With: Olivia Dade
At heart, my Lovestruck Librarians books are romantic comedies. Dirty ones. If you removed dick jokes from my repertoire, I’d shrivel and die a sad, penis-less death.
To be clear, my stories aren’t always funny. At times, I set aside jokes (junk-related or otherwise) because certain parts of the books need an emotional impact, one too much humor might undercut. And, of course, opinions will differ on how well I succeed at comedy in the first place. Depends on your tolerance for parody book titles, I imagine. If an anthology of railway-themed erotica entitled Long Train Coming doesn’t work for you…well, I apologize.
But if you do think I’m funny, you might want to check out some of the authors who helped shape my sense of humor, both in my writing and in my life.
1. Jennifer Crusie
In romance circles, Bet Me is sacrosanct. Like pretty much everyone else, I love how an expansive heart beats beneath all the jokes, and I swoon as I laugh. But for sheer hilarity, you can’t do better than Getting Rid of Bradley. As soon as I read that book, I fell for Crusie. Hard.
Here’s a line from Tina—sister of Lucy, the newly-divorced heroine: “You are going to get rid of his name, aren’t you? Lucy Savage Porter always sounded liked you’d married a rabid bellboy.”
Oh, yeah. That’s the stuff.
2. Elizabeth Peters
I inhaled her books as a teenager. Technically, they’re mysteries, but I read them for two reasons: the romantic subplots and the humor. Her most famous creation remains the Amelia Peabody series, which I adore. But my favorite Peters book is actually Summer of the Dragon, which features D.J. Abbott, an anthropology grad student with a big mouth.
Sometimes dry, sometimes farcical, Peters’s humor in that book slays me. For instance:
“Dad thinks every nice girl, and every nice boy, and all the boys and girls who aren’t nice, should be archaeologists. … He feels that there are too many people in the world anyway, so if they would just stop perpetuating themselves, then they could all live in the houses that have already been built, and grow just enough food to give themselves the strength to perform mankind’s most vital endeavor: digging things up.”
3. Douglas Adams
Read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Really. You’ll thank me. I had dozens of quotes from that book taped inside my high school locker, and I love them just as much now.
“You know,” said Arthur, “it’s at times like this, when I’m trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I’d listened to what my mother told me when I was young.”
“Why, what did she tell you?”
“I don’t know, I didn’t listen.”
4. Gary Larson. Dave Barry. Matt Groening. Writers of The Onion. Untold others.
They’re also amazing and completely to blame if you hate my sense of humor.
My Reckless Valentine
TEMPTATION FROM A TO Z
Library manager Angie Burrowes is in trouble again. Her superiors have never approved of her unconventional methods, but the latest warning is serious—another complaint from the administration or a patron, and she’s fired. With a steamy Valentine’s Day contest to conceal and her career on the line, the last thing Angie needs is a near-accident while driving home. At least, until she meets the tall, dark, and sexy stranger responsible for her very own spicy plot twist...
Straight-laced Grant Peterson has only one thing on his mind: making a good impression as the new Director of Branch Services at the Nice County Public Library. On the eve of his first day, however, a lusty encounter with Angie unleashes a desire unlike any he’s ever known. Their tryst may be one for the record books, but when he learns he’s Angie’s new boss, will Grant need to check out on love?
While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn't read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a "manhood"? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero's manhood?
Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It's his "hard length," sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. At least in romances. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year's Eve at Cancun.
During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet--it didn't matter. I loved them all.
Now I'm writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I found a kick-ass agent: Jessica Alvarez from Bookends, LLC. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I'd rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.
So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.
Twitter handle: @OliviaWrites
Facebook fan page: facebook.com/OliviaDade
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