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.