I had a lot of fun writing my 50s sci-fi film parody "Not Rocket Science" for the EXPERIMENTAL anthology. When I saw the call for submissions I did what I usually do: close my eyes and see if an idea jumps immediately to mind. What does "science" say to me, I mused. The first thing to pop into my head was The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, Larry Blamire's hilarious spoof of the same genre. It's a dead-on and loving recreation of that era which seems equal parts romanticism about science and terror of the unknown coming from the skies. One group of friends invented a drinking game around the movie, which requires you to take a sip every time anyone says "science." It's great fun. The film works so well because everyone is so completely deadpan. Brilliant!
This story made me realise how much I like to work humour into my stories, something I hadn't really thought about before. Well, I always like to work humour into everything I do, but I didn't particularly think about the link between sex and laughter. I realised it's very important for me. My characters are always smiling and laughing as they make love. Even when humour's not the point of the story, it works its way in. My story "Love on a Spoon" for the wonderful AMBROSIA anthology has an off-hand reference to a very funny routine by dishy Irish comedian Dylan Moran. Within the narrative, it shows the shared sense of humour between the two friends who are about to become lovers.
A lot of my stories are filled with references to classic British comedy, particularly my idol, Peter Cook whom Stephen Fry (a very witty man himself) called "the funniest man who ever drew breath." He was incredibly witty and devastatingly handsome, too. With Dudley Moore (known over here mostly for Arthur and 10) he was part of the funniest duo on British tv. Unfortunately, not as many people know him in this country, apart from his appearance in The Princess Bride ("mawwiage!"). I'm not sure there's much of an overlap between Peter Cook fans and erotic romance fans, but you never know. There might be the occasional reader who gets a chuckle from the same things I do.
Tags: laughter | Peter Cook | humour | comedy | inspiration
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