Donna Hepburn finds writing funny scenes is an escape.
I’ve never been a big comedy fan probably because I was brought up in the 70s when racism, sexism and every other “ism” was seen as a source of laughter, even the classics like Fawlty Towers and Monty Python went over my head I just didn’t get it.
Don’t get me wrong these days I do like some comedy programmes. I love the Royle Family, Peter Kay’s Car Share and Two Doors Down and in the film world Ted made me chuckle out loud.
You can, however, imagine my family and friends’ surprise when I declared I was going to write a humourous book series. I was a little surprised myself, my own sense of humour is quite dry and while I don’t think I’m funny at all I have often been told otherwise.
“But isn’t comedy the hardest genre to write?” I was frequently asked and “Don’t you need to be in a happy mood to write it?”
The answer to both questions is no!
You don’t always have to be in a happy frame of mind to write comedy although if you really depressed I guess it could be quite difficult. I find it an escape and if I’m in a bad mood when I begin a funny scene it cheers me up and I often end up laughing, there are certain bits of Flip-Flops which still make me smile even after reading them dozens of times.
The hard thing about writing comedy is you have to get the plot right, build characters and convey emotions, exactly the same as any other story but on top of that you need to be consistently funny even when dealing with potentially unfunny situations.
That takes time, hard work and a certain amount of skill. But as hard as it is, I love writing comedy and would find writing a western or political espionage novel much more difficult, if not impossible.
Of course, you have to be careful you don’t offend people but don’t spend too much time worrying about what people think or you will never finish, it’s also important to remember there is more than one type of humour.
I tried to mix it up and although there is some slapstick comedy in the book there is also verbal comedy, romantic comedy and lots of funny animal moments
I never believed I could write something funny let alone a whole novel full of jokes. However, the whole time I was writing Flip-Flops I knew I was creating something special and I’ve received incredible feedback with some people saying it’s the funniest book they’ve read this year.
Don’t let the fact that comedy can be difficult to write put you off, just start writing. I did, and it could be a lot easier than you think.
Flip-Flops, Fiestas, and Flamenco is the first in a series of three books about two best friends, their lives, loves, and adventures after moving to a small village in the Andalusian hills.
Abby and Lou have been BFFs since the first day at Uni. Despite being opposites in both looks and personality they were drawn to each other, sharing a flat, dreams and a love of animals. Through the ensuing years despite heartache and divorce, they remain as close as ever.
Abby would be the first to admit her life needs an injection of fun. Middle-aged, divorced and slightly overweight, she’s a mother/general dogs-body to two lay-about sons, a pink-haired Amazonian on-off girlfriend and an incorrigible British Bulldog named Chester. Her lifelong dream of living in Spain’s glorious sunshine has been long forgotten or has it?
Lou was stuck in her own rut, never fully recovered from a tragedy in her past. A long list of online dating disasters had left her wondering if she will ever find love again. Her cool ice-maiden persona is shattered along with her cat’s eardrums when she wins £400,000 on an online bingo site.
Could this be the answer to both their prayers?
Flip-Flops packed, they embark on their adventure, but it isn’t all sun and sangria. Warring pets, new neighbours, cooking experiments, scary wildlife and an escapee Donkey named Santos combine to make it an unforgettable Summer.
Can their friendship survive or will the Mediterranean dream become a nightmare?
Donna Hepburn lives in the North East of England with her partner and two beautiful boxer dogs; Floyd and Freya and loves writing Chick Lit Comedy.