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Do Authors Base Romantic Novels on Real Relationships?

 

I’ve often wondered whether authors base their romantic novels on real relationships in their pasts.

In my case, the answer is yes. A relationship I had with a boy in middle school (he was 12 years old and I was 11!) inspired me to write my own romantic novel. Even though 45 years have passed, I still cherish fond memories of this larger than life character: tall, darkly handsome, whip smart and, most importantly of all, funny. AND this handsome and smart boy used his wonderful gift for humour to flirt with me!

Virtually every afternoon for three or four months, he would walk home from school with me, always trying his hardest to make me laugh, creating cute nicknames for me and devising amusing songs about me, often snatching the little round green leather hat off my head (it was mid-winter) and kicking it across the street like a football.

I didn’t mind the teasing at all; it was good-natured, he made me laugh, and he was so gorgeous, with his curly dark hair, big brown eyes, and freckles. I looked forward to our afternoon walks home, and wrote about him in my diary every night. I still have that diary, filled with his witty comments, its cloth cover awash in the wild psychedelic colours that were so trendy in 1971.

By the end of the school year in June, he had stopped paying attention to me. He was Jewish, my mom told me, and his family probably didn’t want him to get involved with a Christian girl. Sigh.

For the next four decades, I was haunted by memories of this boy. He was such a unique individual with such a big personality, and I’ve never met anyone else like him. Then one day in early 2013, I had an important insight: unique personalities like my former boyfriend belong in novels!

Of course, nobody wants to read about the “puppy love” of two pre-teens. Well, maybe pre-teens do, but I was now in my 50’s . . . so I aged the two of us by 40 years. I kept my former boyfriend’s marvellous sense of humour but transformed him from a class clown to a professional stand-up comedian. I also kept his Jewishness; it’s an important part of who he is.

Once I established the character of the comedian, it was easy to spin a romantic tale around him and to create a host of other characters, especially the non-Jewish heroine (you’ll never guess who I based her on!). The rest of the novel is pure fantasy, the result of my overactive imagination run amuck (and some research), but its core, its heart, is the sweet relationship between a funny, outgoing boy and a shy, studious girl over four decades ago.

Want to Read More?

Finish author Helena Halme transformed her real-life romance with an English naval officer into a romantic novel The Englishman: http://selfpublishingadvice.org/writing-how-to-turn-your-life-into-a-novel/

Have you based a novel that you’ve written on a real past romantic relationship? Please post your comments.

photo credit: Inseparable via photopin (license)

 

 

New 5-Star Review for “Love Is the Punch Line” from Bernie Brown, posted on Goodreads on June 2, 2019

(see https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37507307-love-is-the-punch-line?from_search=true)

Kathleen Jones sets up an original situation when a has-been comedian and a very attractive woman in his audience fall for each other. Much of their courting takes place during his performances when he makes one liners about her on-stage and she answers back from her table. Jones excels at descriptions of settings, whether they are the seedy clubs Josh performs in or the stunning natural beauty of Canada. Read Jones’ clever tale to discover if romance can blossom under these unusual circumstances.

NEW 5-STAR REVIEW FOR LOVE IS THE PUNCH LINE!

Posted on Amazon by R. Radway on June 11, 2019

(https://www.amazon.com/Love-Punch-Line-Kathleen-Jones/product-reviews/1945181338/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_paging_btm_next_2?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&pageNumber=2)

Format: Kindle Edition

A good romantic read with a comedy side. Loved it!!

New Review for Love Is the Punch Line!

Check out Josette Belvedere’s new review of Love Is the Punch Line on her site, Stories By Josette Belvedere (http://josette-stories.site/books-by-other-authors/)

5/25/2019:  Just finished “Love Is The Punchline,” a light romantic romp featuring real-life, older lovers and every day frustrations and impediments to love bonding.  Loved the older, flawed characters.  Cute story.

 

Author Interview With Kathleen Jones

(Posted on Qwerty Thoughts on May 22, 2019: https://www.qwertythoughts.com/authors-lobby/interviews/kathleen-jones/5ce29daa589c5d05677bcda9)

Interviewed on May 21, 2019, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Q. How would you describe yourself?  

I am a lover of words who writes from the heart. I’m also a refugee from the corporate world, and a lover of books, dogs, and 1940’s/1950’s vintage clothing.

