Party Like It's 2044 by Joni B. Cole: Blog Tour & Giveaway

Monday, November 13, 2023


Party Like it's 2044 by Joni B. Cole

We're back again with another incredible book on a blog tour. Author Joni B. Cole joins us to celebrate the launch of her collection of essays in Party Like It's 2044. It's perfect for anyone who could use a good laugh or a good cry, sometimes at the same time. In this collection of pitch-perfect stories about life, death, and the sort of things we secretly think but maybe shouldn’t say aloud, Cole invites readers to a party that you won’t want to leave.  

We'll be interviewing the author about her book and giving you a chance to win a copy. Before we get to that, here's more about Party Like It's 2044:

Author Joni B. Cole worries that Vlad the Impaler may be a distant cousin. She feuds with a dead medium. She thinks (or overthinks) about insulting birthday cards, power trips, and the real reasons writers hate Amazon. And she wishes, really wishes, all those well-meaning people would stop talking about Guatemala. At once irreverent and thought provoking, Cole offers a joy ride through this collection of eclectic essays that lands smack on the sweet spot between soul searching and social commentary, between humor and heft. Writes author and national book reviewer Joan Frank, “Here is a voice giving us a welcome break: vibrant, provocative, funny and flavorful...Cole’s deep and generous thinking makes room and fresh air: worth breathing deeply.”

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
ISBN-10: 0826365566
ISBN-13: 978-0826365569
Print length: 240 pages

Purchase a copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Thrift Books, and You can also add it to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author, Joni B. Cole

Joni B. Cole is a writing instructor and author of seven books, including the acclaimed new essay collection Party Like It's 2044, described by scholar and humorist Gina Barreca as, “Fabulously readable and thoroughly engaging, it is Cole’s voice that makes her stories sing. Whether she’s leading us into laughter, or holding our hand through dazzling moments of emotional recognition, Cole takes writing seriously while taking herself lightly, and thereby illuminating the world with these memorable essays.”  

Joni also has authored two books for writers: Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier (listed as one of the "Best Books for Writers" by Poets & Writers magazine); and Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive (“strongly recommended” for students and teachers by Library Journal). Nominated for a US Fellowship Award and Pushcart Prize, she created the three-volume “This Day” series that shares a day in the life of hundreds of women across America (“fascinating and eye-opening,” Publisher's Weekly). 

For twenty-five years, Joni has taught online and in-person creative writing to adults through her own Writer's Center in White River Junction, Vermont, as well as at academic programs and conferences around the country. She lives in Vermont and has two daughters. For more info, email Or visit: or

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: Congrats on your book, Party Like It's 2044. What inspired you to put this
collection together?

Joni: I’d say Party Like It’s 2044 is full of lots of little inspirations, rather than one big aha moment.

For example, The Seven-Year Bitch is an essay that was inspired by me wanting to better understand why I (almost) squandered my relationship with my partner. 

The inspiration for the essay The Other Woman came in the form of a letter I received from a disgruntled writing client. But how could this be? I was so confused. All my writing clients loved me...or so I thought, until I came to understand this other woman’s perspective through writing that essay.

And the essay Dear Mr. Impaler was born of my long-held fear that I might be a descendent of the real-life inspiration for Dracula, though the piece ultimately became an exploration on how some people can do such awful things to other people.

I find it heartening—and helpful in alleviating a lot of editorial angst—to recognize that many of my most meaningful essays originated from “everyday”experiences that, for whatever reason, compelled me to start delving into them more deeply on the page. As a particular example of this, one of my favorite essays, Our Old House, is about buying my ex-husband a new oven for the home we once shared with our two daughters. This is hardly a riveting plot, but many readers have pointed out how deeply touched they were by that essay, and how it offers insights into how we can all move past difficult experiences with love (and appliances) intact.

WOW: I love how each essay became part of the bigger puzzle that turned into a book. I LOVE the title. How did you come up with it?

Joni: Well, I love a good party! But the party I’m referencing in the title (which is also the title of one of the stories) isn’t the kind of party you want to attend, given that it’s hosted by the Grim Reaper. Ostensibly, that story is about me celebrating—or trying to celebrate—my birthday, despite being constantly deflated by birthday cards from friends reminding me of my impending decrepitude. I don’t want to give away the exact meaning behind the title, so I’ll just quote a line from the essay that speaks to a recurring theme in the book: What was I missing, I thought. A sense of humor, obviously, but what annoyed me when I looked at this assortment of cards was the irony of the situation, meaning that after someone dies, we all talk a good game about their funeral being a celebration of their life, yet in most of the years leading up to that inevitability, we behave like a birthday is a cause for mourning.

WOW: I love that insight! You have an incredible way of writing humor. How do you know when something is successful at hitting the reader's funny bone?

Joni: It’s funny (funny peculiar, not funny haha) that I’ve never really thought of myself as a humor writer, or at least I didn’t until after reading the reviews of Party Like It’s 2044, some of which describe the collection as “hilarious” and “laugh out loud funny,” with comparisons to Jerry Seinfeld and David Sedaris. This is so flattering, but also surprising because a lot of the stories deal with difficult subject matter, such as my father’s death, or professional insecurities, or the difficulty of making friends once you’re older. But of course being funny can happen even when you don’t exactly feel like laughing.

Humor doesn’t discriminate and can sneak into all sorts of situations. I will say that when I was writing these stories, I did find myself laughing at times, so I suppose that is how I knew some of my observations or thoughts would most likely also hit the reader’s funny bone.

WOW: What a compliment! And I know what you mean; sometimes humor erupts in the most unlikely places. I think we need funny so much right now. What do you hope readers gain from reading your book?

Joni: Do we ever need funny now! Especially humor that reminds us of our collective humanity, our foibles, and the dearness and weirdness of life. Ultimately, I hope this book entertains readers while making them think and feel. I also hope the collection reminds readers to lean toward optimism; to recognize that we are all only human, so why not be forgiving and loving toward others and ourselves. I also hope readers have fun and lively exchanges with their friends and book groups about this collection. I do believe Party Like It’s 2044 offers much fodder for discussion and shared laughs.

WOW: I do too! As a writing instructor, what have you noticed are common problems people run into during the creative process?

Joni: As a writer and a writing instructor, I’ve not only noticed common problems that people run into during the writing process...I’ve lived them. I think that’s why I’m an effective writing instructor (no false modesty here) and why my two books on writing (Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier; and Toxic Feedback: Helping Writers Survive and Thrive) resonate with so many aspiring and seasoned authors. I get it. I know the mountains we have to climb.

One of the most common problems I see are writers who get in their own way by overthinking or being too critical in the front end of the creative process. Another common problem stems from writers who simply don’t have a solid knowledge of narrative craft, which is absolutely learn-able (yes, you can teach creative writing), and is key to writing forward productively and with confidence. I’ve also seen writers get in their own way by avoiding feedback right when it can serve them most. These and many other issues are what I tried to tackle in my writing guides because I do believe everyone who wants t write can write, and we all have stories to tell.

WOW: I think many of us needed to hear you say that creative writing is teachable! What does your writing space look like?

Joni: My writing space looks a lot like one of my daughter’s bedrooms, but without all her stuff in it. That’s because this daughter now lives in California (I’m in Vermont) so I adapted her room into my office, except for when she returns for visits. I like that the walls are a sea-mist blue (her choice back in middle school) and that her stuffed bear still rests on her pillow and makes me smile when I glance over at it while working. In the past, especially when both my daughters were younger and life was even busier than it is now, I’ve had to write in whatever corner of the house seemed the least hectic, or on sidelines while (pretending) to watch some game, or wherever I could sneak in some words. I should add, I also love to work in cafes, even when I have my house to myself.

WOW: What a lovely visual! What are you working on now that you can tell us about?

Joni: Another collection of essays just like Party Like It’s 2044...only completely

WOW: I can't wait! Best of luck on your book and the rest of the tour.

Party Like it's 2044 by Joni B. Cole Blog Tour

--- Blog Tour Calendar

November 13 @ The Muffin
Join us at the Muffin as we celebrate the launch of Joni B. Cole's essay collection Party Like It's 2044. Read an interview with the author and win a copy of the book.

November 15 @ One Writer's Journey
Visit Sue's blog for a guest post by Joni B. Cole about tips for productive revision.

November 18 @ A Wonderful World of Words
Visit Joy's blog for a spotlight of Party Like It's 2044.

November 20 @ One Writer's Journey
Join Sue again for her review of Joni B. Cole's essay collection Party Like It's 2044.

November 22 @ Michelle Cornish' blog
Visit Michelle's blog for her review of Party Like It's 2044.

November 24 @ Lisa Haselton's Reviews & Interviews
Visit Lisa's blog for her interview with Joni B. Cole about her book Party Like It's 2044.

November 26 @ Chapter Break
Visit Julie's blog for an interview with Joni B. Cole.

November 28 @ Thoughts of Maddness
Don't miss Maddie's review of Party Like It's 2044

November 30 @ Deborah Adam's blog
Join Deborah for an interview with the author, Joni B. Cole, author of Party Like It's 2044.

December 1 @ The Faerie Review
Visit Lily's blog for a spotlight of Party Like It's 2044.

December 3 @ Shoe's Seeds and Stories
Visit Linda's blog for her review of Party Like It's 2044.

December 4 @ The Shaggy Shepherd
Visit Isabelle's blog for her review of Party Like It's 2044.

December 6 @ A Storybook World
Join Deirdra for her spotlight of Party Like It's 2044.

December 7 @ Knotty Needle
Judy shares her thoughts about Joni B. Cole's essay collection Party Like It's 2044.

December 8 @ From the TBR Pile
Visit Kari's blog to see a spotlight of Joni B. Cole's essay collection Party Like It's 2044.

December 10 @ Boys' Mom Reads
Visit Karen's blog for her review of Party Like It's 2044.

December 13 @ Jill Sheets' blog
Visit Jill's blog for her review of Party Like It's 2044.

December 15 @ The Mommies Review
Visit Glenda's blog for her review of Joni B. Cole's essay collection Party Like It's 2044

December 17 @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Visit Linda's blog for her in-depth interview with author Joni B. Cole about her essay collection Party Like It's 2044.

***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

We have 3 copies to give away of the hilarious essay collection, Party Like it's 2044 by Joni B. Cole! Fill out the Rafflecopter form for a chance to win. The giveaway ends December 18th at 11:59 pm CT. We will choose three winners the next day and announce in the widget and follow up via email. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Angela Mackintosh said...

Wonderful interview, Joni and Nicole! This is a book we definitely need right now. :) I simply love essay collections and memoir-in-essays/vignettes it's so great to see they're more popular than ever. Humor writing is so hard, and what a compliment to be compared to Seinfeld and Sedaris. :) Wishing you the best of luck on your tour!

LV said...

Looking forward to reading this book.

Heather Swanson said...

Perseverance wins success!

kywave said...

I love memoirs/essays in books. Looking forward to this

Wanda B said...

Memoirs are one of my favourite types of books to read.

AEKZ2 said...

Sounds like a fun read!

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