CdM Senior Follows Muse, Writes Novel

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Mason Lyle is an artist.

The Corona Del Mar High School senior told me that from a young age, he has viewed the written word as an art form. So, as he got older, and his friends began to create music and visual art, he figured why not create some art of his own – in the form of a novel.

Now, that work of art is available for all the world to enjoy. Lyle has just launched his new novel, “Withering Harmony,” and is finding that, so far, the world is enjoying his artistic voice.

Mason Lyle’s senior picture.
Mason Lyle’s novel.

Set in a time where the Earth’s nations are now divided into two superpowers, “Withering Harmony” follows Garth Eriksen on a journey westward across the United States, as he seeks out friends, safety, and the truth behind the current geopolitical climate.

Eriksen, and the rest of the world’s global citizens live in a new world of sorts. A radical political faction has risen to power in Beijing, launching China on an expansionist campaign across the globe. In response, the United Nations has become a militarized entity, rechristened as the “Allied Nations”

All countries now belong to either the Allied Nations, or its counterpart, the China-based Persona. As fighting continues between the two sides, Garth finds himself captured by a Persona patrol boat off the coast of Florida, and inadvertently witnesses the assassination of Persona’s dictator, Bi Tao Mao.

Using the ensuing chaos as an opportunity to make his escape, Garth sets out on a quest to discover the truth behind what has been dubbed “The Great Collapse.”

No shrinking violet himself, it seems that Mason Lyle has chosen an explosive way to make his writing debut – it is definitely not your typical teenage fare.

Lyle says that the first ideas for “Withering Harmony” began during the 2008 presidential election. As he continued to hear talk of the notion of international unity, Lyle began to imagine a world where we enjoyed international cooperation, and a borderless brotherhood among countries.

Naturally, these musings caused him to explore the opposite possibilities as well – what would happen if instead of embracing one another, the world ignored its social instincts. Filled with ideas about both scenarios, Lyle began to frame a storyline around a hypothetical New World Order, and a novel was born.

Publishing a novel is an impressive accomplishment for anyone, let alone a high school senior, who is still learning to navigate the world, still finding his calling. I asked Lyle to what he felt he owed his ability at such a young age to not only recognize a passion, but to see this accomplishment to fruition.

I expected him to list off the standard supporters – an awesome mom, incredible teachers, and wonderful friends.  While I’m sure Mason has these in spades, he had a much more insightful view regarding his success:

“My entire life has been filled with people telling me my dreams would be ‘too hard.’ From basic writing in elementary school to classical language in middle school, educators and others have barraged my ears with admonitions of difficulty.”

“Every time I’ve proven the naysayers wrong, be it through hard work, cleverness, or some other driving factor. This project was no different. There were those who doubted by ability to finish things. Who told me it wouldn’t be worth the work, or that no adolescent could actually produce quality writing. It was those people I can thank today for the drive to complete the project.”

With an attitude like that, I am confident that this is not the last we will be seeing of Mason Lyle.

For more information about Mason Lyle, or to order a copy of  “Withering Harmony,” please visit



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