So I’m a bit scared because I’ve never done this before. For the very first time I’m hosting another writer on my site and if you are reading this then maybe I’m not a muppet and I’ve actually managed to make it happen.
So welcome, welcome, welcome Jon Rance who write’s funny and honest stuff just like me and who is brave enough to be my first……!
Hello Tracy Bloom fans and a HUGE thank you to Tracy for hosting what is the sixteenth and penultimate stop on my ‘This Family Life Blog Tour’. If you missed the last blog you can see it here http://23reviewstreet.blogspot.co.uk/
In this blog I want to talk about the importance of a good ending. I’ve always thought that the beginnings and endings of books were the most important. The beginning because you have to grab people, make them want to read on, and the ending because it’s what you leave them with. You need both to make a great novel – and obviously you need to have an exciting novel in-between too – but a brilliant opening and a good ending are essential. There’s no point having the best opening, but with a disappointing, flat ending because no matter how great the opening, people will only remember the ending. Endings are very important.
‘This Family Life’ is very much a diary of an ordinary couple trying their best to survive the first year of parenthood. Writing a diary style novel is very different than writing a normal novel. I spoke about this in a previous blog, but writing in the diary format lends itself perfectly to comedy and also the day-to-day reflections on life, but what’s difficult is turning this diary into a big story. Keeping the overall plot developing while making it read like a real diary is very tricky and this definitely impacts on the ending.
Obviously, I’m not going to tell you the ending – that would be like a magician telling you how he does a trick before performing it – but I love the ending of ‘This Family Life’. Endings came be very different, and have very different impacts on the rest of the book. You can have a dramatic ending, a funny ending, a sad one, a happy one, but what I think is important is that the ending fits in perfectly with the rest of the book, and I think the ending I chose did that.
I suppose the thing about my ‘This Life’ books (This Twentysomething Life, This Thirtysomething Life, and This Family Life) is that they’re snippets of life. There isn’t an ending because you know that after you’ve stopped reading that life goes on – just like real life. So I had to find an ending that fit in with this idea and what I wanted to leave you with was a feeling. A feeling of happiness that the characters had been through a difficult, funny, heartwarming, and incredible year, but that it was obvious that a lot more was still to come. The ending is hopefully funny sweet, and like the rest of the book, a moment that other parents will be able to relate to. As I said, I can’t reveal the ending, so I’ve chosen an excerpt to include from another part of the book. In this short excerpt Harry learns that his wife is going away for the night and leaving him alone with their baby for the first time – a truly terrifying thing for any new parent!
Sunday 3 February 7.30 p.m.
William asleep. Watching TV with Emily. Starving and busting for a cigarette.
Tonight Emily announced she’s going away next weekend with Stella from Kingston-upon-Thames. They’re going to a spa in Oxford which means I have William by myself for the whole weekend. Emily tried to make it seem not so bad by telling me that technically, it’s just one night, but I’m terrified because it’s the first time I’ll be alone with him overnight. Already the cogs of panic are beginning to turn and crank out their irrational nuggets of fear. It doesn’t matter that they’re only an hour away or that Emily will have her phone, and the iPad, and I have the number for the spa, because what if something goes wrong? What if he needs something I can’t or don’t know how to provide? What if he starts crying and doesn’t stop? It sounds crazy, but sometimes William scares the living crap out of me.
Things that might happen during your first year of parenthood:
1. You’ll get covered in a ‘nuclear’ poo.
2. You’ll be convinced your son is talking with a Japanese accent.
3. You’ll worry that when your son waves, it looks like a Nazi salute.
Of course, this might just be Harry Spencer.
Taking up where This Thirtysomething Life left off, Harry Spencer and is wife Emily are back and trying to survive their first year of parenthood. It has its ups and downs (and a few bits in the middle), but along the way they begin to understand the true meaning of family and what it takes to be a parent.
Featuring a hilarious cast of extras including Harry’s father-in-law Derek, who has a unique problem with Scotch, Steve and Fiona, the parents from children’s entertainment hell, and a yoga instructor with a prominent camel-toe, This Family Life is the ultimate comedy for anyone who is a parent, has a parent, or is thinking about becoming one.
THANK YOU JON – Will definitely be taking a look at this as it all sounds very familiar! This Family Life is currently available on Amazon for just 99p.