A&E  

Humor Books: A Cure for Today's Dour Events

The more reasons we have to cry, the more we seek solace in laughter. Just ask author Maria Garcia-Kalb

By Marcela Landres
Published on LatinoLA: April 7, 2011


Humor Books: A Cure for Today's Dour Events


According to Publishers Weekly, the number of humor books has grown in the last decade, in part due to dour current events (see article "Laughing Stock Up" ). It seems the more reasons we have to cry, the more we seek solace in laughter. If you need a chuckle, run to your nearest bookstore and buy Maria Garcia-Kalb's 101 Ways to Torture Your Husband. My favorite method of torture? Hide his remote--it really works! I humbly suggest a 102nd way: read this book in front of him. My hubby cringed in fear every time I burst out in laughter, which was quite often. To learn how Maria landed her book deal, read this month's Q&A.

Q&A

Whether she's working in radio or television, Maria Garcia-Kalb shines as a bilingual professional. Currently, you can find Maria on-air at New York's legendary all-news giant 1010 WINS, but previously she has worked at Long Island's 106.1 WBLI-FM, New York's NewsRadio 88, and South Florida's 97.3 The Coast WFLC-FM. Maria is the proud recipient of two prestigious Gracie Allen Radio Awards and currently resides in Manhattan with her family. To learn more, please visit http://www.mariaontheradio.com/

Q: Which author or book inspires you, and why?

A: I've had a love affair with John Steinbeck for decades, but I have to admit, the book to which I continuously return is The Secret by Rhoda Byrne. I pick it up and read my favorite sections when I need a positive lift.

Q: What was the genesis for 101 Ways to Torture Your Husband?

A: I was hosting a morning show on Long Island at 106.1 WBLI-FM and I created a segment called "Hersday on Thursday." Women were encouraged to call in and discuss all kinds of fun and interesting topics. As you can imagine, scores of women would call seeking relationship advice, and complain that their men were behaving badly. One day during a Hersday broadcast, I said, "Ladies, I promise to someday write a revenge book to get back at our naughty husbands and boyfriends because I've heard too many disturbing stories, and it's time for some payback!" I guess you can call it a self-fulfilling prophecy. Years later while living in Florida I penned "101 Ways to Torture Your Husband," so it was just meant to be.

Q: You're an on-air personality on 1010 WINS. How did your radio experience influence the book? Has publishing the book influenced your radio work?

A: I am now working at New York's legendary 1010 WINS while I pursue a TV opportunity, but I was hosting the KJOY Morning Show when the book was released. The response was stunning. Women called with their own stories of harmless husband torture. I may even have to write a "101 MORE Ways to Torture Your Husband." Publishing the book has definitely helped me further bond with my female audience, which is what I live for. Female empowerment is my goal in life.

Q: Who is your agent and how did you meet him/her? If you don't have an agent, how did you come to be published by Adams Media?

A: I had sent out a few query letters hoping to land a book agent, but I heard the process was not an easy one. Well, after many "No thanks" response letters, I got a phone call from an agent in Manhattan named Linda Konner. I honestly thought it was one of my friends playing a joke on me. It turns out Linda was the real deal, and we've been together ever since. She truly believed in the message I was trying to convey, and never made any promises she didn't deliver on. Eventually, the wonderful folks at Adams Media decided to publish, and here we are, torturing away. Thank you, Linda, for taking a chance on me!

Q: What was your favorite part of the publishing process? What was your least favorite part?

A: I have to say my favorite part of the publishing process was simply being told my project was accepted. I still can't believe it sometimes. There are so many gifted authors out there who may never be published, and I was quite blessed. Maybe all those candles my Mom lit at church did the trick! As far as my least favorite part, I would say it was dealing with editorial changes. At first, you feel like vital organs are being ripped from your body, but later you realize the editor was right, and they make changes for good reasons.

Q: Could you offer advice to writers--particularly Latino writers--looking to get published?

A: I would advise all my fellow Latino writers out there to stop eating too many heaping plates of rice and beans--you don't want to look bloated on your back cover! Ok, seriously, my best advice would be to NEVER let negativity get the best of you. So many people (and even close family members) thought I was nuts when I told them I was looking to publish a book, which made me feel insignificant and unworthy. Luckily, I would snap out of it, and just use those negative vibes to fuel my fire. I am living proof that dreams can absolutely come true, you just have to get the courage to dream big, and not let anyone or anything stand in your way.

Q: What are you working on next? What should my readers be on the look out for from you?

A: Believe it or not, the next project I may be working on is "101 Ways to Torture Your Husband" THE MOVIE! My lips are sealed on specific details at the moment, but if all goes well, I'll be letting everyone know when and where to buy tickets. I am also working on my next book, which will tackle relationships on a different level.

Excerpted from Latinidad?« ?® 2003 by Marcela Landres

About Marcela Landres:
Marcela Landres is the author of the e-book How Editors Think. She is an Editorial Consultant who specializes in helping Latinos get published and was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster.
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