Friday 14 October 2016

Author Interview: Q&A with Jon Rance - author of Dan and Nat Got Married

I recently had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Jon Rance's new novel, Dan and Nat Got Married.  If you didn't catch my review, you can read it here.  If you haven't picked up a Jon Rance book yet, you are missing out on an amazing experience.  Dan and Nat Got Married has the perfect mix of humour and real life drama; I can't believe this is my first Jon Rance novel, but it certainly won't be my last.  Jon has very kindly offered to answer some questions for my blog, so without further ado...

So that readers understand the reason for some of my questions, can you tell us a little bit about your new book, Dan and Nat Got Married?

Hello and thanks so much for having me on your blog today! Dan And Nat Got Married is a romantic comedy that asks the question - can marriage between two relative strangers work?

It’s the story of two people, Dan Fox, 34, and Nat Howard, 32, who wake up after a very messy drunken night in Las Vegas married. Dan was jilted at the altar two years before and Nat is living back at home with her parents after her perfect boyfriend dumped her and she had to move out of his bespoke flat in Putney. Both of them have a lot of emotional baggage, but decide that giving their marriage a shot might be the cure for their broken hearts.

We follow Dan and Nat as they attempt to be married without really knowing anything about each other. And when Nat’s ex-boyfriend Charlie comes back into her life, she must decide between following her heart with Dan or reliving the past with Charlie. 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.

It’s my attempt at writing the perfect British romantic comedy.

Dan feels like he is living The Hangover film in your book. What was the inspiration for Dan and Nat Got Married?

The inspiration came about because I was trying to find a unique way my two characters could meet. I got married to my wife in Las Vegas - I must add that my marriage was planned and we definitely knew each other - but I thought it would be a good starting point for a romantic comedy. Next I had to figure out what would make two people, who barely know each other, give their marriage a go. The answer quickly became obvious - because they’re both looking for love and have been hurt so badly that they’re willing to stake everything on this because they already did it the “proper” way and it didn’t work out. I was also inspired in part by my own story of meeting my wife. We met travelling in Sydney and fell in love and decided to get married within months of meeting each other. It made me realise that there are no right or wrong ways to meet and fall in love.

What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done when drunk (or even sober)?

Oh God where do I start! I have many drunken stories that are very embarrassing, but I think I’ll go back to sixth form college for my most embarrassing sober story. There was a girl - isn’t there always - who I really liked. She was gorgeous, probably about a million miles out of my league. I didn’t really know her because she was in a different class. I was obsessed by her, but completely out of my depth. Luckily - or unluckily, I’ll let you be the judge - a good friend convinced me that I should ask her out. It couldn’t be worse than loving her from afar, surely? And maybe - he convinced me again - she might say yes. He was obviously far more confident about this than me. So one day I walked up to her in the middle of class and asked her out. I was red, sweaty, and could barely speak a word of English, but I somehow managed to squeeze the words out. Horribly, painfully, and very embarrassingly, but I did it. She very kindly said she’d let me know. She didn’t.

You can never have too many rom-coms, in my opinion, so if Dan and Nat Got Married was made into a film, who would you cast in the starring roles?

Totally agree, I love a good rom com and for my dream cast I’m going to go British! For the roles of Dan and Nat, I would go with Domhnall Gleeson, as he was superb in the Richard Curtis film, ‘About Time’. For Nat I would go with Carey Mulligan because I think she’s such a brilliant actor. My two other favourite characters in the book are Dan and Nat’s best friends, Adam and Ellie - who rather steal the limelight in most of the book. For Adam, I would have to go with James Corden. He’s such a funny man and a very underrated actor. For Ellie, I would go for the comedian, Aisling Bea, who has that perfect mixture of beauty and humour. I think this would make an amazing romantic comedy film by the way! If only we could get Richard Curtis interested!

If you were going on holiday and could only take 3 books, which books would you take?

Blimey! That’s a hard one. Definitely ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls because it’s one of my favourite books ever. Nick Hornby’s, ‘High Fidelity’, because it was the book that inspired me to be a writer and lastly, the complete ‘Adrian Mole Diaries’ because they’re just the funniest books ever!

When you aren't writing, what do you enjoy doing?

Putting aside things like reading and watching TV because they’re all related to my work in some way, my biggest love is travelling. I met my wife travelling in Australia and now we have two kids we still love to travel as much as we can. We went to Mexico this year and it was incredible!

What are your writing routines?

I’m not sure I have many routines other than lots of tea! I always go over the work from the previous day before I start writing and I always try and finish a first draft as quickly as I can. I believe first drafts are all about getting the words on the page and that’s it. I generally try and write from about 8am until about 12pm. I find any more than four or five hours a day and the quality drops. I spend a lot of the time between thinking and making notes. I make a lot of notes - thank goodness for the notes app on my phone!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you started writing?

I was born in Southampton and went to university in London to study English Literature. After university and a few years getting “life experience” I went travelling, which is where I met my American wife. I now live in California and have two kids. I’ve always been a writer. When I was younger it was cartoons and short stories, but I always knew I wanted to write. I wrote two unpublished novels before my third novel, ‘This Thirtysomething Life’, got me a two book publishing deal with Hodder and Stoughton.

Dan and Nat Got Married is your fifth romantic comedy novel. What inspired you to write in the romantic comedy genre?

I think as writers we tend to write what we read and what we love. I love comedy and I love romance so it just seemed natural to me to write that. I’d also be horrible at writing crime thrillers or science fiction!

Can you give us a sneaky hint of what you are working on next?

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. 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. Thanks so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Thanks so much for answering my questions, Jon!  I think you have written the perfect British comedy and Richard Curtis should definitely snap this one up!

The British romantic comedy you need to read this year.

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 is the author of four novels: the Kindle top ten bestseller, This Thirtysomething Life, Happy Endings (both published by Hodder and Stoughton), This Family Life and Sunday Dinners. He's also the author of the short story prequel, This Twentysomething Life and the Christmas novella, A Notting Hill Christmas. His fifth novel, Dan And Nat Got Married, will be out this October!

Jon studied English Literature at Middlesex University, London, before going travelling and meeting his American wife in Australia. Jon loves comedy (especially sitcoms), 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 fiction similar to the work of Mike Gayle, Matt Dunn, Nick Spalding and David Nicholls.

Please visit his website:

Follow him on Twitter: @JRance75

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