Funny business… comedy books

Posted: August 22, 2012 in Publishing

I attended and performed a little talk at a writers gig at the Witterings this month. It was fun, people laughed. I even sneaked a bit about my second book. I was asked again, “Don’t you want to be taken seriously as an author?” The quizzical party than looks as perplexed as I when I said, “No, I couldn’t give a fuck about that.” This caused a bit of a stir. I’m not going to have a pop at anyone, but there does seem to be an ever-growing narcissism with some authors. The X-factor-esque love me bullshit. Nobody asks a bus driver ‘Don’t you want to be taken seriously as a bus driver?’ Because he would look at you like you are mental. As long as the bus gets from A to B without mounting the pavement and mowing down a bunch of school kids or over a ravine killing everyone, you shouldn’t give a shit about the driver. Except for a maybe a polite thank you. What is important is the bus. Was it clean, quiet, did you get where you wanted to go? I feel the same about authors. It is the book that is important. As long as people who buy my book like it, why should they give a fuck about what I’m like? The literary world at large loved ‘A Brief History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking, yet, nobody criticises him for being a shit break dancer do they? Staggers me the vanity of some authors. I got an invite by one author I’ve never met or heard of to be a fan and join his fan site? If you have to invite someone to be a fan… they aint a fucking fan! Why would I want to be taken seriously? I write books not save fucking lives.

Turns out, the ‘Don’t you want to be taken seriously’ resulted from the Guardian and it’s Not The Booker Prize and the comments I made. Okay, so I said I would fuck a swan at the award ceremony if I won. That though, isn’t the reason why I didn’t make the short list. Nor did any other comedy book. You probably will never see my book on any prize list. It has more to do with why you will never see a comedy book in any award list, or noteworthy literary best reads list. Comedy books will never get taken seriously, nor gain any acceptance by the literary world. In the same way that funny films never get nominations for Oscars. If I wanted recognition, or acceptance, I’d write a moaning tome and get all Franzen and bitch on about how tough I’ve got it “What am I gonna do with all my money?” His 2001 novel, The Corrections, a sprawling moan. It was supposed to be satirical family drama, I read it to my dog and he tried to hang himself.

Fact is, I write what makes me laugh. I hope it makes other people laugh. That’s it.
I don’t write to be respected. I don’t write to be an author. I don’t write to elevate my status. You will never hear me say I have ‘fans’. Funny books may not get taken seriously, but I take it very seriously. Because my book is a construct of jokes and humour, doesn’t mean it takes any less work than a moaning bible. Difference is, I don’t expect to be worshiped for it. Way I see it. If you’re very rich, and have lots of money in the bank, you get free banking. If your poor and in debt, you have to pay for your banking. That doesn’t make sense. More over, the very banks that used the taxes from the workingman to bail them out, are the ones who are supporting the rich, and punishing the poor. That makes no sense. In a time when the poor are on their knees, our government allows an energy price rise of 9%, by a utilities company that makes billions. That makes no sense. The UK, the worlds 6th biggest economy gives over £170 million in aid to China, the worlds second biggest economy. That doesn’t make sense. China has a space programme, the UK doesn’t… food banks are setting up all over to feed the poor and we give China money? That makes no sense at all. There is enough shit in the world to be pissed off at. If I can make a few laugh and sugar coat the steaming turd that life is, well good. I will leave the ‘serious’ stuff to others. You can keep your awards. I would rather be overlooked, under valued and make a few laugh.  You don’t stop laughing because you get old. You get old because you stop laughing.

  1. Charlie Bray says:

    Cracking post. Just like Malice in Blunderland I didn’t want it to end.

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