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You Got Chocolate in My Peanut Butter: Humor and Dark Heroes

princeofpower_origAs I write this I’m getting ready to leave for the Romantic Times con in Kansas City. I’ll be participating in panels about two of my favorite things to put together: Humor in vampire fiction, and vampires we love to hate.

While dark heroes and funny might not sound off the bat like a winning combo, in my opinion they’re the perfect chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter combination. My latest release, Prince of Power, pairs the two quite a bit.

For me, humor in vampire fiction comes down to character, situation, and tension-breakers. What humor qualities make sense for your character, and when do those qualities come out to play? Paranormal fiction and urban fantasy present great opportunities for amusement because you’re talking about supernatural creatures dealing with the real—err—human world.

I’m a big fan of irreverent humor. As comedian Chris Bliss tells us, humor allows us to experience things on a different wavelength. To receive and understand in a new way. So I feel like it gives fresh insight into characters. Makes them more real, and more lovable. Also, laughter releases endorphins. When we’re reading a book that’s dark, full of action, drama, angst, or tension. Bad guys closing in. Murder plots. Revenge. A little guffawing really helps to break us out of that fight or flight a good page-turner can have us stuck in. Have you ever been reading a great book and realized that your shoulders are pinned to your ears? The emotional roller-coaster of a little laughter (and maybe even some crying) makes a story even more fun:

Their bodies melted together. Anton’s fingers traveled. They tangled in the springy curls at the nape of her neck, and at the same time his tongue probed and tasted. It felt so right, so natural to be with her like this.

At least it did until Tyra flipped both of them over and kneed him in the balls.

— Anton, Prince of Power

And while I love a good white knight, there’s nothing sexier sometimes than a good dark hero. I think it’s that tortured past, that air of mystery, and that special code of ethics that he abides by. The idea that his deep damage can possibly be healed but only by the love of a certain special someone. The tension created by the idea that he could potentially go over to the dark side.

In Prince of Power, my hero is a murderer. Born of the wizard race, an enemy of the vampires. Tasked with kidnapping the vampire king’s half-sister, instead he fell in love with her. I “met” Anton while writing book one of the series, King of Darkness. I was so intrigued by the idea of two enemies falling in love, and how Anton would redeem himself. He didn’t let me down:

ABOUT PRINCE OF POWER

Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king’s beautiful sister, Tyra…and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes…

Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined…

As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that’s decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other…

FIND IT:Amazon|B&N|Indiebound|Target|Walmart|Discover a New Love| Booktopia

Elisabeth Staab still lives with her nose in a book and at least one foot in an imaginary world. She believes that all kinds of safe and sane love should be celebrated but she adores the fantasy-filled realm of paranormal romance the best. She loves to spend time with good friends, good music, good beverages, and good books (when she isn’t making characters fall in love, that is). She lives with her family and one big scaredy-cat in Northern Virginia. Find out more at ElisabethStaab.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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10 thoughts on “You Got Chocolate in My Peanut Butter: Humor and Dark Heroes

  1. I love when there is an unexpected humorous scene ( like your excerpt). It makes the characters more real.

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