Saint Monolith is the first full book I ever wrote and published. I had actually set out to write Hegemonian first, but the concept of Mason Stone was banging on the inside of my head to get out, and for some reason it started coming to me more naturally than Hegemonian was at the time, so I went with it.
On the surface it could appear as just another cop turned vigilante story, but it is so much more, so much deeper, so darker. It’s the story of a troubled man, someone who sees the world differently than most. While most people see those around them as inherently good, usually naively, Mason Stone sees through the facade of societal pleasantries and recognizes the darker side of people underneath. Without the fear of law so many people would take advantage, for uncivilized savagery is still a part of human nature, waiting just under the surface. You see it on the news every day, and it’s the reason you lock your door at night. Mason is someone whose had many tragedies and pain in his life, and he has little tolerance anymore for people who are inherently evil. No longer caring about his own life, he seizes opportunities to remove those people from the world.
It’s also quite a love story, as Mason’s weak spot is love, and he finds it in the psychologist who is trying to free him from his inner demons.
I think writing Saint Monolith came so easily because there is so much of me in there. I didn’t have to think very hard about “what should this character be like”. I just had to look into my own head. It’s funny the way books develop in a completely different way than intended. I had never planned for any love story to happen. I never planned to put so much of my personal life in it. Originally it was just going to be an action story with lots of bad guys getting killed. It ended up being so much more.
As I wrote it, Mason and Sue discovered each other in the same way people do in real life. I didn’t plan any of it out. I just let natural events unfold. Boy meets girl. There’s attraction but circumstantial resistance. Then slowly over time the relationship develops until it’s unstoppable.
Sue was never supposed to be a main character. She was just a placeholder for me to spill my own mental issues onto paper. She ended up becoming the star in her own right, and the way she changes throughout the book, that again was purely unplanned. When I write I guess I tend to just follow ‘the natural order’ of things, to mimic real life. Sue’s metamorphosis is sort of a bonus story within a story that I never wrote. She wrote it herself.
I tried to balance the book’s chapters, alternating an action one with a psych session. Each psych session ended up being my own personal history, which was never intended either. But somehow, if Mason was going to exist, and he was basically me, then his history would have to be mine as well. That part is a little weird, but telling something semi-autobiographical makes for a great, gritty, real human story.
I planned on making Mason’s story a trilogy. As I write this post, Part 2 “The Saint of Seven Mile” is about to be released. We’ll have to wait and see what the future brings after that.
~ Tom Reinhart
“You make dark so beautiful.” ~ C.L. Schneider