Thursday, 28 July 2016

Check out this Jon Rance Q&A with me!

Jon Rance
On April 22 of this year, lad lit author Jon Rance was kind enough to feature me on his website in a Q&A as part of the Lad Lit Blog Tour. Jon has since created and designed a new website (check it out here) so my Q&A will soon disappear from the big wide world of the web! But you can now read the interview here on my blog instead :)

Q&A WITH STEVEN SCAFFARDI

Hello,

I'm excited to have a new author on my blog today. Steven Scaffardi is just about to release his second comedy novel, 'The Flood' and so I thought I'd catch up with him and see what all the fuss is about.

Hi, Steven, welcome to my blog! It's good to have you over for a pint of lager and a packet of crisps. For the people out there who have never heard of Steven Scaffardi tell us a bit about yourself.

Cheers Jon, it's great to be here. For people who have never heard of Steven Scaffardi before, I am tall, athletic, and as good looking as David Beckham. I once dated Kelly Brook and Sofia Vergara at the same time, and believe it or not, I am the person who wrote the lyrics to Baby for Justin Bieber. And if that hasn't impressed you, I am also a lad lit author in my 30s desperately trying to recapture my youth on the pages of my two novels, The Drought and The Flood - both part of the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series.

To promote your first book, The Drought, you ended up spending a year on the stand-up comedy circuit, what was that like? 

It was a great experience, full of the most eclectic mix of people I think I have ever met, from out of work actors to a six-foot blonde who graced the covers of lads mags, and 20 year veterans of the circuit who had never quite made it and hated the world for it, to people who had very messed up views about what they thought funny was! There is probably a book that could be written about some of those characters! I did it for a year and I managed to get to the final of the Golden Jester competition after about 50 gigs which wasn't too bad. Nothing quite beats the buzz of being up on that stage when you're having a good gig. The flip side of that, of course, is that it is the most awful place in the world to be when you have a bad gig. Apart from a South American prison perhaps.

I've always had the ambition to do a bit of stand-up at some point, any tips?

Do it! Someone once said to me that stand-up comedy is the best hobby you can ever have. You get to stand around in pubs all evening watching comedy! The best advice I can give is make sure you write a varied set because if you stick to one story or theme and it doesn't work, you have nowhere else to go. And don't be afraid to try different material. Open mic stand-up comedy audiences can be quite forgiving because they know you are new, so when something works keep it in, and when something bombs throw it out. Sooner or later you'll have a set that works.

How is it different writing stand-up comedy to writing a comedy novel?

With stand-up you don't really have time to build up to the joke like you might in a book. When you first start up in stand-up you are doing gigs where you have 5-10 minutes (at most) to do a set. It might not sound like a lot, but believe me - trying to find five minutes of material that is funny is really hard. I take my hat off to guys like Micky Flanagan and Kevin Bridges who put together an hour long show with laughs all the way through. With stand-up you are constantly looking for a quick punchline to keep the audience on side. They have turned up to have someone make them laugh after all. With a 5 minute set, you want to aim for a laugh at least every 20-30 seconds, but with a comedy novel you have more time to build things, even if the reader already knows where you’re going. In The Drought, you know from the very start that Dan is on a sexual drought. As a reader you know at each and every attempt to get his leg-over he will fail, but it doesn't matter. My job as the writer is to make sure that even when the reader knows Dan's latest attempt is doomed to failure, they are always thinking "But what if he does succeed this time?"

Your second novel, The Flood, is out now - congrats! - tell us a bit about it?

The Flood is the follow-up to The Drought, although you could quite easily pick up The Flood without having read The Drought. This time the main character, Dan, gets himself into more dating disasters when he makes a drunken bet with his friends that he could date four girls all at the same time. That challenge is hard enough as it is, but when the girls he ends up dating include a stalker, an ex-girlfriend, the office ice queen and the one that got away, Dan soon finds out that dating a flood of women is a lot harder that he thinks. He has eight weeks to juggle all four girls without them finding out about each other.

This is a question I've been asked a few times. Why do you write romantic comedy? What draws you to the genre?

It was a combination of two things. 1) My wife is a huge romcom fan and I have lost count of the amount of times I would shout out "But a man wouldn't do that!" watching one of those films. Let's be honest, men are not very good at romance. We rarely get those sort of things right, and even though we talk a good game, we're fairly hopeless at understanding the opposite sex so I wanted to tell a story from the male perspective. And 2) Most guys have stood around the pub talking rubbish about first dates and relationship experiences. More often than not, those stories are hilarious for all the wrong reasons. I started making notes of all the funny stories I'd heard, threw in a few of my own experiences, exaggerated them for comedy value, and that is pretty much how The Drought came about.

