Suspense thriller explores dark side of grief
Author Jason Tanamor’s new novel, “Drama Dolls,” is an intimate dark, psychological, suspenseful thriller about loss and obsession, survival and grief, and the desiring need to take control of one’s own life.
This new psychological thriller revolves around Jeffrey’s bizarre, yet disturbing, world.
“I saw a documentary about grown men who dressed up as dolls. They ventured out in public, running their errands, basking in the attention given to them,” Tanamor said. “The dolls thought they were beautiful. The perception by the bystanders was the opposite. The dichotomy was amazing to see. I thought, ‘How disturbing!’”
The author then wondered why a person would go to extreme lengths for attention. Was it insecurity? Was it selfishness? Or, was it something else?
“Something triggered this. Maybe something traumatic happened. Like a spouse dying. I love my wife dearly and would probably act out in unnatural ways if she died,” said Tanamor. “I mean, let’s face it, this is me we’re talking about.”
Thus, a novel was born.
The storyline, which combines both aspects of the documentary and the “what if?” question, resulted in a fast-paced suspense thriller that will surprise readers in the end.
In the novel, the sudden death of Jeffrey’s wife causes him 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. 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.
“I love stories where the protagonist experiences something tragic,” Tanamor said. “When the main character feels, or lives, something that is dark and disturbing, the reader knows, from seeing the character living out on the page, that he has survived another day. This gives the reader hope that he will be fine.”
Tanamor is born to Filipino parents. The middle of three brothers, he graduated with two bachelor degrees — one in Accounting at Marycrest International University, and another in Communications at Western Illinois University “to satisfy my parents.”
“They wanted us kids to go to school,” Tanamor said of her parents who, like most Filipino elders, valued education.
He has always wanted to be a writer but his parents wished for him to finish a degree that would give him a good-paying job, “something practical.” He currently works for the Department of the Army and still finds time to pursue writing seriously.
“I am hoping to turn writing into a full-time career,” he told The FilAm.
Other books by Tanamor include the funny novel “Hello Lesbian!” and the decorated cult classic “Anonymous.” He also edits Zoiks! Online – The Very Best in Stand-Up and Music. Blogebrity named him one of the most influential bloggers in 2004.