Guest Post! Jon Rance – Author of This Family Life


I am absolutely delighted to have Jon as a guest on my blog once again! Jon and I became friends through social media and thanks to our common love of writing. Take it from me his books are hilarious, heart warming and well worth checking out!!


Hello Lisa J Hobman fans and a big thank you to Lisa for having me on her blog. This is stop number seven on the blog tour for my new book ‘This Family Life’. If you missed the last one you can find it here


So let’s get cracking, shall we? In every blog on the tour I’m going to be discussing a different topic and today it’s the title. Why is it called ‘This family Life’? The first book in this series, ‘This Thirtysomething Life’ was called that because it was about tackling that tricky stage of life called the early thirties. It was about the main character of Harry trying to get to grips with growing up, but in this book he’s a new dad, and so the title felt fitting. This book is all about family. It’s about Harry, his wife Emily, and their new baby boy William. It’s also about the extended family, and as any parent will tell you, once you have a baby you just can’t keep the grandparents away. This book is a celebration of family in all its glory.


With this book I really wanted to explore the relationship between Harry and his parents. In the first book they were really very minor characters, but characters I really enjoyed writing, and so when I decided to write this book I knew I wanted them to have a much bigger role. Harry has an interesting relationship with his parents, and with the introduction of baby William I wanted it to evolve and change because I think babies do that. Babies sort of melt grandparents and Harry starts seeing his parents and especially his dad in a new light. It brings them a lot closer, but then a tragedy changes everything and the resulting fall-out helps Harry and his father bond in a way they never did before.


This Family Life’ really is a book for every member of the family. It delves into the roles we all play in the family, and the scenes I wrote with Harry and his father-in-law Derek are some of my favourite and I think funniest. Being a father myself it definitely changes the family dynamic and I used my own experiences to shape the book, and I hope when you read it you’ll see bits of your own family in there, the good bits, the annoying bits, the uplifting, sad, tragic, and wonderful bits that make family so important. Below is an extract from the book and it’s a scene that I think most parents can probably identify with. This is what happens when you have children whether you like it or not.



Friday 25 January 6.30 p.m.


Something’s happened in the car. Pre-William, I would listen to CDs of my favourite Britpop classics. I’d sometimes rock-out to Pearl Jam or chill-out with Travis. However, post-William, the only thing we seem to get in the car is kid’s music. Emily says it’s important for his development, which is fair enough, but today I drove all the way to work listening to The Wiggles without even realising it. It wasn’t until I found myself humming Fruit Salad during morning assembly that I realised.

I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of ‘those parents’, but the other day I was singing If You’re Happy And You Know It, clapping my hands and waving them in the air, and when I turned around, William wasn’t even in the car – and I was spotted by a group of kids from school. Something has to change otherwise I’m going to wake up at forty wearing sandals, dungarees (in a non-ironic way), taking my kids to something called ‘modern dance’, and thinking it’s OK to drive a people carrier because they’re actually brilliant and the extra space is a blessing when you think about it.




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.






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