Please welcome Vicki Bateman, author of Temporarily Employed, a romantic comedy mystery
Why do I write romantic comedy?
I fell into writing when a friend challenged me. I loved working my manuscript over and over until perfection (whoops, that brings up the question of is our work every finished?)
However, how did I fall into writing romantic comedy?
Many years ago while on a funsister trip, we were lounging around one evening and a girlfriend remarked that I was funny. I was shocked. Me? I had no idea. No one had EVER said that to me.
I settled into contemporary romance because I don’t know historical stuff except for clothing (I was a clothing and textile major in college and had to take a historical costume course in which I had 100!) I’ve always been a huge mystery and romance reader. And quite frankly, that is what flowed from my hands. It’s my belief that my funny moves into my work naturally, especially since I write contemporary romance in first person, and that is my voice.
But I have to be aware not to be silly. I pick specific words and phrases. The dialogue I write fits the heroine who has funny thoughts. It’s just a natural way of thinking for her.
So here’s a funny dialogue run from Temporarily Employed between Hattie Cooks and Detective Allan Wellborn:
No frisking and no arrests were—so far, in my book—a good thing. Knowing he was Sarah Anne’s older brother, I found eliminating him from the stalker, murderer, and rapist categories easy. The something in the truck line sounded similar to approaches used in past dating experiences. For instance:
“Want to come up and look at my etchings?”
Translated: A roll in the hay.
Or the ever popular “Would you like to meet Mr. Lizard?”
Translated: Mr. Wiggly Worm.
“How about coming to my place for a drink?”
Translated: To ply me with multiple drinks and the requisite roll in the hay.
I hadn’t fallen for those then and wouldn’t be a sucker now.
He stuck his hands on his hips. “I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a stalker, murderer, or rapist.”
Apparently, he could read minds. “Just a minute.” I closed the door enough to release the chain, then re-opened it. “Why can’t you just tell me whatever it is?”
“No. I want to show you—-”
“Not a Picasso?” I asked.
“Not an iguana?”
A perplexed expression crossed his face. “A what?”
“Not your pet worm?”
“What pet worm?”
“Look, I don’t know what you’re thinking. The only worms I know about are for fishing.”
Blurb: New Job. New Love. And Murder. Hattie Cook’s dream job is down the toilet and her new SUV violated. Desperate for cash to cover the basic necessities of rent and food, she takes a temporary job at Buy Rite Insurance Company where she uncovers an embezzling scam tied to the death of a former employee–the very one she replaced.
Detective Allan Charles Wellborn has secretly adored Hattie all his life. When the police determine there’s more to the death of a former Buy Rite employee, he steps in to lead the investigation. Overly dedicated, always perfect, he puts his job first, even if doing so ultimately hurts the one he loves.
Can the killer be found before Hattie’s time is up?
Pretty much covered the whole freakin’ day.
A blinding red-white, red-white strobe, reflected in my brand new Wrangler’s rearview mirror, seized my attention. The police. I tossed my hands skyward, ready to surrender. I shouldn’t have been too surprised. Like I’d commented this a.m. to my roommate, Jenny, “Today, anything’s possible.”
My Bad Day checklist included:
– Crappy job interview, one which might have provided desperately needed income.
– Wore gut-busting panty hose on a hot day which had now worked past my waist and strangled my diaphragm.
– A barely blowing air conditioner indicated something had malfunctioned in my new, fun car.
I stole another glance in the mirror, and with great reluctance, flipped the right turn indicator. My vehicle coasted to a stop on the shoulder of Boston Avenue in my hometown of Sommerville, a nice suburb located between two large cities. Four lanes of cars and trucks zipped by as I sat there where every single one of my family, friends, friends’ friends, and their friends—including Rat Fink Suzanne—would see a police vehicle positioned right behind mine. Gleefully, drivers would chant the “Ha-ha, got you, not me” ditty.
After killing the engine, I flopped back in the seat. Shooting the morons the finger was an idea. Nah. I’m too exhausted to care.
A litany of: “No, not hiring.” “Just filled the position.” “You’re over qualified.” “You’re under qualified…” tornadoed through my head. Coupled with the intense job search through various outlets like the internet and completing numerous online employment applications, no wonder my body had been depleted of all life force.
Not even a breeze blew to take the edge off the unbearable summertime heat. Tangled wild trees and dry scrubby bushes banked the roadside. The grass had taken on a scorched look. Rolling down the driver’s window, I surveyed my surroundings. Nothing great. Nothing new.
I stole a glance in the side mirror at the policeman who strode purposefully along the shoulder. The gravel crunched under his boots. He looked huge, probably because his uniform, which appeared to be bulked with a bullet-proof vest, made him resemble a buffed-up superhero in size. Exceedingly intimidating.
Sigh. When things went wrong, they were really wrong.
Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless, giving her plenty of crazy material for her writing.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”
Links for Vicki Batman
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
ISBN: 978-1-62830-497-8 / paperback
ISBN: 978-1-62830-498-5 / digital
Find Vicki at:
Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/author/vickibatman
Plotting Princesses: http://plottingprincesses.blogspot.com
Buy links for Temporarily Employed
The Wild Rose Press ebook: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5829
The Wild Rose Press paperback: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5896