posted on June 8, 2016 by Jennifer Shirk

A Laughing Matter

by Jennifer Shirk

FFtF_500I confess. I love to read books that make me laugh—or at the very least crack a smile. It’s a form of escapism and gain a brief moment of happiness.

As a writer who also likes to write funny, it creates some added challenges to an already hard profession. Why is writing humor so hard? Because there really is no clear cut path to what exactly is perceived as funny.

What is universally funny?

I wish I knew, because I know not everybody who reads my books is going to laugh. But I’ve come up with at least three things that I always enjoy when I read or write humor.

1) witty and snappy dialogue

In my opinion, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Crusie are the queens of this. Quick and snarky dialogue is not only enjoyable to read (because you wish you were saying it), but it adds to the chemistry between hero and heroine, too.

2) embarrassing moments

That’s something I enjoy in real life as well. Awkward or embarrassing situations–where we want to crawl under a rock and die– are areas in our lives that we ALL can relate to because we’ve experienced them. Of course, when the situation is happening to a character (and not yourself) it’s MUCH easier to laugh. Kristan Higgins does a great job with this.

3) sarcasm

This could be also be lumped under #1 (witty and snappy dialogue) but sometimes a character can think sarcastically or sarcasm can just be used in POV. For ex.

This wasn’t an office. It was Hell with fluorescent lighting.

Again, sarcasm is hard to write because sometimes it totally depends on tone and tone you can’t hear when reading.

I’m sure there is something that I missed, but those are the things that pop into my mind that I enjoy reading humor.

Thanks for having me today! I hope you all get to check out my new Bliss romance FROM FAKE TO FOREVER—and maybe you’ll even laugh!

When you read comedy, what strikes you as funny?

From Fake to Forever
by Jennifer Shirk
Release Date: June 6, 2016

Sandra Moyer’s preschool is struggling, so when her sister suggests allowing a super-famous actor to research his latest role there, she reluctantly agrees. Except the actor turns out to be Ben Capshaw—a playboy who’s never serious, always joking around, and who knows zero about kids or being a parent. Case in point: his involvement in the untimely death of the preschool’s class pet…

Ben is enjoying teaching more than he thought he would, but that doesn’t mean he’s looking for a permanent position. Sure, he’s ready for more serious movie roles and less goofing off, but the buttoned-up, beautiful Sandra and her young daughter are more than he bargained for. Plus, Sandra still won’t trust him—what if it’s all an act, research for the role? As the lines between make-believe and reality blur, Ben will have to decide if love is worth casting aside the role of his life for a new role…that could last a lifetime.

 

Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations. She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, THE ROLE OF A LIFETIME. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance. Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her.

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