My interview on Back Porch Writer


http://www.blogtalkradio.com/backporchwriter/2016/06/21/why-are-male-romance-authors-rare

 

Today’s show is all about men who write romance. Is it different than how a female writes romance? If so, why and how? If not, then why is it so rare to find male romance authors? Is there a stigma attached to men who write romance?

Author Jin Okubo has something to say about all of this! He’s been writing romance for a few years, and shares his insights into this female-dominated genre. You can find his first two novels, “Love,” and “Kaoru: In Loves Shadow” on Amazon.

A word about reviews: Indie authors need your review love. And I do mean, love. If you read an author’s book, be sure to let other readers know how much you enjoyed it! I know, I know, if it sucked you might be tempted to write a brutally honest review thinking that you’re doing the author, and everyone else a service (favor?), and you certainly can, but I’ve found that what I put out into the universe has a habit of coming back to me. Good and bad. Just a little food for thought.

Memories drive us


There is always a new feeling when old memories come back to haunt us. That idea of what we can be and what we could have been build conflict within us.

Please enjoy the first chapter of my newest release. Memories. Genre Urban Fantasy.

SparkMemories by Jin Okubo

The morning was just like any other he had experienced in his twenty-five years of life. Yet, stumbling through the apartment to do his morning bodily evacuation, he had an idea that would lead him from this day on. The idea was about a way to make life easier through invention. As the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention”. Here was a true living version.

Taking time to look around the apartment, he evaluated what and where he could build from. The apartment had a lingering haze reminiscent of a honky-tonk bar. If he looked hard enough, he could swear that there were eyes looking back at him. The eyes told him to spend the rest of his life looking down the barrel of a shot glass or some other mind-numbing drink. He had felt the loss of hope in those eyes.

Decided he would not allow it any longer, he chose to change it. Light was the first thing that had to be allowed. This was in order to see about clearing up this living area to make it a representation of some new hope. Walking around the un-opened boxes sent him by loved ones in an attempt to reach him, he threw open the curtains and let light flood into the room. The light that flooded his senses brought new forms of pain that he had not experienced for days. He never enjoyed the sun and what it symbolized. It brought with it life and warmth, and they were two things he had given up on. As he walked the dying path he had chosen, he knew that light was contrary to the solitude he worked so hard to attain. This was especially true after she had left … or was she taken? The thought stopped him in his tracks. He wanted so much to remember, but never could get a good grasp on the events of that day.

He felt all the way to his core that he was at fault. Still in the haze of light and shadows that were his past he could not really, truly be sure of anything. It had now become just bits and pieces of places not fully formed or names only half-spoken in his mind. He could not see himself in her arms, though. Every time the sun struck him head-on, there he was again. Hers were the eyes that brought life, life that would never let go. “Move past this” was the thought that kept tearing at his heart, but there he was in her arms, unable to move. The smell of her hair was just out of reach, teasing his mind. He could almost savor that sweet fragrance again, but, like the elusive sun melting Icarus’s wings keeping him at bay, his golden memories melted just before he could get a solid grasp of them.

There he stood for the world to see, paralyzed with joy. This basking in the sun was a rarity in his life, where few moments of pure pleasure existed as islands in a vast sea of despair. Slowly, he turned to see what life had become in the dank pit he called home. He had taken a spiraling fall down the ladder of success almost as quickly as he had climbed it.

Here he was at rock bottom and this moment was where he would see his own life for what it had become. He had reached the goal of living on the outside as he felt on the inside. He was a rotting cesspool full of bile and despair.

The apartment was not one that could be taken all in at one glance. In order to take in the volumes this pit spoke about its owner, someone would have to take in each section in the proper light. Why anyone would choose to live this way was beyond the reasoning of any normal citizen of modern society. The first thing to be noticed was the floor—or rather, the lack of it. Strewn throughout the apartment were boxes filled with clothing in need of washing and plates with moldy food. A closer look brought the eyes to a focal point: a beautiful porcelain teapot bought at some obscure auction. This teapot was something of an oddity in this apartment, which caused the onlooker to wonder why anyone would live in such disrepair, while at the same time maintaining such a beautiful piece of antiquity.

In the sun the pot shined like a fire that refused to be put out; it was like a beacon of life, pure and white. It was reminiscent of the life spent in days gone by, a time in some distant dynasty where ordinary people would live out their lives as farmers or merchants of some kind. This was not the trend of current times, but there it sat, something more than two centuries old still in near-mint condition from what could be seen by walking around it: a diamond in the mist of coal for all to see and digest.

