Belinda Williams says a character’s working world offers many story opportunities.
In the world of chick lit, a woman’s choice of work can say a lot about her character. Is she driven? Is she creative? Perhaps she’s stuck in a job she doesn’t like and she’s striving for something better. All of these scenarios offer an insight into our leading lady.
In fiction, a character’s place of work might not get more than a fleeting reference, with the action happening outside working hours. I’ve written books like that and I’ll probably write many more. With that being said, a character’s working world offers writers many opportunities. Why? Because so much of our lives happens at work (whether we like it or not!)
For example, the workplace can set the scene for some very interesting plot developments.
Like falling in love.
That’s a decent plot twist!
It was this concept I wanted to explore in more detail in the second book in my City Love series, The Pitch. I liked the idea of my character’s place of work becoming central to the storyline.
For a career-focused woman like my lead character, Madeleine Spencer, work is a huge part of her life. She’s passionate about her marketing agency, Grounded Marketing, and she’s just about to pitch for her biggest client to date.
But life isn’t all about work thankfully. Maddy’s girlfriends also play a central role in the book and they’re there to helpfully remind her it’s been four years since her last serious relationship (not that she needs reminding!) They convince her speed dating or blind dates might be the way to go, but all that makes Maddy want to do is run right back to the safety of her job because she can control that.
Or can she? How many people do you know who have met their significant other at work? While it’s generally not recommended as the ideal place to meet someone, the reality is that we spend so much of our lives at work that it’s inevitable a few of us might end up meeting someone there.
And this looks like it could be the case for Maddy when the mysterious media mogul, Paul Nielsen, offers to assist her with the big pitch.
I’d be lying if I told you some of Maddy’s story wasn’t inspired by my own life. I didn’t meet my husband at work, but I have spent fifteen years in various marketing roles. So this meant I really understood the demands of a professional career like Maddy’s. In fact, it was a real pleasure to bring Maddy’s world to life in The Pitch.
Maddy’s story also let me explore themes like work-life balance. We see Maddy trying to juggle work with her friendships and her developing relationship with Paul. Our work can demand a lot from us mentally, physically and emotionally, but relationships makes demands on us too.
Often the qualities that equate to success in business like being driven, independent and organized (aka control freak) don’t always translate to success in personal relationships. Call me sadistic, but I really enjoyed taking Maddy on a journey of learning to trust her emotions and those who care about her while she strives for success in the business world.
Then there’s the whole debate over the appropriateness of falling for someone in a work setting. Will it be seen as unprofessional? Could it backfire and all go horribly wrong? Then you’d be forced to work with someone you’ve had an intimate relationship with and wouldn’t that be awkward?
In The Pitch, I give my characters the opportunity to take personal risks as well as business-related ones. If you’d like to find out whether those risks were worth taking, I hope you’ll take a chance on my latest release, The Pitch, and read it to find out!
She’s in a long-term, committed relationship. With her business. In three years Madeline Spencer has single-handedly grown her marketing agency, Grounded Marketing, into one of the country’s fastest-growing companies. But her success has been at the expense of her social life, and her girlfriends have had enough. They’ll do whatever it takes, from speed dating to blind dates, to show her there’s more to life than work.
Only Maddy is having a hard time forgetting about her business. She’s about to pitch for her biggest client ever and the mysterious media mogul, Paul Neilsen, has volunteered to mentor her. Maddy might just be in with a shot of landing the account — if she can keep her mind on the job.
Working with Paul is not at all what she’d imagined, and Maddy finds herself torn between her ever-increasing workload and her feelings for Paul. She’s discovering playing in the big league means making sacrifices … and Maddy must decide what she can’t live without.
The Pitch is the second book in the City Love series released by Momentum.
Belinda Williams lives in Sydney and is a marketing communications specialist and copywriter who allowed an addiction to romance and chick-lit to get the better of her. She was named a top ten finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award in both 2013 and 2014. Her other addictions include music and cars. Belinda’s eclectic music taste forms the foundation of many of her writing ideas and her healthy appreciation for fast cars means she would not so secretly love a Lamborghini. For now she’ll have to settle with her son’s Hot Wheels collection and writing hot male leads with sports cars.