Welcome to day 2 of The Lad Lit Blog Tour!
Good day, goedendag, guten tag, bonjour, buen dia, god dag!
(look at me being multilingual and all *smug face*)
The Lad Lit Blog Tour is a 39-day blog tour to promote his Sex, Love and Dating Disaster series as well as lad lit as a genre. Follow the journey at #LadLitBlogTour.
Yesterday the tour started at Boon’s Book Case where Julie provided an insight in the Drought and the Flood. Today, I wish to welcome you to my humble blog for the second day of The Lad Lit Blog Tour and I am psyched to announce that Steven Scaffardi agreed on an author interview! Are you as excited as I am? (just say yes, it’s a safe answer).
About the author
Steven Scaffardi studied journalism at The London Institute. Published in September 2011, Steven’s debut novel The Drought received fantastic 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.
To help promote the book, Steven took to the open mic stand-up comedy scene in and around London in 2011, sharing his funny observations and self-deprecating humour about life as a 30-something man.
Steven is now busy working on his second novel, a follow-up to The Drought called The Flood.
(Picture from: stevenscaffardi.blogspot.co.uk)
Hi Steven, thank you for joining me today as part of The Lad Lit Blog Tour. Before asking you questions about the lad lit genre and your series, however, I want to ask you something else. After discovering that you studied journalism, I wondered… what did you do after your studies? And most importantly: why did you want to become an author?
Hi Cindy, thank you for having me! After finishing university I freelanced for a while at lads mags and sports magazines. Eventually I ended up working as the sports editor for a local newspaper and did that for about three years. It was great fun but as most journalists will tell you, the money is not great! Eventually I changed career paths, but I still work in a similar industry. I had always enjoyed writing stories from a young age, but I’d never really thought about becoming an author until a few years ago. I was like a lot of people and always thought I had a good book in me, and eventually it came out!
I must admit that I am guilty of not knowing about ladlit before I started to read your series of Sex, Love & Dating Disasters. I have read some novels by Mike Gayle, but I never actually gave the genre much thought (except for the fact that is looked like chicklit but it wasn’t quite the same). Can you tell me the full and honest truth about what the genre ladlit is actually all about?
Not many people have really heard of lad lit, which is why I thought this blog tour would be a great idea! Like you, lots of people have probably read books by what I’d consider to be lad lit authors, but because the genre doesn’t really get a lot of press, you don’t realise it! Lad lit is basically the male equivalent of chick lit, often called chick lit for men. Lad lit will feature a male protagonist or a group of guys, and will often explore themes such as relationships, dating, love, but all told from the male perspective. I often use the analogy that if book genres were diets then lad lit would be the ‘before’ picture and chick lit would be the ‘after’ image! As most women know, men are pretty hopeless at the best of times when it comes to romance even though we think we know it all, so lad lit opens up the reader’s mind to what men really think. A few weeks ago I wrote a couple of guest blogs in an attempt to try and answer the question as to what lad lit is and you can check them out at By The Letter Book Reviews and Linda’s Book Bag, or follow the hashtag #LadLitBlogTour on Twitter and hopefully it will all start to make a bit more sense!
What moved you to write The Drought and The Flood in the ladlit genre?
I didn’t specifically set out to write in the lad lit genre (to be honest I wasn’t even aware of lad lit until a reviewer read The Drought and called it lad lit!). I wanted to write a comedy about dating and relationships but from the point of view of the man. My wife is a huge romcom fan and I’ve sat through countless films with her where I end up shouting at the TV ‘But a man wouldn’t say that!’ At the time I was also performing stand-up comedy, and a lot of what I would talk about on stage would be about dating and relationships. A lot of my jokes came from my own experiences or stories friends would tell me about, especially those about dating and girls, so I had lots of material and decided one day just to put it all down on paper and The Drought was born.
The situations in your series appear to me as unimaginable. Every time I read about poor Dan Hilles and his misfortune I have to choose between laughing or feeling sorry for the man (to be honest, I usually just laugh). Are the books based on your own experiences or did you make it all up?
