For my guest blog today, Fang-tastic books asked me to blog about the humor in my books, and why I do it. Tricky question….
See, here's thing about me. In real life, when I get on a roll, I make people laugh, and I love to see the delight on see on their faces when the laugher is filling their heart. What's more beautiful than a genuine smile? Not a lot, in my opinion. I'm not a joke-teller, and I'm not slap stick. It's more just my world view and my energy that can get people to laugh. I'm me, I'm unique, and I've learned to appreciate that.
So…transitioning to books… when I first started trying to get published, I wrote serious books. And you know what? They didn't sell. Because when I tried to be serious, I became boring and run-of-the-mill. But then I realized that I have that unique sense of humor, so what if I tried to put that on the page? No one is like me, right?
So, I wrote funny. On purpose. I took classes on being funny. I learned the rule of three, and assorted other "funny" tricks. And you know what? My books were all rejected as not funny. They were the kind of rejection that were like, "This author fails utterly to be funny. Tell her to give it up."
At that point, I started getting really frustrated. What was I to do? I finally decided to write something just for me. Not funny. Not serious. Just… me. So, I wrote a book that I called Beheading Your Lover (later published as Date Me, Baby, One More Time), and I decided to amuse myself while writing it. My only goal was to let the creativity flow, and my main goal as I was writing it was to be unexpected. To twist the plot and the characters and the setting and the mythical beings and everything onto their head. Be unexpected in all ways.
I had the best time writing it, because I was FREE from the burdens of trying to write for someone else. My agent marketed it as a paranormal, not as a "funny" paranormal, and it sold at auction. Hooray! I was happily writing the second book in the series when the first book came out..and all the reviewers loved how funny it was. Publisher's Weekly praised its "snappy patter and goofy good humor," and Booklist called it "laugh-out loud" and "magically mirthful."
Guess what happened next? I freaked out. What? I was supposed to be funny? But I was a tragic failure when it came to writing funny! I seriously panicked. I had not been writing to be funny, and all of a sudden now that was my shtick?
I eventually chilled out, and I realized that I couldn't try to be funny. I simply had to continue to write from my own world view, which, for me, was creating a story that was unexpected with a bit of a satirical twist on whatever topic I happened to be addressing. Once I accepted that that's what I did, and that's how I needed to write, I was able to settle into my stories and write them.
I've continued that approach with this new series, including Touch If You Dare. People might say that having a tattooed, tortured warrior who is a failed knitter and a champion (albeit closet) hair styling guru is funny, but to me, Jarvis isn't about being funny. He came to life because I wanted to take the traditional paranormal warrior hero and twist it, giving him the unexpected soft side that is the bane of his existence. I love Jarvis as he struggles to come to terms with his two divergent sides, and I feel that he represents what human nature is: complex, conflicting, powerful, gentle and trying desperately to figure out how to balance it all. To me, that's who Jarvis is, and that's why he knits. If a reader finds it humorous, then what an added bonus to know that I could bring a smile to someone's face.
So, in a nutshell, I'm thrilled that my books make people laugh, but I don't try to be funny. I just let myself tell the story I want to tell. The minute I try to be funny… all will be lost, I fear.
What about you? Is there something that you've been most successful at once you stopped trying so hard to succeed at it?
TOUCH IF YOU DARE BY STEPHANIE ROWE—IN STORES JULY 2011
He’s just about the hottest warrior she’s ever seen…
Reina Fleming really appreciates a man who’s on a mission—especially when he’s a badass warrior doing his best to impress her. And Jarvis is charmed byt eh way Reina’s magic touch can soothe his dark side.
But when Jarvis’s attention puts her job, her home, and her family in danger, Reina has to decide whether love is worth the price…
Enter the nonstop, action-packed world of Stephanie Rowe’s love stories—you’ll never think of the manly arts in the same way again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Four-time RITA Award nominee and Golden Heart Award winner Stephanie Rowe is an award-winning and national bestselling author of paranormal romance, and has written more than twenty-five novels. Stephanie has charmed reviewers with her unique blend of humor and otherworldly magic. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she is working on Book 3 in the Soulfire Series, Hold Me If You Can (January 2012).
For more information, please visit www.stephanierowe.com.
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