Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do You Have To Be Happy To Write Humor ... Author Christie Craig

1546807_215X340I’m delighted to welcome the award-winning, multi-published Christie Craig back to Thoughts in Progress today to talk about her latest release, MURDER, MAYHEM AND MAMA.

Offered as an e-release at this time, MURDER, MAYHEM AND MAMA can only be found at Barnes and Noble until Feb. 10th. After that date, it can be found at Amazon, Smashwords and other e-tailers.

Christie has stopped by to answer a couple of questions for me about her book and her writing.

Mason: Does an author have to be in a happy mood to write wit and humor?

Christie: Great question. I can’t speak for all authors, but I can tell you my own personal experience with it.  

I can’t deny that humor, and the quirky way I see the world, is ingrained in me. As a kid, I grew up in Alabama in a family who loved to laugh. We laughed during good times, but we laughed even harder during the hard times. Our motto seemed to be:  If you can laugh at it, you can live with it. I’m a firm believer in the healing quality of laughter. It makes those bumps in the road a little easier to take.

That said, you can bet that I have my bad days. 150917187Bad hair days. Ugh. Days I find my cat’s hairballs with the bottom of my bare feet. Double ugh. Mammogram days. Ouch! Days when someone in the family is sick. Double ouch! And I would be lying if I denied that there are days where it’s harder to pull off the comedic lines.   

However, I don’t allow myself the luxury of letting my mood stop me from showing up at work. As much as I love the idea of a muse sitting on my shoulder helping me write, I can’t bank on the fact that it will always be here. I mean . . . what if it decides to up and run off with some other writer?  

The truth is that as any serious writer knows, we have to learn to produce with or without a muse, or whether we’re in the creative mood to write or not. My father was a plumber, I never recall him skipping out of work because his plumber’s muse ran off. And he never had plumber’s block, either. (Oh, he had to deal with lots of plumbing-related blockages, but that’s a different thing altogether. LOL.)

My father got up five days a week and went to work. Some days I’m sure his job was pretty crappy. (Pun intended.) And there are days I feel as if I write a lot of crap. However, being a writer, my work is writing, and my writing voice has a humorous edge to it. I can’t imagine what my readers would think if they picked up a Christie Craig book and it was all drama with no light moments. 

So I write and if my wit isn’t shining through as strong as I would like, I resort to plan B. Plan B is fairly simple. I fake it. (I know they say women shouldn’t fake it, but this is different matter altogether.) Have you ever heard the saying, fake it until you make it? Now sometimes, I pretend all day and the next day, when I’m really back on top of my game, I’ll see all sorts of places I need to insert some snappy dialogue.

However, more times than not, if I’m in a bad mood and faking it as I attempt to write a humorous scene, just faking it can pull me out of a funk. I recently read that just forcing a smile can lower your blood pressure and change a person’s disposition. I believe it. And if writing those humorous scenes makes me feel better, I can only hope that they contribute to a good mood in my readers when they curl up with one of my books.

Mason: What inspired Murder, Mayhem and Mama?

Christie: The story is about two people grieving and when their lives collide, they instinctively recognize that they are both dealing with the same pain. Eventually, they fall in love. And this love helps them both heal. Of course, as in all my books, you’ll find I always have some murder/suspense, and there’s a lot of suspense in this story. What’s a little different in this book is that you’ll also find a ghost. My heroine’s mom just isn’t ready to leave until she knows her daughter is going to be okay.   

I actually wrote this book a few years ago. I had lost my grandmother and I had often felt as if her presence was hanging around. Maybe even watching out for me.  I’ve always been a little of a believer in ghosts. Even my YA series, Shadow Falls, which I write under the name C.C. Hunter, has a big ghost theme running through it.  

I knew going in that writing a story about two people grieving would be a challenge, simply because my voice is humorous and mixing a story of grief with humor might be hard. However, if you’ve read my other books, you know that I don’t shy away from real life issues. Most of my novels might even bring a tear to your eye, but the love and laughter makes the story a feel-good book. As I said earlier, I think humor needs to be a part of life, real life, and we actually need it more when things are harder. So my goal was to show that love and some laughter can help heal broken hearts.

