Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hey M Night Shyamalan, Stop Independently Coming Up With The Same Idea As Me!

M Night! Come on, man! I thought we were friends. And by friends, I mean people who don't know each other. What's up with you independently coming with a story about a guy with a murderous split personality just like I did? You even chose the same title as me! Geez Louise, couldn't you have come up with some other designation that perfectly encapsulates your narrative?

Just look at how awesome the book cover is that I commissioned from the artist Christiana Helgeson.


 Isn't that freaking awesome?! I had intended to publish my short story as a standalone, but I liked the cover so much I thought I might wait and see if I could grow the story into a novel. While I was dawdling, you totally beat me to market! 

What's with the rush? I know we live in a  competitive creative environment and everything, but have you ever considered taking the final print of one of your movies and just sticking it into a drawer for a little while? It's something to think about.

Despite the fact that, judging by the average Hollywood production schedule, you must have come up with your idea at roughly the same time, or even a little before I came up with mine, you should probably cancel your distribution deal and have your film removed from theaters ASAP. It only seems fair to me.

In the meantime, I'm going to get back to writing the other three novels I have in the queue before getting getting around to expanding my short story Split into a full length novel. 

When will I finish? Who knows? But when I do, I'd like to be able to sell the film rights.

Say... I don't suppose you'd be interested in directing?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Writing Goals for the New Year

I haven't posted in a while, but I have been writing. Yesterday, I finished the second draft of Blood Cries and submitted it to a group of readers. Based on their reactions, I'll give the book another pass and a polish before publishing.

Which brings me to my New Year's writing resolutions for 2017, also known as my writing goals for the new year.

1) Finish Blood Cries. By this time next year, I would like to have either self-published the book through KDP and Createspace or have an agent preparing to submit the manuscript to traditional publishers. That decision will come later and will be the subject of a future blog post.

2) Complete another draft of Dashboard Hula. For those who don't know, Dashboard Hula has been the great white whale of my writing career. I started the novel in 1996, and though I have produced flashes of good writing, I have never managed to produce a coherent story. Anyone with common sense, would have retired the manuscript and written off the lost time as a learning experience, but clearly I have no sense. Year after year I bring the book out of the drawer and year after year I have to put it back again. And guess what? I pulled it out of the drawer again this morning. I plan to spend every morning from now until May working through another draft. Will this be the year I produce my masterpiece? Not if the past is indicative of future success. Either way, I'm putting in the work.

3) Work through a draft of Franken-Bubba. I started this book about a redneck brought back from the dead by a deranged backwoods medical dropout in 2009, but have only produced about 15 chapters. I'm budgeting August through September to work through a complete draft.

So, what do you think of my goals? They seem pretty realistic to me. All I need to do is to stick to my plan and write a little every day. I can do that.

CV

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Defining the Humor Book Genre

As it stands, the humor book genre is ill-defined. Go into the humor section of a book store (or browse Amazon) and you are likely to find joke books beside books written by comedians next to humorous works of fiction. For some reason (Perhaps a lack of demand, perhaps the inevitable confusion caused by similar terminology) the genre has resisted stratification. Until now. The list below represents an attempt to define the various subgenres that traditionally fall under the humor umbrella.

General Humor Books
Typically, humor books are those designed around a central humorous concept, such as joke books. Modern examples include F is for Fail by Richard Benson, in which the humor derives from comments written by students and their teachers on various assignments, Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy in which the Nancy author/character writes hilarious letters to companies and publishes their responses, and The Internet is a Playground: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius by David Thorne.

Books About Humor
These are (you guessed it) books about comedy and comedy writing. Great books in this subgenre include Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers by Mike Sacks, Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers and Guests by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, and Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life in Comedy by Judd Apatow.

Books by Comedians
This one is also pretty obvious. Books in this category were written by professional comedians. Examples include Dad is Fat by Jim Gafigan. The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, and Born Standing Up by Steve Martin.

