Monday, March 24, 2008

Love & Laughter - Trish Wylie

You know that old saying about the way to a man's heart being through his stomach? If only it were that easy these days!!! But the saying about the pathway to a woman's bed involving laughter? Well I for one think that still holds true...

Apparently psychological studies have shown that during an initial contact, it's almost impossible not to like someone who has made you laugh genuinely 5 times or more. And reliable statistics show that women consistently rank humour as one of the top 3 qualities in a man they would want to date. (I'm one of those gals - both on and off the writing page.)
For me, when I'm writing, humour is just as much a part of the process of falling in love as physical attraction, the fears being overcome and the heartache of thinking all is lost only to discover the exact opposite in the HEA. A reflection of my own personality quite possibly, yes. But then when it comes to writing and reading as well as in real life I think that laughter is soooooooo important, don't you?

And it doesn't have to be the tears rolling down your face/reaction to slapstick kind of laughter either. That guy who can say something outrageous or cheeky at the right time can make you laugh, even when you might not want to - the kind of guy who can have you chuckling even hours after he's left? Wellll....

The comedian Victor Borge once said that the shortest distance between two people is laughter. And he's right I think. Laughing together is sharing. Laughing together removes barriers. Laughing together relieves any tension that might be present. And it's a common universal trait an author can use to show that their characters are falling in love, regardless of the obstacles in their way. It's part of mental attraction after all. And I recently read that there are three main components in attraction...

Visual, Chemical and Mental - which is where the laughter kicks in...

According to the site I found, mental attraction is best described as finding someone who makes you laugh - ha! see?! Basically it's an intellectual bond that makes every conversation rich and it's best found through spending a good deal of time together. After the defenses come down, you start to really see if you have a mental attraction/intellectual interest.

But what it basically comes down to for me is this: Laughter is sexy.

Just add it to the recipe of attraction in a romance novel. Visual - gorgeous looking hero. Chemical - the natural physical reaction to said gorgeous looking hero. And mental - both in intellect and in that uber sexy twinkling in the eyes that makes the heroine smile and laugh. How can a heroine NOT fall for that. I know I will! I love, love, love it when he makes her laugh. I laugh with her. I understand completely why she feels the way she does - and that way I've shared a little more in her journey, haven't I?

BUT. Does it work in reverse? Hmmm... In real life they tell us no. "In our research, women said they wanted 'someone who makes me laugh,' and men said they wanted 'someone who laughs at my jokes,'" according to Rod Martin, president of the International Society for Humor Studies and co-author of a study on the topic. I can't help but wonder if a woman who makes people laugh in real life isn't somehow intimidating to a man...??? I feel a conversation or two coming on with the men I know ;)

The beauty of fiction is we can ignore the results of that kind of study. Because those three ingredients of attraction work both ways, don't they? So if we have a heroine the hero is attracted to physically and chemically and mentally from an intellectual perspective - then why on earth wouldn't her ability to make him laugh be just as attractive to him? I for one can see stern, cocky, arrogant heroes facades broken through with a little humour anytime! Heck - I write books like that and none of my readers seem to have complained too much - yet. We want to hear that deep, rumbling laughter - we want to see his eyes sparkling with amusement - we want for him to fight it, yes - but then doesn't the heroines ability to break through feel all the sweeter because of it? Does for me...

So what about you? Are you one of those people that considers laughter sexy? Is laughter important in the reading experience or are you the kind of reader that lives for the angst and the tension? Maybe it's a combination of things? But again that's the beauty of the romance genre as a whole - we can change our reading experience according to our moods, right?

My latest release for the Presents line, At The Billionaire's Bidding, involves everything from a heroine with a love of silly sayings on T-Shirts to a hero with more than a wicked twinkle in the eye...Mind you it also has an eclectic group of secondary characters including the heroines gay best friend - a six foot lunatic who thought the name Mario was more interesting than hopefully there's as much laughter in there as anything else...
To find out more about Trish and her books you can visit her Website or her Blog.


Jane said...

Laughter is definitely sexy. Funny men like Jon Stewart and Vince Vaughn are sexy. A little humor to break the tension is always appreciated in a book and in real life.

Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Trish,

You have touched on an important
part of Honey's and my relationship. Humor and laughter reign and rain in our home! He's been home less than an hour and
we have shared several laughter -filled exchanges. Occasionally
over the years, our children have
mentioned that we should grow up. Our response: we're having too
much fun, even silly fun,that we
do not want to "grow up." BTW,
we will celebrate our forty-
seventh anniversary in two weeks!

Pat Cochran

Gigi said...

Laughter is so sexy in a man. It gives them a fantastic smile too.

My husband is the best at telling a joke or a funny story. I couldn't do it if my life depended on it. So I fall into the category of 'can't retell anything funny'. I lose something in translation. lol. I laugh at myself a lot.

I love to read a book that can make me laugh out loud. I truly believe that laughter is good for the soul.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, yeah, laughter is sexy (and why I married my hubby) :)

I love to laugh. And if a book makes me laugh, I automatically feel a bond with the author.

Cryna said...

wcnyyI think laughter is important. I have read books that have had humor in them but have also had serious in them - those are great. When an author can have you laughing one time because a scene is so funny, and then in a matter of a few pages or a chapter the seriousness comes back. I enjoy books like this.

Maureen said...

A good laugh can make any day feel so much better. No man is attractive who takes himself too seriously.

Trish said...

Hi guys! And thanks for popping by!!!

Yes laughter is a fantastic medicine isn't it?! Am so jealous of all you lovely ladies who have gorgeous hubbies who can make you laugh each day. Its an incredible gift! Now... where do I find one of those???