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Showing posts from April, 2010

Destination Truth: Researching the Historical Romance Novel

In honor of the humor theme for this month, I'm sharing a post I did for my blog tour for MY UNFAIR LADY, for those that may have missed it, and because it tickled me the first time around. :} One of my favorite shows on TV is SyFy channel’s Destination Truth with Joshua Gates. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it’s about a guy who travels to all sorts of exotic locations to find out the truth about monsters reportedly living there. The host, Josh Gates, is tall and adorable…brave almost to the point of insanity…has a wicked sense of humor…perfect hero material…sorry, got distracted. Anyway, Josh never seems to uncover proof of the actual monster (I’ll keep rooting for him), but his journeys are amazing, and he always discovers all kinds of other, interesting things (like a headless chicken corpse with human feet, an enormous unidentified footprint, ghostly images, disembodied voices and even scarier mundane things. Like quicksand. Alligators. Poisonous snakes…) Shivering aside,

What's Next?

by Libby Malin What a month it has been! My Own Personal Soap Opera hit the shelves, and I hit the virtual road for my eco-friendly virtual book tour, stopping by blogs hither and yon, answering questions about writing and having a blast. Seriously. I did have a blast. On this blog tour, I decided to throw three sheets to the wind and write funny and silly as well as serious and writerly. My favorite stops, in case you missed them: Fresh Fiction on April 7 where I penned a "scholarly essay" on How to Write the Comedic Novel. This here blog on April 13 where I was interviewed about my little-known history. The Love Romance Passion blog on April 12 where I talked about soap operas. The Books and Needlepoint blog on April 20 where I talked about books I "faked" reading and more. The MamaWriters blog yesterday where I talked about how to nurture a writer in your family, using my sweet and talented daughter (who has a book coming out this fall!

A Day in the Life

In the absence of anything worthwhile to write about I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the ultra-glamorous daily life of a writer. My day goes a little something like this… “Mom! Mom, wake up, the toilet’s overflowing!” “Wha-What?” I leap from the bed and step down on something wet and warm that squishes up between my toes. “And the cat threw up somewhere.” “Yeah. Found it.” I get my incredibly brilliant, well-behaved, adorable children fed, dressed, and in the car… with only minor injuries and emotional trauma (they can work it out later in therapy). As we get into the car the content of my son’s backpack spills to the floor. Trying to stuff the mass of papers back into the bag something catches my eye. “Why does this note say you are responsible to bring snack… TODAY?” “Oh yeah! I get to bring snack today.” “We have to be at school in 15 minutes!” “I want to bring snack mix, fruit salad, and gummy worms.” “Aaaarrrrgh!” I rush back into the house and fling open the fridge: milk, e

Stupid Comedies

Yes I am a writer, and yes I do inject humor here and there within my story, and yes I love to read humorous tales. But I am also a devoted lover of movies. I like just about all types of movies, my entertainment bones tickled by everything from heavy dramas to action flicks to sweet romances to westerns to family/childrens and so on. But there is one category of movie – what we have dubbed “ stupid comedies ” – that can almost be embarrassing to admit watching. Hide your face in shame if you must, but let’s face it, sometimes a person needs to zone out for a couple of hours with mindless entertainment requiring zero brain cell usage, content in the knowledge that you will laugh until your side hurts and/or milk spurts out your nose. Here are a few of my favorites, proudly proclaimed! Happy Gilmore – Gotta admit that I like Adam Sandler. Not everything, but most of them. Waterboy deserves an honorable mention and I liked Big Daddy , but Happy Gilmore is my favorite. Every time the g

Sex is funny

By: Lydia Dare Sex is funny. Oh, yes, it is. Admit it. It’s hilarious at times. Sure, it’s sweet, romantic, moving. Then there are those moments when you get a cramp in your thigh or in your big toe. Or there’s a noise no one would ever classify as romantic. Yes, those things happen. And they are funny. Maybe not in the moment, but afterward. Just thinking about it now makes me laugh. Now that A Certain Wolfish Charm is on the shelves and my friends and family members have read the (dramatic whisper here) SEX SCENES, I do have to tell you that the funniest thing about sex is when people ask that fateful question. Yes, you know what it is. It happens more often than not, and I feel certain almost every romance writer has heard it. “Where do you get the ideas for the hot parts?” Or “How much of THAT was based on your own experiences?” Here’s one thing I know to be true -- My husband pats himself on the back when he has a friend at work tell him that his wife read the book a

