Tag Archives: urban fantasy

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Cover Reveal – Misfortune Cookie!

Happy Friday! Casey here!

I hope everyone didn’t overindulge their sweet tooth yesterday. I was surprisingly good. Largely, because we decided a few years ago, to stop buying tons of Halloween candy.

I don’t have much to say today other than . . .

Feast your eyes on the cover of Misfortune Cookie! Another outstanding design from Rae Monet!

In other news - Mystic Hero is done (well, the first draft) and is in the hands of my beta readers. Yay!

But don’t think I’m sitting around doing nothing. Next up – completing Lachlan’s Curse. I hope to finish the first draft by the end of November.

Wish me luck!

What’s on everyone’s plate these days?

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How Many Misfortunate Cookies Can There Be?

Happy Friday! Casey here!

IMG_2294So, it’s been a busy week in my household. Last Friday, my youngest son graduated from high school (my baby!!) and earlier this week he also obtained his driver’s license. Long time readers may remember that he started driving last summer.

Oh my, how time flies.

Just last year, I wrote this over at my blog:

Finally, I’m ready to share the scoop on my latest book. But first, a bit of back story. Radiance was the very book I ever attempted to write way back in 1997. Being a brand spanking new writer, I had no idea what I was doing. I spent years and years writing scenes with no rhyme or reason.

Eventually, I set it aside out of sheer frustration and moved onto other stories. Because Radiance was the first one, it’s always bothered me that I never finished the story.

I know, I know. There’s a reason those first books stay in a box under the bed. But I couldn’t let her go.

Last year I began the process of re-imagining the book. I chucked out virtually the entire plot and went back to my heroine and what I loved best about her. I titled the new version, Devil’s Advocate and got to work plotting. And promptly became snarled in a tangled mess.

My first thought was - I will never get this story right. I took a break and started plotting Zephyr’s book and dealing with Galen’s mess.

Then in 2012, after a mental head slap, I realized that the story was too big. I needed to step back and break it down. So Devil’s Advocate became book 2 in a three book series.

Mind freed, I spent April plotting book 1. In May, I began writing. It was slow going at first, then my friend Susannah Hardy issued one of her famous writing challenges, this time in the form of writing sprints. By June, I was on fire banging out 2,000 – 3,000 words a day. I finished the last week in June and the first draft has been cleaned up, ready to send to my valued first readers.

So, I present to you Misfortune Cookie!

When Radiance Ashworth inherits the family fortune and a nasty supernatural curse, life as she knows it is over forever. Instead of luxurious pampering, she’s stuck chasing wayward spirits and sending them back to the Hereafter. Her new normal consists of ectoplasmic goo, bruises, and ruined clothes.

Fortunately, she doesn’t have to navigate the supernatural world alone. Luca, sexy, confident, and so damn tempting, is happy to guide her – if she’d only accept his help. She quickly learns how much she needs his assistance just to stay alive, when a Jiang Shi – a vengeful Chinese spirit – starts systematically murdering the city’s elite business leaders. While the Jiang Shi proves to be a formidable opponent, Radiance finds the growing attraction between her and Luca to be even scarier.

At the time, I thought I had a pretty cool name for my book but, to be sure, I went to Amazon and searched for similar titles.

Not a misfortune cookie in sight.

Well, guess what? Now, there a couple of adult novels with the same name: a contemporary romance, a murder mystery and, later this year, another urban fantasy.

So much for my clever name. But, you know, I don’t care. My publisher likes the name and I like it.

So – coming early 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing - MISFORTUNE COOKIE by Casey Wyatt!!

Finally, after all these years, my original character will see the light of day. Yay!

The Scribes have addressed duplicate titles before (here, here and here). What do you think? Does it hurt or help to share the same title with more than one book?

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Laughter: The Third Greatest Gift

Happy Friday everyone! Casey here.

Humor, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Some of us enjoy our humor dry and witty. While others prefer slapstick, raunchy or down-right rude. Or maybe your mood dictates what you think is funny.

I think part of the reason I fell in love with urban fantasy is the genre embraces snark in a serious way. While some level of “funny” isn’t required in the books I enjoy, I always love it when an author gets me.

You know, that moment, when the laugh comes out of the blue. I don’t how other authors do it, but when I’m writing, humor sneaks up on me and comes from the characters (not me!!). And often times, I don’t realize I’ve written something “funny” until someone else points it out to me.

And what you find funny, someone else may not. Like wine, there are different vintages of funny. Personally, I fall into the witty, sarcastic camp. The snarkier the better. I enjoy authors like Bill Bryson (Tales of the Thunderbolt Kid: one boy, one sleeping uncle, a magnifying glass and mysterious burn spots). The book is a non-fiction memoir of his childhood and it’s hilarious.

My favorite urban fantasy authors are: Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, Simon Green (Eddie Drood or Nightside books) and you can never go wrong with Christopher Moore (A Dirty Job - love those sewer harpies!), Terry Pratchett (The Hogfather- the wackiest Christmas story ever) or A Lee Martinez (Gil’s All Fright Diner - who doesn’t love a roadside diner that’s constantly attacked by the undead?).

If UF isn’t your thing, check out Kristan Higgins (the shovel scene in Too Good To Be True still gives me the giggles), Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Books or our soon to be published Scribe - Jamie Pope (aka Sugar Jamison).

How do these writers do it? Well, I can’t tell you how to be funny and I don’t know the magical spring where their talent comes from, but I can suggest some logical places to sprinkle humor into a story.

Narration -this kind of humor is often found in first person books, think Bridget Jones’ Diary or see the aforementioned urban fantasy authors or Ms. Kristan Higgins! Just having a window into the character’s thoughts can be funny. What they think about other characters - the annoying neighbor, the crazy aunt with lipstick on her teeth or how the character views herself -  are all areas to slip in the funny.

Situational – humor can be injected by using the circumstances in which characters find themselves. Think Stephanie Plum and all her captures gone wrong. Another popular choice is The Date From Hell, The Family Event from Hell (wedding, funeral, graduation) or the plan that goes horribly awry.

Banter - This is my personal favorite. Here, the heroine/hero engage in witty exhanges with other characters.I jones on characters verbally sparring in humorous ways. For example – The Princess Bride by William Goldman or A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.

Note: these can be mixed and matched as needed.

One thing to keep in mind – forced humor is not funny. Readers can smell phony attempts from a mile it away. Don’t be lame! And, remember, the normal rules of storytelling apply – don’t add humor for the sake of it. If it doesn’t advance the plot or grow your character – axe it!

In case you’re wondering about the title of this blog post – check out The Muppets (2011 version) and enlightenment will find you!

What kind of humor do you enjoy? Favorite funny writer? Have a technique or advice to share?