What Makes You Laugh?

Well I have another book coming out. Golden Days is a short sweet romantic comedy set against the Klondike Gold Rush. It is being re-released in an anthology.

 Golden Days is part of a three book series set in historical Alaska for Heartsong Presents. Here’s a short description of Golden Days:


After a mishap on a bustling Seattle street nearly kills her, Amy is going home to Alaska. Braden Rafferty, devastated by the loss of his wife and child, needs to get away from his home. He failed his wife and, as he sees it, that makes him a failure. His brother’s new life in Alaska lures him north in the midst of the Klondike Gold Rush. A chance encounter on the trip opens recent wounds for both. Amy, frail from her recent injuries, reminds Braden too much of his fragile wife. Amy’s independence is crushed when she has to accept Braden’s help getting home, and she vows that as soon as her strength returns, she won’t need anybody. But when Amy finds out she has no home to go to, Braden must step in and take her to his brother’s. After Amy has another near death experience, she begins to wonder if her accidents aren’t accidental at all.
The first book in the Alaska Brides anthology is Golden Dawn by Cathy Marie Hake. My book, Golden Days, is book two and Kathleen Y’Barbo is the author of book three, Golden Twilight.




I find myself writing heroine characters all that time that are…in my opinion…nothing like me. Golden Days is a great example of that. Amy, my heroine, is how I’d LIKE to be. So strong, brave, competent at everything. Vocal about how she feel and what she wants.

In my life, I spend my time spreading oil on troubled waters. I’m very much the pacifying mom, “Now you kids quit fighting.”

Discovering characters is one of my favorite parts of writing. It always takes me a while to really get a handle on them in a three dimensional way, but I enjoy the process of getting to know them. So even though the basic traits of Amy and Braden were there when I started, making her so angry about her father disappearing and making Braden fight his need to care for everyone.


He’s denying that need and, at the same time, caring for Amy ‘Just This Once’ for the whole book.In Golden Days Amy heads for home before she’s healthy. She has feelings for Braden before his grieving has run it’s course. She just can’t wait. That feels wrong to her. She’s been raised to care for herself and take action. And that’s Amy through this whole book, a woman of action, even when she probably would be wiser to just settle down and be patient.

 I love creating complex funny scenes, lots of characters, lots of movement and dialogue. If possible I like everybody to be talking over each other, misunderstanding each other. I like their words to break in, in such a way that the sentence reads in a comedic way, like she starts a sentence, he ends it, they’re both talking about different things and the combination of the words is a joke. And the READER gets that joke but the characters don’t.

This is tricky. And it needs to be done with a lot of what I think of as wordsmithing. Going over it again and again, leaving it and coming back. Making it sharper. Making the dialogue and everyone’s reactions sing. Trying to make sure it’s written in a way that reader can follow and if there’s a lot of movement it’s very easily visualized. The characters aren’t following it but the reader needs to get it all.

My favorite scene in the book is when a bear attacks. The lead up to this is chaotic and, I hope, really funny, then the bear makes it all worse. This was fun to write and I got it almost like I wanted it. But it can always be better.

 There are so many forms of comedy. What’s your favorite? Do you like romantic comedy in books? Movies? TV?

Favorite Romantic Comedy TV show? Remington Steele

I used to be a huge Remington Steele fan. I loved the humor and snap of romance in that show. For a lot of people it was Moonlighting but for me it was Remington Steele.

Favorite romantic comedy movie? While You Were Sleeping.

I think true richness and excellence in a movie is when ever little character is memorable and worth watching. There isn’t a moment in While You Were Sleeping that isn’t fantastic. Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman are fantastic but Bill’s family members are each and every one priceless. Jon Turtletaub directed this. He also did the National Treasure movies and he’s got a knack for making all the little moments wonderful while telling a much bigger story.

Favorite Romantic Comedy novel? This is harder because I’m such a reading fanatic. It’s possible my favorite is Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie. I also love Boo by Rene Gutteridge. These are true comedies. Lots of books have humor in them and I love romantic suspense, and Getting Rid of Bradley has a suspense thread in it. But mostly it’s just funny. Boo is just frenetic madness, hilarious. I love that book.

 How about you? You want to list your favorites?




 If you’ve got favorites in other categories (romantic comedy theater? Painting? Song? What other categories are there???)

