Guest Chick: Auralee Wallace

We’re thrilled to have author Auralee Wallace stop by Chicks today. Ring in the Year with Murder, the fourth book in her hysterical Otter Lake Mystery series, is out October 31.

Spring (Fall) Cleaning the Comedy: 

Saying Goodbye to 80’s Gold

A funny and horrifying thing happened to me recently. My editor asked me to rethink a joke in my manuscript because – wait for it – not enough people would get it. It was too dated.


Now, I should say, my editor is bang-on about pretty much everything, but this time I wasn’t sure I agreed. You see, not to brag or anything, but I’ve always been hip and cool. I mean, like I’m totally stirring the zeitgeist soup…with the same finger that’s right on the pulse of what’s happening…like right now…and now…and now too.

But after some thought, I decided she was right. So, I’m cleaning up my comedy repertoire. Here’s five cultural references from the 80s that I will no longer use in my writing…or life, I guess. Sigh. I’ll try to keep it quick. Who knows how much time we have left?

The Princess Bride

Now brace yourselves, but The Princess Bride just had an anniversary. It came out thirty years ago. Yes, you read that right: thirty years ago. That’s a long time. Therefore, despite how much pain this will cause me, I vow to no longer say:

Well, maybe I just won’t say it and expect people to get it. ‘Cause it’s seriously a lot of fun. You should try it.

80’s Prime Time Soap Opera Catfights

Okay, so, I may have made one tiny, little reference to women fighting in a fountain in my upcoming cozy mystery, Ring in the Year with Murder, but from now on, I swear I will resist.

Sure, sure, you could argue there’s a new Dynasty on TV, so it’s still current, but the fights are between a stepmother and stepdaughter. That can’t compare to Alexis and Krystle fighting over that old dude. What was his name again? Doesn’t matter. He was beside the point.

Goodbye fine warriors.

Solid Gold Dancers


Ah, who am I kidding? I probably should have got rid of them a long time ago.

The Original Wonder Woman Theme Song

This one really, really hurts, but the last time I spontaneously burst out into this girl-power song, my daughters just stared at me blankly. Apparently there’s a new Wonder Woman in town. I hear her name is Gal. I haven’t met her yet, but…whatever. I’m too sad to even talk about it.

As a side note, I also miss Lou Ferrigno as the hulk. So sad. So green.

Erik Estrada from CHiPs

Now we come to the man who started this whole questioning of material in the first place. Erik Estrada. See, I thought if I wrote something like “he looked like Erik Estrada in his uniform” everyone would instantly know who I was talking about. But apparently that’s not the case. So goodbye to you too, sweet Erik. I will never forget.

Anyway, now that that’s done, I should probably mention again that I have a new book coming out October  31st. It’s called Ring in the Year with Murder (in case you missed the plug the first time). But you know what else I’m super excited about that’s also happening that day? No, not Halloween, silly. I’m over forty. If I eat more than three mini chocolate bars, I might die. No, I’m excited about Stranger Things Season 2! I think it’s going to be awesome. Although I do realize that someday my kids are going to watch Stranger Things like I watched Leave it to Beaver…and that’s pretty disturbing…but time marches on, and we all have to keep things fresh.


BTW, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air first aired in 1990, so it’s still good. For now.

What do you think? Is it time to let the 80s go?

80s Auralee
Auralee circa 1987


Auralee Wallace has played many roles in her life, including college professor, balloon seller, and collections agent. When this semi-natural blond mother of three children (and psychiatric nurse to two rescue cats) isn’t writing humorous novels about quirky characters, she can often be found watching soap operas with lurid fascination and warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard. She can also be found on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and her blog

About Ring In the Year with Murder: An Otter Lake Mystery:

This New Year’s Eve, Erica’s resolution is to have a great night―even if it kills her. She is, after all, at the party to end all parties: a Great Gatsby–themed gala sure to be the talk of Otter Lake, New Hampshire. With her perfectly finger-waved hair, borrowed pearls, and scarlet flapper dress, Erica is determined to be unflappable, despite the presence of her ex, Sheriff Grady Forrester, and his hot date, a bubbly blonde who has a hard time holding her drink. Literally. . .

