In defense of cheese.

Have you ever heard the adage, “One person’s cheese is another person’s treasure?” No? Really? Maybe I have it wrong.

In trolling Goodreads recently, I came across two comments on my books and saw the same word written: “cheese.” Actually, in one case, the reader had written, “total cheese.” It got me wondering. Could my humor be as smelly as a veiny, moldy fromage?

I’ll preface this by saying a reviewer has the right to say whatever they darn well please. Free speech and all that. I’m happy whenever anyone takes time to share thoughts about my work.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t laugh at the same things others do. I’ve seen friends and family go into conniptions over really bad sitcoms, while I sit there picking lint out of my bellybutton. What do I laugh at? Well, give me a good Carol Burnett or Mary Tyler Moore anyday. You’ll at least be guaranteed a smile from me. And if it’s that scene where Mary laughs at the funeral, I’m on the floor. The shows I think are super funny tend to get cancelled. Arrested Development was a big fave in my house, and I related to the off-beat humor of the show. I grew up watching SCTV, memorizing the dialogue and antics of such comedic greats as Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short. I can still quote some of their quirky skits.

Perhaps that is the key: quirky. My heroines have often been described as quirky. The online dictionary defines quirky as “an individual peculiarity of character.” Peculiar…hmm…So maybe not everyone appreciates my sense of humor? Granted, I write heroines who are imperfect. They are a celebration of quirky, like the girls I knew growing up. We weren’t perfect. We laughed at each other when we fell. We had self-deprecating senses of humor and an appreciate for the bizarre.

And you know what? I wouldn’t want it any other way.

In life today, and in many of the romances I’ve read, things are way too serious. I prefer a fun escape. Now don’t get me wrong, serious is important too. But I’m from the Molly Harper/Kathy Love school of writing: I enjoy the pratfall, I like the humanity in my characters, and it’s not unusual for my heroines to have a snot bubble while laughing.

Will I adapt my sense of humor because it may not appeal to all? Never. It’s who I am. I pretty much write the way I talk. Will I seek to write hard-hitting novels full of heart-wrenching topics? Perhaps, but I will still throw in the odd snot bubble. Do I think humor and romance go together? YES!

Like fine wine and a stinky piece of cheese.

30 thoughts on “In defense of cheese.

  1. In Trinidad we have the saying – For every rat there’s a piece of cheese. Meaning there’s a man out there for every woman and vice versa.
    I so agree with you about a sense of humor being totally particular to the individual. I’m partial to John Cleese in anything. A Fish Called Wanda cracks me up. No matter how many times I see it, i laugh till I cry. I love Martin Short. I’ll watch talk shows I don’t like because he’s a guest.
    Great post!

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    • Jianne, I will be quoting you on that Trinidadian expression! Love it. John Cleese cracks me up too. I’m a huge Monty Python geek and have been known to quote it at inopportune moments. And yes, Martin Short is truly the bomb. Even my sons know all about Ed Grimley now. 🙂

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  2. I’ll go on record as saying I like some humor and some irreverence in my romances at times. Maybe not in every book, but it’s always nice to have something that’s just fun and puts a smile on your face at the same time it’s making other parts smile as well. I’ve been told I have a dry sense of humor, and while I’ve never really understood what that means, I know my sense of humor tends to be a bit offbeat, out of the ordinary, and yes, more than a little irreverent at times. Different strokes for different folks as they say. Luckily there are more than enough books out there that everyone should be able to find something that suits them and their sense of or desire for humor.

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    • I love your response, Michelle! It really is about different strokes, isn’t it? I realized early in my writing career that I can’t appeal to everyone. Sometimes it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s like everything in life. I personally love chocolate mint ice cream, while my hubby does not. So obviously…he is a deviant.
      😉
      Thanks for being here with me today!

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    • It might be a Brit thing for me too, Eva, even though I’m Canadian! In Canada, we are subjected, I mean treated, to so much great Brit humor. I love it. It just makes me cackle. It’s a different sensibility, and definitely quirky.

