I’m a fan of Jas T. Ward. A huge fan. Now that that’s out of the way, let me continue. When I heard back earlier this year that he would be publishing his first book through Dead Bound Publishing, I walked, no, I ran to my computer to order a copy.
I was not disappointed. Jas’s tales and sonnets many times brought a tear to my eyes or a laugh to my lips. His writing is powerful and sometimes, very close to feelings and thoughts that I have had. He inspires me to my own writing, while simultaneously I know that it cannot touch the quality of his.
The first piece in the book, “The Writer,” touches on a painful past, that of a writer doing an interview, which makes him remember (not that it’s ever far from his mind) his youth. A time that is, by the emotion of the piece, is ever alive in his memory and that, to this day still influences him. It was not a happy tale and I teared up reading it, and feeling the pain he felt. A phantom of the real pain, I am certain, but it comes through in every word and emotion. You will not like reading this one, but I could not stop reading it.
“Story Time,” another piece in the book, much shorter, gave voice to a feeling that writers often say, that their lives have made them who they are, that events in their lives have driven them to write, to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, just to get those feelings and emotions out. Perhaps to lessen their influence, but in this piece, it clearly shows that letting them out sometimes only expands and magnifies them, but that good writing can come from bad places in our psyche.
One of my favorite pieces is “The Drop.” A short story about a woman and an angel. I loved it. You want to know more? I’m not telling on this one, you must read it for yourself. I would love to see this one expanded into a larger story. It deserves it.
My favorite bit came at the end of another and I ought to put it on a t-shirt because it makes me smile every time I read the words over.
“I once was chocolate, and then I was not. All because you put me in your pocket, and damn it was hot.”
Now we come to the largest part of the book, the one that was a huge reason for it ever being published in the first place. Jas started a group on a social network a few years ago for role play. The group helped him through a writer’s block and out of that RP world began a character named Reno. This series will officially begin with the first book in the Shadow-Keeper’s series next summer, but the prelude and background for Reno is in this book, titled “Sweet Madness.” Fans of the group know who Reno is and love him fiercely, so much in fact, that they demanded that he have his own book, his own story and world.
I love Reno, too. I knew much of his story already, but to hold it in print, in my hands, to be able to read and re-read it whenever I like, is special indeed. Again, there is a LOT of Jas in Reno and vice-verse. The prelude did not disappoint and I only expect it to get better. I wanted more as soon as I turned the last page. I’m lucky, I hold the book in my hand, I carry it with me a lot of times because I just can’t put it down or out of my mind.
Good, no, great writing does that to you. Pick up Jas’ “Bits and Pieces.” They’ll touch your heart and linger long in your memory.