OK, here's the bit where you get to show us how good a salesman you are. Why should people buy your book?

Because (hopefully) they'll laugh lots! The best contemporary fiction, in my opinion, is the stuff you can relate to, and I try to do that with my books. I have a had a lot of male readers tell me how much they can relate to some of the stupid things Dan and his friends get up to, while most women are horrified (in a good way) to find out what men really think. I've been lucky to have some really great reviews on Goodreads and from book bloggers, and that probably carries more weight than anything I could tell you. Chick Lit Plus said of The Drought: "Steven Scaffardi's first novel is absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud." Hopefully that might make one or two of your fans give it a go.

You describe yourself as writing lad-lit. What exactly is lad-lit and how does it compare to chick-lit?

Lad lit is best known as the male equivalent of chick-lit, primarily written by men exploring relationships, emotions and day-to-day life experiences from the perspective of a male protagonist. Often told with humour, charm and wit, lad lit leaves many readers laughing out loud at the scenarios men get into. My favourite lad lit analogy is this: If book genres were diets then lad lit would be the rather disheveled 'before' picture and chick lit would be the perfect 'after' image. Lad lit is like that car crash of a first date you went on or that person you went out with and still wonder years later "What was I thinking?" For me, the goal of chick lit is to get to that perfect happy ever after (HEA) ending, but lad lit does not always have to follow that pattern. In relationship terms, you have to get through a whole lot lad lit before you find your perfect chick lit!

What are your top five books by men about life, love and relationships? To get the ball rolling and to see if we're any different mine would be: Nick Hornby, High Fidelity, Tony Parsons, Man and Boy,  David Nicholls, Starter for Ten, Mike Gayle, My Legendary Girlfriend, and since I really can't include my own books and these are all better than mine anyway, The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi. 

That's a pretty good list - I'm not sure I can beat that! High Fidelity and Man and Boy have to be in there, without question, and you couldn't have a top five list of books by men about relationships without Mike Gayle, although I'm going to opt for Seeing Other People. Another author I'm a big fan of is Danny Wallace and I really enjoyed Charlotte Street so I would put that one in there. The last spot is tough as you have other great authors in the genre like Matt Dunn and of course your good self (This Thirtysomething Life is next on my read list!) but I think I'll give a shout to Nick Spalding for his Life From... Both Sides because I think it's a great series of books.

What's next for Steven Scaffardi?

I am busy promoting The Flood as part of this Lad Lit Blog Tour right now, but I already have plans for the third instalment of the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series. The working title is The Pact and this time Dan and his friends travel to Latvia in search of a girl who dated Dan's best friend Rob. It is a little bit different to the first two books in that the theme to this book is a bit of a tribute to one of my favourite books of all time The Book With No Name. It includes a whole host of unsavoury characters including a Russian mafia don, two drag queens, a pimp who is stuck in the 70s, a sleazy hotel boss and his strange wife, two karaoke loving corrupt cops wo worship Wham, and a henchman who goes by the name of Ray The Local. I'm hopeful of having it out by the end of the year, but we'll see.

Cheers Steven, I hope you enjoyed the pint and the crisps and thanks for answering my questions. One last question and it's the classic question every author gets asked. What are your top five writing tip?

Thanks for having me Jon, it's been a blast and the pint and beer snacks were a pleasant bonus. My top five tips would be: 1. Create bios for your characters. The more you know about your characters, the better equipped you will be to write about how they will react in certain situations. 2. Create a playlist for your book like a movie soundtrack. I find music really helps come up with ideas and develop scenes you are writing. 3. Make sure you have a great proofreader. The amount of little mistakes and errors that creep in will surprise you. I've conceded that I'm not a good writer, I'm a good storyteller! 4. Always be prepared to make notes on the move. I'm forever tapping into my note app on my iPhone as the most brilliant ideas always pop into your head at the most random of times. 5. Immerse yourself into the world of book bloggers. These people will become your best friends, but don't take them for granted. They blog for the love of reading and they do a bloody good job if you ask me.


Thanks so much to Steven for popping over. He's doing a ridiculous number of interviews and blog appearances for the release of 'The Flood'. If you want to check out some of his other blog tour stops have a look at this...

Lad Lit Blog Tour, Steven Scaffardi, The Flood, Lad Lit,

This Q&A was originally posted by Jon Rance at his old website on April 22...

