Today I bought some nail polish. This afternoon, I tried it out, along with the cuticle remover I had decided was essential to the manicuring process. Then, having removed my cuticle, I polished my nails, ate a little dinner, and went out and gassed up the lawn tractor and mowed the lawn.
Doesn't sound very funny when I tell it that way, does it? Or does it? Some people would see the humor and at least be smiling. Others would simply read it and wonder why I felt the need to document these events.
Humor is all about context and point of view. If you can relate to a situation, it makes it more humorous. A man, having never used nail polish in his life, would think the above scenario was perfectly reasonable. Those women who are obsessed with the condition of their fingernails would be appalled, rather than amused. My best friends, however, would be rolling on the floor."You NEVER polish your nails!" they would say. "Whatever possessed you?" and "Only you would do it and then cut the grass." Hey, at least I wore gloves.
That's a problem when it comes to writing humor. You have to know your audience. A stand-up comedian in front of a college crowd wouldn't be talking about the humor that can be found in the infirmities and forgetfulness of old age. However, a group of retirees would be laughing themselves silly because they can relate to it.
Romance readers are a varied group. While they are primarily female, though not always, they can be of any age and background. I have readers from their teens to their eighties, and though I probably have more in common with the older set, you must remember that everyone was young once. They have shared laughter with their friends, have known what it is to fall in love, whether that love was ever returned or not. When I was a kid, it used to amaze me that my grandmother had a sense of humor. Now that I've got a little age on me, I know that in her mind, she was the same person she had always been, whether young or old. And she, like most people, loved to laugh.
Traditionally, romance novels have not been humorous. When Slave first came out, I got comments in reviews that went something like this: "I don't know if Ms Brooks intended this to be funny or not, but in many places, I was LMAO!" And yes, it was meant to be funny. When I'm writing, if I can throw in a little silliness, I do it because I think the romance genre, on the whole, takes itself much too seriously. Life is not meant to be all drama and strife. It should be filled with love and laughter. And I do my best to spread as much of those things around through my writing as I possibly can.
So, you may be wondering what the cat has to do with today's post. Not a thing except that it makes me laugh every time I look at it. And that's really all that matters, isn't it?