AUDIENCE BAITING, INSULT & ROAST COMEDY 'ONE-LINERS'.
Interview with Mike Francis
What do you say to your critics?
Some people can't grasp the concept of audience baiting, insult Comedy or 'roasts'. and find it all so terrible usually insisting the author can't speak proper English like what I do... completely missing the importance of colloquial speech and poor grammar in some comedy, VITAL!! Other people have "heard it all before" and generally, these are joke-collectors and not really interested in the crowd control or the people influencing skill this material instils.
Entertainers are traditionally my main audience but recent books I've created for barstaff and waiters to increase their tips, the office banter books and especially the 'chat-up' and 'ice-breakers' books have recently become hugely popular. Those folks that understand how insult comedy works (usually alpha males) always come back and get the bigger versions of the mini book they've procured whether they're stand-up club comics, DJs & Karaoke MCs, or the local band 'front man'. I've been supplying one liners to this lot for over 25 years.
When did you first start writing?
I first started editing gags in 1974. I was 17 and a drinks waiter in a working man's club in Heywood UK, where stand-up comic Frank 'Foo Foo' Lammarr worked. I quickly realised that when he took the mickey out of me as I walked by the stage, my tips increased dramatically, I also realised when I used some of his 'lines' on the customers (when he wasn't there of course) my tips increased even more. Not long after this, those same skills took me on stage as a DJ and the use of stand-up material began to evolve. I began writing my own material in 1985 although it's really very hard to prove ownership these days because of the internet. Having said that, I still have my original scribbling's in shoe boxes books registered and copyrighted so I know if I ever need to prove ownership, I can. It's always a compliment though when I hear my material on TV.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Buddy Banter my recent book was borne out of one or two friends, using my own material on me! Many social gatherings have an element of insult humour. If you recall the last time you got together with friends. It isn't a bunch of people sitting down to serious conversation, but a gathering that finds people throwing light jokes at each other even if it is at the expense of someone within the group. It is not a way of being insulting or rude, but playful banter among friends and those one is familiar with. A classic example would be sitcoms that have close friends or family members cracking jokes about each other which aren't offending, but quite hilarious. Think Seinfeld, The Office and Friends. In fact one of the best one-liners for many years was delivered perfectly by the incredible Jennifer Anniston... "Who's your fashion impaired friend?" The perfect insult aimed at a young fashionista! Love it!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I love working with people, whether it's face-to-face behind a bar or on stage with a microphone which led me to the conclusion that it would be worthwhile sharing what I've learned over the years, to inspire others in having as much fun as I've had. I write because the inspiration for sharing is overwhelming and showing others how to make more friends and influence people, in my own unique way, is a great reward.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
This is such an easy question to answer, the greatest joy is knowing I can provide not just a powerful stage performer with good material but also a shy stranger with enough easy to use funny quips to change his or her life incredibly quickly. I know from experience that once you get your first laugh, you never look back and before long you're confidence sky rockets. Usually you're the 'life of the party' ...which can be a pain in the neck if you just want a quiet life!
What are you working on next?
It may seem like chalk and cheese but I've just published my first reprintable children's colouring book for parents, nurseries and doctors surgeries etc to keep kids occupied, something I've wanted to do for a long while. The beauty of electronic publishing is that a simple drawing can be printed out hundreds of times so completely does away with the need to buy expensive colouring books at the local toy store. It's under a pseudonym of course and may seem silly in comparison to my 'on-stage' presence but it gives me great joy to see kids colouring in my work.
What is your writing process?
Like any situation comedy on TV, I just put myself in someone else's shoes and have fun with their personality. It can be weird putting funny quips together for an undertaker one month and a few months later for a hairdresser but it's a lot of fun!
How do you approach cover design?
There are some stunning book covers out there but unfortunately when using online bookstores, they can't be seen and it's soooo important to get a message across that people can see when they're skimming through legions of books. It also important that my books 'look warm' so the right personalities are attracted by colour ... I should have studied subliminal psychology!
What indie book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Without doubt the best marketing is achieved by keeping the cost as low as possible although Amazon earns two thirds of the book cost it gets my work out there so people can see what 'Insult Comedy' is all about and how useful it actually is whether in day to day work or social life, or on stage, I usually do this via Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/396715) because Amazon also insist on a minimum price authors must charge for their work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Francis, born in Manchester, UK, an entertainer and prolific comedy script-writer lives in Benidorm, Spain, where he also works on numerous writing and editing projects. His comedy writing appears regularly in genre markets worldwide and he is a winner of numerous awards for his work. Mike's love of people, whether it's face-to-face behind his Bar in Benidorm or on stage with a microphone, led him to the conclusion that he needed to share what he has learned to inspire others in having as much fun as he has. Today, Mike writes his books because the inspiration for sharing is overwhelming and he knows that showing others how to make more friends and influence people will always be a good thing.
Comedian Mike's new book 'to inspire others', is loaded with flirty lines, funny Insults, cheeky quips and idle banter, Mike said "workplace or stage, just memorise a few lines and have a laugh, this isn't rocket science!" After more than 30 years as a professional Entertainer, Mike decided to share what he knows about stand-up audience baiting and roast humor ...with everyone and his scripts are, for the first time, available via Amazon.