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Author Interview: Matthew Norman

author interview, Matthew Norman, Domestic Violets, We're All Damaged
Today I am delighted to be joined by author Matthew Norman, who is promoting his new novel We're All Damaged which came out on June 1.

Hi Matthew, thank you for joining me here at the Lad Lit Blog. Could you tell me a bit about yourself and your books?
Good to be here…virtually. I’m an advertising copywriter in Baltimore, Maryland with a wife and two daughters. At night and on weekends, I write novels. First and foremost, my books are comedies. It’s taken me a while to fully admit that to myself. There are serious things in them, of course—even downright depressing things. But humor is always there. I like comedy because it makes the difficult stuff more palatable.

You have a new book coming out now called We're All Damaged. What can you tell me about it and why should readers pick up a copy?
Again, it’s a comedy, which I think makes it fun to read, and it’s filled with pop culture references and contemporary music. But, at its core, We’re All Damaged is about a guy named Andy Carter and his journey back from heartbreak. Man or woman, young or old, gay or straight, we’ve all been hurt. We’ve all been, well…damaged. Consequently, through all of his bad decisions, questionable behavior, and cries for help, I think readers will see a lot of themselves in Andy. 

The main character, Andy Carter, sounds like he is having a bit of a tough time. Why do we find other people's misfortunes so amusing?
In the context of fiction, I think it’s mostly about storytelling, really. Happy people with no problems and easy lives are boring to read about. The flip side of misfortune is redemption, which, ultimately, is something that I think readers are rooting for. If we’re talking about real life, though, I think the answer is more complicated. We’re a tear-down culture, for sure. Maybe other people’s problems help us deal with our own problems. If everyone’s unhappy, maybe it’s OK if I’m unhappy, too.

Your first book, Domestic Violets, was nominated for the Best Humor Category at the 2011 Goodreads. How much do nominations like this help you as an author?
Awards and recognitions can be really valuable, particularly for writers like me who have managed to so skillfully avoid fame. The Goodreads nomination introduced Domestic Violets to tons of readers who never would have seen it otherwise. It amounts to free publicity, essentially. And, you can never get too much of that.

We're All Damage, Domestic Violets, Matthew Norman, Lad Lit

Domestic Violets is about a struggling author trying to make his way in life. Any of your own experiences in there? Not that I'm calling you a struggling author with family problems, it's just, you know... Damn, this is awkward. Maybe just answer the question and help me out here?
It’s far and away the most common question I get: How much of your writing is autobiographical? The answer is complicated, I suppose. If we’re just talking in generalities, than none of my work is autobiographical. That’s because there’s not a single scene or line of dialogue in either of my books that really happened. However, I’d be lying if I said that my real life experiences haven’t informed the books. In my first novel, Tom Violet hates his job and is trying to become a writer. I’ve lived that experience. In my second novel, Andy Carter is recovering from heartbreak and trying desperately to find his way in the world. I’ve lived that experience, too. So, is my writing autobiographical? The short answer: Yes. And no.

You write what I would call lad lit, but how would you describe style of your writing?
We don’t have that term in the U.S. Over here, there’s “chick lit,” obviously, but no one is exactly sure what to call the male version of that. Here’s the simplest description I can come up with: I write very contemporary comedies about relationships and families, and, so far, I’ve done that through a male point of view. I heard someone say “dick lit” once. But…that’s just gross.

Who are your favourite authors writing in the same or similar genre?
My favorite writer is Richard Russo. His novels taught me that serious—sometimes very serious—fiction can also be funny as hell. A close second to him would be Nick Hornby. Anyone who writes the types of books that I do owes Mr. Hornby a huge debt of gratitude. When you read his work, you laugh and then you cry, and all the while you’re nodding your head, because he just gets it. Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta are great, too. I like those guys a lot.

Out of all the characters you have written, who is your favourite and why?
In We’re All Damaged, there’s a group of gay rights activists that call themselves the Glitter Mafia. Their leader is a man named Stephen. Of all the imaginary people I’ve created, he’s my favorite. He was great fun to write because he says whatever the hell he wants, whenever he wants. More importantly, he plays a complicated role in the book. His cause is noble, but his tactics are mean-spirited and often, technically, illegal. I like the idea of forcing the reader, based on his or her political point of view, to cheer for someone who is a criminal.

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
As much as I’d love to have dinner with Richard Russo, I’d probably just spend the whole time telling him how great he is. Consequently, I’ll say Jonathan Franzen. He’s arguably the most famous literary male novelist working at the moment. It’d be fun to get his perspective on writing. I’d ask him about what it’s like to write and to maintain focus amidst so much scrutiny from readers and critics. Whenever he writes something, it’s a full-on literary event. I feel like fame would be very distracting as a writer.

