Write Byte

Humor in Romance

We love books that make us cry and make us tingle, but we love stories that makes us laugh. Many authors attempt this, but not all do so successfully . . . with some authors we laugh in all the wrong places.

We asked author Deborah Simmons, author of many books including Favorite Funnies listed The Vicar’s Daughter, about humor in romance — why laughter can be an important part of a love story and which authors she believes do this well. Read on – many of our Favorite Funnies authors are hers as well.

Deborah writes:

Witty dialogue, fun situations, amusing characters — I love a book that gives me a laugh or even a smile. So often the daily grind tends to grind us down, and a good romance uplifts us, especially one with a healthy dose of humor.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a dark, brooding alpha male as well as the next reader, but when I’m in the mood for a laugh, I turn to Jennifer Cruisie, Jayne Ann Krentz, Jill Barnett, Julie Kistler, Julie Garwood, Rebecca Paisley, Amanda Quick and many other very talented, skilled authors.

And I do mean skilled. Writing humor in romance is tricky because the characters must be funny, but not too silly. The hero should still be bold and sexy, the heroine smart and appealing. I want to laugh with, and even at, some of the characters, while never losing my affection for them.

It is a daunting assignment, but can be lots of fun, too. My personal favorite of the books I’ve written is The Vicar’s Daughter because it has more humor than my others, including some slapstick.

The hero was a Regency-era earl who had his life organized down to the minute until he met the heroine, and I enjoyed putting him in situations that would rattle his famous reserve. However, I was very aware of walking a thin line.

Although I poked fun at him, I never wanted him to appear wimpy or lose his dignity entirely. Even after being bloodied in a street brawl, his clothes muddy and torn, he managed to rise above it all and, hopefully, bring a smile to the reader, as well.

Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons at AAR