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  3. I love humor in romances. I love quirky, off the wall humor. My humor tends to fall more on the Ace Ventura end of the scale, lol.
    So like you pointed out, we are all different. We all find different things humorous.
    *raises glass* Here’s to cheese, knees, peas and whatever else rhymes with cheese!

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  4. I’d like to go on record as saying I LOVE when there is offbeat or quirky humor in a story. I completely sympathize though, sometimes I read things that actually have me laughing outloud but no one else gets it. That’s ok, I wouldn’t have it any other way. So my vote is totally for the cheese. lol

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  5. Hey, if you’re not having a blast writing the book, how can your readers have any fun with it? I happen to be a quirky character myself, so I totally respect the strange and unique. I’ve even been known to have one of my characters trip and fall during a striptease, LOL.

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    • Allie, I already love that character! LOL. That is amazing. I love having my heroines fall a lot too. It’s such a good tool for expression. They fall for the dude, and at some point, they literally fall. I love the moment when the heroine picks herself up and thinks “Sheesh. Not again…and in front of him!”

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  6. I like it when heroines can laugh at themselves and I, too, bust a gut at Carol Burnett. Watching a Harvey Corman fall apart while Tim Conway keeps it ALL together is classic.

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    • Love it, Nickie!! Harvey and Tim together were hell on wheels. I still giggle thinking about them, years later. Remeber the dentist office scene? Priceless. Thanks for coming out today!

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  7. I love a book that evokes emotion & makes that connection be it laughter or tears and occasionally even frustration! I too am a quirky Canadian & if you thought a Fish Called Wanda was funny you MUST see Fierce Creatures. Same cast of actors but set in a zoo – can you imagine the schtick that ensues with small animals??? OMG I am laughing thinking about it!

    I too enjoy a nice cheese or three with my wine or without as the mood strikes. 😉

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    • I loved both those movies, Heather! As for the quirky Canadian thing, maybe it’s all the Timmie’s coffee. Tim Horton’s is an addictive drug. Perhaps it induces cheesy mania in Canadian citizens. Oh, I don’t know. I blame Michael J Fox.

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  8. I completely feel you about the sense of humor. And I admire the way you interpret the comments in your reviews. My first book is not out yet and I often wonder how I’ll feel when I get a review that doesn’t favor my likes. But in general, in life, I feel as you do. We all like different things. My husband will be outright guffawing over something I think is so stupid and yet he’ll look at me like I’m crazy when I’m out of breath laughing at something I find hilarious. One thing is for sure, we all have different tastes.
    Great post.

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    • I really appreciate that! We have to step back from reviews when they are less than glowing, and remember the good ones. Like I said, we can’t please them all, and we shouldn’t. I do synpathize about the hubby thing, as I have that situation too. LOL And don’t worry about the reviews. The good always outweighs the bad. 🙂

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  9. Let me add my piece of Stilton Blue:
    I love, love, love the way you write and your sense of humour! Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise 😉 I like dry, witty and also dark humour – feeling very much at home amongst Brits even though I’m a “dull and boring” German myself. Nawwww, you’re good, girl, just carry on and give us more cheese LOL

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  10. Humor is always welcome even in the darkest of thriller/suspense books — and in movies. John McClane’s snarky little under the breath remarks as he is facing the bad guys in all the Die Hards or the humor of a Fargo. So bring on the cheese (sharp cheddar, please).

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  11. I’ve read several of your books, Ros, and none of them ever struck me as cheesy. The people are real (especially the heroines) and all the characters’ reactions are believable. None of the extreme reactions that seem so off-the-wall dramatic that you want to die laughing “Is this chick/dude serious?” that are so prevalent in the “best sellers” out there. Keep on keeping on with what you’re doing…as long as it’s Hell we’re going to next. And by Hell, I mean HADES!!

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