Author Jon Rance has invited me to host his blog tour this month, which I was more than happy to do as I am currently enjoying his latest, brilliant novel, This Family Life. The book is a hilarious and heart warning sequel to the Amazon top ten best selling book ‘This Thirtysomething Life’.
Firstly a HUGE thank you to Heather for hosting what is the thirteenth stop on my ‘This Family Life’ Blog Tour. I can’t believe this is stop thirteen, only four more left. Blimey! If you missed the last blog you can see it here http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/
OK so let’s get cracking. There are lots of subplots in the book that I really enjoyed writing and one of them is the pub quiz. Like most of the book this idea was born out of my own experiences of pub quizzes. It also gave me the chance to give the main character Harry some bloke time with his friend Steve, and new neighbour Mark. I was thinking up ways to get these three together (I can’t divulge why without spoilers), and the idea of the pub quiz just popped into my head and I’m so glad it did.
The pub quiz not only gave me the chance to get the boys together, which definitely helped along the plot, but also gave me the chance to add lots of comedy. I’ve said this before in a few other blogs, but comedy is always about creating scenes where humour can flourish, and the pub quiz is definitely one. As soon as I started writing the pub quiz scenes, I immediately knew that pub quiz team names could play a part in the comedy, and that’s where the idea for the Harry Potter team came from. I loved the idea of Harry, Steve, and Mark, or team ‘Beers for Fears’ having a rival team that come dressed up as characters from Harry Potter. It definitely adds some great comedy moments.
One of the things I love about writing comedy is the room it gives me to be a bit silly. Being an author of comedy drama, a lot of time I’m focusing on character development, plotline, dramatic scenes, and trying to squeeze in some humour too, but occasionally I just get to be silly and the pub quiz scenes gave me that chance. It’s lovely to sit down to work and the only thing on my mind is, ‘Right, let’s write something really bloody funny and a bit silly.’ Below is an excerpt from the first pub quiz scene.
Off to the pub. William asleep. Emily looking a bit frazzled. I gave her a kiss on the cheek, pulled a Cornflake from her hair and she plodded upstairs to bed. I’m off to drink as many beers as I can while answering general knowledge questions with Steve and Mark – or as we’re known on the pub quiz circuit, Beers for Fears.
In the kitchen. Emily and William asleep (phew). Eating crisps and drinking a beer.
Quiz night went far better than I’d imagined. It was a bit stuffy at first, but soon Beers for Fears united in our competitiveness and mutual hatred of team Quizzitch (a group of four IT nerds who actually came dressed as characters from Harry Potter).
We got there and managed to nab the last table and then the quiz began. It took us a while to get into our stride, but once we delegated areas of expertise we were flying.
Steve took Entertainment, encompassing music, musicals, film & TV, and celebrity trivia. Mark took Sports and Geography, while I took History and Literature.
‘What character did Una Stubbs play in Worzel Gummidge?’ said Brian – the portly and pissed pub quiz host. Brian had obviously confused pub quiz night for pub pissed night.
‘Aunt Sally,’ whispered Steve and I jotted it down.
‘In which Shakespeare play did the character Puck appear?’
Mark and Steve looked at me. I wasn’t completely sure, but I went with my gut.
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ I said.
It was during the early rounds that we first noticed team Quizzitch. Every time they knew an answer they would all shout out phrases from Harry Potter like, ‘Furnunculus!’ or ‘Muffliato!’ Then they started getting personal, and looking at other teams and saying things like, ‘Must be Mudbloods,’ and then they would all laugh. We were sitting next to team Let’s Get Quizzical and we were both tired of Quizzitch before the half-time sausage rolls.
‘What’s up with them?’ said Mark.
‘Seems like they have a case of the Potters,’ said Steve.
‘I’d like to shove a Muggle right up their Hogwarts,’ I said and Mark and Steve laughed and we vowed, along with our allies Let’s Get Quizzical that we had to beat them. Unfortunately, Quizzitch won the quiz with an impressive forty-seven out of fifty and we came in third with forty-four. Team Quizimodo came in second with forty-five.
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.
This Family Life is available for just 99p on Amazon HERE
Thanks to Jon for stopping by 🙂