October 29, 2012
I’m very excited today to introduce one of my best friends, romantic comedy and mystery writer Misty Simon! Misty is starting a brand new day job today, so she’ll be here after 5:00 EDT to chat with you all in the comments! —Natalie
My grandfather was a character. From the time I was little he would always tell stories about his days in the Navy or about driving a bus in San Francisco, or about how they would call him “Cheesy Rider” and the “Silver Bullet” because he would ride his moped around town with a silver helmet and a huge orange flag on the back so people would see him. He rode a bike with a big basket on the front and kissed my grandmother three times every morning for past, present, and future.
While he would never have been caught with a romance novel in his hands (he read war books and books about Hawaii) he did give me my love of reading and eventually my love of writing. Not to mention a healthy dose of curiosity. Did you know that there are many words in the English language that have the vowels in consecutive order but the most common are abstemious, adventitious, and facetious? He would sing songs about a girl who had false hair and a false eye and a false leg. In the song she removes everything false before going to sleep and her father says, “My little girl, I’d like to hug you, but you’re scattered everywhere.”
He also carried around a pen at the neck of his t-shirt (under his buttoned-down Hawaiian shirt) that he would pull out and ask if you’d like to write that down, especially if he’d said something he thought was hilarious. He’s featured in nearly every book I’ve ever written—sometimes it’s all him but most times it’s just part of him. But this is the beauty and the loveliness of fiction.
I write funny stuff. It’s rare that you will find a book of mine without something going on that hopefully makes you laugh. Humor is subjective, but there are some things that are funny no matter who you are. I prefer to look at life with my silly glasses on, and that makes my characters do the same thing. I’m in most of my books, too, though it’s usually a bigger, more flawed version of some part of me (or at least I hope so!).
I’m so happy that humorous contemporary romance seems to be making a strong comeback. At one time I had despaired of being back on the light side of things. Everything seemed to require darkness and pain and bleak circumstances. While I love reading those types of books, I am just not built to write them. Ask Natalie some day about that one dark paranormal I started and never finished!
Heck, even when I try to go darker, I still end up laughing. What’s Life Without the Sprinkles? features a woman who got pregnant during high school, and the father-to-be walked away without a second glance. Now, cake-maker and single mom Claudia Bradley thinks she has life all figured out—until her best friend Nate starts looking like a mouth-watering dessert and her son’s father comes strolling back into the picture as if he’d never left ten years ago. Throw in a case of preteen angst and a family with lots of well-meant advice, and, well, she’s whipping up a recipe for chaos!
Nate West has always been there for Claudia, a basic ingredient in her life, but suddenly she is flirting outrageously with him when she’s never looked that way at him before — despite his dreams. With her ex-lover back in town, Nate isn’t about to renege on his years-old promise to always be the friend Claudia needs, but does she want more?
She’s as tempting as butter cream frosting with sprinkles, and he’s mighty tempted…
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I had a blast writing this book over ten years ago, even when it was horribly trite, filled with seven points of view (one was the dog!) and a storyline that was not really a line at all, more like a meandering squiggle. But then I rewrote, and wrote again, revised and polished and ended up with one of my best books that will always be closest to my heart. Claudia deserves her happy ending, her sprinkles, and her cake too. She deserves the laughter after the tears. As we all do.
Romance isn’t only about laughter though. To me it’s also about the struggle to figure out who you are and who you can be to another person. What you can give to a relationship to make it work and for both of you to flourish from that love.
Do you have someone in your life who makes you laugh? Tell me about them because I like to laugh, too (and if you’ve ever heard me laugh you would know why! It’s very distinct).
Thanks to Everybody Needs a Little Romance and especially Natalie for making it possible to come on this great blog! I hope your day is filled with laughter and love.
Misty Simon loves a good story and decided one day that she would try her hand at it. Eventually she got it right. There’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. She lives with her husband, daughter and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel or three. She loves to hear from readers, and you can check out her website at www.mistysimon.com.