The Birth of a Writer Took 50 Years

By Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist. Please sign up for free updates at ‪http://eepurl.com/ceSobT 

Above: Kathleen Jones (front row, fourth from right) in Mrs. Eleanor Campbell’s grade 2 class at Central Public School in Windsor, Ontario, in 1967-68.

1967 was a landmark year, a year I’ll always remember. It was Canada’s 100thbirthday . . . and my birth date as a writer.

That fall, I was a 7-year-old entering the second grade at Central Public School in Windsor, Ontario. Up to that point, I had never thought of becoming a writer; in fact, I had never even written anything, even though I was already an enthusiastic reader. I wasn’t even much of a student and didn’t put much effort into my schoolwork.

All that changed when I entered the classroom of veteran teacher Mrs. Eleanor Campbell. An excellent teacher—and a strict disciplinarian—she motivated me to work hard, and my grades dramatically improved. And she made me aware of a talent that I didn’t know I had.

That fall, Mrs. Campbell gave our class a number of creative writing assignments. Even though I wasn’t the hardest-working student at that point, I put a great deal of effort into my writing. I soon discovered that I really enjoyed making up stories and characters, and I didn’t view these assignments as “work” at all. To my surprise, Mrs. Campbell loved my stories and often asked me to read them out loud to the class. She even told my parents that I would become “a famous Canadian author” someday.

Gradually, I began to think of myself as a writer, and throughout my school years, from grade 2 until I graduated from university, I continued to receive encouragement from teachers and professors for my creative writing. Alas, when it came time to earn a living, I had to put my dream of becoming a published writer on hold . . . but I never gave it up entirely. I started writing again at 46, and sold my first novel to a publisher at 57—my 50-year-old dream finally came true.

Mrs. Campbell passed away years ago, but I’ll always be grateful for her for recognizing my talent and inspiring my dream.

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at https://kathleenjones.org/or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joneslepidasand sign up for free updates at ‪http://eepurl.com/ceSobT Kathleen’s first novel, Love Is the Punch Line, a midlife romance set in the world of stand-up comedy, is available NOW, in trade paperback and ebook from Amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/Love-Punch-Line-Kathleen-Jones-ebook/dp/B07BYNX7BM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1525812415&sr=1-1&keywords=love+is+the+punch+line)and Indigo Books and Music (https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/love-is-the-punch-line/9781945181337-item.html?ikwid=love+is+the+punch+line&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0)Visit the Love Is the Punch Line Media Room athttps://kathleenjones.org/media-room/

 

 

 

 

 

NEW RAVE REVIEW FOR “LOVE IS THE PUNCH LINE”!

5 Stars

Reviewed by Claire LeNoir on Amazon, July 8, 2019: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Punch-Line-Kathleen-Jones-ebook/dp/B07BYNX7BM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Love+Is+the+Punch+Line&qid=1567360042&s=books&sr=1-1

A different kind of romance

July 8, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

Verified Purchase

“Love is the Punch Line” is a well-crafted story, at times charming and at time exasperating (in a good way) novel about romance between two mismatched people, Josh and Holly. Both see themselves through self-critical eyes and fear they are over the hill and undesirable. It’s a refreshing change from romances between young and perfect people, and I enjoyed reading it, though I often found myself wanting to shake Josh, the lead male character (who seems to be based upon a Rodney Dangerfield type of stand-up comic). Just when I want to wash my hands of Josh, he becomes so vulnerable and soft-hearted that I understand why someone–like Holly, the leading lady–could actually love him.

There’s a heartwarming segment where one of his fellow stand-up comics dies, and Josh struggles with his grief and confronts his own failings. It’s revealing of Josh’s character, and adds a poignant twist to the story, though it is not a main plot line.

Josh often does his best to ruin their relationship with his comedic digs at Holly, even after he realizes she is a sensitive person and easily wounded. His troubled history with women seems to drive him to test–or destroy–the relationship. Unlike the typical genre romance male lead, he is often his own worst enemy and his insecurities often seem insurmountable.

Unlike the traditional romance, it’s never really clear if this couple will have their “happy ever after.” And that adds to the appeal of this love story because it is not formulaic and there is a “what will happen next” tension that carries through the story. The author does a great job of taking on the romance genre and creating something fresh and intriguing out of it. In other words, romance genre readers will still like it, but non-romance genre readers will also find much to enjoy in the book. Which is to say, in many ways, it transcends genre boundaries.

Oh, and yes–the screen play Josh writes is a nicely played as a strong thread in the story. Will it ever be made into a movie? Will it refresh his lagging career? Is Holly’s belief in the screen play enough to carry them through the challenges? Read it and see!

Complex, original within the romance genre, and entertaining.

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.