Still the question remained: who was this man who kept such a priceless artifact sitting on a desk where a mere inch away sat a plate with a slice of pizza? By the looks of it, any person with eyes could tell that the pizza had been sitting there for at least two months. The mold had completely covered the plate in a suffocating barrier and looked as if it was getting ready to attack the teapot. He would never allow that to happen. Preventing that invasion was his daily chore.

Clean the pot, keep it safe, and place it in its proper location where it would remind him of what he truly did not know.

Not picturing himself as a person who would buy such antiques led him to the conclusion that it must have been the woman in his memories who purchased it. She was gone and not even this pot would bring her back.

As most folks know, porcelain of this quality is made in pairs to fulfill the Yin and Yang. The mate of the pot had disappeared at the time that she had. The thought that they would never be re-united was constant in his mind.

An ashtray could be clearly seen half-covered in a greenish slime, the clear offspring of the pizza. Yet, rather than clean it, someone had continually stubbed out cigarettes in the slime. By the looks of it, the slime was feeding on the nicotine. This was something that would have taken time to grow in a lab, but here it was flourishing in this rather new and extreme ecological environment with each new butt that had been put out in it.

A new cigarette butt had recently been stabbed into the organism, dripping a grayish black mixture of ashes and slime over the edge onto the desk. The dry stains around the ashtray indicated there was no hope for life on the outskirts of the ashtray. The fact that certain death awaited the slime had kept it within the limits of the ashtray. Yet, now and then it would try to reach out and infest.

A picture hung on the wall in the direct line of sight between the pot and the ashtray. The picture, which was and was not truly a picture of what it was meant to represent, hung stoic in all its glory. Although only a single wallet-sized picture, it hung in grandeur, framed in a fashion befitting a royal portrait. It had been maintained on the wall with such care and dedication, it appeared to blend into the wall. It was easy to forgive the fact that the picture was nothing more than eyes staring blankly into the void, the rest of the image having been damaged by fire. It only laid proof to his madness for having a portrait built into an apartment he did not own. What was even worse was the fact that the portrait this man cherished was nothing more than eyes. Looking hard enough, it was clear that the eyes were the eyes of a woman. There was a kindness in those eyes that gave reason for the disrepair. What reason lay within the eyes could only be speculated, although as he stood there, the eyes gave him pause to ask for forgiveness. They seemed to smile back at him in such a way that his heart felt the tears come as he stood there, letting them rip deep. They tore into the memory of his lost love, allowing him to retain the pain, but not the memory.

There were no other pictures on the walls. This one and only picture had been kept free from any external influences that lay about this cesspool of an apartment, just as had the pot. The frame was made of wood so exotic that one could not rightly say which tree had provided its flesh in order to bring these eyes to life. The glass appeared to have been handmade in some artistic institution.

Everything about this frame indicated the state of mind one would have needed to have been in: obsession, it was, or could it have been called devotion. When a love, a true soul mate style of love is lost, there are two things that can be done: move on and find something else to fill the void or devote the remainder of one’s life to the memory. With him it was hard to tell, for he did not open the dark recesses of his heart. Like a home closed up for decades, everything was kept under the cover of dark sheets or else left alone to the ravages of time. Yet, the true treasures of his heart where kept in perfect order, locked away in the deepest crevice, far from prying eyes.

It had not been that long since he had lost her—just a couple of years. Still, without her there to keep order, he was at a loss. The dreadful event that had taken her and his memory now forcing him into re-learning the fact that a room needs to be kept, though, that was about to change. As of this day, he had made a decision to bring the rest of the apartment up to the standard of care enjoyed by the pot and the picture. But where to start was the issue revolving around him. In all actuality, it had stumped him. He was at a loss about what to do with the amount of unwanted growths that were continually fed by the countless care packages sent by his family. This in turn brought about the first decision in his steps to bring everything back under control. He got a trash bag to take care of the filth. Taking the first of many boxes, he opened it to find a sweater next to a container of juice, which, lacking refrigeration, had spoiled beyond recognition.

The juice in the trash bag, along with the sweater box, was placed under the picture. This process was repeated for the next six hours. In the end, eight bags full of trash, twenty sweaters, thirty shirts, two pairs of pants, and countless socks left his apartment free from the cancerous growths. With bags now placed in the kitchen, he started the next part. To further clean the floor, he would also have to wash clothes. Armed with another trash bag, he started picking up the garments strewn across the floor. Finishing with four trash bags full of clothes, he needed to see if the washing machine still functioned.

