I never expected I would write a book about dying. I write romantic comedies for goodness sake! And I knew I couldn’t possibly write a book that didn’t have humour at the heart of it and where are the laughs in someone dying!!!? But then life happens. Shit happens in fact and I suddenly found myself writing this book. Not because I intended to get it published or even finish it. I started writing it to mainly deal with the shit that was happening and then it took on a life of it’s own and here we are…a finished published book….how did that happen?
Well it’s all down to a very special person you see. A very close friend who I met in my twenties. We shared so many epic times and then the shit happened. She got cancer. And then she got the all clear. And then she got it again. And then she died. My friend was a success story up until then. She was smart and funny, held high office in her career and had a wonderful husband and son. And then she got ill and during that time we had a conversation that I found remarkable. She told me that despite knowing her days were numbered that she felt under pressure to live in a certain way. To have a bucket list or see the wonders of the world or even run a marathon and raise loads of money for charity to ensure she left some kind of ‘legacy’. I was shocked that someone in this position could feel a pressure to conform when surely it is the time when all rules should be kicked thoroughly up the backside.
And so the idea for THE LAST LAUGH emerged. The story of a woman who is running out of time and decides to spend the remainder of her life in her very own unique way by attempting to re-live the time when she was happiest – 1996!
It is of course no co-incidence that me and my friend had the time of our lives in the nineties and maybe sub-consciously, through writing this book, I have in some part managed to re-live those happy, happy times to try and dispel the sorrow that there will be no more to come.
Did it help? Yes it did.
I have not written my friends story. I wouldn’t and couldn’t do that. That is hers and not mine. Jenny in my novel is a completely different person with a very different journey. But through writing this book I have found the laughs that not only lift our lives but are essential in coping with the inevitable. I’m hoping that people find much to laugh about in reading this book. Many reviewers have already said that it made them laugh and cry. Which is perfect. There were many tears of course with my friend but there was always much laughter too. And that is exactly how I wish to remember her. With the odd tear but plenty of laughs.
(c) Tracy Bloom
You can follow Tracy on Twitter at @TracyBBloom, like her Facebook page on www.facebook.com/tracybloomwrites or get in touch via her website at www.tracybloom.com
‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’
‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’
Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair…
Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.
And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.
Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?
From No. 1 bestseller Tracy Bloom, The Last Laugh is both hilarious and heartbreaking, a book about how to find happiness and live your life as though every day is your last. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and The Kicking the Bucket List.
Order your copy online here.
A percentage of the profits from The Last Laugh are being donated to Sue Ryder, who provide fantastic hospice and neurological care for people facing frightening, life-changing diagnosis.