What can we expect from Matthew Norman next?
Another novel. Book #3 is well on its way. So far it’s coming together much faster and more smoothly than my last book. My wife and I had two kids while I was writing We’re All Damaged. Babies, in my experience, have very little respect for the writing process.

I know exactly what you mean! Thanks for joining me Matthew and good luck with the book!

Be sure to check out Matthew at his blog and on Amazon where you can pick up a copy of his brilliant new novel We're All Damaged for £3.99 on the Kindle.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Seven new dates announced for the #LadLitBlogTour

Lad Lit Blog Tour, #LadLitBlogTour, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Comedy, Funny Books, Blog Tour, The Drought, The Flood
I am delighted to announce seven new dates for the Lad Lit Blog Tour! Coming up on May 28 I will be with Food For Bookworms, and then it's off to Allie's Opinions (May 29), Matt Dunn's Blog (May 30), Chick Lit Uncovered (May 31), BrizzleLass Books (June 1), Books & Authors UK (June 2), and then Novel Kicks (June 3).

A huge thank you to everyone who has taken part in the tour so far. This takes us to 46 dates in total!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Keep Calm... #LadLitSunday will be back next week

Hi guys, sorry for the radio silence this weekend but it was my little girl's first birthday so I took a break from #LadLitSunday last week. But it will be back this weekend! Watch this space. Or this blog. Whichever one looks more interesting. Or maybe watch something else and then just come back on Sunday :)

Sunday, 24 April 2016

#LadLitBlogTour Week 1 Round-Up

Lad Lit, Blog Tour, The Lad Lit BlogTour, The Drought, The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Comedy, Humour, Humor, Sex Love and Dating Disasters,

"One month, 39 blogs, five countries, three continents and a whole host of interviews, character Q&A’s, guest blogs, book reviews and the odd giveaway – I am taking lad lit global. From London to California, Bradford to Texas, Ipswich to Montana; the #LadLitBlogTour bus will be globetrotting from as far afield as Australia then back into Europe across Scotland and The Netherlands, and it all starts here in Kent, England at Boon’s Bookcase…"

That is the exact intro that got the Lad Lit Blog Tour started with a bang on Boon's Bookcase with @JulieBoon on Tuesday, and wow what a week it has been since then. In fact, the whole tour started with a skip in its step following a bonus book review before the official April 19 start date.

On April 14, The Drought was given a five-star review on By The Letter Book Reviews, with Sarah Hardy (@sarahhardy681) saying: "The Drought is a hilarious novel that I think would definitely make a belter of a movie or television show. Would certainly highly recommend this to both sexes who have a good sense of humour and are in need of something more lighthearted."

From there it was off to My Book File Blog (who had already given four star reviews to The Drought and The Flood in March) for a Q&A session. My favourite question was when Cindy (@MybookfileBlog) asked me: "If you could take any of the women from The Drought and The Flood out on a date, who would you pick and why?" Check out the interview here for my answer.

Next up on day three was a trip to Bookaholic Confessions for another interview. Holly (@BookaholicHolly) - who is also running a giveaway for her readers to win a signed copy of The Drought on her site - was the perfect hostess. We had a good old chat about everything from lad lit to my stand-up comedy to my favourite authors. Check out the interview here. And I have just seen on Goodreads that Holly has finished reading The Drought so fingers crossed she enjoyed it!

Day 4 was with Linda Hill (@Lindahill50Hill) at Linda's Book Bag for a unique experience - an interview with Dan Hilles (lead character in The Drought). It was great fun actually, and Dan did a good job talking up the book if this tweet was anything to go by:


Following that nice little surprise, an even bigger one was in store on day 5. First of all I stopped by for a pint and a packet of crisps with fellow lad lit author Jon Rance (@JRance75) to have a good chat about writing comedy, and then I got the added bonus of a five-star review for The Drought from Michelle (@thebookmagnet) at The Book Magnet who said: "Steven Scaffardi has a Mary Poppins' handbag of hilarity that goes on and on until I had to put the book down from fear of actually splitting my sides!"

And to cap it all off, I was with Kerry Parsons (@bellaboobos11) from Chat About Books for another cracking interview. We spoke about where my ideas came from, how I picked the names for my characters, and who my favourite authors are. Make sure you check it out here.

