Kathleen O'Brien

Book of nature on autumn forest background

I write books, read books, love books! I love tragic romance, corny music, murder mysteries, the ocean, Irish poets and old friends. And, of course, my fabulous family, which I've slaved for decades to get just exactly perfect! :)

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Being a book-nut isn’t always easy.  Other people don’t always understand why we’d rather have a new bookshelf than a new necklace. They think we’re weird when we cry over things that never happened.  Or when we’d rather read than go to a party.  Or watch tv.  Or sleep.

Or why we want to talk about fictional people, hash over imaginary events, ask endlessly what you thought the ending “really meant.”  Eyes glaze.  Topics get changed. People make sudden right turns when they see us coming. 🙂

But when we meet a person who does understand, it’s as if, after wandering alone in a foreign country, we’ve finally run into someone from home.  Someone who speaks our language.  Instant friends.

Book of nature on autumn forest background

That’s what Jaunty Quills has been to me: a place where everyone was an instant friend. A safe place to let the book-nut in me run free.

I’ll miss that a lot.

So I wanted to use this last blog to thank you for being here to share our lives, and to share yours with us a little, too.  I have lists all over my desk of great ideas you’ve offered when I asked for help, and I have a heart full of warm memories of the kind words you gave when times were tough.

Of all the gifts I’ve received from books through the years, book friends are by far the greatest. Thank you so much.  I hope we’ll stay in touch. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter, or email me any time at KOBrien@aol.com.

Till then, happy reading! <3

 

Kathleen O'Brien

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I write books, read books, love books! I love tragic romance, corny music, murder mysteries, the ocean, Irish poets and old friends. And, of course, my fabulous family, which I've slaved for decades to get just exactly perfect! :)

Kathleen's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Congratulations, Julie-ann Ford!  You’re the winner of the $10 Amazon gift certificate!  Please email me privately at KOBrien@aol.com, and I’ll get the prize out to you asap.  Please remember to use the same email address you used to post here to contact me, although I can send the prize to any email address you prefer. 🙂

And, belatedly, the winner of my Dear Author blog is Suzanne W! Congratulations to both of you!

Kathleen O'Brien

strange-fall-road-with-full-moon-istock-purchase

I write books, read books, love books! I love tragic romance, corny music, murder mysteries, the ocean, Irish poets and old friends. And, of course, my fabulous family, which I've slaved for decades to get just exactly perfect! :)

Kathleen's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

black-cat-against-blue-sky-istock-purchase

Happy Almost Halloween, everybody!

I grew up in a neighborhood that didn’t have a lot of children, and our family never made much fuss about Halloween.  We didn’t get trick-or-treaters, and unless we went out to get candy with our friends in their more family-friendly neighborhoods, we didn’t do much of that, either.

In spite of that–or maybe because of it?–when I got married and had kids I discovered I adored Halloween.  We decorate the house, buy buckets of candy, create cool costumes, read scary books and watch creepy movies.

And since I’ve become a big fan, here are some of my Personal Best and Worst awards:

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Best Candy: Fun-sized Almond Joys.  I can’t help it.  I’m a coconut nut.

Worst Candy: Jolly Rancher.  Probably you’re not supposed to try to chew them, but I always do, and wow.  You could lose your fillings with this stuff.

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Best Scary Movie:  The Ring.  It isn’t the creepy kid in the corner that got me in this film.  It was the weird black and white photographs.  Why?  I have no idea.  That’s probably what makes it so scary.

Worst Scary Movie: Saw, any version.  I really, really hated these movies.  To me, more sadistic than scary.

Baby boy outdoors in pumpkin costume with real pumpkins

Best Costume: I can’t chose one of my own, because I literally can’t remember a single costume from my childhood.  So I’ll pick one I made for Girlchild the year she was 12, and fell in love with Shakespeare.  We made a Juliet costume, a red velvet Elizabethan gown complete with fabulous pearl and gold braiding….and a to-die-for Juliet cap. (No pun intended.)  I don’t have any photos of it, though I do have a video, thank goodness. 🙂

Worst Costume:  I have to admit I get tired of the Frozen costumes, even though it makes me sound like a Halloween Scrooge.  I’ve seen soooo many already, and expect this year to be a repeat.

Hands of mummy holding horizontal scroll on dark background. Space for text.

