About the author: Steven Scaffardi studied journalism at The London Institute. His first novel The Drought received praise for its hilarious take on how the male mind works when it comes to the opposite sex, being labelled chick-lit for men, and was runner-up in the Shirley You Jest book awards. In 2011 he spent 12 months on the open mic stand-up comedy circuit, making it to the final of the Golden Jester competition. He lives in Carshalton, Surrey with his wife and his baby daughter, and is busy promoting his second novel The Flood.
**Other links from the author:
Describe yourself in five words: Husband, father, friend, sarcastic and imaginative.
Tell us about your writing/editing/publishing process? I try to write between 1-2 hours a day, and maybe a little more at the weekends. Writing is not my day job so I have to juggle a few things around it, but I try to use those everyday experiences as inspiration. I think the funniest things in life are those actions or scenarios that everyone can relate to. For example, in my new book The Flood, there are three or four scenes set around the main character’s train journey to and from work, and it includes people and situations that most commuters see on a daily basis. The reaction to those scenes in the book from book bloggers I gave preview copies to has been brilliant, with many of them highlighting those parts as the funniest.
In terms of publishing and editing, I self-publish so I do a lot of it myself. I must have written over 30 drafts of The Flood, and in the end I had to just stop myself because you end up becoming too familiar with the story and then want to change it all. You have to know when to walk away and know that you’ve done the best job you can.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and why? Wow, that’s a hell of a question! I have a few favourite authors who I bet have some great stories to tell. People like Ben Mezrich who has written brilliant stories such as the birth of Facebook to the MIT students who took down Las Vegas casinos, or maybe Jeff Abbott or John Grisham who I admire greatly for being able to create such suspense within their writing. But I think the one author I’d love to meet is probably Stephen King. I think he has one of the most imaginative minds on the planet. He is known for writing horror stories, but he has written so many different types of genres. For example, two of my favourite films of all time – Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption – were both inspired by Stephen King stories.
Tell us about the genre, Lad Lit? Lad lit is the male equivalent to chick lit. It is books primarily written by men about men, or certainly from the male perspective. Like chick lit it traditionally focuses on subjects such as love, relationships, and dating. From a personal point of view, I think lad lit should always have humour at the heart of the story.
Hard/paperbacks or eBooks? As much as I love to embrace new technology, you can’t beat the feeling of holding a book in your hands. I think eBooks are great and make so many different types of books accessible to people all over the world, but sit me on a beach with a good paperback and I’m as happy as can be.
What’s a typical day like for you? I work in the media and marketing sector and luckily I get to travel all over the world for my job, so each day is varied. But the two constants in my life are my amazing wife and our beautiful baby daughter. I make a lot of fun in my books about the differences between men and women, but I love those two little ladies more than life itself.
What are you reading? I’ve just finished reading a book called Milk-Blood by Adrian Simon. It’s an autobiography about a guy in Australia whose father was convicted of trafficking heroin and sentenced to 12 years in a Thai prison. He talks about the impact his father’s choices had on him as a young child, but what makes this book so good was that Adrian has led such an amazing life. It’s an incredible story.
Is the social media a help or a hinder? I’d definitely say it’s a help because it has allowed authors – particularly indie authors like myself – to have direct access to readers. But it can be very time consuming. Take Twitter for example – you are playing in a field of over 300m users. Where do you even begin to get through to the right people? But it makes it all worth it when you get a tweet out of the blue from someone halfway around the world that has some nice things to say about your book. It makes it all worth it.
Do you have any writing rituals? One I have is that I like to create a music playlist for whatever book I happen to be working on. It’s a bit like a movie soundtrack and it helps me come up with ideas when I’m listening to it. I also like to give each character as much background as possible, even if they are just appearing in one chapter. The more you know about a character, the better prepared you are to write about how they would react in different situations, and makes them less two-dimensional.
What do you want people to take away from your books? I want them to walk away with a smile, having laughed their way through the pages and not taken anything too seriously. Life is too short. Smile, laugh, chuckle. I used to do stand-up comedy and there is nothing quite like being able to make a room for of people laugh at the jokes and stories you have made up. I love it when readers contact me to tell me that my book has literally made them laugh out loud in public. It’s a great feeling.
Every author must have (a): Perseverance. In abundance! I think you have to write for the love of it, and don’t expect people to read your book just because you have written one. Heck, you’ll be lucky if all of your friends even read your book! It’s tough trying to write, promote, and market your book all by yourself, so you’ll need to persevere at every corner.
