In the very first of my new series of author spotlights, we have Jin Okubo interviewing on the blog today!
Tell us a brief summary of your book’s plot.
Robert is in love. Yes that is a nice start for a romance book, but this is not your usual romance. First of all the story is told through pieces of writing lifted from his journal, in this way you really get in his head. It is how he sees the world and it is how he sees love. An introvert and agoraphobic he really has separated from society. His love the un-named antagonist is breaking his boundaries and though he resists he feels his love grow into need into obsession. You go with him on the journey. And through that you share in memories of love and what love could be in its raw form, pure form. A relationship growing and becoming more than the some of its parts, you can see how much a man would sacrifice for the person they love.
What was the inspiration for this story?
A bit from my relationships and how I see the world, i could never find a good romance book and definitely not one with such raw feel to it. So taking the women that I had had relationships with and have relationships with I put them together into an amalgam of a person, into the antagonist. I really wanted to see a woman take control of the story without actually being the one in control. With Robert I wanted to give myself free range on my personality taking some points to the extreme. All of this was my inspiration and though I originally planned to tell just his side I felt it was an unfinished story if I did not pen her side. Which is the novel I am working on now. The proverbial other side of the coin.
Do you have any writing habits you would like to tell us about?
I listen to music. But to be specific I work on finding music to push a certain feeling to the top and keep it there. I then in turn write that feeling. Some chapters echo that feeling as they work together with the same peice of music. Others stand alone. With Love I had so much pain to put into the writing of it because I wanted to show the raw suffering, pleasure, exhilaration that is love. So music to bring out the feeling. Once the feeling is primed I write. I write a chapter per sitting and must take a day or two to recoup my mental self before I put down the next chapter.
What is the hardest thing to manage when you start writing?
Keeping my focus. I mean there are so many things that I want to write, sometimes i find it hard to repress a chapter until I have finished the one that I am working on. If i was able to be a full time writer and not have to go to my nine to five I could write tomes. There is so much that is floating around in my head that the hardest part of writing is pulling it together into a style that I am happy with, because if you are not happy with your writing, if you do not love your writing then no one else will.
Name the three books currently topping your To Be Read list?
Tanis, the Shadow Years (Dragonlance: Preludes #6; Preludes II, #3)
Wanderlust (Dragonlance: Meetings Sextet, #2)
Kindred Spirits (Dragonlance: Meetings Sextet, #1)
I will be getting to them towards the end of the year as I am reading four books at the moment, Gravities Rainbow, Ulysses, Don Quixote in English and the Original Spanish. But Dragon Lance always fall in between romps in the classics.
How important do you think a book’s cover is?
A book cover is very important but it should not be the end all of end alls. It should share a feeling an emotion a concept but just like everything in life, if the wrapping is pretty the chance of getting shit in the package is higher. I think to many authors waste to much time finding that cover that will bring in the extra bucks when they have just churned out a cookie cutter story.
If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose?
Lovecraft, There is just a way that he sees the world, I just love the brooding, the feel of the stories. I think there is so much emotion in his work that is rare in today’s writing.