It’s fun, and sometimes strange, to be curled up in your favourite armchair watching a movie or TV show when you suddenly realise you can recognise elements of your latest book reflected back at you from the TV screen. It might be the similarity of the setting, the way the hero and heroine banter with each other, or an element of the hero or heroine’s personality. I suppose this shouldn’t be that surprising. Debate has always raged on the number of plots there are in the world. Depending on who you speak to, the answer is 6, 7, 20 or 36 (I kid you not). It only makes sense then that a certain amount of synchronicity should occur.
With that in mind, I’ve selected five movies and three TV shows that have something in common with my latest release. If you love any of these then you might find you’ll love Singapore Fling With the Millionaire too.
For the setting: Crazy Rich Asians
I was lucky enough to visit Singapore in July last year. Once back in Australia I couldn’t get enough of this movie. Besides the fact that it’s fabulous, I was literally bouncing throughout the entire film and pointing every time I saw something I recognised—the Merlion, Gardens by the Bay, Chinatown, the view from the Marina Bay Sands, Raffles, Changi airport…the food court! We might not be able to physically travel at the moment, but that doesn’t stop us from a bit of armchair travel, right? I watched this several time during the writing of my book, just to make sure I had locations details just right.
For the world the hero comes from: The Bold and the Beautiful
My hero’s family owns an iconic fashion brand reminiscent of Armani or Versace…or Forrester Creations. I imagined that the same behind the scenes wrangling for power and prestige that occurs in the soap opera was happening behind the scenes for my beleaguered hero too. (Also, did you know that The Bold and the Beautiful has been running for more than thirty years? I love that kind of longevity.)
For a hint of realism: The Great British Sewing Bee
If you haven’t seen it, this TV series is a spin-off of The Great British Bake Off and features talented amateur sewers who compete for the title of Britain’s best amateur sewer. In my mind, my heroine Christy is addicted to this show.
For the Cinderella vibe: Pretty Woman
My hero Jamie comes from serious wealth—his family is American royalty—while Christy is simply a working-class girl from Sydney. He’s determined to give her a taste of the good life. For two glorious weeks she gets to see how the other half lives, and to revel in it.
For the forced proximity…and that first kiss: Leap Year
Obviously Christy and Jamie are not in a car together road tripping, but they are living in the same gorgeous apartment complex, they’re in business negotiations, plus Jamie has promised to show Christy the sights. They spend a lot of time in each other’s company, and not all of that ‘together time’ is harmonious. This leads to lots of tension. So, their first kiss…Oh, my! Explosive. I imagine them having the same stunned and dazed expressions on their faces as Anna and Declan do in this movie. (By the way, have you seen the kiss? It’s totally swoon-worthy).
For the hero’s determination to overcome all of the heroine’s objections: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
my relationship style is very how to lose a guy in 10 days except I am not writing an article for a magazine that's just how I am
— Talya Galasko (@TalyaGalasko) October 12, 2020
Jamie needs to buy Christy’s company. She needs to sell. But she’ll only sell to a company that has a social conscience. To date, that has not been Jamie’s company’s area of expertise. He wants to change that, but Christy is sceptical. But like Ben in the movie, despite setbacks Jamie refuses to give up.
For my heroine’s dilemma: Would I Lie to You?
This is a comedic British game show. The contestants are organised into two teams and reveal weird and unusual facts about themselves. The other team has to decide whether the ‘fact’ is the truth or a lie. In the same way, Christy has to wade through all of Jamie’s PR-speak and work out if he’s telling her the truth…or just spinning her a line.
For the sense that these two are fated to be together: Sleepless in Seattle
Who else remembers that gorgeous moment at the end of the movie when Tom Hanks takes Meg Ryan’s hand…and they just know? Happy sighs. Makes me melt Every Single Time. Though it takes Christy and Jamie a long time to acknowledge it, they belong together in exactly the same way.
You ever just throw on Sleepless in Seattle and cry on a Monday evening bc me too
— Syd (@s_kerekes) October 13, 2020
There are so many different sources of inspirations for a book, and it’s impossible to pin them all down, but one of the real similarities between Singapore Fling With the Millionaire and the TV shows and movies that I’ve listed above is the sense of pure escapism. And in the strange times we live in, I think we can all agree that escapism is a godsend.
When Michelle Douglas was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up she answered, “A writer.” Years later she read an article about romance writing and thought, ooh that’ll be fun. She was right. She lives in a leafy suburb of Newcastle on Australia’s east coast with her own romantic hero who is the inspiration behind all her happy endings.
Readers can visit Michelle Douglas at her website HERE.
Two weeks in Singapore…
…a deal to change everything
Designer Christy Minslow’s put everything into her fashion brand. Now she wants to focus on her designs, not balancing the books. When billionaire James Cooper-Ford invites her to discuss buying her out, she’s intrigued! After a past bitter betrayal, she’s cautious of James’s reputation. But in reality, there’s more to him than meets the eye. He’s funny, charming, attractive…and quite possibly just the holiday fling she needs!