Jason Tanamor takes on dysfunctional family in coming-of-age novel

Novel is 'my Oprah story.'

Novel is ‘my Oprah story.’

Yahoo! writer Jason Tanamor has just released his third book, “The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray,” about a dysfunctional family where the mother kills the father after the daughter gets pregnant.

As funny as that came off, here’s a less dramatic synopsis from Jason: “The book is a coming-of-age novel about a know-it-all kid who wants nothing more than to fit into the world. He questions life, God and everything in between. Everything in Shady’s life is a disappointment. That’s until he meets Jessica, a physically scarred girl who teaches Shady how to enjoy life. With Jessica’s help, Shady realizes that instead of fitting into the world, he is destined to stand out.”

jason bookThe novel will touch on all emotions, make you cry, angry, happy and everything in between, said Jason who lives in Rock Island, Illinois with his wife and son. He began work on his book in 2001 until it took the shape it’s in, based on his experiences as a child.

Jason is born to Filipino parents — mother is Filipino Chinese — who came to the Quad Cities, where Rock island is, because their friends were there. 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,” Jason 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.” Things turned out nicely for Jason who 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 Jason 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.

He has 10 plus years of experience as an entertainment writer/interviewer for Yahoo!. Jason has interviewed the likes of author Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club); comedians Demetri Martin, Jim Breuer (SNL, Half Baked), Aisha Tyler (Talk Soup, The Ghost Whisperer), Hal Sparks and Gabriel Iglesias; musicians Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins), Ann Wilson (Heart), Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless and Gossip Girl), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Henry Rollins (Black Flag); and actor Oscar Nunez (The Office). He has covered Steve Martin Jerry Seinfeld and President Obama.

“The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray” will make you appreciate your own family “despite all the differences you have with them,” said Jason. “It’s my Oprah story.”

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