Funny Essays or Memoirs:
Another obvious one. These writers employ their comedic talents while telling their life stories. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, and Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson.

Humorous Novels:
These are serious novels that also happen to be very funny. Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams, The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Classic examples include the books of PG Wodehouse and Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

Comedic Fiction:
Here's where it gets a little tricky. In these books, humor supersedes story. John Swartzwelder's The Time Machine Did It isn't likely to satisfy fans of mystery or science fiction, but diehard fans of The Simpsons will love it. Jack Handey's The Stench of Honolulu is another great example.

Did I leave out a category? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to recommend your favorite funny books.


Christamar Varicella is the author of the collection of book parodies, There Are Sneetches in my Breeches. He is also the founder of an Amazon affiliate store devoted to humor books.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Get Some Free Sneetches For Your Breeches!



There Are Sneetches In My Breeches And Other Parodies will be FREE for download August 27-29, 2016 at Amazon.com. Be sure to download a copy of the book that parodies books and writers from JK Rowling to Ayn Rand. If it makes you laugh, be sure to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Enjoy this very silly book, and thanks for your support!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

DInosaur Ghost Interview

INTERVIEWER: What inspired you to write Dinosaur Ghost?
VARICELLA: Liberal rage.
INTERVIEWER: I knew it!
VARICELLA: It's true. I wanted to take my frustration with republican party nonsense and transform it into something wicked and funny. I found the experience cathartic.
INTERVIEWER: Aren't you worried about alienating half your audience?
VARICELLA: No, I was operating under the assumption that republicans don't read.
INTERVIEWER: So you don't fear a conservative backlash?
VARICELLA: As Donald Trump says, all publicity is good publicity.
INTERVIEWER: But you don't actually want to see republicans eaten by dinosaurs, do you?
VARICELLA: Of course not. Some of my closest friends and family members are conservatives. Please remember, no republicans were harmed in the making of this book.
INTERVIEWER: I'll try to remember that.
VARICELLA: Good.
INTERVIEWER: Dinosaur Ghost marks the second time you've written a novella in which a person has sex with a dinosaur. (The other being the romance parody, The Oiliest Secret.) What's up with that?
VARICELLA: I'm pretty sure I invented dinosaur erotica.
INTERVIEWER: Neither story is very erotic.
VARICELLA: Oh, then never mind.
INTERVIEWER: So, why did you do it?
VARICELLA: I wrote both books at the same time--alternating chapters--and they ended up merging into one book with that scene as the climax. I eventually separated the two stories and made a few changes, but that aspect remained.
INTERVIEWER: Any plans to continue exploring that theme in the future?
VARICELLA: Nope. I think it's all out of my system.
INTERVIEWER: So what are you working on now?
VARICELLA: I always have several projects in the works. I'm about to publish three horror stories as an eBook under the title Split. I'm also working on a humorous novel about a southerner who is brought back from the dead by a deranged medical school dropout. It's called Frankenbubba. Another is a mainstream novel called Blood Cries.
INTERVIEWER: Thanks for talking with me.
VARICELLA: My pleasure


Get a free download of Dinosaur Ghost here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Free Download of Dinosaur Ghost


An updated of version of Dinosaur Ghost is now available as a free download at smashwords.com or for 99 cents at amazon.com. Here's the description: 

Dinosaurs Ghost answers the age-old question, "What would happen if dinosaurs came back from extinction and started eating republicans?" Only in this short, humorous romp can one bear witness to rampaging dinosaur ghosts as they visit a creationist museum, disrupt a gun rally, crash CPAC, eat the right wing of the Supreme Court, and come face to face with Donald J. Trump.

The satirical novella parodies the science fiction/horror genre while simultaneously skewering republican politics, and it is the only book ever written willing to tell the truth about what really killed the dinosaurs. Spoiler Alert: It was gay marriage!

Please download a copy. If you think it's funny, I would love it if you left a review at Smashwords, Amazon, and Goodreads.

Thanks!

Some material is not appropriate for children.