Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest - Melodie Campbell

Good morning all! Today's guest is author Melodie Campbell who will be talking about combining humor and fantasy. She's also offering a special coupon for our readers so make sure you check it out.


“Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?”

Fantasy and Comedy – a Magic Combination

Recently someone asked me, “Does writing comedy come naturally to you, or do you have to work at it?”

Every writer will groan at that one.  Writing is work, no doubt about it.  Writing humor and comedy is definitely hard work.  Every word counts.  The placing of every word counts – what we call ‘comic timing’.  I work hard on my timing.

But does it come naturally?  Okay, I confess: I was the class clown in high school, always getting detention for smart ass comments.  My first 47 out of 50 publications were comedy.  And I opened the 1999 Canadian Humour Conference.  So I guess some people would say it’s my natural style.

But is it an art or a craft?  I would say it is both.  An art usually signifies some level of talent (the stuff you’re born with), and ‘craft’ means there are tricks or elements that can be learned.  Certainly, there is a modicum of craft involved.  I can teach someone the basics of writing a column, but I can’t tell them how to be funny, and believe me, I’ve tried.  I once taught a humor writing and survey course at college, and out of 40 eager students, perhaps one had the talent.

Back to the theme of adding humor to romantic fantasy, and creating magic!
It’s a natural combo, and believe me I’ve tried many genres.  Hard core mystery is not easily combined with comedy.  I’ve done it, but it’s not easy, and ends up being a cozy or caper.  Many readers feel crime writing should be grim, and it’s hard to feel shock when you’re laughing. Ditto horror and erotica. (Did I put those two words in the same sentence?)  Sci-fi easily slides into Space Opera when you bombard it with comedy, to my huge delight.  I’m doing it in my Blue Angel Bar series.  But fantasy- well, fantasy is a comedic wonderland! 

Rowena Through the Wall is a comic time travel novel, with romance, suspense, and some spicy sex.  But it is, most determinedly, humorous.  Some would say ‘wacky’.  How to do it?  I use the theory of “worst thing”.  What’s the worst thing that could happen when Rowena walks through that wall?  Or the most embarrassing thing? Or the funniest?  And when she comes back through the wall…wait a minute.  What if she can’t?

Humor is the motivator behind all my writing.  I try to write straight, and then the absurdity of a situation strikes me, and I have to play it out.  The gremlins take over and twist the words.  Here’s the key, as I’ve discovered it: the trick to combining humor and suspense is to play each against the other.  Taut suspense is broken up by bathos, making the suspenseful parts seen more dramatic.  And – as I have learned from writing Rowena Through the Wall – one can make humor seem more funny by juxtaposing it against gripping danger.

In fact, a steady diet of unrelenting wacky humour can make one grow blase, just as a steady diet of porn might dull one to sensuality.

But that is another column entirely.  On a slightly softer note, can you combine humor with sexual passion?  Read Rowena and make your own decision.

ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL (No. 2 on bestseller list, Aug 2011! (fantasy,futuristic)

Do you like comic time travel?
Meet Rowena Revel!

“Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?”

When Rowena falls through her classroom wall into a medieval world, she doesn’t count on being kidnapped – not once, but twice, dammit. Unwanted husbands keep piling up; not only that, she has eighteen-year-old Kendra to look out for, and a war to prevent.  Good thing she can go back through the wall when she needs to…or can she?

“Hot and Hilarious!”  Midwest Book Review
“Jack Sparrow meets Stephanie Plum”  Former editor, Distant Suns Fantasy Magazine

Warning:  This book is not a sweet romance.  It is a sexy, funny, rollicking adventure that some may find outrageous! Continues in Book 2.

Rowena Through the Wall (Imajin Books) is available at,,,, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble.

Follow Melodie’s comic blog at
View trailer and read opening scene at

Melodie Campbell got her start as a comedy writer, so it’s no surprise that editors have called her work ‘wacky’ and ‘laugh out loud funny’.  She has over 200 publications, including 100 humour columns, 30 short stories and one novel.  She has received five awards for fiction, and is the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada.

Excerpt:                          Chapter 16

“How did you do that?”  Kendra gasped.
            “Do what?”
            “I just saw you walk right through that wall!”
            “Oh that….” I said, brushing myself off.  “Look sweetie, not to change the subject, but I don’t have a whole lot of time-”
            “And who is that?”
Kendra gaped at Logan, who stood at least a foot taller than her.  He, in turn, gazed down at her as if he had just discovered the meaning of life, the universe and everything that might possibly be in it.
            “Damn,” I mumbled.  “Kendra – Logan, Logan – Kendra.  Now that we’re all introduced, I really have to hustle.”
            Kendra’s eyes widened.  “Is he for real?”
            “Yes, yes, he’s real,” I said, lowering my voice. “ Kendra, I have to whip home for my vet bag.  It would be easier without him along.  Can you keep him here? I’ll only be 20 minutes.”
            “Sure, but how?”  She could hardly take her eyes off him.
            “I don’t know…flirt with him or something.  But don’t let him leave this classroom.  Got it?”
            She gulped.  “Okay.”
            I ran to the desk and grabbed my car keys.  Just as I reached the exit, I heard Kendra say, “So…is that a broadsword on your belt or are you just glad to see me?”
-- Lynda Again
    Melodie asked me to pass this on.

    "Want a half price coupon for the ebook version of 'Rowena Through the Wall'? Leave a comment on this post, with your contact info (email addy)!"

    Sounds like a fabulous deal, doesn't it? Make sure you leave a comment and your email addy.

    Thanks for stopping by and have a Blessed Day!


loves to dive said...

Melodie - another great article. Don't need the coupon as I've read the book, just stopped by.

Melodie Campbell said...

So kind of you, Loves! Thank you.

Alison E. Bruce said...

I've always taken the Shakespearean view of writing where every tragdy needs some comic relief and every comedy needs a touch of tragedy to work.

Looks like we're on the same page. (D'uh - of course we're on the same page. My comment is after your blog.)

Victoria said...

Boy this sounds like a fun read. The idea of husbands piling up gets me :).


night owl in IL said...

Hi Melodie,
This is a wonderful article. Now I'm even more eager to read your book (I love humor).
(But I'll get the paperback.)

Lea Ellen {night owl in IL}

Wicked Leanore said...

Yes... Sexy can be funny! When you have both at the same time? Magic! And Rowena Through The Wall has it!
I so enjoyed this article. Gives me new perspectives on sex and fun.(wait a minute) That could be a dangerous thing.:0
Loved the concepts, Melodie.

Melodie Campbell said...

Thanks, Night and Wicked! Victoria, the coupon is on its way to you.