Q&A with Jon Rance

I am thrilled to be joined by Jon Rance today for a Q&A

Hi Jon, Thanks for stopping by on your blog tour for Dan and Nat Got Married. In your latest novel, Dan and Nat drunkenly get married in Las Vegas, where did this idea spark from?

Hello and thanks so much for having me! For my fifth novel I knew I wanted to write the best romantic comedy I could. I love rom coms and I knew the hook had to be really good. Every great romantic comedy has a great premise and a unique story and that story starts with how they meet. I spent a while thinking about an interesting way two people could meet that would also be an intriguing start to a novel. And then it just came to me. What if you woke up married to a complete stranger? The obvious conclusion to this story is that you get divorced and move on because why not? But then I thought, what if they both have a good reason to give this marriage a shot? This is how it started and it all went from there. I think it’s a really interesting look at how relationships can begin, evolve, and work against all odds.

If Dan and Nat Got Married was made into a film, who would play Dan and Nat?

That’s a great question. So Dan and Nat are both early thirties and English, so it would need to be two actors who were about that age and British. I wouldn’t want to go down the route of American actors playing English characters’. For Dan I would go for Domhnall Gleeson because he’s the right age, is a great actor, and was brilliant in the Richard Curtis rom com, About Time. For Nat I would go for Carey Mulligan because she’s an absolutely amazing actress and would do a brilliant job as Nat. I think the more interesting actors might be for Dan and Nat’s best friends, Adam and Ellie, who I think definitely steal a lot of the limelight in the book!

Dan and Nat Got Married is your 5th novel, how has your publication journey been to this point?

Like a rollercoaster! I self-published my first novel, This Thirtysomething Life, which did so well it got picked up by Hodder and Stoughton. I signed a two book deal with them, got an agent, and all seemed set for more success. My next two books didn’t get a publishing deal and so I’m back self-publishing again. It’s been up and down, but the one constant has been my commitment to writing the best books I can whether they’re traditionally or self-published. Looking forward I’m always looking to evolve and that might mean going back down the traditional publishing route, self-publishing or something else!

Your books centre on romance with lots of humour thrown in – why did you decide to write in this genre?

I think most authors tend to write what they read and what they love. When I first started trying to write, I tried to write more literary fiction and it never really felt authentic. Once I switched to commercial fiction, the voice and tone became easier and felt as though I was writing what I wanted to write. In time it might change and my next novel is definitely going to be more dramatic and wide ranging in its scope. I think as writers we write what feels right at whatever point we’re at in our lives. So far it’s been comedy because I love comedy and I think I’ll always come back to that, but I’d definitely like to stretch myself as an author and try something else.

What is your writing process, are you a planner? Where do you like to write?

I’m definitely not much of a planner. For me my first draft is my plan. I always start with a title, the main characters, the plot idea, the ending and some sort of idea what it’s really about, and then I crack on. I treat the first draft as a way of figuring everything else out. I think I do it this way because I feel like it isn’t until I’ve spent a lot of time with the characters and really know them that I can honestly sort everything else out. I don’t really understand how people can spend months plotting a book until they’ve spent enough time with the characters. For me characters are everything. They shape the plot.

I tend to write wherever I am. I have a desk and a writing space and sometimes I’m there. I might be in a café, on the sofa or on my bed. I guess I enjoy variety! As long as I have my laptop and access to lots of tea and coffee I’m good to go!

When writing your books, do you know how it is going to end or does that come during the writing process?

I generally like to have an idea of the ending before I start. I think it really helps with a novel if you know the ending. I often have the last line or last paragraph written before I start. They say a novel is a beginning, a muddle, and an end. I always know the beginning and end so that just leaves the muddle to sort out!

What are the best and worse things about being an author?

The best thing is that I really love what I do. Since the age of about fifteen when I decided I wanted to be an author, it’s all I’ve thought about. It took me a long time to finally get published and now I’m a full-time writer, it still seems unreal. I just feel very lucky that I get to do what I love for a living. The worst thing is not knowing year after year how much money I’m going to make. Having a wife and two kids, a mortgage, and trying to get back to England for holidays as much as I can is expensive, and not knowing how much I’m going to make every book is definitely a lot of pressure. People often assume that when you get published you’re suddenly rich, but this definitely isn’t the case.

