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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 going for me is SNARK! You know what I mean -- those witty if somewhat acerbic comments made at the most inopportune moments. I'm afraid it's a genetic anomaly since most of my relatives, especially my siblings, seem to possess the same propensity. As my Gramma used to say, we all "have a mouth on us."

In fact, I'm sure that somewhere in the mists of the auld sod lies the undiscovered motto of the McGarys. Translated from the Gaelic, I'll bet it reads: When in doubt, bring on the snark!

I suppose it was only natural for my characters to occasionally lapse into snarky dialogue in spite of the murder, mayhem, and otherwise deadly serious events going on around them.

Here's a little example from The Wild Sight between Donovan and his brother-in-law Sean. Everyone has been at the hospital all night because Donovan's father has suffered a stroke:

“There’s been no change for hours and we’re all exhausted,” Sean argued, pressing his house key into his brother-in-law’s hand. “You and your wee Yank go catch a few winks in the guest room, whilst I drag your sister home by the hair of her head if I have to.”

“Good luck with that,” Donovan muttered.

And then there's this little exchange in The Treasures of Venice between Keirnan and his sister Kathleen:

“You’d bloody well better believe I object!” Kathleen declared, ignoring his warning as always. She shook her finger at him. “You can’t use the Jewels of the Madonna as some…some bargaining chip!”

“Well, pardon me for saving your lily-white neck!” Keirnan laid sarcasm on thick. “I wasn’t sure which part of you those thugs would carve off next, so I suppose I wasn’t thinking too clearly.”

As he’d hoped, that seemed to take a little of the wind out of her sails. She muttered a rude phrase in Italian, though she spared him the accompanying hand gesture.

Pretty snarky, right? Well, these two have nothing on my latest pair of fictional siblings in The Wild Irish Sea. Inspired by my own brothers, the heroine's twin brother, Parker O'Neill is the king of snark. Here's a little sample of Parker's verbal sparring with his sister:

Amber crossed
her arms and put on her stern teacher persona, quite a trick considering the circumstances. “Just give me your clothes. All of them."

“What am I suppose to wear in the meantime?” Parker complained, but he unbuttoned the shirt all the same.

Amber opened the top bureau drawer. “You can put on some of Kevin’s clothes.”

“A shirt’s okay, but I draw the line at wearing some other guy’s underwear.” Parker paused for two heartbeats before he added, “Even if you are in love with him.”

...He pulled a pair of sweatpants from the far side of the closet. “Turn your head,” he ordered his sister. “Unless you want a peep show. I’m about to go commando under these sweats.”

I hope you'll enjoy reading more of Parker and his snarky remarks when The Wild Irish Sea hits the shelves on July 6th!

So what about you? Do you have any snarky people in your life? Love 'em or hate 'em? Or do you yourself sometimes bring on the snark? And most important of all -- Have you filed your taxes?!?!

If you don't want to wait until July 6th to read more of The Wild Irish Sea, I'm holding a contest to give away an ARC. Just send me proof that you've purchased one of my other books, or email me to answer three easy questions about either The Wild Sight or The Treasures of Venice. Please contact me through my website:

The fine print: A winner will be randomly chosen on May 4, 2010. Void where prohibited by law. You must be 18 years or older to enter. No prize substitution permitted. Odds of winning are determined by number of entrants. This contest is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.


  1. Taxes. Ugh. I was all proud of myself for getting our federal ones done early (since we were getting a nice refund that, sadly, has since been spent, though we are going on a nice vacation with the family this year), when I realized last night that I had to do our local taxes! State were in - we owed pittance. Almost not even worth the stamp to send it in, but I did.

    Anyhoo, had to scrounge around last night for not only our locals, but some of the Kids' taxes too. I'd done their federal, but had spaced on the state and local. Luckily I could download the state - even luckier, after 3 full days without reliable internet - and 3 modems and 2 tech guys, not to mention numerous phone calls to the cable company - you know, the TECHNOLOGY company that can't seem to manage to pick up a phone????!!!!! - I FINALLY was back online at 7:40 last night. So that's when the commencing of taxes began.

    Have I bored anyone yet? I've bored myself. And now I have to get back to edits where I'm supposed to be funny. Oy. :)

    Snark? Yeah, I've got it.

  2. Taxes are done, I even got the refund (not nearly enough) which was quickly eaten up by a humungous vet bill. Sigh, my 110 pound yellow lab somehow got a nasty bladder infection seemingly overnight. I thought he'd had a stroke, the poor guy could barely walk and I won't even go into the "accidents" he had. I've been nursing a sick ten year-old puppy for the last three days which is why I've been scarce here. Sorry for that.

    As for snarky - well, I'm from the snark family. It's definitely genetic since all three of my children have been afflicted. I begin every parent teacher conference with a blanket apology for whatever my kids have said or will say in the future that will be both highly humorous and highly embarrassing to the teacher. I school the teachers on the importance of keeping a straight face and not letting the kids step over the line since my youngest is still learning the boundaries of snarky humor. The teachers have been known to come with a list of "funny" things my kids have said - like I don't hear it day in and day out. I've been told that our family dinners are better than a night at the comedy club. I feel I've become the snark-police. Rest assured that all my characters are quite snarky too. I seem to just create snarky characters - real and imagined. I can't help myself.

  3. Great post, Cindy! You are the queen of Snark.

    Love the excerpts you posted and having read all three books, I can attest to the fact that the verbal sparring in them is priceless.

    Uh, taxes, what taxes?

  4. All my good friends have great snark, AC.

    And probably why we get along so well. :}

  5. WHOA Judi!
    That's a load of taxes you gotta file there in your neck o' the woods. And LOL on the tech company who can't answer a phone. Been there, done that with an ISP who won't answer their emails. :-(

    Snark much?!?! I wonder why...


  6. Oh Robin, so sorry to hear about your pup (all 110 lbs of him)! Hope he's all better now but what a bummer on your tax refund. :-P

    Snark police? (Aunty looks stealthily over her shoulder) Nobody called them, did they?!?! And I'm ROFL about you creating snarky characters real and imagined!

    When my son was in about 2nd or 3rd grade one of my best friends took care of him for the day. Later she said, "He may not look like you, but as soon as he opens his mouth there's NO QUESTION whose kid he is!" I was highly complimented. Still am. ;-)


  7. Hey Jo-Mama!

    Thanks for stopping by to verify the snark in my books. I'm glad you like the verbal sparring between my characters.

    As for taxes... I KNOW you have yours done coz you have a kidlet who is a tax preparer. How handy! Plus, he prepared MINE too! :-)


  8. Hey Linda!
    Yes indeed, we snarky broads must stick together. ;-)


  9. Did my taxes a couple of weeks ago and actually got my return earlier this week :)

    I love snark--reading it, watching it in movies, giving it myself, overhearing snarky conversations... but in mixed company (with those who aren't fans of the snark), I simply explain that I'm making social observations.

  10. You had to mention taxes! I got mine taken care of last week and refuse to peek at my bank account until it miraculously regenerates. LOL!

    I love snarky. Bring it on! I have quite a bit of that with my characters as well. Darcy and his cousin Richard have mastered snark, or sarcasm, whichever term one prefers!

    Cindy, I can't WAIT for Wild Irish Sea!! I am your biggest fan and am very anxious.

  11. I love snark! A whole lot more than I love tax time.

    Of course, I'm looking forward to next year possibly being the first when my writing isn't just a big fat number in the "loss" section! :)


  12. OOO Danielle, let me make a note of "social observations," I LIKE that phrase! (Aunty scribbles in her notebook)

    GOOD for you on getting those taxes filed early. I hope you have some wonderful plans for that refund... Retail therapy maybe?!?!


  13. Sharon,
    I LOVE your Darcy's witty repartee too! Thank you for being a big fan of my books and I think you and Emily are going to LOVE both Kevin and Parker in TWIS. ;-)

    As for your bank account spontaneously regenerating... If it does, PLEASE teach me how to do it!!!


  14. You're right, Tawna,
    There's just not much to love about taxes... and that is NO SNARK!

    It is nice to see a few positive numbers in the old Profit and Loss statement. Alas, Aunty's are very few, but here's hoping they GROW in 2010. :-)


  15. LOL, Judi, isn't it the truth. We always seem to spend our refund before it gets here.

    Good luck on the funny edits!

  16. Wow, Robin, snark is the soup de jour at your house, huh? Can't wait to read your books. TBR pile tottering precariously!

  17. That's hilarious, Cindy. Colin IS a lot like you, and yes, that's a compliment too!

  18. Yep, the taxes are done, AC, thanks to the kidlet, but I haven't mailed them off yet. We're getting a small return, so I'm putting it off a few more days, wondering if it'll grow somehow, like mold LOL.

  19. ROFLOL over the "growing like mold" Jo!

    If only my refund would multiply like the dust-bunnies in my office... But then I'd only have to claim a profit and pay EVEN MORE TAXES! :-P


  20. What a great post I love snarky and I can never think what to say love your books so far and am soo looking forward to The Wild Irish Sea and the snarky comments that always make me laugh.

    In Australia our tax return must be in by the end of October I always get mine done at the begining of July and so far have always been pretty lucky and get a tax return hence getting them done early so as I have extra money to spend usually on great books LOL

    Have Fun

  21. Thanx for stopping by, Helen!

    The beauty of writing snarky dialogue is that you have lots of time to think up replies! :-)

    I didn't know your taxes were due in Oct. but it seems like a better idea because then you get your refund in time to buy Chrissy presents! You Aussies are sooo smart!


  22. Loved your excerpts, AC!
    Not so crazy about tax day.


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