Bett Norris


It’s Hard to be Funny

This is what I told my editor. She agreed. For all of you who read and loved Miss McGhee, and for those currently enthralled reading What’s Best for Jane, (and asking, where’s the funny?) just so you know, my third novel is supposed to be funny. At times. Throughout. Strategically to relieve the tension. And only when revealing depths of character. And occasionally when I can’t think how to move the plot along its twisty path.

Yes, the third one will also be set in the South. Would anyone really trust me to write about urban crime and angst? Would anyone trust a book I wrote set in London or Baghdad? It will also concern itself in some way with the civil rights movement. (I know.) Not funny, you’re thinking? Me too.

Thus, my dilemma. This, then, is my ingenious idea. Whenever I tell people about the past and present intertwinings, arguments, and general goings on of my family in Alabama, they laugh. I do not. But as this seems to be a predictable reaction, it occurred to me to fictionalize (steal) from these familial events. Thinly veiled, sharp as a serpent’s tooth, but funny.  Do not put it past any one of my relatives to sue for defamation of character. I am laughing inside right now.

Oh, and I will be on the airwaves on September 26 at 9 am, talking with the lovely Emily Cherin about All Things Gay. tune in online. This should be a lot of fun.

Also, Sally Bellerose’s book is out now: The Girl’s Club. Get your copy immediately. This will be one of the best books you read all year, I promise.









If it isn’t, then you should read Joan Opyr’s new one, Shaken and Stirred.

Joan Opyr has no trouble at all with funny.

2 responses to “It’s Hard to be Funny

  1. Joan September 7, 2011 at 8:54 am

    It’s not hard to be funny, Bett. Just tell the absolute, unvarnished truth. You know how Southerners don’t confine their crazy to the attic, but let it dance around on the front porch in a feather boa? Laissez le crazy rouler.


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