In the country he now called home the washing machines where smaller than those common in the western world. With the machine at max capacity, he could clearly see that it held only a third of a trash bag of his clothing. The cleansing of the apartment continued. The floor was now noticeable, though dust balls were still seen scudding about the room with the slightest breeze. This was easily rectified by a mop-style cleaner.

The cleaner held a moist paper towel on the flat surface of the floor and was attached on the other side to a pivot joint, followed by a handle, allowing the towel to remain in full contact with the floor as the cleaner was pushed about in any direction. Just as the Americans in the early days of settling the western United States eradicated the buffalo from moving trains and such, he also eradicated the copious amounts of dust balls.

This massive cleaning prompted the use of another trash bag for the used paper towels. With a furrowed brow he pondered Dam rug, how do I even take care of it? Do I wash it? A rug that he could not even remember buying. It would require a turn in the washing machine in order to bring its original colors back to life. He dropped it in line behind the trash bags full of clothing yet to be washed.

With a lively chime, the washing machine indicated that the first load of clothing was now done and required drying. Carefully, he took the clean clothes to his veranda where he could hang them to dry. Just then he noticed something had been growing where his rug had been apparently not needing a constant source of light to live, it reminded him of himself.

He chuckled. He had to take care of this, although by the looks of it, a simple wet paper towel would not be sufficient. Taking the cloth towel that he had used ever since he had moved into this new place to dry his hands after washing them every morning, he set it in the sink to soak. He sprinkled laundry detergent across the grungy rug and then followed by getting onto his hands and knees. Using the soaked towel, he started to scrub away every bit of mold. Upon finishing the task at hand, he noticed that he had not eaten all day. Deciding that the floor needed time to dry, he stepped out for a bite to eat. But the trash blocking his way had to be handled first. It took him three trips to take out all of the trash bags from his apartment. As he did this, he noticed the sun was marking the time as late afternoon. Since he did not like being outside after dark, he decided that a quick walk to the liquor store was all that time permitted.

He went there to buy a sandwich and something to drink there before once again attacking the monumental amount of things to clean. What a society in which he lives where everything that is edible can be made into a sandwich. He stood there wondering what to get, but could not decide. She was working that day and by chance saw that he was in need of some help. Walking out from behind the counter, she asked in a soft voice if she could help him in any way.

Nothing looked particularly good to him. Suddenly noticing that she existed, an end to his confusion was at hand. Looking up into those nice brown eyes brought him face to face with something that had been lacking in his life since the woman of his dreams had been taken. With a nice smile he calmly stated that he had no idea what was good. She nodded and returned his smile while saying that the vegetable sandwich was one of the top choices and that the nutritional value was probably worth the price. Taking the sandwich in hand, he glanced down at the drink he had already chosen, which he was now sure would ruin this healthy meal by introducing toxins not to be found in a healthy vegetable sandwich. This frustrated him with questions about the true value of health for a man in his state. She quickly saw in his furrowed brow that he was truly in need of help—and more than just in food. He needed help for his life. She walked over to the drinks and pulled out a simple green tea.

Handing it to him, she simply said, “This will compliment that sandwich.”

From then on he would only eat lean meat for health reasons, but more so because someone had taken the time to care.

Finding out the name of this woman would not be as simple as asking for it. The thoughts started to flood his mind, ‘What kind of man would he be if he were to try to pick up a woman just after meeting her? What would she think of him if she was even remotely interested? Where would any form of a relationship go, matching a stable and sensible woman with a man bent on self-destruction?

Would this even work?

There was only one way he could find out and that was through the simple admission that he was interested in her. However, this would have to wait for another time when he could be better prepared and look more the part of a gentleman instead of some stranger off the street. What was important now was the task at hand. He followed her slowly back to the counter and paid for his small meal. With a nod and smile, she accepted his payment and thanked him for his patronage. This was when their eyes met, giving them both a glimpse of the spark, that solitary spark that fuels whirlwind romances. She blushed; he simply smiled back at her as he walked out the door. A quick glance back into the store revealed that she was watching him even after he had walked out the door. He smiled again as he started his trudge back to the apartment, where he would continue with his work. This work of changing the conditions that had kept him a prisoner to his past would consume him until it was done.

Everything until now had become the past now that he had been given a renewed spark for life.

