A Caryn Release Day Review: Creative Process by Jodi Payne


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Jodi Payne is a new to me author that I am definitely going to start following more closely!

I really enjoyed this appropriately titled book, about two artistic, creative men.  As a thoroughly non-artistic person myself (although I have to admit, I secretly wish I was!), I have always been amazed at the differences between right-brained creative types and left-brained analytical types.  And I guess even the fact that I’m drawn to it in this way illustrates how left-brained I am, ha ha!  So in this book, when the author really gets into how Reese thinks up his characters, and his plots, and how they take on a life of their own, I was just fascinated.

Reese Kelsey is a successful author of what he calls thrillers and what many of his fans call horror stories.  He’s made it into the bestseller lists with his current series about a detective and his serial killer nemesis, and is working on what he plans to be the fourth and final book.  He’s methodical in a way, with a daily word count goal, deadlines to meet, marketing events to attend, but though he loves writing, he is also aware of how much it can set him apart from others.  When someone asked him if he enjoyed writing, he said

Most of the time.  Except – except when you can’t get an idea out of your mind, you know?  And you’ve got this psychotic murderer talking to you in your head, and it’s two o’clock in the morning when the rest of the sane world is asleep, and then you have to research something like blood splatter patterns or fingerprint recreation to pin something on the bad guy… and…

and he got a blank stare.  Talk about a conversation killer!  His writing also takes over to the point of forgetting to eat, or sleep, or attend important events, which has sabotaged all of his attempts so far at having a serious relationship.  There’s also the unwelcome aspect of celebrity and fame, when all Reese really wants is to be a normal guy

Reese has a very supportive group of friends, including his publicist Chad, who do their best to keep Reese functioning in the real world when he starts getting too caught up in his novels.  These gay men are the kind of friends who have become true family, and work well as secondary characters in their own right, as well as moving the plot along.  Reese is actually out with Chad when he first runs into Owen Mercado – hot, younger, talented, humble, and best of all, completely unaware of who Reese is as an author, so Reese has the chance to get to know him without the fanboy effect.  Owen is a cellist in the symphony, but also plays in a trio that gives a classical spin on pop music and has a standing gig in a local coffeehouse.  They have instant physical chemistry together, but it rapidly becomes much more than that.

Although the blurb hints at obsession and angst, I really didn’t see it.  This is a story about a building relationship, with no manufactured drama, no over the top stupidity, no crazy characters.  Yes, these men are both driven, and their careers require more than the average amount of time and dedication and flexibility, but these are clearly real people with real world issues.  This is the story of how they make it work, and how they have to recognize their own flaws in order to overcome the obstacles to that successful relationship.  I found it to be a character driven, rather than plot driven novel, which is exactly what I enjoy.  The writing is excellent, the dialogue realistic and engaging, and both men are guys I would love to meet.

Cover art by Tiferet Design was amazing.  It almost made me wonder if this picture inspired the book, the characters are just so perfectly matched to the models!

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 206 pages
Published September 25th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish

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