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Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Spotlight: Jason Barret

A Question I Have to Answer

Okay, let’s just deal with the first question on everyone’s mind, “What the heck is a guy doing writing romance?” There I said it. It’s on the table. I’m out of the closet, so to speak. But now that I’ve asked that question I actually need to answer it. I suppose it’s because I like a happy ending, but it wasn’t always that way. The first book I finished was a contemporary novel with romantic elements. Unfortunately, those romantic elements dealt with loss, devotion, and the main character’s unwillingness to accept that loss. The main character was written with a Shakespearian-like tragic element. Believe me, in no stretch of my vivid imagination am I comparing myself to Shakespeare, but when I was plotting that book I had just finished a college English Literature class where we read and studied Shakespeare for the first half of the semester. I guess that was just the way I had learned to view the male protagonist.

I didn’t start out to write a tragedy, I actually hadn’t planned this book at all, but once while in the car my wife and I barely missed being involved in a major accident. Shortly after the adrenaline stopped pumping through my body the premise of the book popped into my head and away I went. I was plotting in my head all the time for years. I wrote a little here and there, but it was slow going. As a young husband and father I was busy with work, school and various household responsibilities as well as getting our daughters back and forth to dance class, drama club, soccer, baseball, dances and, since we live in the country, any place they need to go including visiting friends! I’m not complaining; it actually provided us with a lot of one on one time where we actually talked. Those late night trips gave us an opportunity to enjoy a great bonding experience that we still enjoy today. When our youngest daughter graduated from college I was actually able to finish that book.

The main character was a very tragic figure and I was constantly dealing with scenes that drove him further down into the depths of his own remorseful hell on earth, to the point of suicide. Unfortunately, I had been so attached to those characters and that tragic story for so long it actually impacted on my personal mood. I was really relieved to write “THE END.” But a happy ending? No. He dealt with his loss and found forgiveness, but still that painful loss would be with him forever. His tragedy stayed with me for quite some time. So now you know why I like the happy endings of Romance and why I enjoy writing them.

17 comments:

Life is for Living said...

You write wonderful romance! Maybe one day your tragedy will sell in mainstream fiction. Don't give up! But in the meantime, keep those happy endings coming!

Amanda Barnett said...

Jason,

I loved the essay! I also loved Dead Or A Live, as you already know...lol.

Looking forward to your next book!

Amanda Barnett

Jason Barret said...

Thank you Janine and Amanda. You both have been so vital in this journey becoming a reality. I couldn't have done it without you.

robynl said...

very interesting post; congrats on your writing and giving us the HEA's that we so love also.

booklover0226 said...

I have not read a romance novel written by a man. I look forward in reading your works, Jason.

Thanks,
Tracey D

joder said...

Your writing sounds very good and I definitely look forward to reading more of it. I'm glad you're proud of what you do, you should be. Writing isn't an easy field to be in.

Jason Barret said...

Robynl,
Thank you for for reading my post and your kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I hope to have another happy ending in the form of a prequel out soon.

Jason Barret said...

Tracy,
Thank you for posting. If you read the book I would be very interested in hearing any feedback you would care to give on a book written from the male point of view. I hope you enjoy it.

Jason Barret said...

Joder,
Thank you for the compliment. I agree, writing is difficult field but I have had some awesome help in understanding romance writing with the help of my critique partners, Alee Drake (Thistle Dew) and Janine Giordano, who wrote my first comment today.

timob said...

Jason,

Awesome essay. I can't wait to get a copy of the book so I can read it ......again! Congrats and I look forward to reading more of your work!!

SIL,

Tim O'Brien

Susan St. Thomas said...

Congratulation, Jason. I can't wait to read your book.

barbs said...

I'm not surprised you chose this genre..I think there will be many layers of your personality that will surface as you continue to write. Happy endings, sad endings...I will still probably shed a few tears. Looking forward to reading your book.

barbs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason Barret said...

Susan,
I hope you enjoy my book as much as I enjoyed yours. "Meltdown" was fantastic!

Jason Barret said...

Barbs,
Thank you for your kind comment and you're right, I still want to publish that first tragic love story, "Unrequited Love." I'm drawn back to it every time I'm not actively working on a romance... Someday. But for now the prequel to Dead or A Lie is almost ready for my editor.

April Graf said...

Still a favorite book of mine: Unrequited Love. I know someday it will be published and enjoyed by many!

Jason Barret said...

Thanks April. I agree someday it'll be out there.