Sunday, December 16, 2012

Guest Post: Adrienne Kress

Today I am excited to have author Adrienne Kress stop by the blog to tell us a bit about her writing process- Adrienne is the author of "The Friday Society", a book which I recently read and adored! 
Comedy

Why do I like comedy so much, and why do I make it an important element of my writing?  For these five reasons:

1. I love to laugh. 

2. I love to make other people laugh.

3.  The fact that something is funny doesn’t mean it can’t also speak to human truths and have serious moments.  In fact, I tend to find comedies can pack even more of an emotional wallop than pure drama.  Life, in general, is absurd.  And to deny that absurdity is to take something honest and real away from the moment.  Yes, there are purely serious moments, and, in fact, I have such moments in all my books.  But those are rare.  Usually we feel a mix of feelings, life isn’t all black and white.  I remember when I was delivering the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral.  I’m an actor as well as an author and I tend to work best when I get audience feedback, be it laughter, applause, etc.  Of course at a funeral people aren’t really doing any of those things.  They are sitting listening to you.  Not really responding that much.  So as I was reading my eulogy, and was getting all teary and missing my grandmother so much, I also couldn’t help thinking, “Wow, tough crowd.”

See? Absurd, right?

4.  Speaking of absurdity.  Douglas Adams has got to be one of my greatest literary influences.  It was his absurd humour that taught me I was allowed to play in the telling of a story.  My father read to me before bed every night, and we worked our way through the classics (Dickens, Tolkien, etc).  But then one day he picked up THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, and my perspective on books and on writing changed in that moment.  I don’t think my mind would have been nearly as blown had I not been introduced to the classics first.  And I think it is very important to have a solid grounding before you start to hop around like a crazy person.  But Adams definitely inspired my love of absurdity, and that tends to be at the core of most of my humour.  I think, going back to point 3, what I like best about it is that life is kind of absurd.  And building up on that idea to an extreme is still a very honest reflection of how humans live.  It is also hilarious.
  
5. A shared joke that everyone loves brings people together in a wonderful way.  It’s an instant moment of connection.  Of “Even if we are quite different, we have this in common.”  The best evenings out with friends are the ones where everyone is laughing, where everyone is having fun.  I really love bonding over comedy.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

From Goodreads: "Be your own hero.

An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures."

About the Author: Adrienne Kress is a Toronto born actor and author who loves to play make-believe. She also loves hot chocolate. And cheese. Not necessarily together.

She is the author of two children's novels: ALEX AND THE IRONIC GENTLEMAN and TIMOTHY AND THE DRAGON'S GATE (Scholastic). Her debut YA novel, THE FRIDAY SOCIETY, launches Fall 2012 from Dial, Penguin.

She is a theatre graduate of the Univeristy of Toronto and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in the UK. Published around the world, ALEX was featured in the New York Post as a "Post Potter Pick," as well as on the CBS early show. It won the Heart of Hawick Children's Book Award in the UK and was nominated for the Red Cedar. The sequel, TIMOTHY, was nominated for the Audie, Red Cedar and Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards, and was recently optioned for film.

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