What are you working on right now? I have just finished my second novel The Flood, so I am trying to promote that but I am planning on a third book in the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series. The working title is The Pact and all I can really say at this stage is that the boys travel to Latvia and encounter a bunch of gangsters, drag queens, pimps, corrupt cops and lots more. I’m looking forward to getting it down on paper!
Chick Lit vs Lad Lit
“But a man wouldn’t say that!”
This is a common rant I direct at my wife, normally heard a few seconds after I have picked up a copy of whatever chick lit book she happens to be reading at the time and have skimmed a few lines.
“And he definitely wouldn’t turn into a vampire.”
That specific rant is reserved for when she happens to be reading Twilight.
I’ll hold my hands up and admit I’ve never actually read a chick lit novel, but I’ve been forced to endure plenty of romcom films and I’ve skimmed enough pages to know that chick lit is setting the bar far too high for us men.
Let’s be honest ladies – how many of those perfect male chick lit characters who win the heart of the main female protagonist have you actually met in real life?
I’m not trying to say that men are completely clueless when it comes to the opposite sex, but there’s a reason why wine and girls nights out were invented, so you could all sit around commiserating about the fact that we are still friends with our ex’s on Facebook and don’t see why that’s a problem.
I often use the analogy that if book genres were a diet then chick lit would be the perfect ‘after’ picture and lad lit would be the rather sheepish looking ‘before’ picture.
I sometimes wonder if there is some sort of conspiracy that I don’t know about and all of these chick lit novels are actually written by men pretending to be women, just so the seed can be planted that there is an abundance of flawless men somewhere out there.
But then I realised that if a man did have that idea, he’d probably get so excited that he’d call his mates up to invite them to the pub to celebrate, drink too much, neglect to text his girlfriend to let her know he’d be late home, roll in at about 4am with a kebab and completely forget the great idea he thought of.
That’s why I believe men write lad lit, to create some balance in the world. Lad lit is about exposing the male mind to female eyes and leaving women the world over wondering: is that what men really think?
And when you think about it, lad lit is the perfect companion for chick lit fans. It’s the other side of the coin, the yin to the chick lit yang, the John Lennon to the Yoko Ono. Lad lit is completely different to chick lit, yet exactly the same – just like the perfect relationship.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that chick lit vs lad lit is a bit like the battle of the sexes. We both strive to get the upper hand in the gender stakes, but at the same time we simply can’t live without each other.
So I’ll make all of you chick lit fans a deal right now. I’ll pick up a chick lit novel and I’ll give it a chance if you do the same for lad lit. But please, promise me one thing – don’t judge us. We try our best, and just like lad lit, all we want to do is put a smile on your face.
**Comments by the author:
My first novel, 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!: http://www.amazon.com/Drought-Sex-Love-Dating-Disasters/dp/1909122319/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
And you can pre-order The Flood now for just 99c: http://www.amazon.com/Flood-Love-Dating-Disasters-Book-ebook/dp/B01D1U7Z0I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
“Sex, Love & Dating Disasters: The Flood” by Steven Scaffardi
Blurb: 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. Available at Amazon and all good book retailers from January 2016.
The text alert pierced my ear drums like someone had just plunged a needle into the side of my head. Blinking hard, my eyes momentarily struggled to recognise my own bedroom. The stench of beer farts lingered in the air. I smacked my lips together and the stale odour of kebab seeped out from the depths of my bowels, making me feel nauseous. I groaned and pulled the pillow to my face, burping as I did so and filling the small pocket of space in which I had given myself to breathe with the aroma of last night’s Tequila shots.
My body felt like it had been gripped in a vice all night. I ached everywhere. My temples throbbed, my pulse pounded away at the side of my head like it was miniature mallet. My mind wandered back to New Year’s Day, the last time I had inflicted this much pain on myself. That morning I had woken to 47 irate voicemail messages from my ex-girlfriend Stacey after one of our more futile arguments. God I hoped I had not experienced another night like that.
I arched my body back and in doing so I triggered a movement from behind me. I froze as the foreign body pressed up against me for warmth. Momentarily I was paralysed with shock at the realisation that I was not alone. Immediately I started to try and recall last night’s events, but the hangover was clouding my memory. I had to think fast. No doubt I only had a couple of minutes before I was going to have to have that awkward morning after conversation with this girl lying in my bed behind me; the least I could do is to remember how we met. Heck, even remembering her name would be a good start.
**Full chapter link: http://stevenscaffardi.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-flood-sample-chapter.html