Today I am delighted to be the next stop on Steven Scaffardi’s #LadLitBlogTour.
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your books please?
Hi Kerry, I certainly can, and thank you for having me on your blog by the way. I’m a fairly standard thirty-something bloke (38 in case you really want to know – thirty-something just sounds a lot better than two years off 40!); a husband, father and ex-journalist. Oh and I used to do a bit of stand-up comedy as well.
I’ve written two books – both part of the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series, which has often been called lad lit or chick lit for men. To be honest, as long as people laugh at my books, you can call it whatever you like!
The Drought was my first novel, chronicling the trials and tribulations of Dan Hilles as he attempts to re-enter the dating game after breaking up with his girlfriend of three years. The title of the book is a bit of a clue to how things turn out for poor Dan as he struggles to adjust back into the life of a single man.
The second novel is a follow-up to The Drought called The Flood. This time Dan finds himself with the opposite problem – having to juggle multiple women all at once after making a drunken bet with his friends that he could date four girls all at the same time. It doesn’t quite go according to plan for poor old Dan.
If I was to try and explain to someone what my books are like I would say The Inbetweeners meets Bridget Jones.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Sometimes I take personal experiences or those told to me by friends and exaggerate them for comedy value. Sometimes I unfortunately don’t have to exaggerate those experiences because my group of friends and I seem to have got ourselves into some fairly ridiculous scrapes over the years, although those days are all over now of course. We’re responsible adults now. Most of the time.
Other ideas just pop into my head at random times. I could be sitting on the train or out jogging and I’ll just see something or think of something and my mind takes over. I also find listening to music helps as different songs will remind me of certain things. I often create a playlist for the book I’m writing in the same way a movie has a soundtrack. I find that can really help fire up the one or two creative brain cells I have.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Yes, they are. The four main characters are based on friends or combinations of friends, although they have taken on a life of their own now. It helped at the start to base them on people I knew because I would immediately know how they would react in certain situations.
Maybe that’s why I’m so fond of the four main characters, because I know them so well, and they’re the main reason I wrote a follow-up and decided to create a series. I never set out to write a series but I love these characters so much that I just wanted to write about adventures about them.
How do you pick your character’s names?
I go through the same process a parent goes through when trying to name their unborn child. I just keep throwing names out there until one sticks.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I tend to cram it in where I can! My day job keeps me very busy and I have to travel around the world quite a lot, so I tend to take advantage of any long flights I might have to get lots of writing done. Other than that it’s maybe a couple of hours in the evening or on the weekends, although the arrival of my daughter 11 months ago has somewhat thrown a spanner in the works, because when the choice is between seeing that little smile and tapping away at the keypad, she has already got her daddy wrapped around her little finger.
Do you have a favourite author?
That’s a tough one. I’m a fan of other lad lit authors like Nick Hornby, Danny Wallace, Mike Gayle and Nick Spalding. I would pretty much pick up anything written by Ben Mezrich or Jeff Abbott, but right now I have a book crush on the anonymous author of The Bourbon Kid series. I love Quentin Tarantino films and this author is pretty much the Tarantino of the literary world. If you like that sort of thing, then go pick up a copy of The Book With No Name. You won’t be disappointed.
Were you a big reader as a child?
I wasn’t really, unless you count the Beano which I read religiously! I was too interested in going outside and playing. The funny thing is I loved to write stories as a kid. I remember when I was about seven I wrote a short story in class called The Time Machine with my own illustrations. My teacher thought it was so good she got the local library to put it in the children’s section. But it wasn’t until my late teens that I really discovered a love for reading and since then nothing has really changed.
When did you start to write?
As I mentioned, I enjoyed writing at school. Eventually I ended up studying journalism at university and I worked as a journalist for three years. But the writing bug never left me and like a lot of people, I always thought I had that one book inside me.
Five years ago that book came out of me, not literally, obviously, like a baby. That would be weird. But after always ‘thinking’ about it, I finally got around to just bloody ‘doing’ it and after three months The Drought was born.
Brilliant, I somehow made it sound like giving birth again.
What are you working on right now?
I have just finished my second novel The Flood. It is with the proofreader as we speak and as long as everything goes to plan, the eBook will be available on April 30 and the paperback will be published on May 19. You can actually pre-order the eBook now on Amazon for just 99p!
When can we look forward to a new release?
I’d love to say that I’ll have the third instalment of the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series out by the end of the year, but that gorgeous little girl with the cutest little smile I mentioned earlier might just have a thing or two to say about that.
But the good news is I already have the outline for the third book planned. The working title is The Pact and sees the boys travel to Latvia where they bump into a number of unsavoury characters including a mafia don, a sleazy hotel boss and his strange wife, a pimp who works with two drag queens, a stripper, two corrupt cops and a henchman who calls himself Ray the Local. It’s a little bit different to the first two books, but it’s still lad lit and is (hopefully) going to be very funny.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
I normally arrange a little get together at mine the last Thursday of every month. All of my biggest fans turn up; Gary from number 32, old lad Linda, one-leg Dev, little Jimmy two-shoes, Big Babs and Tony the postman.
I’m kidding of course. Tony the postman hasn’t been over since the incident with the donkey. I told him it wasn’t my fault the donkey ended up in the shower with him, but he wouldn’t listen. Anyway, you or your good readers probably don’t want to hear about that.
