I often wonder where all my romantic comedies come from. Just what inspires me to write them? It’s a question I’m often asked by readers too but, instead of listing a long line of books as writers often do, I tell them that it was films which got me on the road to writing my rom coms. In particular the films of Doris Day.
Many a happy afternoon was spent as a teenager – sitting in the floor of my bedroom with the door firmly shut against the real world as I indulged in those wonderful movies.
There is something so wonderfully charismatic about Doris Day. She has a warmth and a sparkle which makes her absolutely captivating to watch and she’s a truly fabulous comedienne whether playing a tomboy in By the Light of the Silvery Moon or the hesitant lover of Cary Grant in That Touch of Mink.
As a teen, I was particularly addicted to the films she did with Rock Hudson like Pillow Talk and, just last week, I watched it again and found that it had lost none of its magic – over fifty years since it was released. Sure, there are some aspects which are now dated but the essence of humour doesn’t really change, does it? And the characters, situations and Doris Day’s double-takes still had me erupting with laughter as did the wonderful split screen scenes employed decades before Woody Allen fell upon this cinematic device.
The plot of Pillow Talk is very simple and strikingly similar to another of their films, Lover Come Back. I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t seen them but the theme of mistaken identity plays a major role and causes many a misunderstanding.
This is something I explored in the first of my Austen Addicts Trilogy – A Weekend with Mr Darcy – where my hero – Warwick Lawton – isn’t quite telling the truth about who he is. I can see now that I wanted to have a go at creating my own little bit of Doris Day magic and I had enormous fun in doing it.
So, where does my inspiration come from? Love. Life. Books. And Doris Day!