Saturday, August 20, 2011
Comedy with slapstick; does it work in books?
I've often heard that slapstick comedy doesn't work in novels. Well, I've read a book or two where they're right--it doesn't. I think it all depends on the way it's told (or shown.)
Here's a scene from my latest release with a touch of slapstick. I think it translates. I'm going to risk it. See what you think.
As she and Sly rushed toward the train station, Morgaine hoped Chad was right, and the smell of moonshine would disguise their scents. She’d poured some in an atomizer and spritzed it on like perfume, hitting all her pulse points. Sly didn’t have much of a pulse, but he sprayed plenty on his black slacks and coat. Now they smelled like a couple of drunks—lovely.
They had slipped out the back, and only the lights of the city and an occasional security spotlight broke the darkness. Their connected hands kept her grounded, but Goddess forbid he release her—even for a second. This test couldn’t be more challenging. Here she was, out in the open in the dark of night!
I’m safe. I’m with Sly. I’m safe.
Sly carried a small duffel bag and Morgaine’s suitcase, insisting the train station was too far for her to carry it herself. She knew he wanted nothing to slow them down. They purposely avoided Vorigan’s block. The logical route to the Back Bay station would have brought them close—too close, so for obvious reasons they took the longer way around.
“Almost there, babe.” Sly squeezed her hand. She liked the nickname he’d begun using for her. They hadn’t taken three more steps when he froze.
“Shit,” he muttered.
She glanced around until she saw him. It was her first glimpse of the evil V. Malvant, and although she could only see him from the back, she recognized his warped energy right away. His black, stringy hair lay over thin shoulders like the dark, jagged aura that hung over the rest of him.
“Quick, down here.” Sly yanked her arm toward the subway entrance. Before they disappeared down the steps, she saw the other vampire turn and smile cruelly. Yellow light from the streetlamps glinted off his fangs.
“Hurry!” she cried.
They took the steps two at a time all the way to the bottom. A train waited at the platform, but Morgaine doubted they could make it before the doors closed.
Sly scooped her up in his arms, vaulted over the turnstile, and had them safely ensconced inside when the doors shut. Vorigan, seconds behind them, slammed into the windows. Morgaine gasped. Vorigan’s face distorted as he slid down the glass.
As the train pulled away from the station, she heard Sly chuckle. She joined him as he laughed harder. By the time they were well on their way to the next station, they guffawed in cathartic relief.
At last, wiping the tears from her eyes, Morgaine asked, “Now what?”
“Now we take the subway to the next station and change lines. We can board the train at South Station.”
She blew out a deep breath. “So, you think we’ve lost him?”
“Unless he anticipates our next move.”
Suddenly a horrible thought occurred to her. “You don’t think he’s following us, do you?”
She tried to see out the back window, but all was black except for the occasional signal light flashing by.
“No, even he’s not that stupid. The one thing no supernatural creature wants is to be found out.”
“Why is that?”
“I imagine we’d be tazed, drugged, and dissected.”
“Are you cold, love?” He placed an arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer.
“N-no.” Did he just call me ‘love’ instead of ‘babe’?
The rest of the book can be found on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, etc. I hope you'll give it a try. It received 5 blue ribbons from Romance Junkies, 4 1/2 starts from RT book reviews, and 4 1/2 and a top pick from Night Owl Romance. Not bad for a light paranormal romance with a touch of slapstick.
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