Saturday, September 15, 2012

Writing Zany Comedy - Guest Post by Melodie Campbell, author of The Goddaughter.

Happy Saturday!

I have a visitor today. My friend and author, Melodie Campbell, wrote a guest post about writing comedy.

Melodie has several books published. One of them Rowena Through the Wall was reviewed here on the blog. You can find it here: Rowena Through the Wall. Besides that Melodie wrote a short story during Write A Holiday Short Story and she won the contest with her short story Blue Satin and Love. You can find it here: Blue Satin and Love. Melodie is an awesome person and great author and her newest book The Goddaughter has just been published in the beginning of September.

The Goddaughter - Summary:

Gina Gallo is a gemologist who would like nothing better than to run her little jewelry shop. Unfortunately she's also "the Goddaughter," and, as she tells her new friend Pete, "you don't get to choose your relatives." And you can't avoid them when you live in Hamilton and they more or less run the place.

When Gina bumps into Pete at the Art Gallery Gala, sparks fly. So do bullets, when her cousin Tony is taken down by rival mobsters from New York. It turns out Tony was carrying a load of hot gems in the heel of his shoe. When Gina is reluctantly recruited to carry the rocks back to Buffalo, the worst happens: they get stolen. Pete and Gina have no choice but to steal them back, even though philandering politicians, shoe fetishists, and a trio of inept goons stand in their way.

It's all in a day's work, when you're the Goddaughter.

  Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Melodie Campbell!        

Writing Zany Comedy – and Loving It!

By Melodie Campbell

“I had the flu once. It was terrible. I couldn’t eat a thing for three hours.”

I hope you giggled at that line. I think it’s one of my best. And yes, I am a tad fond of eating. In fact, you could list it as my major hobby.

My name is Melodie Campbell, and I write comedies. (This is a self-help group, right?) Sure I’d like to kick the habit and write a ‘real’ book with literary merit.

Okay, so that’s a lie. Leave The Goddaughter behind? Not write a sequel? I’m starting to hyperventilate. Actually, I love writing comedies. It’s in my blood.


Some people are born beautiful. But most of us aren’t and we look for ways to survive the slings and arrows of life. Sometimes we choose to hide behind a mask. That Greek Comedy mask was the one I picked way back.

As a means of self-preservation in the cruel world of teenagers, I looked for the ‘funny.’ More often than not, I made fun of myself. This was easy to do. I knew the target well and there was a wealth of material. And it didn’t hurt anyone else, so people liked it.

When I left school and had a ‘real’ job, I started writing stand-up on the side. I rarely delivered it – usually I wrote for others. That led to a regular newspaper humour column, and more.

So when it came to writing crime novels, I fell back into ‘safe mode’. Write it funny.


Worse than chocolate and foreign Counts… Comedy writers take a situation, and ask themselves ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen now?’ And then, what’s the funniest?

What’s the worst thing that could happen to The Goddaughter when she is recruited to carry hot gemstones over the border? Predictable would be: she gets caught at customs. But I don’t want predictable. I want funny.

Instead, they get stolen. By a complete amateur! It’s embarrassing, that’s what it is. What the heck is she going to tell her uncle, the crime boss?

Nothing, of course. She’s going to steal them back. Or die trying.

And hopefully the audience will die laughing.

But why do it? Why does an otherwise sane individual write zany and some might say silly comedy, and risk the inevitable hit from critics who say your book is without great literary merit?

One reason, and one reason only: many readers love it. Their comments and reviews are heart-lifting. I’ve lightened their day, and in some cases given them a story they can escape into, over and over again. These readers are the whole reason I keep writing comedies. Yes, it’s true. It wouldn’t be fun to write if I didn’t have warm and generous readers.


About Melodie:
Melodie Campbell has over 200 publications and was a finalist for the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis awards. She is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.

Library Journal says this about Melodie`s third novel, The Goddaughter (Orca Books, Sept. 2012):

``Campbell`s crime caper is just right for Janet Evanovich fans. Wacky family connections and snappy dialogue make it impossible not to laugh.``

Short Excerpt from THE GODDAUGHTER

We got through the border with no problem at all. Of course, it`s much easier to get through borders without a semi-frozen dead body pretending to be asleep in the back seat.


And the one that started it all:

Follow Melodie’s comic blog at

Thank you so much, Melodie, for coming by!

My copy of The Goddaughter is already on its way and I can't wait finding it in my mailbox!

Happy reading!


  1. No one like you for comedy, Mel! See you soon and all best with The Goddaughter.

    1. Thanks, Lou! (For those who don't know, Lou is a fellow author for Orca and writer of great books.)

  2. Mel, you are performing a public service. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    1. It's a well-known fact that our economy is ailing, the environment is suffering, our population is aging... and that comes with its own set of issues.
    2. It is also a well-known fact that laughter is the best medicine.
    3. Reading THE GODDAUGHTER leads to laughter.

    Therefore, ipso facto, noctem dies sequitur ut, everyone should buy a copy of THE GODDAUGHTER and save the world.

    1. Okay, this goes down as absolutely the best rationalization (and response) I've ever seen! I'm saving it for my Funny File.