You might not have noticed it, but I like humour. No matter how serious I try to be when writing, a little lightness always manages to creep in. It might be a joke or a sarcastic remark, but it always pops up. I’m English after all – we love sarcasm, and are experts at deploying humour to offset deep emotions. My own household wouldn’t exist without what I call kind sarcasm (it should never be mean) My children had conquered this form of wit by an early age, which if you met their father you’d find totally understandable.
I’d been toying with the idea of writing an office based romance for a long while, and in particular writing about a boss and his assistant. So, when I’d finished ‘The Summer of Us’ and left the sun drenched South of France behind, my thoughts turned towards a law firm, and a grumpy boss and his bright, quick-witted assistant.
I’m a huge fan of the old black and white comedies of the 1930’s, and in particular the ones which feature masses of sarcasm and quick repartee between the lead couple, which always highlights their deep attraction to each other. Films like ‘His Girl Friday’, ‘It Happened One Night’ and then later on TV series like ‘Moonlighting’ have always sucked me in. I remember being captivated by ‘Barefoot in the Park’ and the banter between Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. I wanted that life, not just for a young Robert Redford, but for the one liners.
I therefore knew that I wanted this sort of relationship between Gabe and Dylan, the heroes of my latest book ‘Rule Breaker’. I wanted snark and sass. I wanted a powerful man to be captivated by the wit and intelligence of someone who he really didn’t want to be attracted to. I wanted Dylan to be a strong man in his own right, who gave as good as he got, and I wanted Gabe to fall in love with this aspect of his personality. Not his looks or his body, but more importantly his brain. We always know that those celluloid couples will last the distance, because their brains are just as compatible as their bodies. We imagine them living their lives out together, every day filled with awesome banter.
Perhaps the biggest reason I love those films though, is because they give the message that love always wins through. Now, more than ever, I think we need this message, and I’m very happy to pass it on in my books … with a little bit of humour of course!