Novelist revisits Forest Hill stomping grounds

BRIAN BAKER/TOWN CRIER BACK HOME: Writer Zoey Kinsman returns back to the apartment building she grew up in during her life in the Spadina and Lonsdale area. The early Gen Xer published her first novel, A Certain Synchronicity in November.

BRIAN BAKER/TOWN CRIER
BACK HOME: Writer Zoey Kinsman returns back to the apartment building she grew up in during her life in the Spadina and Lonsdale area. The early Gen Xer published her first novel, A Certain Synchronicity in November.

Village finds its way into Zoey Kinsman’s book, A Certain Synchronicity

There’s a certain mystique to novelist Zoey Kinsman.

Her trip back to her hometown village, Forest Hill, has resulted in her credit card being swallowed by a bank machine, but she casts her dilemma aside to reminisce about youth in the Spadina and Lonsdale neighbourhood.

Back then she was known by another name, but the Gen-Xer is mum on releasing her true identity behind her nom-de-plume, electing to focus on how her childhood ‘hood has changed.

“In a certain way, the Village has lost its charm,” she remarks.

Entering a coffee chain outlet where this mid-January interview is taking place she notes that a restaurant once stood here.

“For years and years it was a little diner that you came to for fish and chips,” she points out, before adding ruefully,”That hominess, that charm that defined it as a village, for me, is gone.

“I understand growth, and I understand development, but it would be nice if they kept the charm.”

Forest Hill plays a small role in her first novel, A Certain Synchronicity, published in November by Heart Song Publications.

The story centres on a 40-something professional woman, Melanie, who falls for a younger actor type, Asher Browne, from New York City.

Kinsman touts the story as a thinking-woman’s Fifty Shades of Grey. Sure there is a sexiness, and kinetic energy to the love-making between Melanie and Asher, but each encounter is different and plunges the two deeper into discovering what their relationship means.

“The thinking part is really important — to me as an author,” she admits. “It’s for women who have experienced deep loss and great big love.

“And it’s for men who learn how to love unconditionally.”

The female lead, Kinsman candidly continues, may be the focus but male protagonist Browne is just as vital.

“The more I move away from the finished product, the more I really see this is not just a love story because it’s from her voice, but it’s also his struggle as a male, mid-30s trying to make it,” she assures. “Acting is just the profession, but as any young male, trying to decide What am I going to do? Am I going all the way with this career, this route, or am I going to try something different?”

A Certain Synchronicity percolated in Kinsman’s mind for years, she says. She traces its origins to when she graduated from York University with a degree in English literature.

“There was always a book to be wrested from inside of me,” she says. “I know it’s been said and done — I think everybody’s story is unique and if you learn from it, then it’s fabulous.”

The ultimate goal for Kinsman is to see her work adapted for the big screen, with actors Tina Fey and Jeffrey Donovan as the leads.

As for a second book, Kinsman leaves it up to her inclination to revisit the keyboard.

“There is an opening at the end,” she says, with a smile. “But as you know, you have to be ready to write.”

 

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Toronto-based journalist, fighting the power one deadline at a time.

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