Thanks, Audra, for inviting me to your blog.
Any time, Olga. So tell us, when was the last time you laughed out loud while reading? Tell us about the book & what struck you as funny.
It was probably Jennifer Crusie’s first book Manhunting. I reread it recently. I love Crusie’s novels (she writes romantic comedy) and periodically go on a rereading spree. Why is this book funny? Hard to say. It has vivid characters, witty dialog, and wonderfully absurd situations. When I read it, it felt as if the author enjoyed writing it as much as I enjoyed reading it. It felt as if we laughed together.
Do you think humor can be incorporated into any genre, or are there genres in which it doesn’t work?
I think humor can be used with any literary genre. Even more, humor enhances any genre. There are funny sci-fi and fantasy stories, humorous mysteries and hilarious romances. Only boring fiction can’t be humorous – by definition.
Who is your favorite humor author & why?
I can’t really name one favorite humor writer but I can tell you a few of my favorite writers who use humor in their stories. Jennifer Crusie – I already mentioned her – is a romance writer. Terry Pratchett – many of his Discworld fantasy novels are hilarious. Lois McMaster Bujold – some of her sci-fi books about Miles Vorkosigan, especially The Warrior’s Apprentice, are hysterical. And then there is Georgette Heyer. She also wrote romances, and a number of them are side-splittingly funny.
How do you incorporate humor into your novels? Do you ever draw inspiration from real life?
I have a collection of urban fantasy short stories written with humor. All the stories are united by the same protagonists, a young modern witch Darya and her familiar, squirrel Beatrice. Beatrice is telepathic – she talks to Darya in her head. How could I write about an intelligent, telepathic squirrel without humor?
I don’t write hysterical funny, more like irony. I want my readers to smile or grin or chuckle. For example, in the beginning of one story, Darya dyes her hair blond. She likes her new look, but Beatrice disagrees and says so. She considers blond hair detrimental to one’s mental abilities. When later in the story, Darya does something stupid with her magic, Beatrice is not shy to point it out. Of course, she blames the newly-dyed blond hair.
And yes, real life often inspires me. Some time ago, my daughter dyed her hair blond. Then she did something stupid... and she didn’t need magic or a telepathic squirrel to poke fun at herself. I borrowed some of her expressions for this story.
Another example of life inspiring humorous fiction would be one of my magic realism stories. Several years ago, I was upset about my lack of publishing success. I was making dinner and pouring my grievances aloud into the kitchen sink while I peeled potatoes and cut chicken. I was alone in the house, so nobody could hear and ridicule me. Then I thought: why don’t I channel my frustration into a more creative outlet and write a story about it. What could happen if I added a fantasy element? Maybe my protagonist would complain to her kitchen sink, turn on the water, and a water sprite would splash out from the tap? Maybe the water sprite would start talking to her? Maybe it could offer her help to find a publisher in exchange for... what? What would a water sprite want in exchange? And how would a water sprite go about finding a publisher for my heroine? So the story was born and published by a magazine a few months later. It’s available for free now on my wattpad page: http://www.wattpad.com/story/19762859-trading-wishes
And now for some THIS or THAT questions:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Big Bang Theory?
Big Bang Theory
Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry?
Neither. Jon Stewart
Much Ado About Nothing or A Midsummer Night’s Dream?
Much Ado About Nothing
Silly animal videos or cute kid videos?
Neither. TED Talks. Some of them are marvelously witty
Thanks for being a good sport today, Olga. For more information about Olga and her books visit:
Website and blog: http://olgagodim.wordpress.com
And to Buy the book: