Thursday, April 22, 2010

In Search of Humor

I’ve always been told I have a demented sense of humor and parts of that show up in my books.

Namely, I like to take real life and give it a wild twist to the right. Although there have been times when real life is totally funnier than fiction.

Back in 1982 I decided I wanted to write a book about a male housekeeper. My previous books had some humor in them, but I wanted to do something that I hoped would come up laugh out loud. I figured the best way was a role reversal book. Single mom with rambunctious five-year-old twin boys, a large sheepdog, demanding career, and the need for a housekeeper. Doesn’t sound all that laugh out loud, does it? So factor in boys who only have to breathe to get into mischief. While there were chuckles with our sexy housekeeper -- can a man really read the back of a laundry detergent box – it was still the kids and dog that added to the fun factor.

But the fact part about those boys was actually funnier than the fiction. You see, the two boys were based on a mischievous four-year-old girl who was in my preschool church class. Think long dark hair, angelic face, always wore the cutest dresses, and she gave her brothers a run for their money. Her mother gave me enough stories to use for a lifetime.

While I love using humor with my main characters, it’s my secondary characters that really up the humor ante.

I’ve used my parrots, dogs, tortoise, friends’ kids, even a friend’s husband with some of his disasters. My husband even said “did Terry say you could use him?” and I said “no, but Susan did”. ‘Nuf said? Terry’s in two books, Susan’s boys are in various books, and even her evil cat showed up in a few.

One friend’s blind date was way too good not to use. Same with another friend’s speeding ticket.

I always beg to be allowed to use their tales, and so far, they’ve allowed it. Do I have great friends or what?

Because they let me take their disasters and turn them into something demented and just flat out fun.

I’ve written romantic suspense, dramatic romance, but humor is something I enjoy writing the most.

Besides, can you imagine Fluff and Puff allowing themselves to be dark and dangerous when they can be fuzzy terrors of the boardwalk instead?

Which means if you’re eating funnel cake and see a pair of fangy bunny slippers nearby, you may as well hand over the funnel cake. They’ll get it anyway.



  1. Linda,

    I love this post. Love that you draw from real life and that you have friends that live such hilarious lives.

    I am the queen of reenactments at work. When something funny happens, which is almost daily, I store it in my brain and then act it out throughout the years to come. I hadn't thought of using such incidents in my writing. Now? I just might!

  2. You should, Elle.

    One friend's blind date, which included a broken movie theater seat, her legs up in the air :} had to be used.

    At least I change the names to protect the guilty.

  3. Great post, Linda. You do a great job with humor, one of the reasons I love your books!

  4. Thanks Lizzie!

    And I've got to say I love your characters.