I can’t remember the documentary’s title but it revolved around grown men who dressed up as dolls and walked around in public. Bystanders would stop and stare, point, wave, and yell out at them, and in the dolls’ minds, they thought that they were beautiful.
Jason Tanamor – 8 November 2015
The Back Flap
Jeffrey is turning forty. He has a good job, a loving wife, and a beautiful house. When the love of his life passes suddenly, his seemingly normal world turns upside down. The sudden death, along with his midlife crisis, causes Jeffrey to grieve the five stages in unnatural ways. He trades in his Toyota Corolla for a Corvette, smokes pot with the neighbor kid, and dresses up in cheerleader outfits with his pals William and Lena in order to feel young and beautiful.
William and Lena agree to do whatever it takes to help Jeffrey during his grief, even when it means committing minor crimes such as burglary. All is kosher until William notices a downward change in Jeffrey. Distraught by memories of his wife, and despite William’s and Lena’s best efforts, Jeffrey begins to slowly derail into a dark place that only he could get out of. An internal battle with his emotions and himself, Jeffrey takes matters into his own hands to pull through.
Drama Dolls is an intimate dark comedy about loss and obsession, survival and grief, and the desiring need to take control of your own life.
About the book
What is the book about?
The new book, Drama Dolls, is about a man who slowly derails when his wife dies suddenly. What’s unusual about his situation is that he grieves the five stages unnaturally. He smokes pot with the neighbor kid, buys a corvette, and dresses up as a cheerleader with his friends and burgles houses. Add to the fact that he just turned 40, the combination of grief and midlife crisis results in a dark comedy/psychological thriller.
When did you start writing the book?
I started writing the first draft in November 2014 after seeing a documentary about grown men who dressed up as dolls and walked around in public.
How long did it take you to write it?
The first draft went quickly, probably six weeks. I then took a break for the holidays and didn’t touch it until February-ish 2015. From mid-February to late March I had the final draft completed.
Where did you get the idea from?
I can’t remember the documentary’s title but it revolved around grown men who dressed up as dolls and walked around in public. Bystanders would stop and stare, point, wave, and yell out at them, and in the dolls’ minds, they thought that they were beautiful. The general public had a different reaction, some scared, some shocked, etc. so the contrast was almost like watching a social experiment go downhill. I then wondered why a person would subject themselves to this attention. Something had to trigger this. The only thing I could think of would be losing a loved one in an unexpected manner. Perhaps the dolls wanted sympathy, or to feel like a child again by dressing up, who knows? Thus, a plot was born.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
The hardest part was imagining my own wife dying suddenly. I love my wife to death. How I would react, the feeling and emotion that I would go thru. Implanting those feelings into the protagonist around a fictional story was a challenge.
What came easily?
Once I completed the main outline, noted all the scene breaks and what would occur within those scenes, the actual writing of the book was easy. Writing comes naturally to me, so long as I know what I’m writing about.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
They are all fictional but may have traits from people I’ve known or come across in my life. It’s easy to identify with a character before he is developed if there is a real life person to compare him to. Once the character is developed, then you can give him traits that fit.
Do you have a target reader for this book?
This novel is great for those readers who identify with unusual characters and plots, such as those found in Chuck Palahniuk, Gillian Flynn, and Charles Bukowski books. It would make a great cult novel, as well as, a successful commercial thriller.
How was writing this book different from what you’d experienced writing previous books?
This is the first novel I’d written that was a continuous story. My previous ones had time breaks between chapters, or character shifts. Drama Dolls takes place in three consecutive days and the reader watches the protagonist deal with his loss. This was a little bit easier because I didn’t have to worry about time stamps and continuity issues. I could focus on each step of the story.
What new things did you learn about writing, publishing, and/or yourself while writing and preparing this book for publication?
My biggest takeaway was realizing that my tastes have changed throughout the last decade. Scenes and dialogue I may have included five, ten years ago, did not show up in Drama Dolls. I’d like to say this is a very efficient novel, meaning there are no unnecessary scenes, dialogues, or lines just to add to word count.
End of Interview: