Come on down ….. Jon Rance

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

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.


Photo on 19-02-2014 at 11.26 #5I’m overjoyed to share with you that this writing malarkey finally presented me with a serious retail challenge. My agent called to tell me that a publisher was interested in meeting me. And not just any old publisher at that, a biggie. See if you can guess which one from my cryptic clue. Antarctic bird lives in pink igloo! Read on to see if you’re right.

My immediate reaction was yippee – at last an excuse to buy something to wear, given my life as a mum/writer has depressingly little requirement for purchasing clothes to impress. Such was my excitement I drove straight past my adjacent city and headed a good forty minutes further to an even bigger city and trawled the shops whilst trendy young sales assistants sneered at my audacity to enter their establishments in an …anorak!

New outfit, handbag and crucially a new notebook purchased, I felt prepared to face the big guns in London. Requesting last minute advice from my son at school drop off on the way to the station, he advised four forward rolls followed by a bit of ‘Strictly’. Now I was knew I was armed and quite possibly dangerous.

On arrival at Penguin Random House (did you get it?) I struggled to suppress my excitement at the sight of a large bronze plaque on the building which had the words Random House on it. In totally over excited mode, I found this hysterically funny that we were visiting … a random house! I considered sharing this hilarity with my agent but she already had her serious face on so I decided I should pull myself together.

Sadly the room we had our meeting in was far too small for forward rolls and so I sat down politely, got out my new red notebook (Random House colours. Do you see what I did there?) and declined biscuits. I know! How professional can you get? And they were chocolate chip.

An hour or so later I left completely drained. The other members of the meeting bore the brunt of the fact that I spend most of my days in solitary confinement shouting the occasional swear word at my computer. The opportunity for prolonged adult conversation left me with a severe case of verbal diarrhoea as I explained my publishing journey in minute detail.

However I’m glad to say there must have been some glimmers of intelligence that shone through as not long afterwards they offered me a four-book deal, which I couldn’t be more excited about.

So I’m just left with thinking that I maybe could have got away with having a biscuit after all!

Cosmo Radio – The glamorous life of a writer continues…

I previously wrote about the glamorous stuff I did the day NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY became a best seller on Amazon including an overly energetic carvery lunch and Froot Loops for breakfast.  Well the rollercoaster has continued and recently peaked at being interviewed by Cosmopolitan Radio in America! Conveniently we happened to be in Florida at the time and I agreed to do the interview whilst visiting Legoland as an old mate of mine runs it and said I could use his office. Here’s how it all went. ..

Arrive at Legoland Florida to be greeted by Ade who I used to work with at Alton Towers. “Eh up you,” he says.  Ade’s from Stoke. There are sign posts to Stoke in the park. He loves Stoke but lives in Florida – go figure? He acts all posh in front of my kids and gives them a couple of mini-figures. They think he is God. One day I will tell them about the time on night out in Manchester I watched him on stage getting chatted up by a very glamorous transvestite…and he was wearing an anorak…the shame of it…an anorak I ask you.

Decide to do self-drive boat ride with my son before interview thinking I had plenty of time.  Son refused to listen to any advice, over steering dramatically leading us to be going the wrong way, very slowly. Smug husband who did it in double quick time starts pointing frantically at watch as we spin in circles. I am about to miss a radio interview with Cosmopolitan due to being stranded on a Lego boat.

Eventually we land and I run in 90 degree heat to where Ade has organised for someone to show me to his office. Literally dripping I gasp the ladies name and collapse with 10 mins to spare pre-interview. When she doesn’t appear I’m forced into a celebrity hissy fit and demand to be taken to the Manager’s office so that I CAN DO MY RADIO INTERVIEW!!!

With seconds to spare and still dripping I’m sat staring at the phone willing the station  to ring to show I haven’t made some massive cock-up and given them the wrong number. There are a row of clocks showing different time zones including Stoke time on the wall, a Stoke City football made out of Lego and a framed montage of the making of the Princess Diana wax work for Madame Tussauds where Ade also used to work. I’m staring at her head in wax. Not great stimulus for a lively, upbeat interview!

Ten minutes later and no call. Now convinced I have cocked- up and my career is over because I messed up an area code.

Phone rings, a man says hello and then I’m on air….within seconds…no asking if I’m ready or not…just straight in and we are off!

Something quite liberating about being on the radio when you think no-one you know is listening. I was asked if I have sex on Tuesdays to which I replied, “Don’t be ridiculous, I have two small children. There’s a small possibility if Christmas is on a Tuesday.” Not the answer I might have given on Radio Derby whilst my mum is listening.  The interviewer was brilliant and thought my ‘Briticisms’ were hilarious. On explaining that the title comes from a ‘chat-up’ line in the book he went into fits as he had never heard that phrase.  There was a tricky couple of moments however when I was banging on about how everyone loves Daniel in my book who is a gay character and I was concerned that the interviewer might be gay and I might offend him in some way by bigging up Daniel so I threw in my story about the book being partly inspired by a woman at our antenatal class declaring to us all that she wasn’t a lesbian despite being there with a female  birthing partner and then I got worried about saying that because he might think that I think it’s not okay to be gay and so I just blathered on in the hope I hadn’t just got myself into something I shouldn’t be in…..blah, blah blah…

At the end of the interview he invited me back any time I was in the States so I hope that means during the interview that at any point no -offence was taken??

…after he said that however I blurted out a classic…can I just mention before I go…and proceed to say how fantastic Legoland Florida is because if I didn’t say that my mate Ade would kill me….maybe won’t be welcomed back again!!


ImageI am very happy to announce (after much debate over shades of green and purple!) that my new novel, SINGLE WOMAN SEEKS REVENGE, is now available to pre-order as an ebook with the  paperback soon to follow.

Here’s what you’re in for:

What do  you do when you find your love-life in ruins? Get revenge on every man who ever broke your heart of course….

Suzie Miller, a disillusioned agony aunt,  can’t believe she’s got dumped from a great height yet again (this time by text, straight after they’ve had sex… twice!). So she decides the time is right to make every one of her exes feel the pain she felt when they carelessly cast her aside.

 Her methods are unusual but humiliation on a grand scale is no less than they deserve.

Euphoric that she’s finally stood up for herself she starts suggesting outrageous ways for her readers to deal with their relationship nightmares too. Suddenly everyone wants Suzie’s advice. Finally content with being single and enjoying her blossoming career it seems as though happiness is within her grasp. That is until a man gets in the way.

SINGLE WOMAN SEEKS REVENGE is a romantic comedy with a kick:  a kick up the backside to any man who believes he got away with treating a woman badly and to any woman who doesn’t fight back.


If that sounds up your street click here to pre-order your ebook and you will receive your copy on July 19th.




My First Day as an Amazon Best Selling Author

I’m very excited to tell you that overnight (sort of) NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY has become a best seller! I thought you might like to hear about what happens the first day you become a best selling writer so here we go.

Daughter climbed in bed at 2am waking me up. Couldn’t resist a quick check of my Amazon rankings. #6!!! Spent next hour gazing at best seller screen on Kindle.
Woke at 6am. Looked again at rankings. #4!! Sent text to husband who is away with work. He called immediately waking daughter and son up. A bit cross with him!!
Spoke to husband who was on speaker phone whilst he shaved. First time he has ever multi-tasked. This is turning out to be an amazing day.
Show son Best Seller screen on Amazon. He asked when am I going to get ahead of that ‘David Brown’ and said he prefers the cover of the ‘Bolero’ book to mine.
Have Froot Loops in celebration for breakfast rather than Special K. Success is already no good for my diet!
Still only 7.30am so pace the house waiting to be able to call someone…..anyone!
Build some Lego for sons Harry Potter assault course. One of Harry’s challenges is now to do Karaoke with daughters Lego Friends.
Mop the kitchen floor.
Speak to agent just after 9. Unable to with-hold emotion. Have a little cry.
Finally get mother on the phone. She is openly proud. That’s a first.
Strip the beds and put sheets in the wash (it’s a good drying day) whilst children pretend to be slugs in the empty duvet covers.
Console wailing children who have banged heads whilst pretending to be slugs in empty duvet covers.
Tell kids we’ll go out for a celebratory lunch. They choose to go to a Carvery! (they are so eighties retro)
Eat too much roast beef. Feel a bit sick.
Play tag in the pub garden. Feel really sick.
Go to visit the in-laws so they can play tag and I can sit down.
Iron ten thousand white shirts in preparation for kids going back to school the next day. Kids watch TV for too long but it’s Horrible Histories so I’m educating them.
Inevitable shouting match at bedtime as we are all tired and irritable but eventually kids settle down.
Do 30 mins on the exercise bike. Success is good for my diet.
Drink half a bottle of wine to toast my success.
Send texts to anyone who knows me….some replied….some told me to just calm down!!

So there you have it. A day in the life of a best selling author!
This blog-post is dedicated to everyone who has supported me in the lead up to my best selling status. You will not be forgotten despite how obviously glamorous my life has just become.


I named my novel after a chat-up line that Ben, one of the lead characters, uses to convince Katy to go on a first date with him. When she expresses concern that his intentions may not be entirely honourable he tells her they should go out on a Tuesday because “No-one ever has sex on a Tuesday.”
As part of my book launch I decided I’d check out if there is any truth in Ben’s theory and so with the help of Mustard Research based in Manchester we ran an online poll asking participants which day of the week they are most likely to have sex. Turns out Ben is a bit of a genius as Tuesday was indeed the least popular day for some bedroom action with just 2% of the participants picking this day.
But why is this? Ben has some theories of his own that he is more than happy to share with Katy but I wondered why the great British public were so anti-Tuesday.
Turns out we’re all just too sober! The top response at 22% said that either themselves or their partners were just too sober for sex on a Tuesday. Not that far behind at 17% was that it was a good night on the telly that was distracting them from the allure of their partners! And for women the 3rd highest answer was “too busy with jobs”. Funnily enough this answer was well down the list for men!


So last week I head down to London to be interviewed on Radio Gorgeous! Josephine and Donna were certainly up for a laugh as we discussed one-night stands as one is a key part of the plot in NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY. We had a really good laugh but I was relieved I had to hand the story of a ‘friends’ one night stand when they asked me about my own experience.  You can still hear me squirming a bit though!! You can listen to the broadcast by logging onto


Picture the scene – my first taste of success as a writer. I’m sitting in a fancy restaurant – by which I mean there isn’t a chicken nugget in sight. My publisher sits at the head of the table. A grand dame of the industry weighed down by precious metals and with hair that has definitely not been blow dried by herself. I glow with pride as I sign a copy of my book despite the fact I can’t read a word of it. Here I am celebrating seeing my novel in print for the very first time in … Milan, Italy. I’ve spent all day trailing bookshops, taking pictures of my book, trying to convince shop owners that I am the author and not some eccentric English lady who can’t speak Italian yet convinced she’s written an entire book in their language. This is not how I expected things to be.

I guess it’s fitting that I didn’t begin writing in my native England. Marriage, a baby and a husband sent to work in the USA for three years slung me out of my previous career developing theme park rides and attractions, and potentially into desperate housewife territory. As I gazed around the leafy suburbs of Connecticut I remembered I’d once had a dream to write a book. And so I did. Armed with ideas and a very British sense of humour I joined a creative writing class and NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY began to take shape. The tale of childhood sweethearts having a one-night stand when they meet years later at a school reunion seemed to strike a chord. When two classmates had a row about whether my lead character should stick with her younger boyfriend or rekindle her teenage romance having discovered that either men could be the father of her baby, I knew I had something.

Eventually it was finished and I skipped class to sweat over letters to potential agents in London. Not that I thought I’d get one, I just fancied getting some transatlantic mail.  As it turned out one wanted me and my book. Champagne corks popped.  It was a dream come true. I didn’t realise that dreams rarely materialise in the way you imagine them.

My agent (I will never get used to saying that) took my book to Frankfurt Book Fair and I waited impatiently to hear when I would be able to buy it in Waterstones. Then the news came that it had sold to the highest bidder in a German auction and a pre-empted bid had secured it a home in Italy. Not long afterwards Brazil grabbed hold of it followed by Poland. Initially I was crushed that I wouldn’t be seeing my book on home territory until the reality of being published abroad sank in. Someone in Brazil, a country I had never even visited, thought I was funny, thought I could write and wanted other Brazilians to read my story.  That, I decided, was pretty cool.

One edition after another, my book appeared in print in languages I couldn’t read with covers so diverse it was hard to reconcile it as the same book. It was as though I had given my book up for adoption and it was having this whole fantastic life without me that I was unable to participate in.

Until this year.  The massive changes driving uncertainty in the publishing industry had been blamed for my book not finding a home in the UK. However as a new era in publishing emerges, those changes have provided the opportunity for me to finally get published here.  With the support of my agent who also represents Sophie Kinsella and has helped Kate Harrison achieve massive self- publishing success with her 5:2 Diet Book, my novel is now available in English on Amazon.  Finally I can tell people to go and read my tale of a one-night stand that leads to utter chaos. Best of all  I can understand the reviews and comments for NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY without having to resort to Google Translate!