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Guest blogger: Belinda Williams

4 October 2020

Why rom com is a serious subject

Romantic comedy seems to be having a moment right now. Goodness knows we all need a laugh the way 2020 has gone so far!

I didn’t set out to write rom com. My first love is romantic suspense, yet it was rom com that gave me my first big publishing break. Many of us never quite get over our first love, and that’s been the case for me. I still write romantic suspense, but rom com is now a huge part of my writing career, to the point where I combined both in my Hollywood Hearts series. (In truth, it was a sneaky way to enjoy the best of both worlds!)

Here’s why I think I’ve fallen so hard for romantic comedy:

  • It’s a delicious escape from reality that you don’t have to feel guilty about
  • It’s aimed at making us smile and laugh
  • The characters in rom com often do silly things, which makes us feel better about ourselves (come on, admit it!)
  • Good rom com is full of great banter
  • It’s light-hearted and fun

The items in the list above are certainly all good reasons why I enjoy reading and writing romantic comedy, but do you know the main reason why I love the genre so much? It’s because rom com lets us explore serious subjects through the use of humour.

I came across a great quote when I was working on the first draft of my latest release, Self Made. It’s set in Sydney and features an optimistic fitness freak heroine who has to turn an out-of-shape comedian and co-host of an evening news show from unfit to ripped in three months. The quote is by TS Eliot and he says, ‘Humour is also a way of saying something serious.’

I love this, because it captures the beauty of rom com perfectly. It also captures my hero, Ant, too. He’s constantly cracking jokes in the book (and I do mean constantly!) Jess, my heroine, even asks him if it’s possible for him not to joke about everything.

In fact, Ant constantly uses humour to say important things. The way he jokes with Jess is a clever way to show her how important she is to him (even though he’s not supposed to be crushing on her or caring for her as more than a friend). Lines like, ‘I just didn’t realise Jess was every capable woman all rolled into one’ hint at his true regard for her.

Humour also let me explore more serious issues, like the constant pressure there is in society for us to look and present ourselves in a certain way. Ant spends the majority of the book thinking that he’s not good enough for Jess while making a big joke of himself, just so he can make her laugh.

When I introduce Ant’s family and the struggle they are experiencing with his father’s health, well-timed humour makes a serious subject not only easier to bear, but more approachable.

In the first book in the same series, Read Between the Lines, I also explore the impact mental illness can have on people and families—and yep, it’s a romantic comedy!

I’m convinced that there’s nothing humour can’t achieve. While I’m not going to spoil the ending of Self Made, it’s safe to say that Ant scores his happily-ever-after thanks to a good dose of humour.

You know the one thing that I don’t like about romantic comedy? It’s the way that some people dismiss it. Like it’s frivolous or insignificant. I must admit that gets to me quite a bit.

Mind you, I suspect it’s nothing that a good joke or two couldn’t solve to make romantic comedy opponents see the light.

How about you? What’s your favourite aspect of romantic comedy?

You can find Belinda here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Self Made

She’s got three months to make him a better man … but what if he’s perfect already?

Jessica Jinks has got it made—as the face of her online fitness brand, her business is going from strength to strength. Especially if she can transform Ant Monticello, comedian and co-host of an evening current affairs show, from unfit to ripped in three months.

Ant knows he’s not Jess’s type. Not surprising when he considers walking down the street to pick up fast food to be cardio exercise. But he does make her laugh, and he’s determined to turn himself into the man she wants.

With the whole country watching, Jess knows Ant is strictly off limits and the success of her business relies on keeping things professional. Even if he makes her pulse race in the best way possible …

But when Ant starts to change—and not in a good way—Jess finds herself questioning not only her business, but her heart, too. Was Ant perfect just the way he was, even if he didn’t think so?

One Comment
  1. 5 October 2020 6:48 am

    Great post, Belinda. I totally agree about how much a good romcom can bring much-needed laughter and an ‘we’re all in this together’ kind of relatable feeling to readers’ lives.

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