New Rave Review for Love Is the Punch Line from Midwest Book Review’s Small Press Bookwatch (June 2018)

 
 
Love is the Punch Line
Kathleen Jones
https://kathleenjones.org
Moonshine Cove Publishing
http://www.moonshinecovepublishing.com/index.html
9781945181337, $13.99, PB, 268pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Middle-aged stand-up comedian Josh Steinberg, formerly the star of his own popular TV series, finds himself struggling to keep his career alive, playing seedier and seedier clubs. Plump, balding, and plain-looking, he 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 and even finds his unconventional looks wildly sexy.

Critique: A wildly entertaining read from beginning to end, “Love is the Punch Line” showcases author Kathleen Jones as a novelist with a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven fiction. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “Love is the Punch Line” is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Writing the Unconventional Romance Novel

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Check out my latest guest post, Writing the Unconventional Romance Novel, now available on Night Owl Romance: https://www.nightowlreviews.com/v5/Blog/Articles/Writing-The-Unconventional-Romance-Novel-by-Kathleen-Jones

 

photo credit: Jerome G111, Underwood Typewriter via photopin (license)

 

 

 

Cover Reveal for “Love Is the Punch Line”

Here it is, the cover for Kathleen Jones’ upcoming novel Love Is the Punch Line, created by the talented cover artist Scarlett Rugers of The Book Design House.

Your comments are welcome!

 

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Love Is the Punch Line, available in Trade Paperback and ebook, will be published by Moonshine Cove on April 7, 2018.

Where Are the Heroines in Romance Novels?

By Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist

Please check out my latest post on Romance Junkies: http://romancejunkies.com/where-are-the-midlife-heroines-in-romance-novels-kathleen-jones/

Kathleen Jones is the author of an upcoming midlife romance novel set in the world of stand-up comedy. Visit her at https://kathleenjones.org/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joneslepidas and sign up for free updates at ‪http://eepurl.com/ceSobT 

Does Realism Belong in Romance?

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Romantic genre novels aren’t known for realism.

Impossibly beautiful young women, sometimes fiery and passionate, sometimes chaste and virginal. Gorgeous young hunks, tall, dark, and muscled, often wealthy beyond the dreams of mere mortals. Mansions, castles, private jets, the works.

So-called “serious” literary novels, on the other hand, often have a dreary and super-realistic view of romance. Leading characters in such novels might stay together for a short while, sampling a new partner and savouring some hot sex along the way, but they lack strong emotional bonds.

Personally, I’ve always found both types of novels—fantastic, over-the-top affairs and loveless sexual unions—unsatisfying. Some essential ingredient is always missing. I can’t relate at all to the lovers in traditional romantic novels, and the characters in less-traditional but more “realistic” ones always leave me depressed. What’s the point of a romantic novel if the lovers in it don’t actually care about each other?

To me, the ideal romantic novel would combine the deep love and wild passion of a traditional romantic genre novel with the bracing realism of a less traditional literary one. Just like romance in real life.

Want to Read More?

Kaja, a “translator, a book geek, an amateur home cook, a feminist, and an enthusiastic traveler” who lives in Slovenia, discusses this topic in her post, “Should Romance Be Realistic?” See http://ofdragonsandhearts.com/2016/04/should-romance-be-realistic/

What are your thoughts on the different types of romantic novels?

 

photo credit: Tom Simpson True-to-Life Romances #18 (1953), cover by L. B. Cole via photopin (license)

 

Researching a Novel

Our imaginations can create exciting stories and people them with colourful characters. But most novels don’t work unless they have some connection to reality. Of course, we all have life experiences to draw on, but what do you do if you want your novel to reach beyond that?

On the surface, the answer to that question seems obvious: you do research. But exactly what research should you do and how much of it? Writers have limited time and energy to write, time and energy that can be sucked up by doing endless research.

I recently faced this problem when I wrote a romantic novel about a stand-up comedian and an event planner. I knew absolutely nothing at all about stand-up comedians and event planners, and very little about Judaism. Researching these topics online turned out to be a waste of time because I had no idea of how I was going to use the mountain of facts I uncovered.

The solution was simple. I wrote a rough first draft that concentrated on the fundamentals of the novel: plot and character. I then examined the manuscript, trying to identify opportunities to introduce details that would advance the story and add nuances to the characters, and made a list of the specific information I was looking for.

Once I did that, it was easy to do the research. In order to understand the special struggles of stand-up comedians, I purchased and read a novel about a stand-up comedian that was written by someone in the business. The comedian’s novel was different from mine, but it gave me insight into the special struggles of comedians. A basic book on Judaism helped to fill out my sketchy knowledge; it, too, gave me the details I was looking for. I had a harder time finding material on event planners, but I was able to track down some information online once my narrative was in place.

As my experience shows, researching a novel can be fun and not at all stressful once you’ve finished writing your first draft and know exactly what information you need to fill in the details.

Want to Read More?

Have you done research for a novel? If so, what methods did you follow? Please post your comments.

 

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photo credit: Pi Gamma Mu book sale, Wayne State College via photopin (license)