Friday, November 22, 2013

Writing Satire to Understand the Humor with Bryan Taylor


Three Sisters
by Bryan Taylor

About The Author

FBbryan  Bryan Taylor is a double PK, a preacher’s kid of a preacher’s kid. With that legacy he faced two destinies, being an unhappy triple PK (Jubilees 17:23, “He that is born unto the son of a preacher and himself preaches shall be miserable until his dying day and suffer eternal damnation.”), or being sacrilegious and happy. He decided to forsake the Southern Baptists for Catholicism, but when he applied to join a convent, he was rejected (sex discrimination!), so he decided to do the next best thing: write a novel about the three nuns he would most like to meet. Bryan Taylor was born in Louisiana, grew up in Michigan and Texas, went to school in Tennessee, South Carolina and California, taught in Switzerland for a year, and has traveled to 50 countries, more than any Pope except Saint John Paul II. He now lives in California, which is one of the few places with people crazier than him.

Author Links

Website: Blog: Facebook:

About The Book

Genre: Humor, Satire
Publisher: Dragon Tree Books
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Buy: Amazon

Bryan Taylor The Three Sisters Cover    Book Description:   Nuns just want to have fun! But when three former Catholic nuns, Coito Gott, Theodora Suoraand Regina Granthave too much fun and get in trouble with the law, they become nuns on the run. Driving back to Washington D.C. where they work at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Parts, the three sisters are arrested in Tennessee. After defeating the local deputy in strip poker, they escape from jail, and are pursued by the zealous Detective Schmuck Hole, who has personally offered a $10,000 reward for their capture on the 700 Club. Little do they know that when the three sisters visit the Washington Monument, their lives will change forever. Set in 1979, The Three Sisters is a sacrilegious satire that skewers not only organized religion, but the government, the media, intellectuals, corporate greed and every other part of the establishment. Maybe not the greatest story ever told, but possibly the funniest. Blessed are they who read The Three Sisters, for they shall inherit eternal laughter.” — Matthew 5:66 The most pestilential book ever vomited out of the jaws of Hell.” — Billy Sunday Les trois soeurs valent bien une messe.” – Henry IV Lasciate ogne speranza, voi che leggete Le Tre Sorelle.” – Dante Alighieri Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that reading The Three Sisters may lead to Eternal Damnation.  Side effects may include a renewed sense of humor and a better sex life.


Writing Satire in hopes the reader will understand the humor 
and NOT crucify you after reading it

The Three Sisters is a novel about three former nuns who refuse to follow the rules and eventually get in trouble with the law for their transgressions. When they escape from jail, they become nuns on the run, and get themselves into even more trouble when they return to Washington D.C.  In the novel, they do end up in confession at one point, and as I point out in the novel, if you added up all the Absolution they would have to do for the sins they confessed to, it would take them about thirty years to say their seven million, four hundred fifty six thousand, two hundred and forty seven Hail Marys, the … it would take several pages just to list the Absolutions they would have to do.
You have to understand that the reason for writing a satire is so you can write things you normally couldn’t put in a novel. Though fiction is fiction, it has a verisimilitude that enables the reader to identify with the characters and the plot.  Satire makes fiction look realistic, so you might describe satire as fiction squared, or cubed or quadrupled depending upon how far the book departs from reality. The Three Sisters would have to be fiction zillionthed.
Voltaire wrote about Candide who thought he lived in the best of all possible worlds, and Jonathan Swift wrote about eating children and visiting distant lands filled with giants or thumb-sized people. So I decided to write about three nuns who do things most nuns would never even think about doing, in order that I could make fun of organized religion, the government, the media, and capitalistic greed.
Some of my best friends who have read the book are devout Catholics.  They’ve known me for some time, so they’ve grown used to my bizarre sense of humor and tolerate my sacrilegious inclinations.  One of them promises me that despite having written The Three Sisters, God will still allow me to be in Heaven after I die because I’m basically a good person. 
On the one hand, this is reassuring, because you always want to hedge your bets when the grim reaper comes, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m being treated like someone with a mental disease called sacrilegious behavior. I am not sure whether this spiritual disease is in the Catholic version of the DSM, but if it gets me into Heaven, I’ll take it. Who knows? Maybe there is an Americans with Spiritual Disabilities Act that qualifies you to go to Heaven, even if you are a sacrilegious Atheist, as long as you write funny books.
I know that in the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as being very serious, but what if Jesus was really the first stand-up comedian?  Maybe Jesus liked to play practical jokes on the Pharisees, making them pregnant so they could sympathize with the women they oppressed.  Let’s face it, anyone who could raise someone from the dead or turn water into wine should at least be able to tell a joke.
Since the novel is sacrilegious, and I knew that might make some of my readers want to crucify me, I figured my only salvation was to make the novel so funny that even the devoutly religious would be too busy laughing to have time to crucify me.
The fact that I have been able to write The Three Sisters without being crucified (so far) can only mean either God is really tolerant of those who make fun of Him (or Her), or God has a much better sense of humor than most of his followers, or probably both.  On the other hand, if I come home and see someone has planted a cross in my front yard, I’ll know someone didn’t find my novel funny, but until then, I’m saying a few Hail Marys just in case.


The college I was at had a small Newman Club for committed collegiate Catholics, who still spent most of their youthful years behaving more like St. Augustine than Cardinal Newman. Some of my friends and I set up a Joyce Club as a refuge for lapsed Catholics, and during our years there, we successfully filched several members of the Newman Club and got them to join our own. Whenever this occurred, I could share the great joy the father in the Bible must have experienced when the Prodigal Son returned home, or the shepherd had found his lost sheep. Working with this close-knit group of friends and learning from each other made college worthwhile. Moreover, there were hundreds of naïve young freshmen each year ripe for corrupting whom I could gird up my loins for, exchange jelly for juice, and turn them into cynics with amazing ease.
Academic life also gave me the opportunity to express my artistic talents in ways that impressed my coterie of college friends. When it snowed, a not infrequent event in Chicago, we created chionic masterpieces that lasted until the sun melted them away. Some were conventional, like Marie Antoinette Gets the Guillotine, but when the college was too cheap to build new sidewalks for its students we put together a column of legless snowmen and snowwomen sitting on their carts and pushing themselves along with paper signs on them saying, “Chicago’s disabled demand new sidewalks!” Thus we married the avant-garde to social activism.
We would also create living art, recreating and transmogrifying great works of the past. The one that got me and my fellow artists into real trouble was when we recreated Da Vinci’s Last Supper with me in puris naturalibus as The Naked Maja recumbent upon the table in front of Christ and his disciples. If the college officials had complained about the anachronistic juxtaposition of Da Vinci’s Cenacle and Goya’s Ode to Pubic Hair as the Christ and his disciples argued over who was going to pay thirty pieces of silver for me, I would have understood their objections, but instead they complained about my full frontal nudity, even though I was as faithful to Goya’s original as I could be. Sure, Billy Sunday wouldn’t have liked it, but he had died decades before. We referred to our masterpieces as Mama Art, the indirect descendent of Dada Art.


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