I often wish I was funnier.
I once expressed this to a friend of mine, who looked at me rather oddly and said “But you ARE a funny guy, Dave. Probably the funniest guy I know, now that I think about it.”
When I replied that people didn’t seem to laugh very much at what I said, he thought for a moment and then said “That’s because your humor isn’t really the kind that you laugh at.”
When I would submit humorous stories to my critique group, they would invariably come back with opinions ranging from “brilliant” to “awful”. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but humor is apparently buried deep in a bone in your elbow that only makes its presence known when you hit it on the edge of a table. To say the least, humor is a very individual thing. For example, I have never found slapstick to be funny. I don’t like the Three Stooges and I pretty much loathe America’s Funniest Home Videos. People falling down and getting injured isn’t even remotely near my funny zone. Conversely, I find Kurt Vonnegut to often be side-splittingly hilarious. Most of my friends simply find Vonnegut perplexing.
All of which brings me to Strangely Funny.
A couple of intrepid ladies in Florida decided to enter the treacherous waters of small press publishing and started their own company, Mystery and Horror, LLC.. I admire their courage. I admire their fearlessness in the face of some pretty imposing odds against small publishers. Even more importantly, I admire their good tastes for selecting one of my stories to appear in their premier release. The editor posted a short interview with me on her own blog. You can read it here:
My story is called “If You Can’t Trust a Rhyming Demon, Can You Trust a Demon Not to Rhyme?” Even though it is populated with stereotypes and juvenile situations, it’s humor still relies on mostly on wordplay. I think it fits into the overall theme of “strange humor” nicely (or at least the “strange” part). I’ve read most of the book at this point, and as you would expect of an anthology, the stories within cover a wide range of styles. I found some of them to be quite funny, others I didn’t quite get at all. That is completely okay, and even to be expected. The writers in this book took some risks and found humor in odd places and situations. But as with all things in life, the greater the risk taken, the greater the potential reward.
Print version available from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Strangely-Funny-Sarah-E-Glenn/dp/098900760X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
or if you prefer it directly loaded to your Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Strangely-Funny-ebook/dp/B00E2ZSJ34/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376656545&sr=1-1&keywords=strangely+funny
Neo-opsis magazine won the 2009 Aurora Award for “Best Work in English (other)” for issues 14 and 15 of their magazine. The reason I mention this is that issue 14 included my own story, “Shedding Skin.” The Aurora is basically Canada’s version of the Hugo Award, which is fitting since Neo-opsis is a Canadian Magazine. It also seemed fitting to jokingly refer to myself as “internationally published author” once I was published in a Canadian magazine.
So do I now refer to myself as “award winning author”? No, at least not unless I’m in one of my sardonic moods. The award went to Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson, as the editors of the magazine. My story is certainly connected to the award, but claiming anything beyond that tangental connection would be misleading. After all, it was “Shedding Skin” that moved Fix-online reviewer Lyndon Perry to refer to me as “competent,” which is probably like referring to your blind date as having “personality”.
(But I did like the tag so much I put it on the front page of my website. Did I mention sardonic moods?)
I’ve been working on longer works lately and haven’t been writing a lot of short fiction , but since last year’s volume was so well received, I worked something up for this one. The story is called “One Touch to Remember” and it connects to the theme of the anthology: Dark Glass.
If you missed the Pittsburgh con, you can order a copy here:
It’s available both in a conventional print version and a more economical PDF. As I’ve written before, it’s now more important than ever to support the small press, as it serves as virtually the last refuge for short fiction. Personally, I’d go for the print version. It has a gorgeous cover and will impress all your friends. Either way you go, let me know what you think of the story.