Hi there, to those of you who don’t know me already. My name is Sela Carsen and on Tuesday, my first novella is coming out from Samhain Publishing. NOT QUITE DEAD will be available on August 15 and I’m pretty darned excited. When I’m not feeling nauseous.
The story is, as my friends dubbed it, a “para-rom-zom-com-nov.” A paranormal romantic zombie comedy novella. Set in present day small-town Louisiana, it’s the story of a man who rises from his grave and the high school guidance counselor who loves him. Ok, it’s a little more complex than that, but that’s what I call my soap-opera tagline.
You’ll find that the one thing romantic comedy writers will all agree on is that no one can agree on what’s funny. I’m not even certain what makes something a comedy. Is it slapstick physical humor? Is it constant zingers? Is it just something in the way someone tells the story?
When you set out to write a humorous story, you have to make a decision. Is this about an ordinary character in extraordinary circumstances? Or is the character herself an extraordinary person who stands out in an ordinary setting? There can be a mix of the two, of course. Sometimes the crazy character is the only one who makes sense. And sometimes the crazy setting takes a back seat to the straight man’s gig.
Personally, I think my comedy is just part of my voice. No pratfalls, no zany antics, just a skewed way of looking at the world.
If I didn’t look at the world funny, I’d have ended up in the loony bin long ago. My friends tell me I’m a funny person. Now, I can’t tell a joke to save my life. I really can’t. Jokes are rehearsed, jokes are lines, jokes don’t have feeling. But I can tell stories all day long. Stories about me, about my family, about my experiences. Because that’s what funny really is. It’s the heart of us, it touches our hearts and our lives. Life is funny, jokes are not.
So when you write comedy, it’s not just one joke after another. It’s about life. Don’t push too hard, but never let a one-liner pass you by.
The lovely, and boobilicious Sela has agreed to take questions today. So feel free!
And never fear, I’ll post a reminder about her release when it’s out!