He started to realize that there could be life after such a loss. His life began to show signs of flourishing. He just had to want it badly enough to move in this new direction. The rest of his cleaning seemed to take less time, although he did not complete it until early the following morning. The clothes were washed and hung out to dry, the ashtray lay empty and clean, and there were just four more trash bags remaining to be disposed. Once they were taken out, he returned to his sanctuary. In this new womb he had created he would soon be full of life rather than gloom, which prickled the back of his neck even now as he stood there in satisfaction of his accomplishment. His mind would never really be free and clear of the gloom.

A glance around his apartment bore witness to what he could truly become with the past properly packaged and thrown away. Where the piles of gift packages had once claimed space, there was now beautiful emptiness. Where the clothing and the rug had once desecrated his floor, there was only pure wood. The copious amounts of dust balls were all corralled into the trash and led away, leaving nothing more than a distant memory.

Lying down on his bed with a nice book, he read a few pages before drifting off into a dream—one he had been having ever since he could remember, yet this time it came harder, faster, and was more painful than ever.

The pangs he suffered from this dream were there to remind him about what he had lost. There was no denying that he could have changed the outcome of the events that had led to the loss of his love. There was a certain truth when he spoke to his one confidant about the numerous events that kept these memories in his head and yet still a blur, and that truth was REGRET. There was regret where something else had been torn out. This was a thorn in his side about not being a man. Could he have changed what had happened, and if so, then what would he have done? Could he ask for another chance to run through the maze, a maze where he would gladly starve looking for the cheese? But this was his lot in life. As long as he could remember, he had chosen the sequence of events that laid the foundation of what he had become. That fact clearly still held true. It was in the past. That is where these fevered dreams came into meaning. For a man whose soul was wracked with regret, they served as a reminder. Why do people let others torture one’s soul when they can do such a great job on their own? The clear thought was more of a wisp of smoke rather than anything as tangible as the pain about to come.

By Jin Okubo Please find my book at Memories

Home is where the heart is


Such a wonderful idea to imagine that every time you go home… happiness will be there for you. If not happiness a sense of belonging. There can be so much love and happiness that families can share with each other.6318550531_50fd488d6c_o

Still there is the idea that homes are as cold and uncaring as the world outside. The mistake that people make by only looking at the outside of the relationship and not seeing what the couple themselves see every day.

This inference to what we think or can think that lies within other people’s relationships leads those, especially those with the best of intentions to press their views on other people.
When we see a relationship and ask what can be done… or that couple is doomed… we forget that our own personal relationships are not always chocolates and flowers. We need so much more work for those few moments of joy.

There is not a couple alive and I would figure dead as well, who can say that they had a perfectly happy lifestyle. We have been jealous, greedy, sadistic, overbearing, and worse. But still our love survived because it was love. And true love can take the negative with the positive and realize that those few points of negativity make the points of happiness so much more.
As the saying goes you cannot have an omelet without breaking some eggs. Well have your omelet.

Love

Love by Jin Okubo

It’s four,” I spoke the time feeling frustration creeping in. There were no cooking noises and worst of all there were no flavors crawling upstairs through the crack in the door. At least, at this point I should be smelling the main ingredient in her soup.

And I have never known her not to make tea while she cooks. Why had I not heard the whistle of the kettle? There had to be something, could she really be pulling my leg about the soup.

Fear clenched me, but anger took control. I would not give her the satisfaction of watching me crawl downstairs begging for, begging for… soup. It was my SOUP and she had to give it to me.

Where does the heart go.


There are many things that bring about a new view on novels. This is especially true when it comes to the romance genre. It is my opinion that this genre has seen a large shift to both extremes as to what can constitute romance.

Then there is the idea of who is qualified to write romance. While many of the top romance writers tend to be women, it is clear that this is not just a topic in which women can prevail. That is not to say that women cannot write, but quite the opposite it is to say that we can all write in any genre and should try to step away from the stereotypical ideas of who is qualified to write what.
I am a male writing romance.  I also think that I am doing quite well in the genre as my novels are unique and work well to introduce the topic at hand. Relationships and the complexity that they entail. No one relationship is the same as the other and still there is the need in society for that happy ever after.

I do not write THAT story. I am more into the reality of love. The clear fact that love can prevail and overcome. And while my endings may not be the fairytale endings. They are true to life endings and you can see how love endures beyond our wildest expectations.
So take a ride on the side of love that burns, yearns, and wrecks everything in its way in order to dominate and surpass all.

