Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Stephanie Rowe

It Was an Accident, I Swear!

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?


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.


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

Would you like your very own copy of
Touch if You Dare?

Then leave a comment on this post

Include your email

Open to US and Canada

This giveaway sponsored by Sourcebooks


donnas said...

Sounds great.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

JenM said...

Stephanie, I've read three of your books, starting with He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot, and they are very funny. I'm glad you didn't try to make your voice conform to whatever you were taught in your classes, because it's pretty unique. Touch If You Dare sounds great and I'm looking forward to reading it.

jen at delux dot com

lindsey hutchison said...

i so want to read this book. i have a few of Stephanie's books in my TBR pile and i cant wait to dig into them.


June M. said...

This sounds like a great series. I definitely need to check into this.

GFC follower: June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Nikki said...

Sounds like an awesome series!!!

Lexi said...

That is why I always thought being a flower deliverer would be the best job ever, who doesn't smile and be happy when getting flowers?!
A new author for me, but after reading the interview (and checking out the great cover art) I can't wait to give the book a try! I hope it does very well for you! Thanks for the chance to win.


jfort357 said...

Sounds intriguing!!! Thanks for the chance to win!!! :-D


Cory said...

I discovered that I could make more fun dungeons and dragons characters when I quit trying to be a power gamer. I think that for most people, trying to hard destroys what you are trying to accomplish.
It's great to read that you don't try for the funny in your books, that it's just who you are. I can't wait to read this one.

jarlynn at gmail dot com

SandyG265 said...

I've read a couple of Stephanie's books and enjoyed them. Looking foward to reading this one.

sgiden at

Missyb0103 said...

Love this!!! Thank you so much for the interview and giveaway

Julie O. said...

I loved your first paranormal series! I laughed so much my hubby even read them. I just finished Kiss ay Your Own Risk, and I can't wait for Touch if You Dare. The twists you come up with are pure genius.

Robin K said...

Would love to win this one. Thanks for the contest.

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Bethie said...

I would love to own a copy! Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

bookbunny68 said...

The "funny" is what got me reading your books to begin with and why I continue to get them. Real life is too serious - I don't want to read about it when I need to relax. Give me more "oh no she didn't just do or say that"!

Chrisbails said...

have not read anything by stephanie yet and this book looks great. am always looking for new authors & books to read and I think i have found one. thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.
GFC follower Chris Bails.

Anne said...

I really enjoyed Kiss at Your Own Risk and I've liked your earlier books that I've read.

I've never been more successful at something after I stopped trying too hard, but I've enjoyed doing them a lot more.

jeanette8042 said...

I'm glad you write "funny" because it always makes a book so much better in my opinion. I've heard wonderful things about your newest release!


Vonnie Alto said...

Hi Stephanie--I'm still trying to figure out how to be successful at writing. I think what you said about incorporating the unexpected into a plot is key along with writing what appeals to me and makes me laugh. That's when my writing seems to take off.

I'm so looking forward to reading those character/plotting handouts. Anytime is a good time to send them. Thanks.

vonniealto at yahoo dot com

Stephanie Rowe said...

Hi All! Thank you for all the comments today! I love reading them! I'm on the run, so I don't have time to respond to all the comments, but I'll be back in a little bit to do so... Thanks for all the enthusiasm!

Stephanie said...

I love Kiss at Your own Risk and would love to read Touch if You Dare. Thanks for the giveaway.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com

Stephanie Rowe said...

Thanks, Donnas!

Hi JenM! I'm so glad that you enjoy my books! You just made my day!

Thanks, Lindsey! I'm so happy you have my books!

Thanks, June!

Thanks, Nikki!

Stephanie Rowe said...

Hi Lexi, that is so cool, your comment about being a flower deliverers! You're so right!

Thanks, Jfort!

Isn't that the truth, Cory? Having more success when you stop trying so hard is applicable to all sorts of things.

Thank you, Sandy! :)

Thanks, Missy!

Stephanie Rowe said...

Wow, Julie O, thank you so much! You're the best! I've got a big ol' smile on my face now. :)

Thanks for entering, Robin & Bethie!

Thanks for sharing, bookbunny. I agree, I like books that take me away from real life and uplift me in a positive way.

Wow, Chris, that's so great! Thanks for letting us know. I hope you enjoy them!

Stephanie Rowe said...

Excellent point, Anne. The pleasure of something you love can sometimes be diminished if you get too serious about trying to succeed. Life is too short not to enjoy what you can.

Thanks, Jeannette!

Vonnie, thanks for stopping by. You are on my list to send those documents to! I will try to get to it this weekend!

Martha Lawson said...

Haven't read your books yet! I do love a book that makes me laugh. thanks for the giveaway.

old follower on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Barbara E. said...

I think that's awesome, that when you just wrote by being yourself you were successful. I think it has turned out very well. I can't think of any examples in my own life of not trying so hard and things working out. Usually I set a goal and work towards it, and that's what works for me.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Sherry said...

I love Stephanie's books and I look forward to reading this one.

sstrode at scrtc dot com

mbreakfield said...

I love funny stories. Thanks for the giveaway.

latishajean said...

This sounds so good would love to read it Thank you for the great giveaway!

Patsy said...

This book sounds so good!

tetewa said...

I'm always looking for new series to read, sounds good!

Tore said...

Another good series I would love to read. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

Anonymous said...

This sounds great. Goes on my TBR list. Hmm....answer to question about trying too hard--driving. I didn't get my license until I was 19 because I freaked everytime I had to stop going uphill. (learned to drive using a stickshift)


KMichelleC87 said...

please enter me in this giveaway


Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

OOO! Love the sound of a warrior with a soft side. And I so enjoy a book that also makes me laugh out loud.
Please, please enter me!


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Lissette Martinez said...

I'd LOVE to read this book, wonderful back on the cover, umm yummy, lol. Thanks for the giveaway


Crystal ♥ said...

I just purchased the first book in this series and now cannot wait to start it and get to Touch if you Dare, especially after that description of Jarvis. Sounds fantastic!
Thanks for the great post, I really enjoyed it, and the giveaway!
folksohana at gmail dot com

elaing8 said...

I have book one and would love to win this one.

lindalou said...

Hi! Great interview! I've not read any of your books... but want to now! One of my fav authors is Katie MacAlister and I can depend on her books to make me laugh AND swoon... Your books sound like they'd do the same... Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Barb P said...

I would truly love to start this series. I have read all of your previous series (including Date Me Baby One More Time) and loved them. They always made me laugh! Count me in on the contest please!

LoriStrongin said...

Really fun interview! I'm the same way--I like to look at the world through a more lighthearted viewpoint, and I enjoy reading about characters who can do the same. Thanks for the rec!


Theresa said...

I absolutely LOVE your books!!!
I would love to win your new one but if I don't, I was going to buy it anyway.....shhh! don't tell this blog or they will take me out of the running!! ha! ha!
Thanks for the great interview.

Chelsea B. said...

Hi, Stephanie! Thanks for sharing-- I'm looking forward to reading your fabulous-sounding series!


Alicia0605 said...

Well it looks like my tbr list just got longer!!

angie lilly said...

I would love to win this. I love that he tries to knit as my hubby knits!!! And I am all about mixing romance with humor...can you really have one without the other in real life? NO! LOL
14earth at gmail dot com

Shaiha said...

This books sounds wonderful! Please sign me up.


Na said...

This book is on my wishlist and I would love to read it.