Thursday, March 12, 2015

Time Out Thursday: Joss Wood on Friendship

Pink Heart Society columnist Joss Wood ponders the meaning of friendship and wants to know your thoughts.

I’ve been thinking about friendships lately, partly because it was my birthday last week and my mates spoiled me rotten.  I have an amazing group of friends and my life would be empty without them.

Men— husbands, lovers, boyfriends, significant others— are wonderful but let’s be honest, but we put our biggest truths and fears into the hands of our girlfriends. Friendship is a fragile thing but I think that we frequently make it so much more complicated than it needs to be. I often tell my friends that my biggest wish for them is to have as many friends as possible because I cannot provide them with everything they need. And I get different things from different people…

I have smart-as-whip friends, funny friends, practical friends, creative friends and crazy friends and one or two who all of the above. I have friends whose advice I value—whether it be financial advice or advice on how to deal with non-communicative teenagers—and whose opinion I respect. I have friends who I think are slightly touched but I love them dearly because they are so unique. There are those friends who I don’t speak to for months, sometimes years, and I can call them up and it’s like we spoke yesterday. No drama, no guilt.

Friendship shouldn’t be complicated and it shouldn’t be dramatic. It should be loyal and loving and enjoyable. Like love, it should be fun. And happy. I’ve lately realised that when I’m with my closest friends, I laugh. A lot. Actually, we don’t even laugh, we roar. We’re like a small gang and I walk out of every encounter with them feeling lighter and happier and stronger. More able to take on the world.

And maybe that’s how we should judge whether a friendship, or a relationship, or dare I say it, love—because isn’t love friendship on fire*?— is working or not. If, when we walk away or put down the phone, how are we left feeling? Happy and light or drained and irritable? Is that a fair way of thinking or am I simplifying it a bit too much?

In most of my books my heroine has a solid best friend, someone who knows her inside out. I write about strong female friendships partly because I place such immense value on them and also because my friends are kick-ass strong women. 

But best friends are also a great vehicle to impart a truth you, as the author, need the heroine to realise. The way that heroine interacts with her best friend is also an indication of how she is going to treat someone she loves; she could be the biggest ball-buster in the boardroom but if she’s crying because her best friend’s heart is broken then that shows a tender side to her that readers can relate to. Besides, best friends rock and they sometimes get their own story and happily ever after.

I leave you with the wish that your friendships are numerous and full of love and laughter. And free of drama.



PS. * I have no idea who coined this phrase but kudos!

Are your friendships what keep you sane?  And what are your favourite fictional female friendships?  Join the discussion in the comments!

Joss Wood's latest book, The Honeymoon Arrangement, is available now:

‘Yes, I will be your fake wife!’

Travel journalist Finn Banning has bagged the honeymoon trip of a lifetime. The trouble is, after his world imploded two weeks ago, he’s now desperately in need of a wife!

Wild-child-turned-party-girl Callie Hollis needs to get out of the country and away from painful family memories – fast. Accepting Finn’s honeymoon arrangement is the perfect escape plan! She might have to pretend to be a loved-up newlywed, but it’s a strictly no-strings agreement. Except one knee-weakening, brain-melting kiss from Finn later Callie’s already struggling to remember what’s fake and what’s real.

And that’s before they’ve even started their ‘honeymoon’...

To find out more about Joss, you can visit her website and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.  

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