A Wit Free Zone by Jade Lee


My father prized a wit. A clever retort, a witty joke, even a quick turn of phrase had him smiling in appreciation. Not so my mother who valued things like a clean room and good grades. She tended to view my clever wit as a smart mouth, and that was not a good thing. So I learned to swallow the things I thought were hysterically funny. I had the same problem when I began working as a technical writer. Sure, the geeks loved a good Star Trek joke, but the writing was all business. And boring. Which is why I was so very bad at it. Then I switched into fiction. Finally, I could let my sense of humor soar. Sadly, it turns out my sense of humor was not enough to make up for bad story structure, stock characters, or really lame plot complications. Oops. Don’t you hate it when the work of life has to happen before the fun stuff? Well, flash forward thirty novels. I’ve now hit the USA Today bestseller list, won awards, and even teach workshops on all that work stuff. I understand structure and character development. Was it finally time now to let fly with my sense of humor? Please? It turned out that I didn’t have to ask permission from anyone. All I had to do was just sit down and write witty. Except, of course, after thirty plus novels focusing on dark, tortured heroes and my trademark sensuality, witty was sort of…um…rusty. Ever try to be funny on command? Some people can do it. I couldn’t. So forget funny, how about witty? Regency romances thrive on the clever repartee. Not so much. I struggled. I drank coffee. I cursed at my cats. And then I gave up. Yup. I stopped trying to be funny or clever. I just focused on the story. I wrote about a woman who had a terrible secret and was trying to manage a business on her own. In London 1810, that was very hard to do. And I wrote about an arrogant lord who thought he had all the answers. Except he has to come to her for advice, which was very hard for him. And then there was all that trademark sensuality. My writing does get hot! Add in a bridal salon, wedding plans, and a few shady characters, and I had a story. But it wasn’t funny, and I really wanted it to be. So I tried again. And again. It turns out, funny is hard! Especially in a historical setting (no Star Trek jokes allowed)! It comes in subtle shading, a sudden clever response, a cute situation, and it ends up being more witty than laugh-out-loud funny. So did I manage it? Publisher’s Weekly thought so. The review said that Wedded in Scandal had charming verbal fencing, clever retorts, and an entertaining read. Woo hoo! But that’s not what really counts. What counts is what you think is funny. So click on this link: [http://jadeleeauthor.com/books/bridal-favors-series/wedded-in-scandal/wedded-in-scandal-excerpt] and you’ll get one of my most favorite scenes in the book. Did it work? Was it funny? And if you want to read more, here’s a link to the FREE prequel novella Engaged in Wickedness. [http://jadeleeauthor.com/engaged-in-wickedness-free]Jade Lee / Kathy Lyons

www.JadeLeeAuthor.com / www.KathyLyons.com


Engaged in Wickedness by Jade Lee, Jan 2012

Wedded in Scandal by Jade Lee, March 2012

Night After Night… by Kathy Lyons, March 2012