Writing a Political Humor Novel
Writing a book with political humor has been surprisingly easy for me. I suppose it’s because I look at politics, current events and life in general with amusement and because there is so much great material being given to comedians on a daily basis by politicians and others in the public eye.
It’s unfortunate the country is so politically divided, and for many people, it’s depressing. Clearly the country needs to find a way to laugh more at the foibles of politicians and the difficult times we’re in, or we’ll all go crazy. I wrote Nitt Witt Hill to provide people with some comic relief to what they see on the news at night.
The fact that the world seems to be going nuts was also the inspiration for Nitt Witt Hill in which the main character, Mark (a political consultant) and his dog Twain are asked to find out what’s making people in the country so neurotic and why politicians are losing their crackers. In the course of the book, the unlikely team finds the surprising cause of the country's neurosis, but whether they can avert a complete breakdown of society, you’ll have to read the book.
In Nitt Witt Hill, new political parties are springing up all over the place. The Clowns running for office whose slogan is “One more Clown in Congress probably won’t make any difference” attack the Turkeys running for President (“Isn’t it time we had some real Turkeys in office instead of those Clowns?”).
As these and other political parties gain in popularity, Democrats and Republicans alike flock to the new parties. But it’s the Nitt Witt Party, telling voters to wait and see what some real Nitt Witts in Washington can do, that really becomes popular.
Now that political parties have started to call each other names like “traitor,” I thought to myself, if people were going to call each other names, they should be funnier. And so, I began to wonder how it would work if politicians took some absolutely foolish names for themselves so that when people called them by these foolish names, they wouldn’t be disparaging them. Instead they would be calling them by their actual party affiliations, Clowns and Turkeys.” By having such names for the political parties in the book, I wanted to give reader license to laugh at the entire political system and to also expose the silliness of throwing accusations at each other as we see regularly on cable news stations when in the book, the political parties are quite proud of being Clowns or Turkeys.
Nitt Witt Hill thus reflects on the political divisions in our country but puts them in perspective; that perspective is how silly it is for people to become so worked up about their differences when politicians are so funny no matter what party they belong to and when life is meant to be enjoyed. We’re only on this earth for a short time. Making each other miserable does no one any good. Nitt Witt Hill will make you feel good about life and even politics again when you see how amusing it can all be.
The challenge for me of writing a first novel has been learning the ropes of self-publishing. It’s learning how to have a book formatted for self-publishing, finding the right illustrator for the book cover (the illustrator, Steve Gray who did my cover was fantastic), the right publicist (Julia Drake was a real find), the right formatter who responds to every suggestion (Darlene Swanson has been great) the right copy editor (to find spelling and grammatical errors) and figuring out which of the many sites to use to distribute the book as an eBook and as a paperback that’s the real challenge.
Then you still need to create a book website (for this I used Caldiatech and if you visit www.NittWittHill.com you’ll see what a great job they did on the site) and plan other ways to get publicity for your book. However, once you learn the ropes of how everything interacts and works together, you can’t wait to write your next book and the one after that, which is what I’m doing now.
Nitt Witt Hill will be available everywhere as an eBook and a paperback February 1st, 2012. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you like it, I encourage you to go to the website for the book at www.NittWittHill.com and click on the “Contact A Nitt Witt” button to leave your comments.
Thank you for the opportunity to write this guest post on Bookingly Yours.