Available October 2019!
Finally! A joke book that teaches you how to be funny! Learn how to create your own jokes, puns and one-liners, and get your friends rolling in the aisles*. Laugh along as silly characters teach you how to craft a funny line. Includes more than 500 jokes, puns and hilarious one-liners!
*Not literally rolling, because that would cause broken bones and head trauma, but you know what we mean.
THE JOKE MACHINE
Follow a cast of fictional characters into a joke-making lab, where you'll learn to create your own jokes. Each chapter explores the ins and outs of humor and explains how to use techniques such as surprise, exaggeration, contrast, comparison, and more to create funny jokes, puns and one-liners.
By the end of the book, you'll have a set of tools
in your joke belt that will keep your friends and family laughing. So if you want to be funnier - or just want to laugh the afternoon away - check out The Joke Machine! The book is available for preorder now and will be in national retail stores in
DISCLAIMER: Reading this book may cause intense laughter. The author is not responsible for uncontrollable giggling, guffawing, hipping, hooting and hollering that may lead to sides splitting and bellies jiggling.
The Joke Machine
Table of Contents
Theresa Julian writes humorous children’s fiction, nonfiction, screenplays and teleplays. She loves words and her favorite thing to do is put them together in ways that make people laugh. When she's not writing, Theresa likes to run, eat chocolate, and lip sync to her favorite songs even though she never knows the lyrics. Theresa always wished she had a superpower, but makes a really mean eggplant parmigiana so…
maybe that counts?
In addition to The Joke Machine, Theresa has sold dozens of humorous stories to Amazon Rapids which are consistently listed on the Popular and Funny rows on the Amazon app. Theresa is also the author of a humorous tween TV pilot and two screenplays that have all won or placed in multiple national writing competitions.
Theresa is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College and has a Master of Arts in Corporate Communication from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The Joke Machine:
A Creative Writing Tool Disguised as a Joke Book
So, two guys walk into a bar…
Wait, that’s not how I meant to start. I meant to start by telling you that The Joke Machine is a new non-fiction book that teaches middle graders how to create their own jokes and become funnier. I’m nervous because my spellcheck mysteriously switched into Hungarian and I can’t tell if words are misspelled.
Spelling words wrong is something I do knot want to do. I know the importance of proper spelling, it’s something my feather taught me. If I mix up even two letters, this whole post is urined.
Now you’re probably wondering, is she kidding about the spellchecker? The urined post? And most importantly, what happened to the guys who walked into a bar? Well, the answers are yes, yes, and two guys walked into a bar – the third one ducked.
Apologies for a long introduction, I just wanted to make you laugh. Making someone laugh is one of the best feelings in the world. Growing up as a shy child, I always wished I was funny. As an adult, I started wondering if being funny is something you’re born with, or if it’s something you can learn. I started doing research and concluded it’s something you can learn, and I was going to learn it!
I figured out that the basis of humor is surprise. It’s leading a thought one way, and then turning it in an unexpected direction. It’s the quick twist at the end that surprises us and makes us laugh.
I worked with that concept and came up with a few lines that – remarkably – were funny! Encouraged, I started studying humorous lines. I tried to figure out what made each one funny, and being a word-loving nerd, I put the quotes into categories such as ones that use contrast, comparison, exaggeration, etc. I started seeing patterns and my book, The Joke Machine, was born!
One of the things I’m proudest of is that the book teaches a difficult, almost mysterious subject using basic tenets of English, such as contrast, comparison, literalness, etc. It teaches in a fun, funny, kid-friendly way, that keeps kids laughing and turning the pages.
Now I’m going to tell you a secret. Lean in, because I’m going to whisper this so kids don’t hear. Though The Joke Machine explains how kids can become funnier, it’s also a book that teaches them how to express themselves more creatively and how to become better, more confident writers.
The Joke Machine teaches basics, such as using similes, metaphors, homonyms, homophones, etc., to punch up sentences, but the real message is deeper. The real message is reaching past the plain “vanilla” and expressing yourself more creatively, confidently, and humorously.
For example, The Joke Machine teaches middle graders to create humor by comparing two things that don’t ordinarily go together, by using irony to call out an unusual situation, and by using literalness to respond to someone’s actual words instead of their meaning.
The book explains how to fancy-schmancy it up by using specific details, too. It shows how to change “my
shoes smell bad” into “my shoes that smell like they’ve been in my gym locker since second grade”. The book encourages kids to play with words, punch up puns, twist common catchphrases, exaggerate and understate facts, and even invent words that their friends will understand just by their sound.
Finally, The Joke Machine teaches middle graders to be more confident writers because being funny is about teasing out your message, having the courage to say something and then pull it back. It’s presenting a thought, then twisting, bending and reversing it. It’s like starting with “two guys walk into a bar” and then admitting that’s not what you want to talk about – but now that I have your attention, stick with me. It’s about thinking outside of the box, playing with a message, and holding your reader’s attention, all the way down to the very last line.