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Party if I Want to…

By Robin Kaye Today is my birthday so I thought I’d have a kind of reverse birthday party. Since I’ve already received a few rather spectacular presents, I thought I’d give away the gifts—three copies of Breakfast in Bed, the third book in my Domestic Gods series to lucky commenters. First, I have to show you what I got for my birthday, or, should I say, what I got so far since the day is definitely not over yet. I received a package from my mother and stepfather. I opened it to find a present wrapped in green bubble wrap. I have to say, I do love bubble wrap, especially the green variety. Back to the present—a quick glance through very cool green bubble wrap made me wonder if it was one of my books, which was quite odd, especially since I have plenty of my own books. I opened the card first because we all know it’s the polite thing to do. Okay, fine, I admit I only opened the card first because my daughter was watching. If she hadn’t been, I’d have been all over the present. In my opi

Change... and why we dislike it so

This is the first blog I've written on my brand new computer. About all I can say right now is that the keyboard makes almost as much noise as a typewriter. I wonder if someone decided that writers need the sound of the key report to make them think they've written something profound--remember Greg Kinnear's character in You've Got Mail and how much he adored his typewriter--so much so that he bought another one just like it? Wish I could've done that. My new computer is not nearly as pretty as the one it's replacing. Instead of the nice, metallic teal I had before, this one is black and very functional-looking. The funny thing is, it's essentially the same computer. It has the same size screen and is roughly the same size overall, though it weighs slightly less. It does, however, have a faster processor, more RAM, a larger hard drive, and a completely different operating system (Window 7 instead of XP), but my biggest beef is that it has two, as opposed to


By Deb Werksman I was, of course, a book worm growing up. I was the kind of kid who would read while I was walking down the stairs, and my mom would have to call me multiple times for dinner because I didn't hear her while I had my nose in a book. (Can you relate to this?) My mom and I used to have this conversation about re-reading--she couldn't believe I would re-read a book I had already read once. Meanwhile, there are some books I re-read on a regular basis (Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer come to mind). When I first read Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale I re-read the ending about 10 times before I could put the book down and I pick it up about every 3 months and re-read that scene again. One of the things we're doing at Sourcebooks that I'm really excited about is bringing some of these classics back into print. We have 4 of Laura Kinsales: Uncertain Magic, Seize the Fire, Prince of Midnight and Midsummer Moon, which is lighter and funny and delightful, wh

Happy Earth Day. What's so funny about that?

This month's topic is humor, but since today is also Earth Day, I feel compelled to include both in this post. So, what's funny about Earth Day? Absolutely nuthin'. Oh, I've heard jokes about penguins fighting polar bears as they float toward the equator on icebergs, but is global warming something to poke fun at? Probably not. So, I boiled it down to a personal level and figured I'd tell you about my--ahem--skills as a gardener. I'm in the enviable(?) position of having plenty of room for gardens. When we moved in here, the previous owners had already planted bulbs that sprout into a gorgeous spring garden each year. Since that was none of my doing, I can't take credit for it...but I can take credit for the genius solution I came up with to take care of the aftermath once it all dies. Being the lazy-ass gardener I am, I simply have my husband mow it! Yup, it becomes part of the lawn again. See? Genius! Now, I had to put in another garden because the plow gu

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 o

Rowdy Ladies: Signing books and having the time of our lives

Me at a booksigning, laughing, getting rowdy. Observe the man in the background, trying desperately to keep his mind on what he's doing despite the commotion. by Mary Margret Daughtridge I had another blog on the subject of humor all written, but this was too good a story not to share. I don't have a group shot of us but picture a group of women, all shall we say post-mature, but only one whose hair has been allowed to gray. Pictured are the publisher of a monthly wellness newspaper, a physician, the owner of a car dealership, a neurofeedback therapist, and me, a novelist. One time I arrived late at the upscale restaurant where I was meeting them for dinner. “You made it! Did you have any trouble finding us?” they wanted to know as they scooted over to make room for me at the table in the large dining room. “Not a bit." I shook open my napkin. "When I got here, I realized I didn’t know what name the reservation was in, and I couldn’t think of how to describe

Our Great Humorists

We are so fortunate to have so many talented, witty English-speaking writers. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite quotes with you. I know these ladies and gentlemen always bring a smile to my lips. Oscar Wilde Always forgive your enemies—nothing annoys them so much. One should never trust a woman who tells her real age. If she tells that, she'll tell anything. How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being. Jane Austen I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me that trouble of liking them a great deal. One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty. It was a delightful visit - perfect, in being much too short. Mark Twain Get the facts first. You can distort them later. (Perfect for historical authors!) Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. Work is a necessary evil to be avoided. Dorothy

Where is it AGAIN???

"It's Here Somewhere..." It's the story of my life. Truly. But I have a tale I had to share about that elusive "it." A patron came in, worried because she'd received a notice saying her book was overdue. But her son had turned it in at the main library, she assured me. It's our branch's book, but I told her that I'd look on our shelves, but that it wouldn't be here unless it had a routing slip (which means it would be checked in at the main library and sent to us), and so I checked and of course didn't find it. I called the main library and this was how it went down: "Hi, this is Terry and I'm trying to track down a book that might be still at your library. The book is "It's Here Somewhere."" Yes, that's the book's title. Honest to God. So the woman said, "I'll give you to someone else to talk to." All right. So I repeated my dilemma. "I have a patron here who has an overdue notic

Hepburn & Grant &... Me?

Speaking as the Jodie half of Lydia Dare - I am not a big fan of chick-flicks, or tear-jerkers, or anything too serious or sad. My mantra has always been – “If I’m paying for entertainment, I want to laugh. I can sit at home and cry for free.” I’ve said it so much, I don’t even need to say it anymore. Friends will talk about some dramatic movie and they’ll look at me and say, “Yeah, yeah, you just want to sit at home and cry for free.” Well, it is cheaper. Anyway, with that in mind, one of my most favorite things in the world is to watch old movies. And not just any old movies – but the Screwball Comedies of the 30s and 40s. All right – I do love some of the old classics too – Casablanca, Double Indemnity, Citizen Kane, 12 Angry Men – but one can’t really call those movies comedies, and I already own them so watching them is free if I want to cry or feel particularly serious. I think I’ve somehow gotten off point. Where was I? Oh, yes, those classic comedies. How could I forget? I c

Dog Trouble

It surprises me that I write romantic comedies. I never thought of myself as a particularly amusing person, but when I sit down to write, the funny takes over. Maybe it's because I write about cowboys, and cowboys are inherently funny. For starters, they wear chaps--which are, without a doubt, the most absurd garment ever invented. The sexiest, maybe, but also the funniest. They're basically pants without a seat. It's hard to judge your own humor, but this is one of my favorite funny scenes from "Cowboy Trouble." Here's the setup: Our heroine, Libby, has told her new (and very attractive) neighbor that she has a ferocious guard dog named Ivan the Terrible--just in case the guy's considerable charm turns out to be of the Ted Bundy variety. She decides a dog is actually a good idea, so she goes to the local shelter--and ends up adopting a 15-pound Jack Russell Terrier. When Luke comes over the next day, she shoves the dog in the pantry so he won'

Bring On The Snark

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy APRIL 15th?!?!?! OH NO!!!!!!!!!! Today in the US it is "Tax Day," the deadline for everyone to file their federal tax returns. I'm sorry to say that yer olde Aunty is going to be hard pressed to find anything humorous about paying taxes, and I do not think there is anything remotely funny about the Internal Revenue Service. (I survived an audit once and remain scarred and scared for life!) Hmmm, come to think of it, there is not much inherently humorous about Aunty's books, which center largely around murder and mayhem -- not very funny subjects (though certainly not unfamiliar to the IRS) . Okay, are you sensing a theme here? While Aunty does indeed possess a puckish sense of humor, I do not 'write funny.' I leave that to several of the lovely Casababes whose books are quite funny -- intentionally. All right, now that we are clear on that, I will admit that while I may not be a humorous writer, one thing I do have goi

Welcome Women’s Fic Author Wendy Holden!

Hi Everyone—please welcome a fellow Sourcebooks author and bestselling UK women’s author Wendy Holden , whose latest release, Beautiful People , hit stores last week, and she’s come to visit with us to chat and have a launch party!! It’s great to have a laun ch party – they’ve kind of died out here in the UK, which is a shame, as there used to be some super ones. I remember one where the author dressed up as a bride, which was pretty crazy. I had a few good ones myself – my first novel, Simply Divine , was launched on a tidal wave of champagne and celebrities at the Ritz in London; some excellent follow-up bashes for my subsequent novels included two at the prestigious Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel, London. At the first one I had the great good fortune of being crashed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Gisele – it wasn’t that they wanted to come, exactly, more that they wanted to get to the bar and couldn’t work out who all these folks waving paperbacks at them were. Eventually they turned ta

An Interview with Libby Malin, Internationally-renowned Humorous Women's Fiction Author

Q. Your book, My Own Personal Soap Opera , has been out for several weeks now. How has it been going? A. Very well. I’ve been having lots of fun on my eco-friendly virtual book tour, and I’ve been receiving many positive comments from readers. Both of them. No, seriously, it’s been great, and I truly have been enjoying myself. Q. Well, since you’re visiting this blog today, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself? A. Thank you for asking. Not many people know my true personal story, so I'm happy to share it here today. It has great relevance to my journey as a writer. I was born in a small village in the Hungarian Alps, orphaned at the age of five months and raised by vampiric werewolves. This is one of the reasons, by the way, that I cannot bring myself to write stories involving vampires or werewolves, no matter how much money is to be made in that field. I know, I know—authors are ra king in dozens of dollars writing those tales. But for me, it