I Miss My Characters!

I Miss My Characters!

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

I spent over three years of my life with two special people, Josh and Holly. I knew how they met, how their relationship grew, how they felt about each other. I knew their strengths and weaknesses, their likes and dislikes, their checkered pasts, their worries about the future.

I knew everything there was to know about these two people. Then one day . . . they were gone.

Josh and Holly were the main characters in my first novel Love Is the Punch Line. Even when I wasn’t writing, they lived in my head. I could see them and hear them so well that they became part of my daily life. So when I finished writing the book, I found myself missing them.

How did I deal with it? I started writing a new novel with a new set of characters I could befriend. But I still miss Josh and Holly. Maybe I should write a sequel . . . .

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at https://kathleenjones.org/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joneslepidas and 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 at https://kathleenjones.org/media-room/

Saving My Bag

Neal3K Handle With Care via photopin (license)

A series of posts by a Toronto-based novelist who’s trying to reduce her carbon footprint by making more thoughtful choices in her daily life.

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

I’ve always loved leopard prints; among other things, I’ve owned a leopard print dress, pants, shirt, blouse, sweater . . . even a belt. So when I spied a large brown leather shoulder bag with a haircalf, leopard print front on Banana Republic’s website in the fall of 2011—the bag was part of the store’s 1960’s-themed Mad Men Collection—I just had to purchase one.

I took very good care of that bag, keeping it clean and treating the leather with a special conditioner several times per year to keep it soft and supple. Unfortunately, I discovered that haircalf is very difficult to take care of. The haircalf front of my bag became more and more bald with each passing year, and by the fall of 2019, it looked awful. I was ready to buy a replacement . . . but I didn’t.

Why? For one thing, haircalf bags cost a fortune. Also, the rest of my bag—the leather—was still in decent shape. It seemed wasteful to toss it out, and I didn’t want to hurt the environment. I knew that nobody would purchase my damaged bag if I donated it to a resale store and that it would end up in a landfill.

So I started hunting for a shop that would either dye the bald spots on the haircalf to conceal them or replace the front of the bag with a new piece of haircalf.

None of the shops I approached were willing to take on the dye job. One shop was willing to replace the haircalf panel . . . at a cost that was far higher than the price of a brand new haircalf bag! I was about to give up and buy a new bag . . . then I had an idea: Maybe I could replace the damaged haircalf front with a piece of plain leather.

The owner of the shoe repair shop in my local mall offered to take on the job for the reasonable price of $120 (versus $500 and up for a new haircalf bag). He replaced the damaged haircalf front with a piece of reddish-brown leather that contrasted beautifully with the rest of the dark brown bag. Two weeks later, my bag looked like new.

I now have a lovely bag that didn’t cost a fortune and is much easier to take care of than the old version of the bag. And my contribution to the world’s landfills was minimal: a panel of damaged haircalf instead of an entire bag.

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at https://kathleenjones.org/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joneslepidas and 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 at https://kathleenjones.org/media-room/

Sympathy for the Villain

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

Photo credit: License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)<

Ever since I was a child, I’ve sympathized with the villains in stories.

It all began during my earliest years, when I sided with the “villainous” cats in those all-too-common cat and mouse cartoons that used to run on Saturday morning TV. Even though Tom or Katnip had been trying to catch—and presumably, eat—the mouse, he didn’t seem to deserve the cruel and brutal torture that was supposed to be “funny”, but never was.

As I grew older, I found myself feeling sorry for villains in novels, movies, and TV shows. All too often, I became angry when a male character was humiliated in public or a woman was jilted by her fiancé for a more beautiful woman or someone’s job or career was destroyed when a more “deserving” person snatched it away from them.

Whenever I talked about my sympathy for these “villains,” most people thought I was crazy. After all, the villain had done something to deserve his or her fate! And I was supposed to cheer for the hero!

But I wasn’t crazy; I had very good reasons to cheer for the villains. 

In most of these stories, the villains are losers. They’re underdogs who never had any realistic chance of winning. And they’re almost always outclassed in some way by the heroes—the winners—who have some unfair advantage over them, be it looks, some special talent, or even good, old-fashioned “virtue.” Heroes are nothing like real, flawed people with shortcomings, who usually don’t have outstanding looks or talents. And real people don’t always win.

In other words, real people are more like the villains than the heroes in stories. Unlike heroes, real people know how painful it is to lose. We’re often outclassed in some way by those who have some unfair advantage. That’s why I—and perhaps other people—sympathize with villains, not with heroes.

And also like us, all of those fictional villains probably have a good side and deserve their fair share of happiness! Why can’t their creators—novelists, scriptwriters, animators—find someone to love the villains or give them a shot at a promising career . . . or even let those cartoon cats catch those stupid mice, just for once?

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at https://kathleenjones.org/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joneslepidas and 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 at https://kathleenjones.org/media-room/

China, Not Paper!

3530666753_e58458cdf3_b

 

Photo credit: i_aint_got_no_id jmartin_earth_apple via  photopin (license)

A series of posts by a Toronto-based novelist who’s trying to reduce her carbon footprint by making more thoughtful choices in her daily life.

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

For over thirty years, one of my favourite Boxing Day rituals was a trip to the mall to snap up bargains. And every year, I’d visit card stores, where I would purchase next year’s cards, paper, tags, and bows, all at half price. All too often, I’d also pick up small paper plates printed with festive holiday images, such as vibrant red poinsettias and big white and silver snowflakes.

These cheerful paper plates added colour to our Christmas table, and I loved seeing them year after year. But after dinner was over, these now-soiled, unrecyclable plated were always tossed out. A couple of years ago, I began to wonder what happened to these plates after I threw them out. Did they end up in a landfill somewhere?

Deep down inside, I knew the answer: I was creating waste. And I had to stop. But what alternative did I really have? Good-quality, Christmas-themed china plates aren’t exactly cheap, and a whole set of them would cost a fortune.

But I didn’t need to purchase an entire set; a partial set of dessert plates would do. In January 2020, I spied a set of six small Lenox china appetizer plates (which could be used to serve desserts on) with a pretty green holly pattern on sale at Hudson’s Bay for $112 (marked down from $250). I snapped them up. I wanted to buy six more plates, but they were sold out at the Bay, so I searched online. I finally found them on sale at Wayfair for the higher but still reasonable price of $180.

I now own a set of twelve gorgeous, holiday-themed china plates that will last for years and years, purchased at a fraction of the original price (over $500). And, most importantly, I’ve stopped buying—and tossing—those pretty paper holiday plates that are easy on the wallet but hard on the environment.

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at https://kathleenjones.org/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joneslepidas and 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 at https://kathleenjones.org/media-room/

 

Writing the Quirky Novel

 

photo credit: 2009 06 25 Library Bookshelves via photopin (license)

 

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

Most novels fit neatly into a genre: science fiction, romance, mystery. These genres have large and enthusiastic audiences, making them attractive to publishers hoping to sell large volumes of books.

But some novels don’t fit neatly into established genres. Some novels can fit into two or more genres; other novels don’t seem to fit anywhere. And these hard to categorise novels can be difficult to market. So, what’s the point of writing an offbeat, “quirky” novel?

Freedom. Unconstrained by the “shoulds” of conventional fiction, quirky novels give writers the freedom to experiment, to try out fresh ideas, to go wherever their imaginations take them. Quirky novels break rules; even the ones that can be pigeonholed into a genre often break the rules of that genre. Rule breaking is exciting and liberating, and frequently leads to surprises and intriguing insights. What’s more, a well-written offbeat novel tends to be memorable . . . and very entertaining for readers!

Of course, the very uniqueness of quirky novels can make them hard to sell. Literary agents and editors at large publishing houses, sniffing around for the next million-selling blockbuster, usually aren’t interested in them. Authors of quirky novels should consider submitting their work to small presses—which tend to be more open to unconventional books—or even following the self-publication route.

The very existence of a quirky novel is something of a small triumph in a huge universe of increasingly bland and predictable books. As the author of a recently published quirky novel, I know the thrill of seeing a writer’s special vision in print, especially when it’s enjoyed by readers. There’s nothing quite like it.

Visit Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist, online at https://kathleenjones.org/ or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/joneslepidas and 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 at https://kathleenjones.org/media-room/

Meet Author Kathleen Jones At The Word On the Street!!!

Here is the updated map for The Word On the Street. Kathleen will be selling copies of her novel Love Is the Punch Line from Booth 346 (at lower left in the map).

Location: The Word on The Street, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto

Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Festival features the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you’ll find anywhere, as well as hundreds of author readings and activities. Admission is free. For further information: https://thewordonthestreet.ca/toronto/

Love Is the Punch Line Is Now Available at Book City!!!

Save on shipping charges! Support a local author! Purchase your copy of Love Is the Punch Line at the Danforth branch of Toronto’s biggest bookstore chain.

  • Location: 348 Danforth Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada, on the north side of Danforth, one block west of Chester subway in the Carrot Common Building.
  • 
Phone: 416-469-9997
  • Parking: Free on side streets; meter parking on Danforth; municipal lot off Chester; meter parking at the Carrot Common
TTC: One minute walk from Chester Subway Station at the Carrot Common
  • Hours: 
Mon 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, 
Tues – Sat 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
; Sun 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

New Interview With Kathleen Jones, Author of “Love Is the Punch Line,” on Toronto.com

 

Q&A: First-time Toronto author aims to twist romcom genre

Kathleen Jones fulfils childhood dream of becoming a novelist

NEWS 09:00 AM BY AARON D’ANDREA TORONTO.COM
Kathleen Jones

Toronto resident Kathleen Jones is the author of Love is the Punch Line. – Dan Pearce/Metroland

Love Is The Punch Line

Love is the Punch Line by Kathleen Jones. – Dan Pearce/Metroland

1 / 2

Ever since Kathleen Jones was in Grade 2, she has always wanted to write a novel.

But her dream never came true — until now.

In April, the 58-year-old Victoria Park and Eglinton area resident’s first novel, Love is the Punch Line, was published.

The midlife romantic comedy tells the story of a washed-up 54-year-old comedian’s relationship with a 50-year-old businesswoman.

I’m not trying to stay within a genre; I’m just trying to write the best and most interesting story I can come up with. — Kathleen Jones, author of “Love is the Punch Line.”Jones sat down with Metroland Media Toronto recently for an interview about her book and new career.

It has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: How did you become an author?

A: I was always good at writing stories but the problem was when I graduated university, I knew how to make a living and I knew it was hard to make a living as a fiction writer. Also I was just too intimidated to try, so I put it off and until midlife and worked instead as an editor at a number of Canadian book publishers. In my mid-40s, I decided to try writing again. I wrote a novel part-time and it wasn’t any good, so I gave up. Then in my early 50s, I had this idea for a novel … this took about three-and-a-half years and by this time I was in my mid-50s. The company where I was working offered me an early retirement package and I took it because my dream was to write.

Q: Where did you come up with the idea for this novel?

A: When I was in middle school, I had a romance with a Jewish boy. I didn’t date him, but he used to flirt with me by making fun of me but I knew he was flirting. He was the class clown, so I guess at some point I thought this personality would be a great basis for a novel. I let my imagination go and before long I changed him from a 12-year-old class clown to a middle age standup comedian.

Q: What do you enjoy about writing?

A: It’s fun to let my imagination go. It’s fun to express what I feel and think and create characters.

Q: What are your goals as an author?

A: I’m trying to come up with stories that are fresh and original. I try to be as honest as possible in the novels … I’m not trying to stay within a genre; I’m just trying to write the best and most interesting story I can come up with.

Aaron D'Andrea

by Aaron D’Andrea

Aaron D’Andrea is a reporter with Metroland Media Toronto. He can be reached at adandrea@toronto.com . Follow him on Twitter and Toronto.com on Facebook

Email: adandrea@metroland.com

%d bloggers like this: