Do you hear that thumpa-thumpa? That's my heart beating fast as I anticipate the official release of Fire Me on May 1! Actually, the book's been shipping early, if amazon is any guide, and I was thrilled to receive my own copies from Sourcebooks a week ago.
And let me say again -- they are gorgeous! The finished book is slightly different than the ARC, with a deeper blue on the cover that really pops and the lovely blurb from Melissa Senate.
I know folks might be tired of me recapping Fire Me's story, but for those who don't know, it follows PR specialist Anne Wyatt through one crazy work day as she tries to "win" a lay-off and the severance package that goes with it (since she's leaving for another job anyway). She learns a lot about herself and love in the process.
Fire Me is a comedy (uh, ya think? LOL!) which presented all sorts of challenges to this writer as I struggled to come up with funny situations, turns of phrase or ideas that worked as smile- or giggle-inducers on the page.
Slapstick works well on film because it's so visually immediate, zinging its way to the "funny bone" part of the brain (yes, that's a technical term; I'm sure of it; I checked WebMD). But if you try describing a pratfall in words, you immediately see how hard it is to make it have the same comedic impact.
So I really had to think about many passages in the book, often re-writing them, searching for that elusive funny moment. And I had to balance the physcial comedy in the novel with sly humor in dialogue and the characters' own sometimes off-kilter outlooks on the world.
It's odd to think of writing comedy as such an intensely intellectual task, but for me, it was--or rather, a combination of thinking and telling myself not to overthink it! (No wonder Anne is so crazy!)
I hope I succeeded. Early reviewers seem to think so, which is gratifying. A common thread running through critiques is that reviewers laughed, chuckled, or giggled out loud.
As I've thought about Fire Me's release and the process I used to form this tale, I've thought a lot about what makes me laugh when reading a book and what some of my favorite humorous books or book passages are. You show me yours and I'll show you mine! Tell me what funny books are among your favorites, or what comedic moments in books really had you smiling. I'd love to know!
Oh, and if you're in Lancaster, PA on Saturday May 2, stop by the local Barnes & Noble at 2 p.m. -- I'll be signing copies of Fire Me then.