Today Jon Rance is here to tell us all about his new book About Us! About Us is OUT NOW and it’s a brilliant read!
Hello! I’m very excited to be here as part of my blog tour for, About Us. Thanks so much for having me. So, About Us, what’s the deal? This is my sixth novel, which still takes me by surprise every time I say it out loud. Six books! I think all of my novels in some way have been a combination of comedy and drama. It’s what I like to read, watch on television, and it’s what happens when I sit down to write. Novels like, One Day by David Nicholls, The Pile Of Stuff At The Bottom Of The Stairs by Christina Hopkinson, the Adrian Mole Diaries by Sue Townsend, or Turning Thirty by Mike Gayle, they all have that magic ingredient; the perfect mix of humour and heartbreak. All of the best comedy has it. Even television shows like, The Office, despite being so funny, has pathos. You need that to make it real, relatable, and in turn memorable.
For me, trying to find that balance is an ongoing struggle. My last novel, Dan And Nat Got Married, definitely had a bit of a both but was more comedy than drama. About Us, is more drama than comedy, but they’re both still there. For me, About Us, is nearer to One Day and the TV show, Cold Feet. I think what you’ll find when you read the book – at least what I hope you’ll find – is a very real book that feels familiar. I think that’s something else that all great books and shows have, they feel somehow original and familiar. Take The Office as an example. I worked for years in different offices, so to me it felt so recognisable, but I think even if you hadn’t ever worked in an office, you’d still be able to relate to the characters and the situation.
About Us, is about a woman going through a midlife crisis. Her children are growing up and starting to feel like strangers, her marriage is crumbling, her mother is dying, and she’s trying to juggle everything and keep it together. And then she meets a new man who makes her feel alive again. This obviously isn’t my life and it probably isn’t yours, but one of the themes of the early reviews has been, “this is about us”. I think despite the storyline, the characters will feel familiar and some of the issues and problems will resonate with you on some level. It’s one of the things I was trying to achieve and maybe it’s why I ended up calling it, about Us.