Nicolas Brasch is a highly successful writer, spanning more than 20 years in the business. Nic also teaches professional and creative writing at Swinburne University, business writing at RMIT, runs various storytelling and writing workshops, is Chair of Writers Victoria, and has written over 400 books for children, across various genres – many for major international publishers, and many that have won Australian and international awards – from education to trade fiction, some informative, some funny, but all entertaining, Nic Brasch thanks for joining us at Tacos –
Thanks for having me.
So firstly Nic, you’re a writer, a teacher, a mentor, you do a lot of research on a myriad of topics, do you reckon a hot dog is a sandwich?
A hot dog is a hot dog is a hot dog.
Okay, so not a sandwich.
Being serious for a moment, in your experience, what are some things you’ve seen that work in writing humour and why do they work?
All humour involves one or both of two things: status and misunderstanding. When misfortune happens to someone of high status, we laugh; when it happens to people of low status, we cry. In regard to misunderstanding, what was the question again?
Well … oh I see what you did there. Will humour always have a place in children’s literature?
Humour has a place in any writing.
I always look to inject humour somewhere. We love to laugh, especially when we’re down, so it will always have a place everywhere – and children’s literature is no different. Having said that, you can never please everyone.
Aint that the truth! Do you think someone has to be funny to write good humour?
Yes, but there is a big difference between being funny and thinking you’re funny. I know plenty of people who think they’re funny but aren’t (not you, of course Ken)
I don’t have the heart to tell them they’re not funny but I always assume the lack of laughter after their jokes would be a sign – but they don’t always seem to notice.
Some people! Can humour be taught or is it instinctive?
The techniques of humour can certainly be taught.
Technique can be taught. Great, we’ll definitely cover that on an upcoming post.
Okay, so if you could go back in time and do anything differently as a child to be a better writer as an adult, what would it be?
Read more. Read, read and read – that’s the key to becoming a good writer.
Now Nic, you’ve written a couple of books (400 odd, pff, who hasn’t?), and while not all in the humour genre, you’ve been known to splash a little laughter and entertainment value into your works. Is that important to you?
I always try to add humour, but my hands are sometimes tied by publishers. Nevertheless, with non-fiction books, I will often create a character to guide the reader through the information, and make that character funny.
Ah! Always thinkin’
Kids can certainly laugh and learn at the same time.
Do you have a funniest writer?
In children’s books, I can’t go past Dr Seuss. His way with words and the characters he created will last and last and last (as has proven to be the case).
As far as adult writers are concerned, I think David Sedaris is probably the best humorous writer around.
As a writer, what would you choose as your spirit animal?
I’ve certainly never been asked that question before. Given that pigs are my favourite animal (both to look at and eat), I’d have to say a pig.
You wrote a joke book once, what was it called and do you remember a favourite joke?
I have written quite a few joke books, both for kids and adults. I won’t tell you my favourite adult joke here, but one of the kids’ jokes I really like was published in 1001 Even More Cool Jokes: A grizzly bear walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “I’ll have a gin …………………………. and tonic.” Bartender says, “Why the big pause?” The bear answers, “I don’t know, my father had them too.”
And finally, who is your funniest fictional character?
I don’t know either of those, I am so going to check them out. Thanks Nic. Fantastic! Thanks so much for chatting with us today.
Well, there you go. That was Nic Brasch. Can you imagine writing over 400 published books and other works? And you can find out more about Nic and his work at Writers in Residence Pty Ltd
Also, if you haven’t seen our interview with the fabulously funny author, Heidi McKinnon, check it out here. http://readingwithachanceoftacos.com/tacos-interview-with-author-heidi-mckinnon/
And, don’t forget to subscribe below.