Jon Rance is the author of Happy Endings and This Thirtysomething Life.
Today, Jon talks about the book that has had the most impact on him..
There have been quite a few books that have influenced me over the years from the brilliant Catcher in the Rye as a teenager, to Mike Gayle’s Turning Thirty, but today I’m going to talk about One Day by David Nicholls.
For those who haven’t read it (which is probably no-one), it’s a heartbreaking, funny, poignant, and romantic book following two people (Dex and Em) over twenty years on the same day each year.
The reason this book had such a huge impact on me is because it wasn’t just wonderfully written, the characters weren’t just incredibly well thought out and the plot wasn’t just gripping, but above all that it had this perfect and novel idea at the heart of it. Two people. Twenty years. One day.
You see the thing is, whenever you talk to an agent or a publisher, they will all tell you the same thing. They want a fresh, original, and unique idea. Having spent years thinking up ideas for books, I can tell you now how difficult it is to think up a new and fresh idea. It’s almost impossible. And yet, One Day, is a fresh, new concept and as you read it, you can feel it.
My first thought when I finished the book was, why didn’t I think of that? My my second was, I wish I’d written that. You see, it’s such a simple idea, but a brilliant one. It changed me, and even now as I’m thinking up new ideas, every new idea is met with the same thought…is it as good an idea as One Day?