Sela Carsen Talks To Us

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!


18 Responses to “Sela Carsen Talks To Us”

  1. August 11, 2006 at 6:15 am

    😆 A zombie romance? Well that’s already got my vote for funny!

  2. August 11, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    Zombies and vampires and ghosties, Oh My!

  3. August 11, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    You will love it, Aimee! I can’t wait for the 15th to get my copy!

  4. 4 Catt
    August 11, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    sounds like a great read!

    i feel the same way you do, without humor, i woulda went
    insane LOL

  5. August 11, 2006 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks for the plug, May. Hey, did you know that my current h is named Mai?She’s Norwegian, though.

  6. August 11, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    Oooh. Can I tell everybody that she’s named after me anyway? 😀

  7. August 11, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    Sure — why not? Wasn’t it Susan Elisabeth Phillips who named her daughter after Danielle Steele?

    Catt, it’s either laugh or cry. And crying makes my mascara run. 😉

  8. August 11, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    Really? I didn’t know that. And thanks!

    Huh. A lot of people are coming by, but nobody seems to dare to comment. I dare ya’all to comment!

  9. August 11, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    I must be skeerier than I thought!

  10. August 11, 2006 at 5:57 pm

    Ok, just for the heck of it. I don’t know how I’ve lived as long as I have without my husband around to follow my every move.

    I went with him today to two (count ’em — TWO) hardware stores and a furniture store before we hit the supermarket. Now, I know it’s usually a bad plan to have the man in the market with me to begin with because he constantly runs off with my shopping cart. My arms are overflowing with bell peppers and bananas, and he’s decided to check out the cereal, 3 aisles over.

    But that aside, we made it through everything and were standing in line, being checked out. My grocery store has those little discount card thingies and I usually hand it over at the end of the checkout. I pay attention and I know what’s going to be discounted, so it doesn’t bother me to wait.

    Apparently, it bothered him.

    “Why don’t you hand it over now?”

    I ignored him. It didn’t work.

    “How do you know you’re getting the discount if you don’t hand it over?”

    “Because, *dear*. I just do.” Honestly. I’ve been doing the grocery shopping for almost 12 years. I think I’ve got a fairly decent handle on it by now. But nooooooo. Mr. I Haven’t Done a Lick Of Housework In Over A Decade and Couldn’t Find a Loaf of Bread I Stepped On It is pretty sure he knows the score.

    *sigh* He’s lucky I absolutely adore him. I handed the card over and it shut him up long enough for him to watch the little digital display. It made him happy. It gave me a chance to stop grinding my teeth.

  11. August 11, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    You know, maybe I should become a chemist instead.

    If I could discover that Magical Formula that will stop men from doing stuff like that, I wouldn’t just be rich, I bet I’d be made president of the World!

    And on that note, I’m off to bed. See ya all when I wake up!

  12. August 11, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    Ok, that’s the fun thing about having friends on the other side of the world. I get to take over her blog while she sleeps!

    Belly up to the bar and let’s get this party started!

  13. August 11, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Cool necros looking for dead ones. Zowie!

  14. August 11, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    Margarita please, and make it a double or a triple! A humorous zombie romance? That’s a must read,looking forward to it. Dare I presume that there will be no falling pieces? Otherwise that would be a short romance or a really kinky one. Don’t mind me, I’m just Evil. Ask May. Do you already have other buns in the oven or is the imminent release too nerve-wracking to even think about writing right now?

  15. August 12, 2006 at 2:43 am

    Never fear, folks. I had a nice glass of wine and some peace as my Darn Near Perfect Husband and my Monkey Children left me alone to write this evening.

    It’s been an honor to be allowed to host you all today. Thank you so much for your participation!

    Not Quite Dead hits the cybershelves on Tuesday, so watch my blog (hit the “Sela” link above for the website, “Carsen” for the blog) for more news and updates and hand-wringing.

    Good night, all!

  16. August 12, 2006 at 5:28 am

    Thanks to Sela for dropping by, and I’ll remind everybody when Not Quite Dead is released!

  17. August 12, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    Y’all are just twisted, you know that? No, there are no bits falling off. Eeew!!

    Ancient, check my blog (http://selacarsen.blogspot.com/2006/08/life-as-i-know-it.html) for a sample of my latest story. I’ve only just started it.

    It’s the only thing that’s keeping me sane right now by taking my mind off the release.

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