Please give a warm welcome to romance author, Jin Okubo who is here to tell us about his inspirations behind his new book Love.
Jin, what inspired you to write your beautiful novel, "Love"?
There are many reasons why writers choose to write. There can be huge ideas or even feelings, where we may draw our inspiration. For me there are a few, but out of those few one stands above the rest. I have always had strong women in my life. With that in mind I was able to draw inspiration by focusing my main protagonist as female.
The idea for romance came from my own love of the literature on the matter. I tried to pen fantasy and even a biography, but neither had the appeal or draw of romance. Then came the view, which I wanted to take. I wanted to paint the picture of true to life relationships. The ones we could all relate to in one form or another. In that sense the women in my life took a big role with one particular person taking center stage in the characteristics of my female lead.
As I started to pen my first romance novel Love the whole circle of relationships and particularly the one with the woman who would become my main character I drew on my experiences and my feelings.
Many people would sit and listen to music to get inspired and I am no different. As I started to tell this story I listened to the singer Meatloaf and how he talks about love. It can be said of me that I am a hopeless romantic and would love for life to be as it is in fiction, though that is not true.
The biggest step that I took was breaking up my novel into two parts. The first one being ‘Love’ and the second one soon to be released is called ‘Kaoru In Loves Shadow’ and while Love is inspired more by my inability to accept or see my life in a relationship, it deals with the internal conflicts I as a man had during my relationships and how it moved me.
I often think that women are much more perceptive then men which is why the second novel is more, true to form of what is happening in the real world. It is this duality that I find missing in the romance genre today. This need to fill that void, to write a fiction romance that holds true to the form of daily lives is what drove the story home for me.
That need to connect with real people and show our shared experiences from the silly arguments which meant so much to the missed signs of love, even that part connected to the love over a lemon of a car. A real life romance.
Living in L.A. Robert runs his life with clockwork precision. He thinks he knows about love, about romance and about life. Why shouldn't he? The classics have taught him all there is to know. But they are just fiction.
He has a girl, a house with a den full of classical books, and a job where people leave him to his own devices. Everything seems perfect, but happiness eludes him. And with the realities of being in a relationship, the point of breaking seems to be ever closer...
A Touch Of Flavor
The first true fight we had was nothing more than a trivial point, still neither of us was willing to give. Such was our nature. Still looking back the first true fight was trivial yes but a true test of wills. I was her husband now and needed to insure that my will was not cast aside at her whims without contest.
Toast would take jelly or butter, and there are even folks who would take it plain, or be as ghastly as to take it with margarine. I was of the group that preferred butter, and or plain if there was none to be around.
As you would guess her to be, she was the polar opposite of me. There was nothing better than for her to be my mirror opposite. Yes, she was the jelly type of person. Always needing it in the mornings. I swear it was not a normal kind of need. Yet, there I would sit quietly watching in suspended horror, every time. My dear lord how she would shovel gobs of jelly in varying flavors, depending on her mood, onto the poor tiny slice of toasted bread.
I do have to admit and take full responsibility that her over-reaction, was indeed caused by a poorly timed joke, at non-other than the toast’s expense.
There were so many other things that could have been pointed out. Yet it was the offense of bread by her that I wanted her to see. In her own words the slice of bread stopped caring about itself once it agreed to be burnt to the right edible color. Why should I, of all the people around take offense to her way of eating toast?
Now let me remind you that I had said nothing. I had not spoken the utter discomfort I felt with her way of eating toast. My body on the other hand…
Yes, I know that as I sit here writing this explanation that it may sound contrived or even crazy. She may be the crazier of the two if we were taken only on the issue of this toast. But never forget that of the two the crazy one is I. Yes the wording could be phrased better but then again the topic is toast is it not?
The bread we had taken for this morning’s repass was a nice pumpernickel bread baked fresh the day before. The bakery liked to try new things and, as she was the adventurous one, she went head over heels as the bread was baked in small baguette style loafs. In all manner of speaking, any bread lover would see these and think great, wonderful and maybe even that these were the greatest invention since donut holes.
Then there were the other people. The ones who did not go into a frenzy over food as simple as bread. For these people, people like myself, bread was food and nothing else. What came to mind even more was why anyone in their right mind would slice bread so small that it was bite sized.
Yet here we sat with wafer thin slices of toasted bread.
“Would you like bread with your jelly?” A playful tone, light but it was there in my voice as the words came out. Well maybe there was a touch to much sarcasm.
Where can I buy this fabulous book?
About the author.
There are few interesting things that can be said about my home town. I grew up in a mildly racist country town in the Santa Barbara mountains, though I am hopeful that things have changed there. Having grown up during the great migrant issues of California during the 80’s and 90’s, I was able to experience some of the issues when I was getting my higher education in university. The biggest part of my life was finding my self-identity, which was never truly clear to me as a youth.
Upon finishing my university studies I moved to the beautiful country of Japan only to bounce back and forth between the U.S and Japan for a couple of years. Finally, I received my Japanese citizenship in the spring of 2014. My life has been filled with many strong women which is one of the contributing factors in my protagonists tending to be women. I am a lover of classical literature. I hope to bring in a new style of classical literature in the current age of fast paced easy to read cookie cutter style novels that are being pushed out in mass across the world. Choosing to stick to my own style of writing rather than to write for easy to sell books has made my work difficult to get into, yet it is the joy of writing that is the reason as to why I do things the way I do.
There is always the temptation to write easy to digest books that are made to sell, rather than books that are written for an experience reader and very few writers have mastered both. As I work to improve my craft, I am inching my way ever closer to that perfect balance of books that will satisfy the modern reader and the reader who focuses more on content rather than face value.
I would like to make a comment to my, would be readers: “I write to challenge my reader. As you face this challenge you will find that you will grow to love the characters I have created. This love will bring a deeper understanding to my writing and my characters more.”
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