Best Decoration: We had an awesome flying witch who screamed and lit up with red glowing eyes whenever a trick-or-treater walked by. We had to take it down, though, because it scared the little ones to the point of tears.  But boy was she scary!

Worst Decoration: We once bought a spider that was supposed to scurry up and down a wire, making a horrible noise, every time a kid came to the door.  It NEVER worked right, and was guaranteed to do its thing only when I was home alone, and there was no one, seriously, no one, at the door.  He lives in the local landfill now. 🙂

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How about you?  Pick any one of these categories, and tell me your personal best and worst!  I’ll be giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly chosen poster.

And I’m so sorry that I forgot to pick a winner of the last blog!  I’ll announce both winners this coming Sunday, officially, but in case you’re reading this, Suzanne W, you’re the winner of the Dear Author blog!  Email me privately at KOBrien@aol.com, and I’ll get your prize out to you asap!

 

 

 

Kathleen O'Brien

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I write books, read books, love books! I love tragic romance, corny music, murder mysteries, the ocean, Irish poets and old friends. And, of course, my fabulous family, which I've slaved for decades to get just exactly perfect! :)

Kathleen's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

sad-boy-in-ball-cap

I guess you’ve heard. The blog’s closing. Jaunty is moving on.

You probably can guess how ambivalent we all are about the decision. Yes, it’s been difficult—and growing more so every month—to keep up with the commitment. But it has been so much fun, and we all have loved coming to this happy place, where we could connect with each other, and with you, our readers.

Knowing we’re nearing the end has made me think about my own experiences with reader/author interaction from the reader side. It’s been limited, and frankly a bit unlucky.

White paper and pen on the grass with space for text

Though I’m a lifelong book fiend, I’ve written only one personal fan letter in my life. That’s partly because many of my literary idols have been dust for decades (think Edith Wharton, Jane Austen, etc). It’s partly because I’m by nature an introvert and hate the thought of intruding.

And it’s even more because I don’t really want the human truth of an author who undoubtedly has warts and quirks (I know I do!) to mess with my adoration of their perfect fictional characters. I don’t really want to know what person in Harper Lee’s life inspired Scout, or Jem, or Atticus. Scout and Jem and Atticus are real people. REAL, I say. Real people aren’t inspired by anyone.

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But, even so, I did write the one fan letter. I don’t want to say which author/book inspired me to do it, but it was a historical YA I read as a teenager…so don’t worry…you don’t know her. 😉

I adored that novel. It was beautiful, romantic, visual, fun. I’m pretty sure I try to recapture a little of that feeling, if only subconsciously, every time I write a book. I wrote to tell her all that.

She never wrote back.

So. Strike one.

Strike Two: Through the years—as a lifelong writing student and as a member of RWA—I’ve been lucky enough to attend workshops, lectures, classes and speeches by some truly great writers. But only once in my life have I wanted desperately to hear an author speak purely as a fangirl. Merely because I was in love with her books.

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The writer was Dorothy Dunnett, a Scottish genius who wrote, among other things, The Lymond Chronicles. Her hero, Francis Crawford of Lymond, may be the most brilliant creation of all time. Maybe ten or twelve years ago I heard Dunnett was, miraculously, coming to an independent bookstore in Sarasota, which is reachable from Orlando.

I was all set to go, my reservations made, my overnight case packed, my heart in my throat, when I heard she had cancelled. My heart was broken, and when I heard why, it was shattered. The amazing Dorothy Dunnett was sick. Not long after, she died.

I may not try any author interaction again. I’m clearly jinxed. 😉 No one wants a strike three, right?

So those are my two sad stories about my life as a book groupie. How about you? What wonderful, silly or sad experiences have you had with your author heroes?

I’ll be giving a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly chosen commenter today, so let the stories begin! 🙂

Kathleen O'Brien

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I write books, read books, love books! I love tragic romance, corny music, murder mysteries, the ocean, Irish poets and old friends. And, of course, my fabulous family, which I've slaved for decades to get just exactly perfect! :)

Kathleen's Website


Social Media


Latest Books

Congratulations, Elaina!  You’re the winner of the $10 Amazon gift certificate!

If you’ll email me privately (using the same email address you use to post here) at KOBrien@aol.com, I’ll get your prize out to you ASAP.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

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