Thanks for having me here today, and I hope everyone enjoys MURDER, MAYHEM AND MAMA.
Christie, thanks for stopping by again. I enjoyed learning your technique for writing wit when you’re really not in the mood.

Now a bit about Christie. An Alabama native, she is also a multi-published photo journalist, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. Her non-fiction articles and photography have appeared in almost three thousand national magazines. 

A Golden Heart finalist, and a finalist in more than 50 RWA-sponsored contests, she has gained a well-deserved reputation for writing romance fiction that has both witty humor and a suspenseful, sexy tone. For more on Christie and her writing, check out her website at http://www.christie-craig.com/

Here’s a fun trailer for MURDER, MAYHEM AND MAMA.

As a added treat, Christie also shares 13 things you’ll learn from reading MURDER, MAYHEM AND MAMA.
1. Grief sucks. Love heals.
2. Believe it or not, sometimes mama does know best. Even when she’s dead.
3. Painting your toenails is equivalent to a happy pill.
4. Sometimes there’s a hell of lot more to our dreams than we think.
5. When a tough guy resorts to sniffing a girl’s sweater that she left behind, he might as well give up the bachelor pad, he’s on the road to falling in love.  
6. A guy who offers you a shoulder during a meltdown and doesn’t try to cop a feel, just may be a keeper.
7. When a guy says all he wants to do is sleep with you, he might not be talking sex, you might just be his answer to insomnia. Then again, he’ll probably want sex when he’s had some sleep.
8. When all else fails, try saying the magic words: please and thank you. It’s a manners thing.
9, Be leery of opening your boyfriends medicine cabinet, it’s not just what you might find, but what might fall out and bounce right into the toilet. Explaining how his 36 pack of condoms got wet could be embarrassing.
10. While being a better bitch isn’t something we should aspire to, learning to stand up for oneself is definitely goal worthy.
11. Sharing food off each other’s plate could lead to sharing a toothbrush. And after that all bets, and possibly the clothes, are coming off.
12. Bad habits die hard. Then again, the sergeant general doesn’t say anything about smoking after you’re dead. Just ask Mama.
13. Take a man’s favorite leather jacket, and he might offer you his heart to get it back.

Do you enjoy reading books that have bits of humor included? Does reading a book with humor in it help improve your own mood? Thanks so much for stopping by today.


  1. Mason - Thanks for hosting Christie.

    Christie - I think humour is an important way that we deal with life's pain, and I'm glad you have the skill to integrated in your writing (and your life). It keeps us sane... I wish you much success.

  2. Hi, Mason!

    Christie, I love humor. I'm my best source for humor material. I tell people that laughing is much less messy than crying. I prefer it.


  3. What a great interview. I know when I write humourous stories, it helps when I'm in a good muse but I agree, we can't wait for our muse, we need to create it. Love the 13 points. #7 is funny!

  4. Christie, thanks again for guest blogging. I enjoyed your 13 things you learn from reading MURDER, MAYHEM AND MAMA. Wishing you much success.

  5. And the best laughter is when we can laugh at ourselves, at some antic we got ourselves into. Thanks for sharing today, Christie and Mason :)

  6. Margot, Teresa, Clarissa and Joanne, thank you ladies for stopping by.

  7. Humor is difficult to write. For me, it comes out best if it just naturally and quickly flows.

  8. I definitely enjoy humorous books and Murder, Mayhem and Mama looks like it would be a fun book to read!

  9. Hi Guys,

    Thanks so much for the comments. I love writing my zany stories that tug at the heart and still result in laughter.

    And you guys are so right, when tough times hit, laughter is even more important.

    Thanks for the comments. I hope you guys enjoy Murder, Mayhem and Mama. Soon, in September, Blame it on Texas will be out.

    Thanks again guys for the support.


  10. The truth is that as any serious writer knows, we have to learn to produce with or without a muse, or whether we’re in the creative mood to write or not.

    Spot on!

    I have also thought about this question, but that is because my family has been encumbered with several illnesses for years. My own, personal conclusion is that the more I have to fight in real life, the lighter books I have to read and write. So humour seems to be my way to survive. Could be worse, I suppose.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.