Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Today's Special - - Jane Graves
It's our pleasure to welcome Jane Graves to The Romance Dish. Jane is an award winning contemporary author and seven time finalist for RWA's Rita Award. Her newest release is BLACK TIES AND LULLABIES (check out Gannon's review here) which was released July 1st. Jane's blog topic today is "Make Me Laugh," which is very appropriate as her books always make me laugh! Please give her a very warm welcome!
Make Me Laugh!
I love hanging out with funny people. If you have a genuine sense of humor, come sit next to me, because the best feeling on earth for me is to laugh myself silly. I have several wonderful friends who are so hilarious they make me practically wet my pants. Aside of my occasional need for Depends, I consider their humor to be no less than a gift from God. And I try my best to return the favor as often as I can.
The funniest people I know share one thing in common—they don’t hesitate to laugh at themselves. I don’t care what’s happening to you--most of the time, life just ain’t that tragic. Smile and the world smiles with you. Frown, and you’ll clear a room faster than a fire alarm.
I’ve often been asked to explain the secret behind writing funny stuff, and for me, there’s only one answer: It’s all in the way you view the world. Let’s say you come out of a public restroom with eight feet of toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Somebody points it out to you. If you turn ten shades of red and rush back into the restroom, you might not see things from a comedic point of view. If, on the other hand, you ask a friend to take a photo of it and you use it as your Facebook profile picture, you probably don’t have much trouble finding humor wherever you go. And if you’re a writer, you won’t have much trouble putting it on the page.
I adore Larry the Cable Guy. Why? Because he’ll go for jokes that a lot of comedians are afraid to tell. With humor, you have to be fearless. It’s not that you should try to offend people, but if there’s something out there that’s true, everybody knows it’s true, and it’s also funny as hell, say it. People will laugh, and that’s not a bad thing. It just says we’re all in this together. And what does Larry the Cable Guy say after a joke where everybody’s laughing, even though they “know” they shouldn’t be? He says, “I don’t care who you are, that there’s funny.” And he’s right. In other words, you can get all huffy about it, or you can recognize the universal truth in it (and the humor) and let go with a laugh.
So what makes you laugh in a romance novel? Is it banter between characters who are smart and witty? Out of control situations that escalate wildly beyond a character’s ability to manage them? Fish out of water who have no clue how to behave in the crazy world they find themselves in?
For my readers, laughter is the best medicine. I just fill the prescription. I wouldn’t say all my books are uproarious comedies—they vary quite a bit in that regard—but you’re going to find at least some humor in every one of them. To me, life is so full of it that I couldn’t keep it from slopping over to my writing if my life depended on it.
So...if you and I ever happen to cross paths sometime in the future (hint: I’ll be the one with a smile on my face and a glass of Cabernet in my hand) and you have a great sense of humor, feel free to sit down next to me and make me laugh. I’ll try to return the favor!
Oh, one last thing—would you also watch for my next book coming out in just a few months? HEARTSTRINGS AND DIAMOND RINGS hits the shelves on September 27. Don’t take this wrong, but I hope it makes you wet your pants.
Jane is giving away two copies of her current book, BLACK TIES AND LULLABIES to two random commenters so ask questions, leave comments about the blog or tell Jane what makes you laugh in a romance novel. Good luck!