Originally posted on Mystery Fanfare:
Laughter Is Good Medicine
I love to laugh. Bet you do too.
It’s good for you. It relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and might even boost your immune system and make you healthier, definitely happier. I use it every day in my practice. With virtually every patient I see, after going through all the medical stuff, the last thing I say to them as they leave the office is: “Laugh a lot.” It’s that important.
I grew up with humor. My mom could turn anything into a party and always seemed to find the funny in everything. Dad had a drier sense of humor, but a sense of humor none the less. My sisters, cousins, and friends each had great wit.
In my early teens, as I began reading novels, I was captured by the usual suspects—Hemingway, Steinbeck, Verne—but also by the great humorists Mark Twain and Will Rogers. Later I dug into more modern humor writers like Carl Hiaasen and Tim Maleeny. I admired how each employed humor and downright knee-slapping funny in their essays and works of fiction.
Most of my early work is harsher—darker stuff with very bad guys—but I always included splashes of humor. I couldn’t help myself. Besides, humor is a great way to diffuse tension and humanize characters. But I had long wanted to write a more comedic thriller. And finally, I did.
DEEP SIX is a humorous thriller starring Jake Longly, ex professional baseball player, Gulf Coast bar/restaurant owner, and someone who’d rather run his dive and chase bikinis than do “honest work.” At least that was his father Ray’s take. Ray has a gray past, being involved in government secret ops of some kind—Jake never knew and Ray never shared—but is now a P.I. He wants Jake to work for him. Not a chance.
But, Ray does talk Jake into doing a bit of surveillance work—watching the house of a suspected adulteress. Of course, the woman gets murdered practically under Jake’s nose. And the story is off and running.
Jake, and his latest girlfriend Nicole Jemison. turn out to be fairly effective P.I.s—though Jake is reluctant to wear that mantel. But they can’t seem to stay out of trouble, and out of the crosshairs of the ruthless Victor Bookoff and his minions. Throw in Jake’s ex Tammy and her new husband and attorney Walter, who it turns out was having an affair with the deceased woman and naturally becomes the primary suspect, along with a couple of thugs and cartel hitmen, and well—-the pot boils.
After I finished DEEP SIX, I loved it. But would others? I mean, humor is hard to judge. One person’s funny is another’s ho hum. Very tricky stuff. Turned out my agent Kimberley Cameron and publishers Bob and Pat Gussin at Oceanview did indeed love it.
Now that makes me laugh.
As Lee Child said: “We all know Lyle’s erudition and expertise—-but who knew he was this funny?”
Certainly not my cat, who sees all this as annoying and not about him—the prerequisite for him to find anything interesting. Well, you can’t make everyone laugh.
DEEP SIX is available July 5, 2016.
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