Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Blog Tour: Dirty Deeds with Guest Post by R.J. Blain

Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection
Devon Monk, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Faith Hunter, R.J. Blain
Publication date: January 12th 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty. Join NY Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author R.J. Blain, and National Bestselling authors Diana Pharaoh Francis and Devon Monk on a wild romp where the damsels bring the distress and what can go wrong will go wrong.

Venture into a thrilling spinoff tale from the world of Jane Yellowrock; join vacationing gods in what appears to be a quiet, ordinary town; visit a supernatural hotel where the bedbugs could very well eat you; and dive into the zany, deadly world of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.

In this collection of all-new urban fantasy novellas and other stories, no job is too big or too small — if the price is right.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Tangled Skeins Guest Post – R.J. Blain

What are the upsides and downsides of writing a magical romantic comedy? (Plus on writing through a pandemic.)

Thank you so much for having me today. When the ladies of the Dirty Deeds anthology saw this question, they flung it at me at the speed of light. I’m surprised none of them got whiplash, truth be told. I’m not even sure the question had time to hit the table before it landed on my lap.

This made us all laugh.

It is only a few days into 2021. I’m behind on everything, including writing this post. 2020 was hard. 2020 was so hard, which leads me into the downsides of writing a magical romantic comedy.

Comedy is hard. Comedy when life is hard is harder. When I write humor, I tend to be my own audience, and when life is hard, I can’t tell if what I’m writing is actually funny. So, I do my best, believe every single joke is going to fall flat, but still write what I think is ridiculous, silly, and might make readers happy. For the most part, this works. Mostly.

Well, that’s the idea at any rate. In reality, I tend to be hunched over my keyboard like some coffee-addicted weirdo, mumbling about what I’m working on and trying to decide if I really want to do what I originally plotted, or if this new shiny tangent I just thought of might work better. And if I follow the new tangent, I then have to go over the entire book and fix everything I just broke. There’s usually screaming involved. “Save me, save me!” my brain screams, while I try to figure out how to add a few extra hours to my day because I couldn’t just stick to the original plan.

(Where would be the fun in that?)

Toss in a pandemic, and let’s just say writing comedy is fraught with perils. So many perils. Being funny is hard. Being funny while family and friends are sick (or have lost their lives) is even harder.

But then I get the letters where people tell me my books helped them get through it, and I keep trudging on, trying to be funny in a world where there’s not a whole lot to be funny about.

When in doubt, fling a fire-breathing unicorn at the problem. It’s hard not to be funny when the fire-breathing unicorn has more issues than National Geographic. If the fire-breathing unicorn doesn’t work… bring forth the cats.

If the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee can’t fix it, then you might consider bringing in the otters. If the otters can’t fix it, just go back to bed, there is no hope for the rest of the day.

That leads me to the upsides of writing comedy, especially of the magical bent.

I can just about do whatever I want, and that’s a glorious thing. In a bad mood? Throw a feline at the problem. With feline characters, the comedy practically writes itself. Or otters. Or that fire-breathing unicorn.

Comedy, after all, is about having fun.

Who knew having fun could be so hard to write?

But the most rewarding part of writing comedy is when someone comes up to me and says I made a difference. Because that matters. I want to tell a good story, but making other people happy makes the challenges of trying to be funny worth the while.

And let’s just go back up a little and underline that part about writing comedy being challenging, difficult, or hard, however you want to phrase it. It is, but that’s a huge part of what makes it worth it.

Happy reading, and thanks for having me!


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