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If you are interested in the great romance ride then check out my work.

Jin Okubo

Kaoru In Loves Shadow

 

 

“So… what is the word on him?” Kaoru was direct in her question as she was in her piercing stare. “Please tell me you found something. You did… didn’t you?! I can see it on your face. What…? Tell me! He is crazy, no he is heavily in debt, married?! Yes, I knew it… he is married and I should just move on.” “Easy now,” Bill started, “Don’t get yourself all riled up before it is time. Just like your mother you are. Besides I don’t see my shirt anywhere in the room so what makes you think that I will tell you what I found out.”

Knowing that he could only poke fun at her for so long Bill enjoyed playing games with his niece. “It is going to take me time. But I promise that I will get that shirt before the end of the spring. But I must know about him.” Kaoru pleaded faking tears and all. Knowing her uncle as well as she had the tears were well planned. “It is just that I want to have what mother and father had and now here you are denying me the only information that will bring me happiness.” Turning to look out the window she managed to hide the fact that there were no tears in her eyes.

“Now, now,” Bill moved to console her. “You know that I will not be able to deny you anything. Let me tell you a bit about him. Will that dry those eyes of yours?”

“Well it depends on what you were able to find out.” Kaoru was clearly milking the situation for as much as she could. Had she done any less and her uncle would be less forthcoming with the information. There was always the chance that she was going to miss some vital point that would cause her to make a mistake and have to backtrack later on in a relationship. Robert was a man that she did not want to make that mistake with. There was so much work that she had planned to put into him that would make backtracking tiresome if not impossible.

“Well let’s see where to start.” Bill heading back to the sofa decided against sitting but rather to continue on to the books beautifully shelved and maintained. “These are really nice books now, aren’t they? It really is a shame that there is noone, not a living soul that can pour through these as your father did.” Looking down at a small table the books that had lain open for the world or any visitor to see the previous visit still… lay open in the same spot. There were even new additions to the group, as the earlier ones, had apparently in the same manner been abandoned for other projects.

Shaking his head he continued, “You know that your father would have never let the books sit as they do now. But then again you are not your father. No, no don’t get upset now it is just that there should really be someone that could take care of these books as they are meant to be taken care of.”

“What are you trying to say?” Kaoru interjected.

“Well…” Bill took his time. “This new guy that you have an interest in really likes his books. He is paranoid enough where I was not able to watch him long enough and should I had employed enough junior detectives I might have gotten a chance to follow him for more than a week. But not more than a month. What a jittery young man that you have chosen.”

 

The Idea of Romance


There is always a view or essence that we try to insert into Romance. A certain feeling that we would all like to have. The mere idea of there being someone… something out there, which we can call love is a deep held belief within all of us.

This idea of romance drives us and breaks us.
There is a woman in my life… well let me be more clear. There was a woman in my life. She took up nine years of my life and was all I knew about love and romance. She drove me to great heights and great lows. In a way she shattered me only to build me back up. This was her way and in a certain way it was mine.

Now this relationship did not end well. In fact it

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ended in the worst possible way that I could have imagined. Still a lot of this woman went into my protagonist Kaoru. There are so many aspects of her that linger in my mind and soul that I cannot help but to think… Why am I not with her?

What can I do… how can I fix… Anything out there to help me make amends and bring me back into a relationship with her.

Then the truth starts to creep up. The pain… the suffering… the utter mind shattering feelings of what she put me through and what I put her through. And here is where I become afraid.

Yes, this woman I loved… in a way still love… will always love to a certain extent. Scares the daylights out of me. She bores holes where even the mere idea that I have seen her around has caused me to go into a panic attack. And no-one else can even begin to imagine what I go through. They do not know and will not know.

I carry this fear inside.

I carry this love inside.

I carry this romance inside.

And it has lead to my romance novels. A part of me, a part of her are laced throughout the novel. Please enjoy my pain, my suffering, my love, my anguish, my romance.
Jin Okubo
Kaoru In Loves Shadow

Starbucks

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There was just something special about the late December snow. It was not as cold as February, but the slight chill did let you know that winter was upon you. She so loved the cold these days. Whether it was her thoughts on how she was raised or the cold emptiness of winter she loved the solitude of her life. Living solitary in that big house was nothing more than a dream to her, though not one that she imposed on herself but had become used to being in, yet… from time to time it did not feel real. The mere idea that she would need to share it with someone, was beyond her at the moment. Still… she found herself looking at him from across the room every chance that she would get.

He was a squirrel of a man the way he moved in and out of the Starbucks. Still, once a week he would run in and order the same double shot of espresso and vanish out the door. Such uniqueness was to be admired in a time when people tried so much to fit… in.

What the hell could have him in such a rush? He was in and out of sight so fast that her thoughts were still forming as she watched him. There was little to the room to be admired, and having this distraction was one of her little joys. Taking a look around the room she would see the boring, the plain, and the utter useless cardboard cutout humans that made up society.

To her left, without even turning her head, she knew who was sitting there. The rancid smell of cigar smoke stung her sensitive nose. If she were to turn her head, she would have seen the grotesque representation of a human being as the man sitting there. Had she bothered to look there he would be in the same tired shirt. Part of his gut lifting the bottom of his shirt, a shirt that was never really meant to be worn untucked. But this man wanted to make a statement. What that statement was, well no one really knew.

Still had she bothered to get a side glance in there he would be sitting a café latte with a glaze doughnut. The doughnut itself being half devoured through a gaping hole that he called a mouth. Lips so trained that even though there was no smoking allowed, they still held firm to a cigar. He would light the beast as soon as he was out of earshot from the yuppie know-it-alls who had nothing better than to try and force others to live a certain way. In a way she admired the slob of a man for standing up for some semblance of freedom. At least he was not hiding the person that society as a whole cared not to see. With so many out there being fake in one sense or another it was becoming difficult in today’s world to see true life from the fiction which we perceive.

As she headed towards the line to place her order Kaoru’s eyes caught a view of one of the yuppies, which she detested so, rights for all as long as the yuppies approve of those rights, cancerous beings sitting in the chairs and tables across the room from her. It was an amazing sight to see. The paleness of her skin was clearly meant to give the sign of health. Yet, there was a certain view, which some would see as this woman being nothing but a plague on society. Her clothing nothing more than draped fabric over a school skeletal display. Everything about her was a complete contradiction to the idea of health.

That sad excuse for a woman had been standing in front of her as she prepared to order. Her order was as confusing as the idea of this person coming into a Starbucks for a drink. Excuse me, I will be having a soy, non-fat, decaf, macchiato, and make sure that it is a natural no sugar mocha powder. The order still burned in Kaoru’s mind was nothing less of disgusting, vile, putrid thing to order. That was not the end of the pain, which Kaoru had put up with. The sorry imitation of a human had actually turned around and faced her, all to give a reason for such an order as if anyone else in the world would care for what reason she had ordered such a thing.

You know we can never be too careful about what we order. I usually do not order such a high calorie drink but today I am cheating. Promise not to tell? I’m Jenny by the way.” The woman spoke without a care in the world. She wanted to be seen as much as she wanted to be the image of what the world should strive for. All that Kaoru could do was smile, as her upbringing would not allow for the tongue lashing that this woman needed.

A soft breath of relief left Kaoru’s lips as the woman walked to the other end of the counter to pick up her drink. Making sure to take the extra time needed for that Jenny to sit somewhere, Kaoru ordered her straight black coffee, Peruvian blend. Taking great care as to avoid eye contact with that Jenny woman, Kaoru picked up her coffee and headed to the seat that she now occupied.

Robert, as she would later learn his name, was right on time when she had spotted him. Ruffled hair and clothing that could do with a bit of ironing, he would walk in a slightly brisk pace. His head would swivel back and forth watching the room, but not really looking at anything or anyone. Kaoru, always liked the way that he would jerk back at the point of almost bumping into someone else, but still going so far as to apologize to the other person and at one point a table. There would be a need for this man to get out of the city and live a little. Kaoru had to get to know him but how? The simple idea of sitting next to him and talking with him would have worked, had he ever taken the time to sit and drink his coffee rather than heading right out of the door with drink in hand.

What could his work be? It would be preferable to find out what is his back story before I go and put myself in any danger. I should call Bill and see if he would like to earn some cash. He did used to do freelance work like this for dad. After all he is not that old. What… fifty next year? Oh need to get him a present, something other than a tie.

Her mind raced with ideas and preludes to the work that was ahead to learn about this man that interested her so. It was all that she could do to keep from stalking him like the prey that he was. Though the idea of doing so did make her chuckle into her coffee. He apparently had already taken the role of the mouse. All that she had to do was to go ahead and take the role of the hawk and he would be hers. But there would be time for games later in life. She would have to see if he was worthy to put up with her and her ways. The games would test his resolve and ensure that he was not after just the carnal things in life. He would have to be smart and be willing to test his wits as well as his limits.

