Jamaica for Lovers:
Fletcher & Kathy at Couples Ocho Rios
When you read a good romance novel, it's just about impossible not to picture yourself enveloped in the romance--and romantic setting--of the book. But thanks to romance novels written by the husband-wife team of Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher, you can star in your own personalized novel! Thanks to modern technology and old-fashioned good writing, you and yours can become the hero and heroine in a romance novel set somewhere in the world.
Kathy and Fletcher are the team behind YourNovel.com, a company that has been featured on the pages of publications ranging from People to InStyle and talked about on shows like The View. Recently JamaicaTripper.com caught up with Kathy and Fletcher between trips to talk with them about Jamaica Rendezvous: An Ocho Rios Romance, one of their personalized romance novels set in Ocho Rios.
What gave you the idea for writing Jamaica Rendezvous, a romantic novel set at Couples Ocho Rios?
Kathy - Well, to begin, it is important to know what kind of books we write: personalized romance adventure novels in which any couple can star. We try to pick places that are exotic, romantic and rich in history. Jamaica is a beautiful island setting, and the Couples Resorts embody what our books are all about: a couple going away on a romantic adventure. The setting at Couples Ocho Rios is so romantic and so steeped in history that we knew our customers would really get into the book.
Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about the plot of Jamaica Rendezvous?
Fletcher- Like many of our plots, this book is centered around what would happen if you lost the most valuable thing in your life? In this book, they find a treasure and figure out what it would be like to lose it. In real life, we know that the most important thing is our life is our love for each other, so let's say the treasure is a metaphor.
Does the setting play a big part in the book?
Kathy - Yes. Jamaica Rendezvous came about partially because Couples Resorts worked with us on the project. They invited us down to do some research and come up with a plot. Part of what we had to do was utilize many of the activities available at the Resort, work in a little of the history of the area, and write a story where our readers could get a feel for what it would be like to take a Jamaican vacation. If you've never been to Jamaica, we think our book will give you a little feel for what a real visit would be like.
What sets your books apart from traditional romance novels?
Fletcher - Most traditional romance are centered around a woman, or a man, who has something going on in their lives to keep us interested. The tension is centered on them, their quirks and problems. Their peculiarities often carry the story.
In our books, which are about a couple in love, can't be written that way because the stars of the books have to be anyone. We can't have the female have a nervous tick or the male smoke a pipe. So we rely on the setting, the plot, and odd-ball extras (villains, if you will) in the book to make it all interesting. And what's different about our books is that you star in them, so you will absolutely turn the page to see what you are doing, especially with the romantic interludes, errrr, the sexy parts.
Why do you believe Jamaica is such a draw for romantic travelers?
Kathy - Anyone who has seen a sunset in Jamaica knows why. We have seen them all over the world, and some of the most spectacular are there. Then there are warm breezes, fantastic beaches, palm trees, clear water, Reggae music, and lots of rum drinks. If you can't loosen up in Jamaica, you can't anywhere. In addition, the people of Jamaica really know how to throw a party and their hospitality is as genuine as it comes.
What's next for the two of you?
Fletcher - We continue to go out on once-in-a-lifetime trips. A cruise to Turkey, Egypt, and Greece is next on our travel list (as travel journalists we get to go to some pretty remarkable places), and sooner or later, a new setting will inspire another book. In fact, we are working with Couples right now to write another book in Jamaica - in Negril. Who knows, maybe one of your readers will see us on that beautiful seven mile beach.
About Kathy & Fletcher:
We're a husband-wife writing team operating a business we founded in 1992: yournovel.com. Since then, we've written 15 personalized romance/adventure novels in which any couple can star as the hero and heroine. Our novels have been featured in hundreds of radio, TV, magazine and newspaper interviews, including USA Today and on ABC-TV s The View with Barbara Walters, People Magazine, NPR 's Marketplace, and The Rachael Ray Show.
We have also worked on assignment as freelance travel journalists since 1994, so much of what we discover as travel writers finds its way into our fiction. Our book settings have included the Caribbean, Alaska, Tahiti and Jamaica, to name a few.