Are you working on book 6? Any clues that you can share with us?

I am. It’s in the very early stages of development at the moment and I probably won’t start actually writing it until after, Dan And Nat Got Married, is published. I can’t say anything about the title or story yet, but I will say that it’s going to be the biggest book I’ve tried to write. So far all of my books have been comedies, but for my next I want to write something bigger with more scope. I think it’s a natural progression for writers to try something different at some point. It’s still in the same genre, but it’s going to have a lot more drama and definitely more room for emotional development. Sorry, that’s all I can say at the moment. I’m very excited about it.

Finally, when you’re not writing yourself, what books do you like to read?

I love to read all sorts of books and I’ve read quite a few nonfiction books of late, but I generally come back to commercial fiction. My reading list at the moment is, ‘The Night That Changed Everything’, by the brilliant Jimmy Rice and Laura Tait. I loved their first book. After that it’s another favourite author of mine, Andy Jones and his latest, ‘The Trouble With Henry And Zoe’. I also have to read, ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger, and I really fancy the latest Lisa Jewell book, ‘I Found You’. The trouble I have is finding the time to read them all! Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. It’s been a pleasure.

Massive thanks to Jon for answering my questions 🙂

About the book

Published: 4th October 2016

The British romantic comedy you need to read this year. dan-and-nat-got-married-2

From the bestselling author of This Thirtysomething Life, Happy Endings and Sunday Dinners, comes a brilliantly funny romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Love Actually, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones.

Marriage can be difficult. Especially when you’ve only just met. Meet Dan Fox, 34, an online marketing manager from Clapham, who was jilted at the altar two years ago by the love of his life and hasn’t dated since.

Nat Howard, 32, is living back at home with her parents in Dorking after her perfect boyfriend dumped her and she had to move out of his bespoke flat in Putney.

On separate Stag and Hen weekends in Las Vegas, Dan and Nat wake up married. Both too drunk to remember what happened, they return to England and try to get on with their lives. But there was something about Nat that makes the usually cautious Dan think they should give their marriage a go. Nat’s still in love with her Ex, but maybe Dan can help mend her broken heart.

Can marriage between two relative strangers really work? And when Nat’s ex-boyfriend – the gorgeous Charlie – comes back into her life, she must decide – something old or something new?

Set in London, Dan And Nat Got Married, is a funny and full of heart modern romantic comedy about marriage, relationships, and giving love a second chance.

About Jon Rance

Jon Rance waheadshot-5s born in Southampton, England in 1975. Apparently the seventies were great, but to be honest, he doesn’t remember much about them. He does remember most of the eighties very fondly. He attended Bitterne first and middle school and then Western Park Boy’s school. He spent a lot of the eighties watching television. His favourite shows were: Rainbow, Button Moon, The Wombles, Dogtanian and the Three Muskahounds, The Cities of Gold, Danger Mouse, Thundercats, Grange Hill, Blue Peter, Going Live, and Neighbours. He had a red BMX bike, and did his first Panini World Cup sticker album during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico – the dreaded Hand of God World Cup. 

In 2004 Jon moved to America and got married in of all places, Las Vegas. He also decided he was going to stop farting around and be a proper writer. Jon spent the next few years writing his first novels without much success. However, after getting frustrated that no-one was actually reading his work, he decided to self-publish his third novel, ‘This Thirtysomething Life’ on the Kindle. To cut a long story short, it took forever, but after some research, some actual marketing, the book reached number 7 on the UK Kindle chart, it sold 55,000 copies, and Jon finally got the call he’d been waiting for. A publisher wanted to publish his book. Fast forward four years and Jon his about to publish his fifth novel. Like most of his life, becoming an author hasn’t exactly gone to plan, but he got there in the end

Jon Rance is the author of five novels: the Kindle top ten best seller, This Thirtysomething Life, Happy Endings (both published by Hodder and Stoughton) This Family Life and Sunday Dinners. His fifth novel, Dan And Nat Got Married, will be published this October. 

Jon loves comedy (especially sit coms), the films of Richard Curtis, travelling and tea. He just turned forty, which is a terrifying time, so his books might get a bit edgier and possibly angrier as a result.

Jon writes dramatic, romantic comedy, similar to the work of Mike Gayle, Matt Dunn, and David Nicholls. 

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