer stopped, and why they return after a long dormant period

CBSR: The crime in your episode of Written in Blood happened quite close to your home; can you recall how you felt when you first heard about it?

MC: No, I was only 3 years old when the murders occurred, but I remember people talking about it as I grew up. It was unnerving to look back at old newspaper archives and see so many of the places I had spent my childhood mentioned as important locations in a murder investigation.

CBSR: Why do you think this crime stayed in your memory more than others?

MC: Because it happened so close by, almost literally in my back yard. And like I said, people would talk about it when I was growing up. I didn’t know many of the details of the case until I got involved with the show, and it was sobering to read up on these terrible murders had happened in the place where I grew up.

CBSR: Does real life always inspire your work?

MC: Not usually. I might get the germ of an idea from reading something in a newspaper or magazine, but real life is usually too messy to meet the demands of a crime fiction plot. It’s important to ground things in reality, though, so you take bits and pieces from everyday life.

CBSR: What is your writing process? Do you have a strict regime or are you more relaxed and write when the mood suits?

MC: I write a little bit every day until I have a draft of a book. My first novel I wrote after the kids’ bedtime, 500 words a night. I have to write more than that now, but the principle is the same. I can write pretty much anywhere: trains, planes, hotel rooms, coffee shops, park benches. If I waited until the mood suited, I would never get anything done.

CBSR: Would you like to write books of other genres?

MC: I’d love to write horror or sci-fi, but I never seem to get any ideas that would fit those genres. I would also love to write for movies or comic books.

CBSR: What are you working on at the moment?

MC: My next book is called What She Saw Last Night, and it’s a standalone thriller set in the UK, published next April. It opens with a body found in a room on board the Caledonian Sleeper train, and a missing child, who only one person remembers seeing…

CBSR: Mason Cross, thank you very much.

Episode 3 of Written in Blood is showing on Tuesday 30th October at 10pm.


Related show tags: WRITTEN IN BLOOD
MORE FEATURES
Are you ready for more Murder by the Sea?
Posted on Thursday 20th December 2018

Despite the jollity associated with sandcastles and ice creams, breezy promenade walks and donkey rides, many British seaside towns have a dubious reputation for hosting the most remarkable crimes. The acclaimed CBS Original Series Murder by the Sea is back looking at more deadly tales from the coastlines of the United Kingdom.

Some of the most strange and terrifying murders ever recorded in British criminal history have taken place at our famous seaside resorts; the grand hotels playing host to some of the deadliest murderers imaginable, and the seafronts doubling as stalking grounds for the most wicked of serial killers.

Host Geoffrey Wansell returns, to tell...

SHARE: READ MORE
Season 3 of Voice of a Killer brings more confessions to life this January
Posted on Thursday 20th December 2018

Hosted by Professor David Wilson, Voice of a Killer is a thrilling CBS Reality Original series which brings to life the nerve jangling audio footage taken from real killers' confessions, bringing the viewer face to face with evil.

Season 3 analyses the confessions of Ian Stewart, who murdered his author wife Helen Bailey in their Hertfordshire home; Bristol kidnappers Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare, and the so-called Coventry Costco killers, David and Roger Cooper.

Catch the first case January 3rd at 10pm.

SHARE: READ MORE
Evidence of Evil is back on CBS Reality
Posted on Thursday 20th December 2018

Evidence of EvilCBS Reality Original series Evidence of Evil explores and reconstructs some of the most intriguing and startling criminal cases of the past two decades, where technology has changed the course of the investigations and brought the guilty to justice.

The series showcases the dedication and hard work of the investigators, police, scientists, and other experts in their fields. New episodes include the cases of murdered Essex teen Breck Bednar, and 24-year-old Kaitlyn Conley, who killed her ex’s mother, who was also her boss.

Evidence of Evil, weeknights at 10pm.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Wives with Knives - Season 2 starts January 4th
Posted on Thursday 20th December 2018

Wives with Knives Season 2Wives with Knives features gripping stories of women who have committed violent crimes against their husbands or lovers.

Some women endured years of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse before fighting back. Others were motivated by greed and jealousy. Each episode features two compelling stories of women who have fought at close range. Using first-hand accounts from the actual women who committed the crimes, as well as police, investigators, family members, and the victims themselves, each episode of Wives with Knives reveals the traumatic events that led up to these deadly confrontations.

Wives with Knives - Season 2 starts Ja...

SHARE: READ MORE
48 Hours is back this January
Posted on Thursday 20th December 2018

48 Hours investigates the most intriguing crime and justice cases that touch on all areas of the human experience.

Each week the show spearheads in-depth investigations into emotionally compelling stories. For multiple seasons, “48 Hours” has been a leader in original reporting and impact journalism that has helped exonerate wrongly convicted people, caused cold cases to be reopened and solved, and changed lives along the way.

Don't miss any of the gripping, true life drama of 48 Hours weeknights at 8pm.

SHARE: READ MORE
Missed your favourite CBS Reality show? Catch up on Freeview Play
Posted on Wednesday 5th December 2018

Check this out! Catch up with all your CBS Reality favourites now on Freeview Play!

SHARE: READ MORE
CBS Reality's Festive Season starts December 24th
Posted on Sunday 25th November 2018

From December 24th and running each night from 9pm, CBS Reality is giving you the greatest present ever, dedicated nights of all your CBS Reality favourites.

We start on Christmas Eve with Unexpected Evil. When a high school student is declared “Most Likely to Succeed” their families and communities have the highest hopes for their future. But sometimes even the most illustrious student’s life can take a terrible turn. Unexpected Evil tells the story of celebrated students whose lives don’t turn out the way anyone expected.

Then on Christmas Day we take a walk to one of the loneliest places on Earth in Women on Death Row. This series explores the person...

SHARE: READ MORE
Judge Judy to the max in December!
Posted on Sunday 25th November 2018

Judge JudyWith her outspoken style, hard-hitting decisiveness and biting wit, Judge Judith Sheindlin single-handedly reinvented the courtroom genre and in the process has become a genuine pop culture phenomenon.

A former New York family court judge known for her ability to cut through a dispute and get to the core of the emotional issue at hand, Judge Judy acts as a true moral compass for people seeking guidance, resolution and a little common sense in their often complicated lives.

Catch back-to-back Judge Judy weekdays at 9am from December 24th.

SHARE: READ MORE
Homicide's Elite - Season Finale
Posted on Sunday 25th November 2018

HE 112 Production Still 19Detectives David Quinn and Vince Velazquez have worked hundreds of homicides together, and if these two are on the case, the bad guys are going to prison.

Homicide’s Elite features the most baffling, shocking and heartbreaking cases Quinn and Velazquez have worked in their combined 50 years on the street.

From the minute the 911 call comes in, to each twist and turn, to arrest and conviction, this compelling new series takes viewers on a wild ride with these partners in crime.

Season 1 of Homicide's Elite concludes on December 6th at 10pm.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
PICK OF THE WEEK
Unsolved Mysteries
UNSOLVED MYSTERIES
Sunday 27 January
8.00 PM
Judge Judy
JUDGE JUDY
Monday 28 January
5.30 PM
Murder By The Sea
MURDER BY THE SEA
Tuesday 22 January
10.00 PM