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.
Would you be able to tell us a bit more about ‘Dan And Nat Got Married’?
Hello! Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I’m so excited to be here and to talk about my new novel. Dan And Nat Got Married, is a romantic comedy novel set in London. It’s about two people, Dan, 34, an online marketing manager from Clapham, and Nat, 32, an office temp who lives at home with her parents in Dorking, who wake up in Las Vegas married. They’re both there on separate stag and hen weekends, and after a heavy night out drinking, they wake up with no memory of what happened, but both wearing wedding rings. They return to England, and for different reasons, they decide to give their marriage a go. Nat moves in with Dan and we follow them as they attempt to be married. Of course, when old loves and new problems arise, it tests them and we see if it’s really possible for two relative strangers to make marriage work. Dan And Nat Got Married, is a funny, full of heart modern love story about marriage, relationships, and giving love a second chance.
How did you come up with Dan and Nat’s story?
This is my fifth novel - I know, I can’t believe it either - and before I started it I knew I wanted to write a proper romantic comedy. I love a great romantic comedy and although all of my novels do feature romance and are generally comedies, I’ve never really set out to write one. So before I started I read a lot of romantic comedy novels and watched a lot of films. I wanted to write the very best rom com I could. I knew I wanted it to be set in London and I wanted my story to be fresh, quirky, and different. So once I started I knew I wanted my characters to meet in a very different way and once I decided that two strangers would wake up married in Las Vegas, I had the idea and everything else just played off that.
The thing about the premise is that it has to be different, new, and in this case slightly outrageous, but it also has to feel real. Yes, it’s unlikely you’ll ever end up married to a stranger in Las Vegas and even more unlikely that if that did happen, you’d decide to give that marriage a go. So my biggest challenge was giving both Dan and Nat realistic reasons why they decide to be married despite not really knowing each other. I’m not going to say what they are, but I think it works. The early reviews definitely seem to approve anyway.
Out of all the books you have wrote, which would you say has been your favourite to write and why?
This one, definitely. I don’t know how other writers feel, but for me writing a book means becoming completely invested in the characters. I’m writing their story, so for me how much I enjoy the process and the outcome really comes down to which characters I enjoyed spending the time with. I’ve enjoyed all of my books, but I think for this one the characters really do shine brighter than any of my other books. There are also a lot of characters in this book I loved so much. Beyond Dan and Nat, their two best friends, Adam and Ellie were an absolute joy to write. I’ve already had one reviewer ask me if Adam and Ellie are going to have their own novel as they enjoyed them so much. For me this book was an absolute joy to write from start to finish because once I had the characters and the premise, everything else just sort of fell into place. I even loved writing the “baddie” character, Charlie, who is Nat’s ex-boyfriend because he’s basically the man we all want to be; intelligent, successful, good-looking, and sexy. I also really loved writing about London because it’s my favourite city in the world.
What inspires you when writing?
Firstly, our mortgage because we have to pay that and have a roof over our heads. My wife and children always inspire me because they support me and what I do so much. Outside of them it’s very much reading other novels, watching television and films, and being inspired by all that creativity. All of those things whether it’s a novel, TV show, or movie, all begin with people like me sitting down on a Monday morning and staring at a blank screen. I love the creative process and I love being creative and being surrounded by it really keeps me wanting to write more, be better, and more successful.
Who is your favourite author and why?
Wow that’s a big question. I have a few favourite authors. Mike Gayle, David Nicholls, Mhairi McFarlane, Lisa Jewell, Andy Jones, Matt Dunn, Nick Spalding, Nick Hornby, Christina Hopkinson, are my current, modern favourites. There’s a lot of other authors from other generations that I love too. But from the above list I would have to say David Nicholls. For me David just writes the perfect novels. I’ve enjoyed each of his books so much and they’re always so engaging and you get lost in them. But like I said, there are a lot of incredible authors out there. I just wish I had more time to read them all.
If you could collaborate with any other author, who would it be and why?
That’s a great question. I recently read, ‘The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me’, by Jimmy Rice and Laura Tait. It’s an excellent read and a wonderful book, but what makes it interesting is that Jimmy and Laura wrote alternate chapters. In Dan And Nat Got Married, you get both perspectives, but both were written by me. In, ‘The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me’, you get the male and female perspective written by a man and a woman. It’s a very unique book and it works really well. So I think I’d like to write with a woman and maybe we could do something similar. With that in mind I’d love to work with Mhairi McFarlane because she writes very high end romantic comedies with brilliant characters, unique plots, and I just love her style of writing. I think together we could create something very special!
What advice would you give aspiring authors/writers?
The best advice I can give to young or aspiring authors is just to do it and to live your life. I spent a lot of my twenties talking about writing, but not really doing it. I was, however, living my life and a lot of those experiences have appeared and inspired by books. You need experiences to have something you want to say, so get out there, live your life and maybe keep a notepad to jot some of them down. But at some point you’ll need to actually write.
Writing isn’t easy, but if you have something you want to say, a story you want to tell, then get it down. Stop making excuses and just do it. There’s no better way to learn how to write than to actually write. I’d also say, make sure you get decent feedback from other writers - there’s a few websites you can join to help with this - and also don’t be afraid. The publishing world moves quickly and no-one’s going to wait until you’re ready. You need to tackle it head on and give it your best shot. Don’t ever be afraid to toot your own horn because no-one else will - and no that isn’t a euphemism!
Thanks so much for having me. It’s been an absolute pleasure!
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.