It would be just a waste of time to try. Just look at the way he walks around the room. He is so afraid that even a slight mis-step, and he would crash to the ground… even better. This is the chance to build the man that will be worthy of my love. I have wasted months with men, who turn out to be worthy. I was lucky to find their troubled spots at just the right moment. Now I have the raw clay to build a man.

Book 2 Brain Cyber Convention


Brain to Books(1)

This past weekend I was given the great privileged to be able to participate in my first book convention. For many authors out there you would say great, and how many books did you sell. Others will see the chance to meet people and think of how amazing it is to get to network with people in your field.

Yet this was more for me. I learned so much and the experience left me in awe. Not only because as an author I need to get my message and myself out there, but because of where I live it is hard for me to attend a convention in person.

This was a cyber convention which allowed all people from many walks of life and from around the world to be able to meet through the power of technology. This also gave great insight into the world we live in today.
As the experience left me drained I will be doing a full post on the event and videos you can watch of the panels later on this week.
Also I will be adding a podcast to my blog because I found out something that I truly did not know. I am one of few in the mass of authors who publishes my line of work.

Now what you may be thinking is that there are tons of romance authors out there and that each one tends to say the same thing. Well I am a bit different, and I am not alone but there are few of us. I am a man. I write romance and I do not hide it. My real name is on my work and I am proud to say that I am a man who writes romance.
Here is an excerpt of my work.

Love

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Jin Okubo Love

The Drive

A small squeal gave out as I turned in my seat. Humidity brought about a thin layer of moisture to the skin, which just would not let go. My car was out to get me. I strained to survive driving my car every day. The summer was not kind in these evergreen mountains. But then again it never was, there was so much that I hated about summers. My car just added to the pain of it.

People would comment about the beauty and the joy of being able to spend nice camping trips in the surrounding area. I had never been camping before, that is not until meeting her. I doubted that I would ever go again but we never know. Click, the sound boring a hole, deep into my skull, every time I heard it. Click, the sound a reminder, a solid unforgettable reminder, that I had spent money on something that was more of a pleasure than anything of worth.

CLICK.

Dam windows work,” my yelling did little to move the windows.

A bead of sweat built up on my forehead. My little sauna of a car with windows that did not roll down. Gremlin, what a piece of shit this car was. But what a name. It was the name which made me buy it figuring the chances would be high that the real ones would never try and harm one of their own. They weren’t. The little bastards turned my little driving box into a lemon overnight.

My skin curled as the bead of sweat worked its way down my face, neck and body. At least I could say that I was working on losing weight. She would have loved the idea of me losing a few pounds, it would have brought a chuckle to her that is if I had dared to bring her with me. The fates had smiled on me this day though as she had decided to meet me instead of riding with me. Or had they…

It was mid-June and here I was on my way to meet my bride to be. I had made up my mind. I would finally ask her. She would have been running to the hills had she realized just how soon I had decided to marry her.

It was common knowledge around my inner circle that I wanted to marry this lovely creature if only for the mere fact that she forced in me changes. Changes which I would not make on my own. She made me a better person and there was no way that I could deny that plain and simple fact.

Here I was driving to some coffee shop she had found in the outskirts of the city. A place she had spent visiting with friends. If my windows had only been in working order. That would be a point of gratitude for leaving the city. At least the breeze would have cooled me in this darn heat. ‘Click’ is the only sound that they made.

Leaving the comfort of my surroundings didn’t even cross her mind. The thought that it had would mean only one thing. That meaning would be that the true fact of such a far excursion was to irk me a little, not so much that I would get angry but… she would have to coax a smile out of me before I would be willing to join in any form of conversation upon arriving.

I often wondered if she knew that my windows of my car did not work. She had only been in it at night. Had she figured it out? The question jumped to the front of my mind.

How could I have been such an idiot?

There was the trip a few weeks ago to Venice beach. She meant to meet me there only for me to find that she had not come and I had to drive back all in a day with flowers melting from the heat.

Her game was up I now knew that she enjoyed making me drive in the heat of day knowing full well that my windows did not function, turning my car into a smoldering sauna as I traveled to any given place.

It was a good thing that my heater worked well or she may have me freezing my skin off on some fool’s errand into the mountains in the midst of a blizzard.

