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  • Writer's pictureKaty Berritt

Make them laugh!

In case you didn’t know, I write romantic comedy. (God, I hope you know that by now otherwise I've just wasted eighteen months of my life writing really rotten newsletters.) I love writing romantic comedy, especially the comedy part because I like making my readers laugh.

Charles Dickens said: “While there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.”

Until recently scientist have ignored laughter in favor of studying unhappiness or despair. Ugh, where’s the fun in that? But they’ve realized that there’s more to laughter than meets the eye. Laughter has always been part of the human experience going back milleniums but did you know that animals laugh too?

According to studies, sixty-five species of animals laugh. As you would expect, primates top the list but dolphins laugh, elephants laugh, and believe it or not, rats laugh. Who knew, right? If you have ever owned a dog, I bet you would tell me your dog laughs. I mean, what’s cuter and better than the huge grin on a dog’s face and the funny snorty sound they make when their happy?

To repeat: I could write straight romance. I could write paranormal, or suspense or erotica but I chose to write romantic comedy because everyone needs to laugh. Laughter is good for the soul, it’s good for our health, our minds and our bodies. Humor can alleviate depression.  Humor can save a marriage—research shows couples who laugh together tend to stay together—humor can even save lives by de-stressing a tense situation. Make a crook laugh and he may not shoot you! Humor makes you happy. #1

So, all that explains why I write romantic comedy rather than any of the other genres. Romantic comedy comes in two forms—ROMANTIC comedy, and romantic COMEDY. I write romantic COMEDY. The first style is fun, light-hearted but isn’t really funny. I write romantic COMEDY because I really, really want to make my readers laugh (see #1).

I love thinking up absurd scenarios like the heroine in the book I'm currently working on Knight Time in Texas. My heroine’s father is forcing her to marry someone, anyone, he doesn’t care who, “Just get married, daughter!” But she doesn’t want to so decides that men should compete for her hand by completing a quest. Whoever finds and brings back an equicamemu will win her hand in marriage, and her father’s ranch. What’s an equicameme, you ask? That’s the point. It doesn’t exist therefore no one will win the quest.

I love funny, laugh out loud lines like this from my short story Love Has Its Ups and Downs:

The black screen stares back at me accusingly. Well, shit. I forgot to plug my phone in. I always forget to plug it in because my brain is so full remembering personal assistant shit for my boss, I never remember my own shit. My life is like, “Izzy—short for Isabelle—get me coffee. Izzy, pick up my dry cleaning. Izzy, call my mother and tell her I'm not coming for dinner.:”

Eek! I hate calling his mother. The woman is a blood-sucking vampire and when she hears her darling son is not coming for dinner, she shoots her fangs through the phone and sucks out my blood because it’s always the PA’s fault.

I love creating weird quirky characters like the lunatic cousins in Baby and the Bank Robber being released February 19, 2024. Cousin Norbert Unger lives to rob banks. And Woolworths. And Kresge stores. And gas stations. And maybe even Bonnie and Clyde. Cousin Orville just wants to eat his way across the entire state of Oklahoma. But they’re not very successful at either until they pick up a little extra help in the form of twenty-year-old Baby Faye Lumpkin who’s pretending to be eleven and knows every trick in in the book when it comes to criminal behavior.

Give it a look. It might make you laugh.

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