Are You Funny?
I'm not very funny. Or at least not as funny as my sister or my friend, Eddie or my hubby's uncle Frank... or really most people.
I am the person that says the wrong zinger... maybe it's my delivery? Maybe the punchline escapes me?
I am also the person who tries so hard to find the right GIF for that perfect response..and usually fails. I have a friend from grad school who is THE best GIF chooser EVER! (@jasonvercher - I'm talking about you!) He just nails it every.time. Green over here... I want to make people's day by being a good GIF responder.
I am also the person that mixes up my sayings. My hubby consistently threatens to write a book just with my '-isms.' "Let's discuss the white elephant in the room." "They are such lumps on logs." And, on...
Funny picture books are still the top selling, top producing genre of children's books. And, I wrote one! (Well, not a top selling one... Yet.) About a cute #armadillo who is different from her fellow armadillos. BUT she has an extreme jumping problem... which causes LOTS of issues.
I am very excited about this manuscript as it incorporates my wonderful Texas roots and the environment I cherish about my home state. My protagonist is not a typical PB character - an armadillo! Her major issue is serious - she is different and feels embarrassed - but it's also funny... or at least I took a stab at funny!
After a number of positive critiques and edits, I hired a professional editor to review it in preparation for agent submission. My editor raved about the book but delivered a non-surprising summary. "...It's a funny book but it's just not that funny. What you think is funny is not written funny. You need to work on your funny."
I KNOW!! Tell me about it! But what can I do?!
I checked out a ton of funny picture books and read and re-read. (One of my favs above - #TOOMANYCARROTS by @katyhudson)
I studied the PBs my kids thought were funny when they were younger.
I enrolled in a funny picture book webinar and learned from really funny writers.
I edited and edited and rewrote and edited.
I paid more attention to placement of words and punctuation for better delivery.
Utilized illustration notes to capture some of the funny points I was trying to explain. (DON'T explain!)
I re-submitted to my editor... and I got a green light. It's actually funny. Hooray! Or, at least she thinks so (and I do too!) and she knows JUSSTT a little bit about the industry. But, we shall see.
The real test? I submitted it to a PB contest #pbparty few weeks ago. And, soon I will start sending to agents. Another book is in the works with my jumpy, cute armadillo protagonist.
So, I guess I'll be like a postage stamp and stick to this funny PB writing until I get there.
xo - h