Q. Tell us something about the books that you have written and the story behind them. 

I published my first novel, “Love Is the Punch Line,” with Moonshine Cove last year. I wrote the novel part-time over a three and a half year period while still employed full-time. When I took early retirement in 2016, I became a full-time writer. After working with a professional editor, copy editor, and proofreader on the manuscript, I submitted it to agents and publishers. Moonshine Cove offered me a contract in August 2017 and they published the book in April 2018.

Q. What place does writing hold in your life, how has been your writing journey so far? 

Writing is a way to express myself and to share my insights with readers. So far, my writing journey has been exciting but challenging.

Q. What is your writing process, a typical writing day routine? 

First, I write a brief synopsis of the book, followed by a detailed outline. I write the first draft then take a four-month break to read over the manuscript, identify problems, and brainstorm solutions. I then write two more drafts. A typical daily routine involves two focused hours of writing by longhand, during which I try to complete at least one scene in a chapter. After I finish writing a chapter, I type it into a Word file, proofread it, print it out, then back it up on two USBs.

Q. What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you? 

The most effective marketing technique is social media: writing guest posts on high traffic websites and offering free copies of the ebook on Goodreads.

Q. What do you think makes a book sell, or makes a reader buy it? 

Readers want to buy books that speak in some way to their own personal experiences.

Q. What’s the most moving or affecting thing a reader has said to you? 

A reader told me that the characters in my novel are real people with real feelings rather than the idealized characters in most romance novels.

Q. What are your favourite three books, and why? 

In “The Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck provides a voice for marginalized people, poor and struggling migrant farm workers.
In “The Woman Upstairs,” Claire Messud makes visible the hidden and lost artistic dreams of a middle-aged woman, dreams that many other people have but never talk about.
Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” although published almost 35 years ago, was perceptive and prophetic.

Q. Who are your favourite three authors and what do you like the most about them? 

I admire John Steinbeck for his great empathy for working people. Claire Messud is a genius at describing the hopes and dreams of ordinary people. Margaret Atwood’s sharp observations and biting sense of humour make her one of the most distinctive authors in the world.

Q. Tell us about the books that you are currently writing and their progress. 

I am currently writing my second novel. The outline and the first draft are finished, and I’ve completed about one third of the second draft.

Q. What challenges do you think are faced by writers, what’s the worst thing about the book industry according to you? 

The biggest challenge for writers is getting noticed. The worst thing about the book industry? There is a very unfair bias against indie (including small press) authors. Mainstream media reviewers at newspapers and magazines won’t review our books, and libraries won’t order them. Also, indie authors are expected to spend their time and money on marketing and selling our own books, two things that most of us aren’t good at. I for one would rather spend my time on writing.

Q. Apart from writing, what goals do you want to achieve in life? 

I want to spend time with family and friends, improve my health, and travel.

Q. At QwertyThoughts.com, we are trying to bring authors and readers under the same roof, to connect, discuss and socialize over books. What’s your take on this? 

I think this is a great goal. Thanks to the endless number of websites out there, it’s hard for authors and readers to connect with each other. Also, it’s a good way for authors, who are usually isolated, to receive feedback on their work.

Q. What message do you want to share with budding writers? 

Two messages: (1) Write what’s in your heart, and (2) hire a team of professionals (a substantive/line editor, copy editor, proofreader) to polish your manuscript before you submit it to agents and publishers.

 

Free Romance Novel Only Until June 30, 2019!

Looking for a midlife romance? Love standup comedy? Love Is the Punch Linehas what you’re looking for!

If you’d like to read this warm and funny book and don’t mind posting a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon, please email me, Kathleen Jones, at joneslepidas@bell.net. THE EBOOK WILL BE FREE, ONLY UNTIL JUNE 30, 2019.

A brief synopsis: Plump, balding, and middle-aged stand-up comedian Josh Steinberg has never had much luck with women. That is, until Josh meets Holly Brannigan while performing his stand-up act in a comedy club. Holly, an attractive, intelligent, and divorced 50-year-old businesswoman, becomes instantly smitten with Josh.

The lonely Josh soon falls in love with Holly. But Josh, terrified of being hurt and discarded by yet another woman, hides his true feelings for Holly by making fun of her in his stand-up act. And Holly, taking Josh’s words to heart, starts to wonder if she means anything to him at all.