A GOOD INTERVIEWER AT WORK
Summer adventures and relaxation persuaded me away from the computer for a bit. And then this arrived. During the media tour in April I did a pre-taped interview with Nam of The Agenda, TV Ontario. As a broadcaster myself I know the job well from her side of the studio. It was fun to sit in the visitor’s chair and wait to be led through the story. She did a wonderful job and made it easy for me. Revisiting the story now, as a viewer, reminds me how many twists and turns there are. This book is packed with angles and tangles. I keep hearing from readers that they couldn’t put it down. I found myself as a viewer just now, also wanting her to ask me more! What is ahead now for me, and for The Charming Predator? Not sure. I’ve been contacted by some people who knew him and have stories to tell. But I think finding him and listening to what he might have to say would still be fascinating to my readers. I suspect he is still in Europe, perhaps Scandinavia. I await developments. In the meantime, my thanks to all who have read my work and taken the time to get in touch. The link to this TV Ontario segment is here on the website under Events and Media.
WHAT THE TIDE BRINGS IN
It’s quite an interesting part of this journey – the book release and developments after. For the first five weeks I was on the Canadian Bestsellers list. So delighted! And as with everything, the tide comes in, and then the tide goes out. I was off the list at week six. Oh what a blow to my tender ego, which was getting used to the waters flooding steadily in! It didn’t take me long to laugh at myself. But the tide is bringing in more than this encouraging list. People are contacting me and offering their thoughts and, in some cases, their information and experiences. Many are writing or speaking to me in person about the effect The Charming Predator has had on them and people they know and love. It appears that by telling my story I have made it safer for others to look again at similar experiences of their own. I hope that any revisiting brings acceptance and closure. Peace. Others are communicating their own experiences of Kenner from early days to more recent encounters. I welcome and encourage this. If anyone knows where he is, please let me know. The Where’s Kenner? tab here on the website is available for exactly that purpose. No posting appears without my approval, so please know your information is confidential if necessary. So, here I am, awaiting further movement in this journey. I know it’s coming. The tide always turns. I’m fascinated to see what will drift in next!
This is a screen shot from my visit to Global National’s morning show in Toronto. In the past few weeks I’ve been on a bit of a media marathon to coincide with the release on April 18th of The Charming Predator. A basketful of television, radio, and print media appearances and interviews swept me through Vancouver and Toronto. Victoria is coming up in mid-May, and who knows what else after that. It’s been challenging and fun, and a privilege to meet journalists of all disciplines. I couldn’t have been more exhausted or more pleased. Although each interview had its own direction and flavour, some points were continually raised: When did I finally know that Kenner was a liar? Why didn’t his mother, Primrose, warn me? Do I think he ever really loved me or was it all just sham? How did I recover and not become a hardened, bitter person? All valid, thoughtful questions. I replied as honestly and completely as I could. Many of the answers are, of course, in the pages of the book. I will also give you my responses in the next blog. For now, I just wanted to touch base and let you know where I have been and that I will be writing here more regularly now. I’ve put all available links I can find for you on the Events and Media page and will update diligently.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
It’s only a couple of days, as I write this, before The Charming Predator is released. The first printed draft came from Doubleday last year and I have to admit seeing it on paper was a bit surreal. I’m still delighted and amazed that this story is now in print and heading onto bookshelves in stores and homes.
After hiding away in my home and my memories for decades, how can it be that this tale sees the light of day? In the unfolding of this book I can only say that every time a door was approached, it opened. I have had sure and steady support and guidance.
Perhaps this is the right time for a number of reasons. For me, finally able to face the story without looking away. For Kenner, I have no idea. I hold no pre-conceived hope of healing, resolution, or change for him. His life choices are his responsibility. For everyone else, I hope it’s entertaining. If it serves as any sort of a cautionary tale, all the better. From memories, to first draft, to publication…but there is much more to come, I feel certain.
A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS
As I have told this story through the years I have been surprised at how many people identify with it or with me. Many, many people have been the target of someone who has taken advantage of them or someone they know. And, like me, there is often an almost overwhelming feeling of embarassment. How on earth did I allow myself to be fooled, lied to, used?
It’s tempting to simply point the finger at the liar, the imposter, the person who seems to have no conscience. It’s not so easy to look in the mirror.
When I wrote the first drafts of The Charming Predator I had no difficulty describing all the damaging things Kenner had done. I looked through the files at all the letters he had written me, the documents with forged signatures, the photographs. The pages and pages of what I came to realize were lies.
But what about the letters I had written? They were in the storage box too. At first I simply could not read them. Eventually, coaxed by my first collaborator, Len Port, I was persuaded to take a deep breath and tell the whole story. As I began to read the letters I had written to Kenner they carried me effortlessly to my thoughts and feelings at the time. I was in love, not only with the idea of who I thought Kenner was, but the whole future filled with dreams which I created and chose to believe in, come what may. I certainly played a part in my own demise.
Almost 35 years after my close encounter with Kenner Elias Jones I have made good progress in forgiving myself and facing my responsibility for what happened to me.
In postings to come, I will be adding to what you will find in the book. I have more pictures, stories, and updates to share. Now that The Charming Predator is on bookshelves, I suspect we may hear from the man himself. And when I do, I hope to meet with him, if only to close the circle of this story.
Come with me.