Such was the agony of the first summers where I drove in the heat of the day to some place or another only to find the food barely edible and way overpriced. I would highly doubt that any other man in love with a woman would have fared any better than I.

New Age food never quite agreed with me. This whole eat it raw culture that was blooming throughout the world stank of yuppie health guru hearsay with no real backing in science. What had happened to the world in these past few years? After all I was raised knowing that the only way to be healthy was exercise and yet people kept falling for these health scams.

I would quickly point out to her the constant deathly look of these so called health nuts. Still, she enjoyed the seclusion that these places offered. This was one of her quirks, it was her unique perspective of her surroundings, and it was in the end something that would take me the better part of our relationship to figure out.

These high end restaurants serving little more than rocks and twigs with strong coffee would never survive in a city where the general populace wanted real food.

 

 

Writing anywhere


Have you ever heard the saying, “A writer can work anywhere in the world.” This is the great thing about being a writer, our work comes with us when we travel or when we decide to live.
Now before you pack up your bags and run off to the Bahamas, please think about what living in another country can entail. There are things that will greatly affect your life as you work at being a writer in a different country.
The biggest part that will impact you will be if you are an English writer in a non-English-speaking country. If you dare to try there will be wall after wall placed in front of you while you try to accomplish your dream.
To give you an idea here is my life…
I am the author of Love, a romance novel dealing with the aspects of being a man in 413siqqbgal._sy400_.jpglove with a woman who strives to change him. Yes, that is a simplified version of the story but only for brevity’s sake.
Now, what are the wall in my way. Well I live in Japan. As we all know Japanese people speak Japanese and while there is a huge market here for English lessons there is not so much of a market for English novels.
The Second wall in my way is the fact that I chose to live in a scenic part of the country. Beautiful mountains, great air, awesome people… translation. I live in the boondocks, the middle of no-where and while there are benefits to living where I do, this location makes my writing career a lot more difficult.

But do not give up hope. There is always the gift of the internet, which is a godsend to people in my situation. But how can we have faith in the internet when people make comments like, “Marketing your book on twitter and social media is the shotgun effect.” Roughly translated this means that readers will come but they will be far and wide from where they come. Reviews for your work will be rare and much harder to garner.

There are also people who in a very condescending demeanor when they make comments such as, “Well, just go to a book fair and go to books stores and do signings.” Which is all well and good if you live in an English speaking country and or have the funds to be able to stock up a decent supply of books to head on over to your local books store and the ones in nearby cities.

That comment is usually followed by, “Sacrifices need to be made in order to make your dream come true.” Some cannot be made, especially if you are below the poverty line and work puts food on the table for your family.

Well then you get to the point I am trying to make. Screw the people who look down on you for only using the internet. We, and yes I am in the same boat, must use the internet wisely to promote our work. Yes, we may have a harder road and yes we may have to push our books harder on social networks. But, we must make our voices heard.  Stay tuned for my next post where I work through using smart tools to help you run your own promotion across a network like tweeter.

Now please enjoy part of my novel Love

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The Drive
A small squeal gave out as I turned in my seat. Humidity brought about a thin layer of 413siqqbgal._sy400_.jpgmoisture to the skin, which just would not let go. My car was out to get me. I strained to survive driving my car every day. The summer was not kind in these evergreen mountains. But then again it never was, there was so much that I hated about summers. My car just added to the pain of it.
People would comment about the beauty and the joy of being able to spend nice camping trips in the surrounding area. I had never been camping before, that is not until meeting her. I doubted that I would ever go again but we never know. Click, the sound boring a hole, deep into my skull, every time I heard it. Click, the sound a reminder, a solid unforgettable reminder, that I had spent money on something that was more of a pleasure than anything of worth.
CLICK.
“Dam windows work,” my yelling did little to move the windows.
A bead of sweat built up on my forehead. My

little sauna of a car with windows that did not roll down. Gremlin, what a piece of shit this car was. But what a name. It was the name which made me buy it figuring the chances would be high that the real ones would never try to harm one of their own. They weren’t. The little bastards turned my little driving box into a lemon overnight.
My skin curled as the bead of sweat worked its way down my face, neck and body. At least I could say that I was working on losing weight. She would have loved the idea of me losing a few pounds, it would have brought a chuckle to her that is if I had dared to

201208182241
201208182241

bring her with me. The fates had smiled on me this day though as she had decided to meet me instead of riding with me. Or had they…

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Kaoru : In Loves Shadow coming this APRIL