A short post this week as I’m working hard to finish my spoof diet book, How POSSESSION Can Help You LOSE Weight. It may only be a 10k word story but it’s 10k words of humour, and humour is something that can fail abysmally if not done right. Consequently it takes time. It’s also spoof non-fiction, which adds to the complexity as there are far fewer ‘progressing the story’ paragraphs and more ‘make the reader laugh’ paragraphs. If I write 500 words of that a day, I’m pleased.
And it’s fun. There’s nothing like writing comedy when it’s going well. There’s also nothing like writing comedy when it’s not going well – that can be soul destroying and make you question if you’ll ever write anything funny again. But this book is going well.
Another thing I do is always let the idea determine the length of the story, and I think this idea has about 10k words in it. The big danger when writing a spoof is of going on for too long and repeating themes that were funny for the first couple of chapters but that’s it. The joke’s dead, stop flogging it!
Hopefully I’ve found the right balance. I’ve dipped into just about every popular diet book out there and turned all the dials up to eleven. Then unleashed Brick Crapper M.D, a ‘doctor’ of the internet and reality TV age, upon the subject and imagined how he’d sell possession as a slimming aid to the public.
I think it works. I hope you will too.
Advanced Reader Copies of the book will be available for free via LibraryThing Early Reviewers. You can sign up for the book here (ebooks are at the bottom, listed in ‘no of copies’ order. There are 150 copies of the Possession book) and winners will receive the book around May 2nd.
You can also sign up there for an ARC of Französisch mit Spickzettel: Zwei Engländer, zu viele Tiere, und ein Kriminalfall. There are 20 copies available.
And while on the subject of special offers, An Unsafe Pair of Hands is on sale this weekend at Amazon for 99 cents instead of the usual $3.99.
Chris Dolley is a NY Times bestselling author living in France with a frightening number of animals. His novelette, What Ho, Automaton! was a finalist for the 2012 WSFA Small Press Award for short fiction. More information about his other work can be found on his BVC bookshelf .
An Unsafe Pair of Hands – a quirky murder mystery set in rural England charting the descent and rise of a detective on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Which will break first? The case, or DCI Shand?
Medium Dead – a fun urban fantasy chronicling the crime fighting adventures of Brenda – a reluctant medium – and Brian – a Vigilante Demon with an impish sense of humour. Think Stephanie Plum with magic and a dash of Carl Hiaasen.
What Ho, Automaton! – Wodehouse Steampunk. Follow the adventures of Reggie Worcester, consulting detective, and his gentleman’s personal gentle-automaton, Reeves. It’s set in an alternative 1903 where an augmented Queen Victoria is still on the throne and automata are a common sight below stairs. Humour, Mystery, Aunts and Zeppelins!
French Fried – the international bestseller – true crime, animals behaving badly and other people’s misfortunes. Imagine A Year in Provence with Miss Marple and Gerald Durrell.
International Kittens of Mystery. If you like a laugh and looking at cute kitten pictures this is the book for you. It’s a glance inside the International Kittens of Mystery – the only organisation on the planet with a plan to deal with a giant ball of wool on a collision course with Earth?
Resonance – “This is one of the most original new science fiction books I have ever read. If it is as big a hit as it deserves, it may well be this book which becomes the standard by which SF stories about … are judged.”