Thanks for stopping by, Nicholas. Tell us, when was the last time you laughed out loud while reading? Tell us about the book & what struck you as funny.
I recently reread Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman after hearing news of Pratchett's unfortunate passing. The book has too many good lines to mention, but I've only read it twice, and the part that stuck with me from the first time I read it over a decade ago was the running gag throughout the book about Crowley only listening to Queen songs when in his car, because "all tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums."
Do you think humor can be incorporated into any genre, or are there genres in which it doesn’t work?
I don't think there are genres in which it wouldn't work, but depending on the type of story the author wants to tell, it may not work. Even if it's a super serious story, some incorporated humor could be useful to break the tension and help humanize characters a bit. But even then, putting it in an inappropriate spot can destroy a scene.
How do you incorporate humor into your novels? Do you ever draw inspiration from real life?
I've always drawn inspiration from real life, to the point that I can incorporate a lot of inside jokes that no one but me is going to get. For example, in Babyface Fire, Loebo, Seren and Bleg are getting ready to leave in the morning for their trip to another town, and Seren and Bleg mention they didn't wake up until a few minutes ago because the promoter was at the inn they were staying at and he doesn't allow any roosters. No one but a very select group would get that.
A more accessible example would be from The Adventure Tournament. One night at work, one of the maintenance guys was waxing a section of the floor. There was always a lot of ribbing going on between co-workers, so I dubbed that section his "waxhole" and kept asking him when he was going to stop playing with it throughout the night. It cracked him up, so when I got home I had the realization that if it was that funny, I should try and put it in my novel. So there's a scene where the characters are trying to figure something out at the university library. They're there for a long time, and a character named Fosher starts to get bored and begins playing with the melted wax in the candle holder on their table by poking holes in it. So one of his teammates smacks him in the head and tells him "Stop fingering your waxhole and pay attention!" I guess no laugh is too cheap for me.
What is the most challenging aspect of writing humor?
For me, sitting down to write it. The reason I've only had two books in The Adventurers series so far is that, though I don't have a bipolar disorder, my personality does lean that way, and I switch between funny and serious on a dime. When serious or bad things are happening in life, it's a struggle to sit down and try to be funny. Luckily most of my humor comes from the characters and flows naturally once I get going. I often find myself having to rein in the humor in my more serious works, because often something funny will come into mind on the spot as I'm writing just out of the relationship between the characters and their situation. Luckily, The Adventurers books aren't one story broken up into parts, but each novel is a standalone. So it's a series that I can drop and pick back up whenever I have the inspiration without worrying about having to get the next installment out to keep readers hooked on an ongoing story.
And now, some This or That:
Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry?
Dave Barry, though I feel like I should say Erma since she was born in my hometown. But my dad introduced me to Barry, and I've always found him very funny. I was a big fan of the sitcom Dave's World back when it was on.
Garfield or Peanuts?
That's a tough one, because I grew up with both of them. I remember checking out a book from the library that had old Garfield comics from way back when he still had his original "fat cat" design. And I had a book that was a Snoopy-themed collection of Peanuts comics. I always wondered what would happen if Snoopy fought Garfield inside a Steel Cage. I'll go with Garfield, because he won the coin flip.
Bugs Bunny or Woody Woodpecker?
Woody always seemed a little too one-note, and I don't find annoying laughs funny. I find them annoying. So I have to go with Bugs. It also helps him that he has a whole universe of Looney Tunes characters to play off of. By the way, if anyone wants to know about an odd connection between Bugs and Woody, look up the Angry Video Game Nerd's Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle video on YouTube (but not if cursing and scatological humor offends you).
Janet Evanovich or Judy Blume?
Never read Evanovich, so Judy Blume all the way. The Fudge series were some of the books of my childhood. Fun fact: a character in Babyface Fire, Alyssa Blume (and by extension the rest of House Blume), was named as an homage to Judy.
Books by Nicholas Andrews:
The Adventure Tournament ~
With the kingdom of Bolognia under attack by independent forces of random malcontents, it's time to send out the army to deal with these troublemakers, right? No, first there's money to be made! Send out the adventurers, those rogues who wander the countryside in search of fame and treasure, and take up all the good seats at the local pubs. Then, organize brackets, stage it for the public's entertainment, offer a prize and call it The Adventure Tournament.
Remy Fairwyn is a ne'er-do-well academic who really wants to become an adventurer. When he hears of the tournament, he jumps at the opportunity, only to find himself out of the frying pan and in the fire. Add ingredients like corrupt organizations, professional wrestlers, narcoleptic thieves, drama kings and malfunctioning magical minutiae, and his venture quickly becomes a recipe for disaster.
As the competition heats up, Remy discovers that the tournament itself could be putting the kingdom in danger, and it's up to him to uncover the truth before destruction consumes all he holds dear.
Babyface Fire ~
All Loebo wants in life is to lead the best team of adventurers in the kingdom, get filthy rich, and marry the prettiest lady he's ever met. Is that so much to ask?
But when Loebo and the Chosen Squad set out to rescue his love from her overprotective father, he finds out a bounty has been placed on his head, courtesy of his own grandmother!
While the Squad tries to unravel this mystery, Loebo comes across a wrestler-turned-adventurer named Bleg, who agrees to protect Loebo from the bounty hunters. But first, Bleg is hired to escort a young woman named Seren to her new job at OWW, Bolognia's premier wrestling league. As Bleg confronts a bitter past with the company's powers-that-be, Loebo finds himself the focal point of the biggest wrestling storyline of the year.
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