Mason Burgess is a pen name for Canadian horror author Gregory Zawidoski, who wrote three novels for Leisure Books in the mid-1980s. There is no biographical information in any of the novels published during that time, but his debut novel Child of Demons (1985) bears a copyright under his real name, which led me to a Google search, where I found confirmation in the Lotus archives of the pen name, and — surprisingly — a website for the author. A new Mason Burgess novel, Skinned Babies, was released in 2015 and, as of this writing, can be picked up for a mere $788.29 from Amazon.
Prior to his latest effort, the horror novels published under the Burgess name were Child of Demons, Blood Moon (1986), and Graveyard (1987). Burgess’s Web site says “Blood Moon became a national best seller in the span of only three weeks.” He has Facebook and Twitter accounts which were only updated for a few weeks to promote his new book, and then nada since 2015.
Burgess’s bio cites his influences as Poe, Lovecraft, M.R. James, Bloch, Bradbury, Matheson, and Stephen King. It also notes that he has written a number of other books (fiction and non-fiction) under various other pen names. A search for him or other books under his own name of Gregory Zawidoski nets nothing, so one can only guess at some of the other names under which he has written. The public catalog of the U.S. copyright office only has two records in its database associated with Zawidoski’s real name, Blood Moon and Graveyard, and two spellings of his last name (alternatively listed as Zawidowski), so honestly, I have no idea which spelling is correct. All I can say for sure is, this is the guy who wrote these three novels from Leisure in the mid 1980s, and he re-emerged to publish a new horror novel in 2015 … only to disappear again. Here is a link to his Amazon page for more information on his books and their availability.
These cover scans are from the library of author Christopher Fulbright.
2 thoughts on “Mason Burgess”
I knew Greg briefly when we attended a creative writing program together in the fall of 1983 (he dropped out within days of receiving his publishing contract from Leisure!). As far as I know he’s still in Winnipeg.
Thanks for stopping in, Joseph. It’s always interesting to hear little stories like that. Appreciate it!