Unfortunately yes, they are! Especially the story in The Drought. That is loosely based on a period in my life in my twenties when I had just come out of a long-term relationship and had completely forgotten the rules of the dating game. Most of the stories in that book are true (either my own experiences or those of friends), with a huge dose of exaggeration sprinkled on top. The Flood probably has less real life experiences, but you always hear stories about the ridiculous things guys say or do when they’re trying to impress a girl, so I try to wrap that all up in the story.
I discovered, after some snooping around on your blog, that you actually have Characters Bios! As a reader, I think that it is really awesome that you took the time to actually have the characters and their personalities all worked out. What gave you the idea to write out and create the characters this extensively? And do you sometimes consult the bios yourself as well when you are writing?
Thanks! It’s something I believe is really important for a writer. I want to know as much about my characters as possible – whether they happen to appear in one chapter or all of the chapters. The more you know about a character, the easier it is to write about how they would react in certain situations. I got a really talented guy called Jamie Sale at Toonjam Studios to create cartoon characters for all the characters in both books. For me it is just a nice touch for the reader. Whenever I read a really good book I always want a little bit more. I want to know what happened to the characters, what they really look like. That is the main reason why I wrote The Flood as a follow-up. I fell in the love with the characters I had created and I wanted to know what they got up to next. I never set out to write a series, but now I’m hoping that the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series will have another three or four books to come.
If you could take any of the women from The Drought and The Flood out on a date, who would you pick and why?
That is a great question! Probably the best question I have ever been asked about my books. It’s a tough choice because as you’ll know (without giving anything away) the girls in my books are not always the type of girls you would want to spend a lot of time with! I have always had a soft spot for Grace, but in terms of going out on a date that you’d never forget it has to be Denise (Dan’s stalker from The Flood). You couldn’t date Denise for very long but there’d be no shortage of fun with her. She would probably drive you to a nervous breakdown in the process, not to mention her ex-boyfriend Ronnie always lurking around, but what a thrill ride it would be! You’d certainly have some great stories to tell you friends down the pub.
The Flood will be released the 30th of April. Which scene did you love to write the most and why?
Hmmm, there is one scene I really like but I can’t really say too much about it without giving something away to someone who hasn’t read the book before. With that in mind, there are two other scenes I really enjoyed writing. The first is when the boys end up in a pub in Nottingham and all hell breaks loose and they find themselves in a massive pub brawl. One reviewer said of that scene: “Funniest bar fight scene in the history of literature. I laughed so hard I woke up my snoring girlfriend.” I’m a big Quentin Tarrantino fan and I think that scene is the closest any of my books would get to his world, in a funny way of course. The other scene involves Dan’s journey to work on the train. I love observational comedy and I think lots of people relate to and laugh at the things we all do every day. For example, every guy who travels to work on public transport will have at least once in their life experienced the moment when they are sitting down on a packed train and they see a woman and think: “Is she pregnant?” In my own experience getting the answer to that question wrong can be very awkward if you offer you seat to a woman who is not pregnant!
Since I have already had the pleasure of reading The Flood, here is my final question for you: What can we expect from you next?
I am already planning the third instalment of Sex, Love and Dating Disasters. The working title is The Pact and sees Dan and his mates head over to Latvia in search for a girl who dated one of Dan’s friends. It’s a little bit different to the first two books, and is a bit of a tribute to one of my favourite books, The Book With No Name, in that the reader will meet a whole host of weird, wonderful and whacky calendars including a Russian mafia don, two drag queens, two karaoke singing cops who love Wham, a pimp who thinks he is living in the 70s, a sleazy hotel boss and his strange wife, and a henchman called Ray the Local.
Steven, thank you so much for your honesty and for the opportunity for this amazing interview! I had a great time and, to be honest, you’ve made my week ^_^ Enjoy the rest of the tour and I’m looking forward to reading The Pact!
Interested in who’s blog is up next in The Lad Lit Blog Tour?
P.s. did you notice the giveway? If not: