Continuing from yesterday, and after a difficult winter, I’m enjoying thinking about humour. Byron should probably have listened to his own advice: “Always laugh when you can, it is a cheap medicine.”
There are so many delicious quotes to throw around. Roger Moore said, “If you don’t have humour, then you may as well nail the coffin lid down now.” I can picture him saying that, with one eye-brow arched. Bless him!
The skill of writing with humour: selecting and delivering words at the right time; pacing the work – these are all very useful tools for an author.
Anybody who can write a funny story around a rusty, rickety old ironing board,(“L’Hipocrape”), has my vote. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Patricia Feinberg Stoner. I’ve enjoyed all her books and am eagerly awaiting the publication of her next – hopefully in late autumn. I asked Patricia if writing comedy came to her instinctively. She had me in stitches with her account of life as an expatriate in France: (“At home in the Pays d’Oc” – please find links for all her books at the end of this blog as well as the opportunity to acquire a free sample of her next hilarious account).
“I come from a family of humourists. My father was addicted to bad puns and worse jokes, and my mother had a keen sense of the ridiculous. My earliest inspirations came from their book shelves. At the age of ten I found Langford Reed’s wonderful collection: The Complete Limerick Book. I was inspired, and wrote my first limerick on the spot. It wasn’t very good, but I was on the path. Not long afterwards I found a small collection of Ogden Nash’s verse, and began a life-long love affair with the American comic poet. My proudest possession is an anthology inscribed to me by Nash himself ‘Not from the author / Of Hiawatha / But a much sublimer / And younger rhymer.’
My own two collections of comic verse had their roots in boredom. In the 1980s I worked for an advertising agency in London. I wore sharp suits, I ate expense account lunches; I was over-paid and under-worked. To while away the long hours between getting in (10am) and lunch time (12:30-3:00) I began writing poems about cats: Nippengripp, the Stationery Cat, Dies Irae and their fellows. Many years later, I found the inimitable cartoonist Bob Bond, and Paw Prints in the Butter was born. Bob also added his magic touch to my second collection: The Little Book of Rude Limericks. Many of these were written during the tedium of long drives to the south of France, which is why young men of Lodève and ladies from Quimper rub shoulders in the book with a greedy young fellow from York.
My other great passion is for France, and all things French, still with a comic twist. At Home in the Pays d’Oc chronicles the adventures my husband and I had while accidental expatriates in that country, and Tales from the Pays d’Oc is my current work in progress. Do contact me for a free ‘sneak peek’.”
You can contact Patricia here. She is also on Twitter @perdisma