Jan McInnis – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

“Finding the Funny FAST; how to create quick humor to connect with clients, coworkers and crowds”

Quick tips for adding humor to written communications (like, say, boring memos anyone?) and/or speeches so that you connect & engage with your audience, sell your product, be memorable, and perhaps even diffuse tense situations.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’ve been a full-time comedian/writer/professional speaker for 14+ years. I’ve written for just about everyone. . . 500 radio stations for 10 years, have sold jokes to the Tonight Show monologue, CEOs who want to punch up speeches, professional speakers, greeting cards and even guests on the Jerry Springer show. I’ve got 2 cats – Radar & Rocket (pronounced Rockette because she’s a girl), and I live in Los Angeles.

What inspired you to write this book?

I kick off my comedy keynotes with 5 – 10 minutes of humorous material on the group, so I’ve written material for just about every industry. AND sometimes I sit in the audience during conference sessions, listen to the speakers that the group is listening to, and then jump on stage and do a funny sort of “what we learned today.” As a result, tons of people have asked me how I come up with the funny stuff so quickly . . . so I wrote a book instead of repeating myself a million times. Plus I wanted to show people that ANYONE can add humor. I was a marketing person for 15 years prior to my comedy career. . .no one ever told me I was funny, so I had to figure it out on my own. . you can too.

How did you publish this book? Why did you decide to self-publish?

I went with self-publishing. It was my first book and it is short (doesn’t make sense to have a 500-page book on how to write fast). Plus it’s cheap, so I knew I’d need to cut $ margins.. .self-publishing gave me more control and more of the $.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I tried writing for my comedy act at first, and it worked. Then I decided to try writing specific material for the corporate and association events I was performing at, and that worked, and then I started pursing joke writing for others. . and that worked. So I figured writing a book on it would work too! And so far, it has!

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

I thought the hardest part of writing this book was the time it took. I’m used to punching out jokes fast, and while the book was pretty quick by book standards (a few months), I’m just not that patient to go over and over and over chapters.

How do you do research for your books?

This came from my experience, so it was easy. I used things I learned about joke writing and examples from my shows.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

Well, I learned a lot about fonts and page layout and junk that I really didn’t think or have an opinion about before. Snoreeeeee. Sorry to all the editorial-type people out there.

What are you reading now?

I just finished The Scalpel and the Soul. . GREAT. . true stories from a surgeon about his patients right before they died. I read about a book a week while traveling. . . too many to keep up with.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I like books about people who have done real-life adventures. I love hiking, but I’m never going to climb Mt. Everest. . .I’d rather read about it. Okay, I also like fiction murder mystery. . .Patricia Cornwell and Sue Grafton. . .shhhh, don’t tell anyone.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Not yet. . trying to figure out my next move. Though I did publish Cubicle Comedy™ Cards – playing cards with some of my work jokes and advice for surviving the office. Want to know how to eat for free in the office??????

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Start out writing a book that you really, really know and/or are really passionate about. Even if it’s going to be small. I’ve got 2 friends who have started books wayyyy before me and who have yet to finish because both of their books were humongous AND it was motivated more by “this’ll make me a bunch of money.” That’s not to say you shouldn’t do that, but for your first one, make it something you know intimately – you’ll finish it faster and be motivated to get all your great knowledge down on paper.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I mostly sell it after my keynotes, and I’m trying to be more consistent with my comedy blog in which I write about how to write comedy.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Shocker, I have a website! www.TheWorkLady.com I do a lot of work humor, so I go by The Work Lady™. I also have a blog. . . www.JanBlog.com . . .it’s on amazon, but you’ll get a discount by going to my website. . . and why not become a fan. . . www.JanFanS.com – facebook fan page.