Sometimes I think my sense of humor is too dry. In the interview with Publishers Weekly (below) I said I preferred the work of promoting my work to writing it. In conversation, my face would say, “Ha Ha, this is an ironical statement.” In print, that quality goes missing.
Like a Borscht Belt comic, I should have added, “I kid. I kid.”
Humor is a two-edged sword. Once when I was discussing ways to publicize an earlier book, I told my agent, “Well, I guess I could put on a sandwich board sign and walk up and down Market Street.” There was a considering pause on the other end of the line.
“Would you be willing to do that?” she said.
“I was joking.”
Short of putting on a rubber nose and clown suit, I suppose there is no humiliation a writer should rule out to drive sales. Many are the stories of authors who show up for a book signing and zero people are there. Or, worse, only one. Or, even worse, a browser in the cook book section takes pity and sits down to listen to you read about the anguishing event in childhood that made you what you are. Your chin quivers and her eyes grow wet. Lord.