November 25, 2022

Westport’s cat capers fill the author’s first novel


After spending summers in Westport at his family’s cottage, Robert Ainsworth, under the pseudonym RD Ainsworth, decided to write a book about the local cats that roam the village streets – but with a twist.

“It’s a book about gangs, betrayal and murder, and cats and dogs,” Ainsworth said.

What started as a 16-page short story quickly grew into a nearly four-book series set in his family’s cottage and throughout the village of Westport, where he spent many summers and saw the real Maine. coon. cat named Rodney being chased by another neighborhood cat, Boogie, Ainsworth said.

The book, titled Boogie’s Law, is the first book in the Westport Story series and tells an adventure story with Rodney Bond, a peaceful Maine Coon cat with big bones who discovers that his mind-blowing treats have been stolen by a pair of anarchist kittens. , which are based on the personalities of the Ainsworth cats. Rodney and his best friend Chico Grande set out on a quest to get them back but find themselves entangled in the affairs of murderous gangster Boogie Slides.

Boogie’s Law was published in early December by Burnstown Publishing House.

According to a statement from the publishing house, Boogie’s Law is one quarter of satire, one quarter of social commentary and three quarters of comedic nonsense.

Ainsworth said Rodney and Chico face tough decisions, but the story overall is light. He added that people seemed to like the book’s “colorful characters” coupled with “lots of laughing aloud moments.”

“It takes place over a day, summer through the end of June,” Ainsworth said.

Westport Story’s first book takes place primarily on Lilly Lane, just a few miles from the village on the south shore of Upper Rideau Lake. The book also features The Cove and the Ducks Roadhouse and Grill, the latter of which is no longer open, Ainsworth said.

The rest of the books in the series are expected to take the adventure through a larger part of the village, including the town hall, the cove, the marina and other well-known shops locally and on the main streets of the village.

Currently, three books in the series have already been written, one of which is almost partially written. The hope is to release them in the next few years, Ainsworth said.

The first three books in the series have been written over the years, starting around 2014 or 2015, but he said he needed a helping hand from his father to take the next steps in order to make books more than just a hobby; A little over a year ago, he spoke with an editor at the publishing house to make this book a reality.

Ainsworth said his publisher liked the idea of ​​the book “because he saw there was a market for it, because it was local”.

Previously, he wrote and published two books of poetry, Prismatic Poetry and Children of the Hectic Kingdom, but Boogie’s Law is his first novel, the Burnstown Publishing House website said.

Ainsworth divides his time between writing, working as a high school English and history teacher, and dancing Argentine tango. He currently lives in Ottawa.

He said it was nice to be able to share his journey of publishing and writing his books with his students.

“It means I can bring something special to the classroom,” he said.

He recently contacted some Brockville bookstores and hopes to schedule book signings in the future.

(Jessica Munro is a reporter for the Local Journalism Initiative who works for the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)