Since Vonnie was kind enough to host me today, it seemed only fitting to talk about writing humor. While I’ve never come up with anything as hilariously original as Effie in her pink pelican baffies, I do love to write a little humor into all my stories, and my latest release, Small Town Christmas Tales, is no exception. The book is a collection of ten short holiday romances, rather like ten mini Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, each set in a fictional small town in a different state. Each story has a different tone, but I tried to tuck a bit of humor into most of them. Here are a couple of examples.
“Mistletoe and Misdemeanors” opens like this:This was the last place she expected to spend Christmas. Callie Rayburn glanced around the puke-green cinder block cell in the basement of the Hawthorne Springs, Missouri police station. In jail for Christmas. It figured, given the downward spiral her life had taken during the past twenty-four hours.
A tear slid down the side of her nose. She dashed it away with the back of her hand and snuffled. She didn’t even have a tissue because that jerk Billy Freeman had taken her purse. What kind of town let a pubescent little snot like Billy Freeman wear a badge and carry a gun? It seemed like just last week she’d babysat him and his obnoxious younger brother to earn enough money to buy her dream dress for the senior prom.
Another tear followed the track of the first. If Billy Freeman was old enough to be a police officer, what did that make her? Ancient. Over the hill. Thirty years old with nothing to show for it. Two days ago she’d been living the high life in St. Louis with a job, a cute apartment she couldn’t afford, and a future. Today—zip, nada, bupkis. And now, to tie the whole thing up with a big fluffy bow, she’d been arrested by Billy Freeman for breaking and entering. Un-freaking-believable.
The humor in “No Room at the Inn” is situational and character-driven, rather than attitude and language-based. In that story, a stranger shows up at the heroine’s inn in the middle of an ice storm with a pregnant Goth teenager in tow. They’re on the run from three Jersey mobsters, but the inn is fully booked for the holidays. Fortunately, as the heroine notes, “No way was she going to put a carpenter named Joe and a pregnant girl named Maria in her barn on Christmas Eve because there was no room at the inn.” Even though they look and sound like extras from The Sopranos, the Wise Guys turn out to be more like the Three Stooges, and ultimately all ends well.
If you’re in the mood for a little holiday fun, I invite you to check out Small Town Christmas Tales: Ten Short Holiday Romances, available in paperback and ebook exclusively at Amazon. To see more, click here.