Instead readers can keep in touch via my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Amazon and on Goodreads. All the usual suspects really. I try to keep myself active on social media as much as possible, but not on the new ones all the kids are using these days like Snapchat. I finally realised that I’m getting old when the younger people in my office tell me about these social media platforms I’ve never heard of before. I’d only just got the hang of blogging and then vlogging was the new thing. I can’t keep up – just email me, it’s much easier!
Sex, Love & Dating Disasters: The Drought is available to download for free at Amazon for five days between April 28 – May 2 in the Lad Lit Blog Tour Bank Holiday weekend giveaway!
Many thanks to Steven for inviting me to be a part of his #LadLitBlogTour and for answering my questions. Needless to say The Drought and The Flood are high on my TBR list!
Steven Scaffardi’s The Drought is the laugh-out-loud tale of one man’s quest to overcome the throes of a sexual drought. After the stormy break-up with his girlfriend of three years, Dan Hilles is faced with the daunting task of throwing himself back into the life of a single man. With the help of his three best pals, Dan is desperate and determined to get his leg-over with hilarious consequences!
Dan Hilles is a pretty regular kind of guy – regular job, regular bunch of mates, regular male aversion to shopping. But following his break-up with long-term girlfriend, Stacey, he finds himself single again. He’s been out of the game for a while and is a little out of practice. Soon, the very irregular and increasingly worrying issue in Dan’s life is the extended drought he finds himself suffering. And we’re not talking the climate change, scorched earth, God I’m parched variety.
You’ve got to hand it to Dan though – it certainly isn’t from a lack of trying. With stalwart mates Ollie, Jack and Rob on hand to lend their collective pearls of male wisdom and arrange the odd road trip, you’d think Dan’s days of languishing in a sexual wilderness would be numbered. You’d think…
Even best friends can’t help prevent the kind of surreal holes Dan just can’t seem to help digging himself into. And with each failed attempt, his self-esteem plummets to the point where he wonders if ‘little Dan’ will ever work again.
Good job he has Kelly, his reliable and sympathetic colleague, to confide in. As a woman, she can perhaps shed some female light on why he’s failing so miserably with the opposite sex, balancing out the testosterone-fuelled ‘advice’ from the lads. Surely Dan can’t go wrong with Kelly teaching him the various intricacies of a woman’s mind. You’d think…
Steven Scaffardi’s first novel will have every guy laughing out loud in recognition and every girl secretly worrying – is this how men really think? A new talent to watch out for on the ‘lad-lit’ scene.
“Steven Scaffardi’s first novel is absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud.”
Chick Lit Plus
“A pleasantly darker alternative to the offerings of Mike Gayle. All hail the arrival of Steven Scaffardi.”
Ortis Deley | Television & Radio Presenter
“I laughed so much I spat my tea out!”
“The Drought is like an adult Inbetweeners that will have you laughing all the way through!”
Luke Dolan | TV Producer
“WARNING – This book will make you cry… with laughter! The perfect gift for the lad in your life!”
BCF Book Review
“Witty, well-written, and pulls no punches. Scaffardi has an imaginative mind that needs to be unleashed!”
Angellica Bell | Television & Radio Presenter
One bet, four girls, eight weeks, multiple dates. What could possibly go wrong?
Following his traumatic eight month dry spell, Dan Hilles is back in the driving seat and ready to put his dating disasters behind him.
But if only it were that simple.
After a drunken afternoon in the pub, fuelled by the confidence of alcohol, Dan makes a bet with his three best pals that will complicate his love-life more than ever when he brazenly declares that he could juggle multiple women all at the same time.
With just eight weeks to prove his point, Dan is about to find out how hard it is to date a flood of women without them all finding out about each other, especially when they come in the shape of an ex-girlfriend, a stalker, the office ice queen and the one that got away.
The Flood is the hilarious follow-up to The Drought by lad lit author Steven Scaffardi, chronicling the adventures of unlucky-in-love Dan Hilles.
#LadLitSunday is a social media hashtag I created to encourage more readers to discuss, debate and celebrate great lad lit novels.
Lad Lit is a subject and genre I have written about on many occasions, and is indeed very close to my own literary heart as my comedy book series Sex, Love and Dating Disasters has often been dubbed chick lit for men, or lad lit.
The genre is awash with British talent from undisputed kings Nick Hornby and Tony Parsons, to men’s magazine favourites Danny Wallace and Mike Gayle, and best-selling self-published authors Nick Spalding and Jon Rance.
In an interview with Matt Dunn, I asked him how male writers tackle the genre differently to their female chick lit counterparts, and he said: “I think we just tell it how it is from our point of view. Or rather, how we see it. Which is kind of how it is, if you believe all that ‘perception is reality’ bollocks. Which I do, obviously.”
To me lad lit does not stop with books about relationships from a man’s point of view. Lad lit can be thrillers or crime stories with a strong male lead character, with pages full to the brim with testosterone! It’s lad humour, lad emotions, lad heroes!
Over the last few years I have met a number of really cool authors and readers on the internet on sites like Goodreads, and I honestly believe there is a place for lad lit at the top literary table. A number of total strangers who have read my books and really enjoyed them having never even heard of lad lit before testifies to that. Hopefully #LadLitSunday can help in a small way make raise the profile.
To take part in #LadLitSunday simply use the hashtag when posting a comment on your social media feeds and I will do my best to mention all of the best comments here on my blog.
Make sure you follow the #LadLitBlogTour