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

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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

How to Wear Vintage Clothing Without Turning Yourself Into an Antique

By Kathleen Jones, The Quirky Novelist

One of my oddball passions is collecting and wearing antique clothing from the 1940s and 1950s. A long-time classic movie fan, I’m drawn by the ultra-feminine styles, fine fabrics, and precise tailoring of the clothing worn by the Hollywood stars of that era. When I started purchasing vintage clothing in 2003, I tried to mimic that look, combining a fitted, nipped-in waist suit jacket with a full skirt appliqued with shiny beads.

Of course, I ended up looking ridiculous. My outfits were more costumes than ensembles. But I still loved vintage clothing and didn’t want to give up on it. After fourteen years of trial and error, I’ve finally learned how to really integrate vintage pieces into a modern wardrobe:

  • Choose a specific era, the one that suits you the best.
  • Limit yourself to only one vintage item per outfit. I usually base outfits around my signature piece: a 1940s or 1950s fitted wool, hip-length jacket with a nipped-in waist and pretty dressmaker details, such as fabric-covered buttons and satin-trimmed lapels.
  • Mix modern and vintage clothing and stick to one silhouette. I stick to a fitted silhouette, mixing fitted antique jackets with slim fitting, tailored, simple modern sportswear, such as collared button-down shirts, trim ankle pants, and pencil skirts.
  • Don’t be afraid to refashion vintage clothing to make it more modern and flattering. I hired a tailor to recut and shorten a mid-calf, A-line, gray wool skirt from the 1940s (half of a suit) into a slim, knee-length pencil skirt.
  • Search for modern pieces that look vintage, such as a full-skirted dress or a jacket with a peplum. Alternatively, you can buy vintage patterns online and pay a dressmaker or tailor to make them up for you in new fabrics. Both of these choices can result in pieces that mix well with real vintage items but look fresher and more modern.

 

With a bit of thought and experimentation, vintage clothing can fit easily into a modern wardrobe and open up a range of exciting style choices in a retail environment increasingly dominated by bland and cheaply-produced clothing.

Want to Read More?

Check out Rebecca Emily Darling’s post, “How to Wear Vintage Clothing Without Looking Like You’re Wearing a Costume” at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-emily-darling/how-to-wear-vintage-cloth_b_6535522.html

Do you have any tips for adding vintage clothing to a modern wardrobe? If you do, please share them with us.

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 

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Photo credit: carbonated Vogue Balmain suit 1083, 1949 via photopin (license)