In a plot twist as bizarre as a game of Clue, Grady’s girlfriend almost drops dead after her drink is poisoned. Who put the killer ingredient in her appletini? Suddenly the tables have turned and the sheriff has become the prime suspect. Now Erica has until midnight to clear the man she still loves―and in so doing just maybe win him back. That’s if the killer doesn’t pop the cork again… and turn a New Year’s smooch into a kiss of death…

“Wonderfully entertaining!” ―RT Book Reviews

“A frolicking good time…with a heroine who challenges Stephanie Plum for the title of funniest sleuth.”―New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson 

Preorder your copy today!

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24 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Auralee Wallace

  1. Congrats on the new release! How exciting! “We don’t need no stinkin’ Halloween!”
    Okay, how is that for dating myself? What, you don’t get it? Dig deep into the recesses of the classics young whipper snappers! Some things never get old. “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.” “I don’t mind a reasonable amount of trouble.”
    As for the 80’s? I don’t want to remember the 80s! Too painful!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Unfortunately, most of these, I agree with you on. And I love the Wonder Woman TV show and the song.

    I’d argue that The Princess Bride has a level of popularity that makes references to it to be okay still. I think most people will get them even if they haven’t seen the movie.

    Of course, I’m the guy who makes references to Babylon 5, a TV show most people haven’t seen if they’ve even heard of it.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ve done it in the past, but I guess you’ve forgotten. There is a hole in your mind.

        I use them all the time, but nobody listens to poor Zathras. (This Zathras quote is the one I use the most.)

        Even if I do, will you understand them? After all, understanding is a three edged sword.


  3. Hilarious! Humor is nothing if not timely. And nothing hurts more than being told “that’s an old reference.” OUCH!

    But get this: Will & Grace is back on, right? Well, ten years ago – or more??? – my TV writing partner and I wrote a Will & Grace spec script that got us a lot of work. I re-read it recently, and except for updating some jokes – see your post above – it’s totally up-to-date story and character-wise. So sometimes everything old can be new again. Auralee, if the new DYNASTY gets an audience, you may be able to recycle that joke!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. The old reference thing did smart a little bit 🙂 but I have been suspecting for some time now that I may in fact be getting older. I’m so glad that they brought Will & Grace back though. And I never thought about my recycling potential in the future, so thanks for that!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. To me, the 80’s was the day before yesterday. I still have suits I bought during that decade. But to be honest, the shoulder pads are a bit wide so I don’t wear them anymore. Anyway, for me The Princess Bride is iconic and could/should be quoted forevermore. But that’s about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I cut every shoulder pad out of every jacket that comes into the house…now. Back then, YES, the bigger the better a la David Byrne and countless Power Suits.

      I had a color-blocked one that I loved and wore a lot. Think I just donated it last year finally. Shhh.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. THIS IS SO FUNNY, Auralee! Thank you for visiting us today.

    Solid Gold dancers, yeah, maybe–but Princess Bride 4ever! #totalPBnerd

    Can you tell us the original joke that you had to discard? Maybe not and that’s ok but had to ask.

    (“I’m totally stirring the zeitgeist soup” = <3).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for having me! I don’t remember the wording of my original joke, but my editor finally approved of:

      “Why are you dressed like a state trooper from…I want to say the ‘seventies?” Actually with the aviator glasses and half-grown-in mustache I wanted to say he looked like a porn star dressed as a state trooper from the 1970s, but I didn’t want to set him off.

      But I really think Erik Estrada would have been much simpler!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If the Solid Gold dancers are wrong, I don’t want to be right! (See? I worked in a Barbara Mandrell reference, too!) #eightiesforever

    Great post!! I prefer not to think of the items on your list as “dated” so much as “classic.”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sorry I’m late to the party, Auralee, but loved your post!! The eighties were my fave decade (I was in NYC at the time, where I regularly bought rubber bangles and lace hair bands and gloves on the street.) That pic of you is adorable–that expression!

    Liked by 1 person

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