Guest Blog by Ke Payne

28 May

Another365DaysBold Strokes writer Ke Payne is the author of 365 Days, Another 365 Days and me@you.com. Here she talks of her fondness for malapropisms and her loveable and error-prone heroine Clemmie.

Malapropisms. While it might not be the easiest word to say in the whole world, these unintentionally funny quirks of the English language never fail to make me laugh, and many of them find their way into my writing – in particular my current novel, Another 365 Days.

A recent four-hour wait at my local A&E department brought a few malapropisms to my ear, and got me thinking about what it is about them that are so funny. A perfectly innocent conversation between a pair of elderly ladies talking, in thick Worcestershire accents, about a local production of The Sound of Music, turned into a classic comedy moment that had me wishing I’d been with them at the theatre to hear it for myself. The conversation went something like this:

Lady One: And the girl that played Maria – you know, the one played by Julie Walters in the film…
Lady Two: Julie Andrews, you mean.
Lady One: That’s her. Marvellous she was. Got a standing ovulation at the end.
Lady Two: She must have been good.
Lady One: She was. Knocked spots off Christopher Plummer…

Now, had it not been for the fact I was in pain, and needed to see a doctor, I would have happily allowed myself to be led, crying with laughter, from the waiting room. As it was, I had to try and maintain a poker face whilst doing everything I could to avoid making eye contact with them, because I knew that would set me off again. Shoulders would heave, cheeks would redden alarmingly, and snot would suddenly appear, as if by magic and drip from my nose.

This is what malapropisms do to me.

I just love them. Thanks to Mrs. Malaprop, humour can be found in the most unexpected of places, and the simplest of statements can be instantly turned into something extremely funny. That’s why I’m constantly listening out for them, so that I can thread them into my novels and, hopefully, make people laugh along with them too.

Is there a verb “To Malaprop”? If there isn’t there should be, because the main character in Another 365 Days, Clemmie Atkins, is the queen of them, and has a habit of “malapropping” at the most inconvenient moments. Clemmie is a bit of a chump, but she’s a loveable chump. My debut novel, 365 Days first introduced her and her daft ways via her daily diary entries, in which she told how she struggled to come to terms with her sexuality, and how she’d fallen in love with a girl at school, who she’d only talk about as “J”.

Clemmie’s scared that sh365Dayse has feelings for J. She tries to convince herself that she’d “just be happy to be her friend”, and tells herself she only likes J and thinks about her constantly because she seems like she’d be a cool friend to have, and nothing more.

Boy, haven’t we all been there?!

So, in an effort to assure herself she’s not gay, and encouraged by her mates, Clemmie dates a boy called Ben. Of course, Ben doesn’t make Clemmie’s feelings for J go away. Instead, all he does is kiss her (badly) with lettuce on his shoes outside McDonalds, which makes her feelings for the lovely J all the more intense.

What—or rather, who—does finally change everything is the arrival of a new girl at school called Han, who comes into Clemmie’s life just when she really needs it. Another 365 Days”picks up immediately where 365 Days left off, and, just as in that book, Clemmie deals with her angst in the only way she knows how: with humour. And Han loves her for it.

Han falls for her exactly because of her witticisms and funny little quirks; okay, Clemmie can be immature, naive and gauche, but underneath all that she has a heart of gold. Han knows that’s what makes Clemmie special – and she’s very special indeed to her.

Clemmie’s daily musings take the reader on a journey from longing and despair, to love and happiness. It’s sprinkled with bloopers, malapropisms, and the awkward situations Clemmie finds herself in will make you facepalm at her stupidity. There will be times when you’ll love Clemmie; there will be times when you’ll possibly dislike her. But underneath all the humour and silliness, she has a heart of gold, and an overwhelming desire to be loved.

So we can excuse her a few malapropisms if it means she finds true love. Can’t we?

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5 Responses to “Guest Blog by Ke Payne”

  1. TT Thomas May 28, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Very funny–I look forward to reading both books! I’m sure they both deserve many standing ovulations! LOL

  2. Mags Dixon May 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    I love malapropisms as well – some of my favourites funnies have been totally unintentional and are all the better for it. Look forward to reading 365 days and another 365 days. There isn’t enough humour in lesfic and I am glad to see that you (Kiki Archer and Gill McKnight) are correcting the balance.

    • KE Payne (@ke_payne) May 28, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      Thanks, Mags 🙂 I’ve got a whole load of malapropisms up my sleeve, all genuine, all waiting to go into my books, Thank you for your comment about humour in lesfic too – I’m a firm believer that humour can be found in the most serious of situations :p

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Road to Her: book give-away and guest blog by Ke Payne | UK Lesbian Fiction - July 16, 2013

    […] Payne blogged with us earlier in the year about her loveable heroine Clemmie from 365 Days. She’s back […]

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