Author Amanda Aksel Interview is here. Today Amanda joins us to talk to us all about No Funny Business! This book is officially out now and after I read it I knew Amanda needed to join us!
Amanda! Welcome! Tell us more about No Funny Business.
No Funny Business is about a young Manhattan attorney, Olivia Vincent, who’s thrown into the zany world of stand-up comedy when she’s given a chance to perform on The Late Night Show in Los Angeles. But here’s the punchline . . . the only way for her to get there is to join the hilarious and sexy stand-up, Nick Leto, on a cross-country road tour. There’s only one condition—no funny business. All Olivia has to do is hack it on the road long enough to become America’s next superstar comedian.
Did you always love stand-up comedy?
Yes! I’ve been a fan of stand-up comedy since I was a child. Watching a great stand-up special is still one of my all-time favorite pastimes.
What inspired you to craft Olivia Vincent’s story?
As a woman who quit her corporate day job to pursue writing, I wanted to showcase a female character going after a risky art form for the love of it. Chasing your dreams is very much a long road. I thought a road trip would lend itself to that and provide some great opportunities for comedy and a colorful cast of characters.
Is there one chapter that’s your favorite in No Funny Business?
The book is so fun that it’s difficult to pick a favorite. So I would say the chapter when they arrive at Graceland (chapter 25) is one that always comes to mind.
Are any of your characters crafted after people you know?
Yes, me! I think Olivia and I are very different people, but I bestowed upon her some of my personal experiences. No Funny Business is the most personal book I’ve ever written.
Have you ever gone on a cross-country road trip?
Of course! I grew up a Navy brat with a family that was stationed on the opposite coast every few years. I’ve road tripped across the U.S. five times in my life, a full 3,000 miles! This experience definitely informed the road trip experience for Olivia and Nick.
Let’s talk about the writing process. How long did it take you to craft this novel?
From start to finish, it took about ten months, which was much more than I expected. It typically takes me 3-7 months to write a novel. Due to the pandemic and some health challenges, it was the most difficult book to write. That’s why it’s the one I’m the proudest of.
The cover is great. Were you involved in the design process?
Yes. The designer, Jess Cruickshank, is incredible, and I could not be more in love with the cover. I was able to input details as far as how the characters might be represented, and we tossed around ideas about how to display the road trip aspect. Ultimately, Olivia and Nick in a pink stand-up setting was the best cover I could’ve asked for. My favorite part is Olivia’s glasses—so cute!
Anything else you want to add about No Funny Business?
Sure! If you love comedy, burgers, ‘80s music, real characters with hearts, and forced proximity romcoms, this book is for you.
Before I let you go, tell readers where they can find you on social media!
You’ll find me on Instagram @amandaaksel, Facebook at www.facebook.com/amandaaksel, or on my website www.amandaaksel.com.
Comment any questions you have for Amanda! Thank you Amanda for joining us!