By James W, Sunday 28th October 2018
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 November on Reality
Posted on Wednesday 6th November 2019
Mondays and Tuesdays at 22:00 from 11th to 19th November
Continues Monday to Friday from 25th November to 2nd December
Kelly Siegler, a Texas prosecutor for 21 years who has successfully tried 68 murder cases, and her team of crime scene investigators and trained detectives, put their vast knowledge and experience to work helping local law-enforcement officers and families of violent-crime victims get to the truth. In the first episode, Kelly and Steve Spingola head to Wisconsin to investigate an unsolved homicide. The case becomes personal after they receive a letter from the victim’s daughters. Their search uncovers a town’s dark s...SHARE: READ MORE Donal MacIntyre opens more Murder Files in October
Posted on Sunday 22nd September 2019
Renowned undercover reporter and criminologist Donal MacIntyre returns to present the second season of this CBS Reality Original series, examining some of the most intriguing and challenging crimes of recent years, as seen through the first-hand experiences of the men and women who ensured justice was carried out.
Using dramatic reconstruction, archive footage, and police tapes, MacIntyre takes the viewer through all the twists and turns, the setbacks and the dangers, to the turning point that led to the case being solved.
Donal MacIntyre's Murder Files continues Thursdays at 10pm.... SHARE: READ MORE Evidence of Evil - Season 2 continues in October
Posted on Sunday 22nd September 2019
Season 2 of the CBS 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 changed the course of the investigations and brought the guilty to justice.
Featuring key witness testimonies, new interviews, reconstructed sequences and archive footage, the series showcases the hard work and dedication of investigators, police, scientists, and other experts in their fields.
Evidence of Evil Season 2 continues Wednesdays at 10pm.... SHARE: READ MORE The Real Prime Suspect starts September 3rd on CBS Reality
Posted on Wednesday 28th August 2019
A CBS Reality Original Series
Premieres on Tuesday 3rd September at 22:00.
Continues on Tuesdays at 22:00 until 5th November.
“The Real Prime Suspect” is a 10-part series led by Jackie Malton, a former Scotland Yard detective, one of the first female members of the Flying Squad and the inspiration for the character of DCI Jane Tennison, played by Helen Mirren, in the multi-award winning drama “Prime Suspect” by Lynda La Plante.
Using her unparalleled list of contacts, Malton will get access to ten case files and revisit the investigations with the police, detectives, and other professionals who experienced them first hand. Malton is the heart of the ...SHARE: READ MORE Important information for CBS Reality +1 viewers in Cumbria, south west Scotland and the south Lakes
Posted on Sunday 28th July 2019
We’re sorry to announce that due to signal changes as of the Wednesday 31 July 2019, CBS Reality +1 will no longer be available on Freeview in the Cumbria, south west Scotland and the south Lakes areas.
However, you can still watch all your favourite shows on CBS Reality on channel 66. If you have Freeview Play you can also access all our great content via our dedicated player CBS Catch Up Channels UK.
Visit Freeview TV for information on changes to TV signals.... SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive Premiere - CBS Reality Original Series: Secrets of a Psychopath
Posted on Sunday 28th July 2019
On August 2012, three fishermen chanced upon a most unusual cache of intimate sex toys, abandoned in a reservoir situated just south of Dublin, Ireland. When police linked the items to the discovery of a decomposed body in a forest seventeen miles away, their investigation took on a more sinister dimension…
In three gripping installments, brand new CBS Reality Original, Secrets of a Psychopath takes the viewer through the many coincidences, twists and turns of the investigation, uncovering an obsessive and unconventional relationship which ultimately ended in tragedy. Dark and disturbing text messages reveal a psychopath who groomed his trusting victim under...SHARE: READ MORE Important information for Freeview viewers in south and central Wales
Posted on Tuesday 16th July 2019
CBS Reality fans living in parts of south and central Wales using the Freeview platform please take note that TV signals in this area will be updated on Wednesday 17th July and you may need to retune on this date.
If you are still missing services after completing a full retune, or would like more information, visit the Freeview website or call the Freeview Advice Line free on 0808 100 0288 for assistance.SHARE: READ MORE Stacked episodes of Snapped: Killer Couples this summer
Posted on Thursday 27th June 2019
Snapped: Killer Couples is a gripping series that features couples whose passion drove them to commit terrible criminal acts.
Through recreations and first-hand accounts, each episode delves into the stories behind the couple’s romance, how their relationship evolved once love transformed into manipulation, and what ultimately drove them to commit heinous crimes.
From teenage lovers who embark on a multi-state crime spree to lesbian lovers who stop at nothing to eliminate one of their husbands, viewers are given unprecedented access into these relationships gone awry.
Snapped: Killer Couples every Saturday throughout July stacked fr...SHARE: READ MORE Binge on Murder by the Sea in July
Posted on Thursday 27th June 2019
Throughout July, CBS Reality will be looking back over all three seasons of Murder By The Sea at the seaside assaults and some of the most strange and intriguing murders ever recorded in British criminal history which have taken place at our famous seaside resorts.
From 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, renowned true crime author Geoffrey Wansell presents a fascinating collection of real life murder cases from the coast of Britain.
Murder by the Sea weeknights at 10pm from July 1st.... SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 17 November
Saturday 16 November
Wednesday 20 November