I got my first review of The Payne In The Blog on Goodreads and it was two stars. Most authors wouldn’t announce that to the world, especially in a blog post on their website, but I think you have learned by now I have no shame. Surprisingly I am not angry about the review. Yes, for the first thirty seconds upon looking over the review I felt like someone had stabbed me in the heart, but I got over it rather quickly.
You see I realized something. This person didn’t get it. It was obvious that it wasn’t their taste in comedy and that is fine. I view comedy like politics, people either love and totally agree with your views or hate you and think you are an idiot for liking that garbage. I have spent many years in comedy, both on and off stage and understand there can be a fierce backlash against your art. Just look at the Oscars, what was the last comedy that won an Oscar? I mean a true comedy that isn’t billed as a comedy-drama. I think the last one that was heavier on the comedy then the drama was Shakespeare In Love. That was 17 years ago people! Comedy doesn’t get respect. Throw in romance and it REALLY doesn’t get any respect. Yet ask an actor what is the hardest type of acting to do and they will most likely say comedy.
The Payne In The Blog, both the posts on here and the compilation in book form was a risk for me as a writer. Not only was I having to think of interesting things to write about every week, but also create a believable character that people would root for. Not everyone was going to like her but that is life. I am sure some people thought Gandhi was an asshat. Everyone can’t like someone all the time, it is impossible.
I took some real risks with the character of Morgana, things she did or didn’t do. I knew some people weren’t going to get her because she didn’t fit the typical mold and her story sure as hell didn’t fit the typical, cookie-cutter framework of romances. The people who like the normal stuff aren’t going to like what I write. They are going to read it and write 1 and 2 star reviews blasting me about not being funny and hating my characters. But you know what? That means I did something right.
I created a strong enough character for someone to feel something for, either love or hate. Not only that, my comedy was strong enough to elicit an equally strong reaction, again – good or bad. So, as a writer I feel proud that I got that reaction from someone. It reminds me of a college class I had. It was a movement class (I was a theater major – it was required) where we had to come up for our final assignment a comedy mime. I am always about risk with comedy and for this assignment I wanted to change things up. By the end I had half the class loving what I did and the other half arguing I should have done it differently. I just stood there smiling while I watch the class for fifteen minutes debate about the elements of comedy and how it related to my presentation.
Obviously I like to shake things up and will never just go with the flow, especially when it comes to comedy. If you like sweet romantic comedies that are silly in a light hearted way, don’t read my books. There are some great authors for that; I’m just not one of them. Also, I don’t just do things for shock value. To me that is easy and I like to challenge myself. So believe me when I say I am not writing this stuff because I think like an angsty teenager who only wants to push people’s buttons. I write what sounds funny in my head and characters I want to read about. That’s all. If you read the blog posts about Morgana or download a sample of my work and find it amusing then read my stuff. I think you will like it. If you don’t like the posts, find Morgana annoying or have downloaded a sample and think it trite...don’t read my books. It is as simple as that.