Go for it. Tell me what makes you laugh.


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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

20 thoughts on “What Makes You Laugh?”

  1. Show- Friends. I was a big believer that from the very beginning Rachel and Ross had to be together. There were so many episodes where there were complete mix ups that were hilarious..my favorite episode…”He’s her Lobster!” When Phoebe explained the mating for life of lobsters and Ross had already burned Rachel in the relationship department, until they saw the prom video where Ross was going to take her when her boyfriend almost stood her up. Funny but heartwarming at the same time.

    Movie- Gosh…I think I have to go with you on this one..While You Were Sleeping is brilliant. “Hey Luce? Is this guy botherin’ you? Cause it looks like he’s leanin’.” Poor Joe Jr. LOL

    Book- Oh man…that’s tough. I’ve read a lot of books that had me laughing right out loud, but off the top of my head I’m not sure I can name any. One of the more recent would have been in Stacey’s Maverick Wild…the mud-wrestling scene is outstanding and had me smiling and laughing and had my husband looking at me like I had lost my mind. 😀

  2. Taryn, I know the exact moment you’re talking about in While You Were Sleeping. And all those side characters…like Joe Jr. (He thinks he invented aluminum foil) are so great.

    Lucy’s boss giving her awful advice. “You might as well SHOOT grandma.”

    Grandma.. “I liked mass so much better when it was in Latin.”

    That nasty married fiance Ashley Bartlette Bacon(who went on to be the Profiler), “I object to this wedding.”

    The mother, “You proposed to a married woman?”

    The father, Peter Boyle, “She’s pretty high and mighty for someone named after breakfast meat.”

  3. I love to laugh and I love to make others laugh! Telling stories about my family life will always bring a chuckle or two.

    Books that never fail to make me laugh are the Sisterchicks books by Robin Jones Gunn. Perhaps its because I see so much of my friend and I in the characters.

    While You Were Sleeping is a movie that cracks me up and still I often forget to list it among my favorite movies.

    Mary, sure wish that I could be at the Abbey in Norfolk to have you sign my books. Really looking forward to the new one.

  4. Romantic TV comedy:
    I loved Who’s the Boss? The sexual tension between the characters was great. Then the writers made the mistake of having them marry – and the show was all but over.

    That’s why whenever someone says to me that Bones and Seely Booth should finally get together, I scream, “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

    I’m even wondering how Grey’s Anatomy will fare this season because the skinny is that Meredith and Derek will actually be together again.

  5. Alot of things make me laugh. I am a happy person by nature and find humor in people, animals, and human behavior. I love to see that tv ad where the little babies are laughing and can’t seem to stop.
    I discovered a really funny book this summer by Toni McGee Causey called Bobbie Faye’s Very, Very Bad Day. I laughed so much my dog wondered what I was doing. And I laugh at the books Janet Evanovich writes.
    I don’t have a favorite funny movie but what comes to mind were the Inspector Cleuseau movies with Peter Sellers- “The Pink Panther” ones.
    My favorite thing to do is sit on my patio, drink tea and read. I’ve always been an avid reader and have one room in my house just for my books and computer. My grandsons always tease me when we walk by a Barnes and Nobel and they say, “Grandma, hold my hand” so I can’t go inside.
    I hacve added the Alaska book to my TBR (long) list-sounds great.

  6. Oh, at home we use so many “Friends”isms in our daily life. Bendy, twirly. London Baby. Still watch the repeats endlessly.

    For romantic comedies, I love the ensemble cast of Notting Hill, and the scene in Moonstruck where the fam is at breakfast, waiting for Ronny to arrive is one of the best ever.

    Congrats on your Alaska book, Mary. Thanks for a fun way to start the day!

  7. My kids are always quoting Seinfeld.
    I say something about the mail, they say, “Hey there was a Seinfeld about that.
    I say something about the dentist.
    “Hey there was a Seinfeld about that.”

    Well, I either should have been writing Seinfeld or I’m predictable…I wonder which???

  8. Susan Elizabeth Phillips makes me laugh.

    Rene Gutteridge has what I call the “Boo” series.

    It’s about this ‘stephen king-type’ horror novelist who becomes a born again Christian and can’t write slasher books anymore.

    It’s just hilarious. It’s like the whole world just goes skidding, all these people, this whole town where he lives, have been making money on him and now … nuthin’.
    So everyone teams up to get him to write horror novels again.

    And Boo is just sort of wandering lost through all this nonsense, trying to decide if he can write something else. Trying to figure out what this means to be a Christian, a very sweet man who has NEVER been the creepy horror guy everyone’s tried to make him out to be.
    And of course there is a love story. A prim and proper, rather snippy Martha Stewart-ish woman who has NEVER approved of Boo or his horror novels or the people making money off of them.

    And Boo has always liked her but she wouldn’t give him the time of day.

    Just laugh out loud funny.

  9. Morning Mary,

    I love your new story in the Alaska Brides anthology! It sounds so good. Stories that make me laugh are my favorites. Shoot, laughing is my favorite thing to do!

    “Singing With the Top Down” by Deborah Williamson has to be my favorite book. It’s hilarious. I also love Linda Lael Miller’s “McKettrick’s Choice.” That one is definitely a romantic comedy.

    TV show — Bones is really funny. I love the relationship between Temperence and Booth. It’s kinda like Remington Steele in a way. I loved that show but I hadn’t thought of it in ages! Also pretty funny is The Closer. Love how Brenda always gets her man in a pickle.

    Favorite Movie — While You Were Sleeping. That’s the perfect romantic comedy. But I also loved Music and Lyrics with Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant.

    Great subject! Good luck with your new book. 🙂 I’ve got to go see if I can find it.

  10. I have to agree with you on While You Were Sleeping. The Closer is one of my favorite summer time shows. I really can’t think of a favorite book since I don’t remember names and writers after I read a book. Guess I will have to say Petticoat Ranch.

    When are you going to be at the Abbey?

  11. Sue, the card I got from the Abbey said on Saturday the 9th. afternoon I believe …can’t put my hands on the card right now.

  12. Im going to do a signing in Norfolk August 9th at 10 a.m.
    Fremont, Nebraska August 16th at 10:30 a.m
    LaVista, Nebraska (suburb of Omaha) at 2 p.m. August 16th (yes, two in one day!)
    Grand Island, Nebraska at 2 pm on August 23rd
    Columbus, Nebraska on August 30, 11 a.m.
    For details if you want them, email me at maryconnealy at hotmail.com
    Or check in at my blog once in a while. I post news like this there.

  13. Oh, and Barnes and Noble in the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City, Iowa Sept. 13th–1 pm and
    The Mall of America Barnes and Noble in Minneapolis, Sept 20th, time unknown, afternoon I think.

  14. Thanks, Quilt Lady. I am a romantic comedy nut, too. I read lots of different things but romantic suspense with comedy is my favorite. And it’s a good fit with westerns.

  15. I love to laugh. I try to make a joke out of everything, life is so much more easy that way.

    Love to read comedy in books, Can’t name one in right off.

    I love Bad Boys II not a romance but very funny.
    The funny romantic movie would have to be “Just Like Heaven”
    I’m with Taryn I totally loved “Friends”. My favorite is the one where Ross got the leather pants.

  16. Your new anthology sounds terrific Mary. But when I read your synopsis, I thought, only Mary could write this plot as a romantic comedy. Given the same synopsis, I would have done it as drama and it wouldn’t have been near as much fun. You have a gift. Go for it, girl.

  17. Mary,

    Remington Steele–loved it!! Why aren’t there any reruns of that? Also Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Another old show that made my family laugh was The Muppet Show, but that’s not a romance–unless you count Miss Piggy and Kermit. 🙂

    Movies: While You Were Sleeping is one of my all time favorites. Not sure if it is a comedy, but Everafter is another fav movie.

    Books? I really enjoyed your Petticoat Ranch. Linda Windsor is another good comedy writer. Along Came Jones is a favorite by her.

    I like putting comedy into my books. There’s something very satisfying knowing you made someone laugh.

  18. This is hard my favourite tv show is Inspector Rex.
    Now you have to love a show where the dog is the hero! Rex is a german Shepherd with alot of charator and quite funny at times. Oh its also austrian so have to watch in captions or subtitles but its a great show.

    Books is hard but I do love your books they are really good and have alot of humour which crack me up.

    Movie The 3 muscuteers (only I cant spell) have some good humour in there like when the young guy arrives in paris and ends up being challanged to 3 duels.

    Oh I am loving the rerun of mash at present need my 5pm fix.

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