Writing Styles – Part 10 – Just Add Spice

My guest today is Carol E. Wyer, an author from the UK. You’ll love the humour in her novels. Carol will enlighten us about her writing style giving us a sample of a setting, a scene ending, and a character description.


I love teasing the reader. With a book called Just Add Spice I had to make it sound suggestive in parts but even the title is a play on words, and has more than one meaning. Writing light-hearted novels allows me many opportunities to make the reader guffaw and this book was no exception. My opening scene sets the tone for the book. How many readers managed to get the wrong idea about this?

The windows in the old Golf GTI were almost completely steamed up, thanks to the activities of the middle-aged woman and the young man inside it. The sudden rapid barking of a dog in the distance made the woman jump. She was already sweating and aware of a rancid aroma pervading the car. It was most certainly was coming from her partner–in-crime. He turned his head towards her and scowled.

“Hurry up, will you? I could have finished this twenty minutes ago.”

Dawn shrank at the reprimand. He might have been twenty-five years her junior, but he oozed menace. His dark eyes burrowed into hers.

The ending to this scene will surprise you. I intended the whole novel to surprise and delight readers and I think I succeeded. There are twists, turns and a whopper of a finale.

Just Add Spice is about a bored housewife who decides to write a novel. She joins a class of eccentric writers in town where she also meets the delicious Jason who shows more than a passing interest in her. It was tricky to write the book because it is about what happens when a writer gives too much life to a character. I had to write two credible characters and gradually weave them together in such a way that I still surprised the reader.

 Dawn Ellis craves excitement and adventure. Her character, Cinnamon Knight is a wild, wanton kick ass heroine who spends most of time wreaking revenge on cheating men. Dawn gradually gets taken over by Cinnamon and the line between reality and fiction blurs in a dramatic way.

The subject allowed me to write from two points of view and gave me plenty of scope to shock and amuse my readers. Cinnamon’s antics provide a lot of the spicy moments. Be warned, you may never be able to look at a lollipop n the same way again. I loved Cinnamon. She is outrageous. When she isn’t causing mayhem she keeps popping up and ‘talking’ to Dawn. She gives Dawn a lot of advice especially on the subject of her failing relationship with her husband:

“It’s his age,” commented Cinnamon from the bed. She was sitting on the edge of it, filing her long, painted nails. They were a deep maroon colour and matched her lipstick. Dawn looked at her own broken nails and made a mental note to file and paint them later that day. “His libido has dropped. His hormone levels have dropped, like yours have, and he’s discovering he can’t perform certain activities like he could. It’s not just his age. It’s probably all related to being thrown out of his job. He’s been emasculated. That has affected his physical prowess and, consequently, his ability to perform in the bedroom. Let’s be truthful here, he’s never been that great, has he? Not that you’d know what ‘great’ is. He is ignoring you, rather than try to start something he is worried he might not be able to finish. Check it out on the internet. He’s got physical difficulties due to stress and anxiety.”

Dawn reflected on that for a while. It made sense. Jim had changed dramatically since he gave up working. He was much more short-tempered than he ever used to be, and he seemed to be dispirited. She dressed and fired up the computer. There was plenty of information on various health websites. Three hours later, she was convinced her husband was definitely depressed and that the depression was due to being unemployed. She needed to help him. First things first, she needed to make him feel masculine. Cinnamon hovered about all the time she was online. She kept whispering in Dawn’s ear. In the end, Dawn gave in. She typed the word Viagra into Google and read some of the pages that came up.

It took no more than a click of a button for the deed to be done. Cinnamon yawned and stretched. “That should sort you both out. Now, what shall I get up to? I feel like having my own night of torrid sex with a good-looking man. Could you write me a nice scene, please?”

“Cinnamon, if I could muster up the imagination, I would, but at the moment I’m stumped. You’ll have to have a night off. I can’t do sex scenes. I am in an angry mood anyway, so I can’t even fire up any faded memories.”

Cinnamon gets some comic lines too:

It was Cinnamon’s fault she now held little blue pills in her hand and was planning on turning Jim into a sex machine.

On cue, Cinnamon appeared as Dawn hovered over the toilet, considering flushing the pills down it.

“Ah! Those’ll put some lead in his pencil,” she drawled.

“I’m not so convinced. I did some more research online. Some of these things aren’t safe. What if they are Chinese fake pills and are made up of blue paint and lead? Or, what if they make his heart beat too fast and he dies of over-exercise?”

“Or, over-sexercise,” suggested Cinnamon and snorted.

Most of the comedy comes from the eccentric writers that meet up each week and a post woman called Viv who catches Dawn in all manner of embarrassing situations.

Viv stood on the doorstep grinning wildly. Her electronic signature pad stuck out of her coat pocket, and her hands were behind her back.

“Morning!” she trumpeted when Dawn opened the door. “Got something for you, all the way from Canada.” A rather small packet covered in sticky labels appeared. Viv gave it a little shake as she handed it over, beaming at Dawn again.

“Now, let me see, what might it be? A tiny can of maple syrup, perhaps, or maybe a small model of a beaver, or some super-duper[C1]  pills you can’t get in Boots?” she joked. “What would you order online from Canada?” She asked, waggling her eyebrows in a comic fashion.

The characters in the writing group also provide a release from the plot:

“No, but boy, oh boy, does it sell books,” voiced Margaret, getting into the conversation now that it was no longer a spat between the two most vociferous members of the group. This latest Zee Zee Bagor novel is all over the newspapers. I was in Sainsbury’s yesterday, and copies of Hot and Lusty were flying off the shelves. Women were fighting each other to get a copy.”

“Did you get yours?” asked Craig, the cheeky car salesman from Essex.

Margaret blushed.

“Ah, you did then. Lend it me when you finish it, will you?” he laughed and blew her a kiss.

“Part of the success of Hot and Lusty is the mystery surrounding the author. No one has managed to track her down or interview her yet. Mystery sells as much as sex it seems,” commented Blake as he stacked up a pile of papers he had marked for the group.

“I bet she’s over eighty years old and has a face like a slapped arse,” said Craig.

The book is full of comic moments. I try to juxtapose humour alongside pathos. The two sit nicely together. Humour enhances tragedy, so I use it sparingly for that purpose. I always have some comic characters that offset the serious ones and I endeavour to put humour into most of the chapters, whether that be a throwaway line from one of the characters or a funny situation.

Reading one of my books is a roller-coaster journey, you’ll have moments when you reach for the tissues and then suddenly you’ll be laughing at something. Laughter and feeling good is imperative to my writing. The book has to finish on a high or a surprise or something that makes the reader want to read the next one. I can’t divulge the ending to this one but it’ll make you say, “Ooooh!”



Amazon UK Author Page :    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Amazon US Author Page :     http://www.amazon.com/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Website: http://www.carolewyer.co.uk

Safkhet Publishing:  http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/authors/Carol_Wyer.htm

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/cewyer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolewyer

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer