Q&A with Charlotte Stuart

Why do you write humorous mysteries about serious subjects?

I take life seriously and want to include topics I find interesting in my books, but I also believe you have to laugh in order to stay sane. My lighthearted book titles are a clue to readers that even though the story may get intense or even scary at times, it will end with a smile.

What do you talk about in your presentation Getting Serious About Humor: Murder Mysteries that Bump Your Funny Bone?

Humor is a psychological tickle that can make us laugh out loud, snicker, chuckle, grin or perhaps simply produce an inner smile. We don’t, however, all find the same things amusing. Yet any mystery containing a smidgeon of humor is lumped together with stories aiming for a ten on the laughter spectrum. How do readers choose books that will bump their individual funny bones? In my presentation, I discuss brain dominance profiles, Myers Briggs and the Big Five Personality Test to illustrate individual humor preferences. Readers can then match their preferences to a matrix I’ve created that categorizes authors by five different ways they incorporate humor into the structure and texture of their books. One genre—five categories.

Do you have a cat?

Unfortunately, I’m allergic to cats. Macavity, the cat in my book, is my surrogate cat. At times I almost expect him to appear on my front porch. If he did, I’d have to let him in. I’m very fond of Macavity.

Have you ever lived on a sailboat?

Yes, I’ve lived on two different sailboats, one very similar to the boat that Bryn (in Why Me?) lives on. I loved it at the time and felt very close to the boating community.

Why did you make the main character in Why Me? a consultant?

Being a consultant may not instantly strike a reader as inherently appealing, but passions often run amuck when people are forced to work together. With mayhem alive and thriving in most organizations, there are endless opportunities for Bryn to encounter volatile and sometimes deadly situations.