If You Like to Laugh". I haven't read this book myself, but Piso was kind enough to agree to guest blog about his book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. Piso, how would you describe your novel to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your novel about?
Piso: "If You Like to Laugh" is a book of mostly light verse in which I've included some poems that also address some thought-provoking themes. For instance, this is the complete text of my tribute to "Michelle":
The bush drags behind her,I want to supply my readers with a diverse variety of humor. If "serious humorist" is not an oxymoron, then I would like this description to define my goal.
Covers her steps in the snow.
Does she feel where she came from
No person should know?
Silent as daybreak,
But a smile in her eyes
She hints every second
Lives a second, then dies.
Is she being a schoolgirl,
Or feeling the Whole,
A child's sense of her soul?
I recall being seven
And hiking the wood.
I'd have walked with no footsteps
If only I could.
Michelle would be trackless.
Perhaps I should be, too.
Is it a weakness of humans
To leave nothing brand new?
Ana: What does your novel explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, what do you hope your novel will mean to a reader?
Piso: If someone reads any one of my books and walks away from the experience feeling better than when she or he began the volume, then I feel I have succeeded as an artist. I have four volumes of verse entitled "If You Like To Laugh" and, in a phrase, this summarizes the type of reader I hope to attract. I do believe there are many levels of meaning in much of what I write and this increases the humor.
I write very clean humor. I never use obscenities or sexual double entendres, and I'm not interested in any kind of cruel humor or "us-versus-them" humor, even when I write satire. I would recommend my books to any age group from junior high school reader to senior citizen. I am sometimes tempted to add random sixes to some of my books, though. If anyone asks their significance, I'll explain there is none. I've been told, though, that meaningless six really boosts book sales.
My volumes are very accessible, although sometimes a book will include a verse that requires, for instance, an acquaintance with a well-known Shakespearean quote. I began writing these books in the mid-1990's. They took a great deal of editing to get them to the kind of polish I myself demand. The poem might be easy to understand, but I hope no one regards anything I write as simple.
Ana: What prompted you to write this novel and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write the book?
Piso: I wanted the applause. Before I converted my books to formats for the various e-readers, such as those of Apple, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Amazon Books, Diesel, Scrollmotion, I did months of research. I knew I should have very modest expectations for the number of readers I would interest. That did not deter me at all. I worked two full-time jobs and one part-time job simultaneously not long ago. I'm not dependent on my ebook earnings. It would be nice to sell a million copies of "If You Like To Laugh", though.
What authors influenced me? I did at one time begin advertisements for some of my ebooks with "Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Frost...and now Piso Mojado!" None of your blog readers should take that boast at face value. Which of these famous historical authors depends on the yellow-and-black "Piso Mojado" signs posted every time a floor is mopped in America? Would Shakespeare solicit such publicity?
Ana: If you could compare your novel to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my work!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your novel is their cup of tea?
Piso: I don't know anyone that writes my type of books. One person compared me to Robert Frost; another told me he enjoyed my verse, but that it was "quirky" Each of the four volumes in the "If You Like To Laugh" series addresses at least nineteen subjects each. There's no unifying theme in any of my "If You Like To Laugh" books, and I planned them that way. I know of no one that writes that way. I'm the Jackson Pollack of the humor genre. If you really want to devastate a serious writer, though, compare them to me in your review.
Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other novels? If you have published other novels, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more novels planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different novel or genre?
Piso: I am fascinated by the tragedy of Doctor Ignaz Semmelweis. I do not have the time right now to even do the research for this book, let alone write and rewrite and rewrite this novel. I have several humorous short stories planned, and perhaps a fifth volume in the "If You Like To Laugh" series. I've just published a trio of "canine-centric" stories: "The dog that moo-ed", "The dog who sighed", and "The dog who cried, 'Woof"". I would really love to have feedback on these books.
Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your novel for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next novel becomes available?
Piso: My ebooks and estories are available at estores for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony, Diesel, Scrollmotion, and other e-retailers. I have sites at Goodreads, and Facebook. These four "If you like to laugh" Amazon links are very helpful because (in America) you can quickly "Look inside" to decide if you like my writing style.
"If You Like To Laugh, Volume 1"
"If You Like To Laugh, Volume 2"
"If You Like To Laugh, Volume 3"
"If You Like To Laugh, Volume 4"
Ana: Thank you, Piso. Is there anything you wish to add for our readers?
Piso: Several times in the years when I followed the self-addressed-stamped-envelope path for lesser-known authors, I received rejection notices for books that weren't mine. I joke that once I received one of Samuel Clement's works. That time, I returned the book with the note, "This time the rumors about my death are correct."
I want to thank you and your readers for encouraging the brave new world of e-publishing.