Well, that's it! Week one is over and week two starts tomorrow with Chick Lit Goddess. A huge thank you to all of the bloggers who took part this week - you guys are awesome! Make sure you follow the progress on Twitter by using the hashtag #LadLitBlogTour and follow the rest of the blog tour here:

Lad Lit, Blog Tour, The Lad Lit BlogTour, The Drought, The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Comedy, Humour, Humor, Sex Love and Dating Disasters,

#LadLitSunday: Matt Dunn joins the Lad Lit Blog Tour and Rob Radcliffe pens a book by his readers

Lad Lit Sunday, Keep Calm, Lad Lit, Lad Lit news, #LadLitSunday
It's been a quiet week in lad lit land so I will keep this update short!

First off, I am delighted to announce that Matt Dunn will be joining the Lad Lit Blog Tour. The lad lit best-seller will be hosting a guest post from yours truly on his very own blog in a few weeks time.

The first week of the blog tour to promote lad lit has just come to a close and it's been fantastic so far. One of the highlights was being part of a Q&A on Jon Rance's blog, so to have signed up a second hugely successful lad lit author is a real honour. 

And this week I interviewed Rob Radcliffe, who is currently flying high in the Amazon humour charts with his novel Meat Market. One of the highlights of my chat with Rob was finding out about his latest project called Untitled where his readers are helping him write the novel.

Rob said of the unique project: "As a writer you find yourself shut in the dark while you scribble away in the hope your book will connect with your readers once you have finished. For Untitled I have turned that on its head. As I write the chapters I post them on my website and the pages are accessible to people who have signed up to The Novel Experiment reader’s list. I wanted feedback and comments as I wrote this book, I wanted reader engagement as I went through the writing process and so far feedback has been awesome. There have been readers who have made suggestions to me which have helped shape the direction this novel is going and it is great. The title will be voted for by my ever growing email list and it really feel like I am connecting with the people I do this for, my readers"

You can check out the full interview here.

Tweet of the Week
He has a point...

Author Interview: Rob Radcliffe

Author Interview, Lad Lit, Rob Radcliffe, Lad Lit
Hi Rob, welcome to the lad lit blog. For those who don't know Rob Radcliffe, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi Steve, thanks for having me on here. I’m Rob Radcliffe, I live in Manchester, a single dad with two very noisy kids, a full time job and a full time writing career to juggle. Sometimes I even get to sleep. I started writing books about twenty years ago when I was 13 or 14 and pray they have gotten at least a bit better since then.

Fast forward those twenty years and I currently have two lad-lit novels, a sci-fi novella, and a sci-fi novel published. Now that I’ve put it like that it feels like I haven’t been doing very much writing at all in two decades…oh dear.

You've had a pretty awesome start to April with your novel Meat Market topping the Kindle humour charts. Congratulations! Tell us a bit about that book and why you think it has done so well.
Meat Market is about a guy who gets dumped, loses his job and loses his dog in one swing of the axe. Down on his luck Greg doesn’t know where to turn and that is when his friend Stu dives in to get him back out there into the world of singledom. Greg reluctantly follows Stu on this ride into the realm of the single person and in turn Stu delivers his cock-eyed view of the world, eventually signing the reluctant Greg up to be a male escort like him.

I think the book has done so well recently because of the characters. On one side there is Greg, a scared and timid guy who has been in the same relationship since University, his first relationship, and now has to deal with trying to wade through the terrifying waters of having to talk to total strangers who are also the opposite sex. Then there is Stu, Greg’s mentor through these trying times, super confident, unapologetic, a real player whose job is escorting ladies 24/7. It’s really very chalk and cheese with these guys but with some hilarious moments because of this.

Any tips you can share to any aspiring authors reading this interview how to top those Amazon charts?
Publish and pray? No, only joking. I think authors these days really need to wear two hats. First and foremost is the writer, creating the stories and having a great time doing it, but then when you have your story all packaged and ready to go you need to switch hats and think like a publisher/marketer. Get onto social media, find out about advertising your wares, generate a decent author website, collect reader email addresses and talk to your fans about what is coming next from you. This way when readers start buying your books and subscribing to your newsletters, you have that core for your business so that the next time you have a book out, you can email your group, they will buy, you will start inching up the charts where you’ll have more exposure and collect more readers for the next time, growing and growing in popularity.

Meat Market is your second lad lit novel after The Race. We already know a bit about Meat Market so here is your chance to do the sales pitch for The Race. Go...!
The Race is about four friends spending eight days on the Greek Island of Zante. To make their holiday interesting they decide to introduce a scoreboard which will tally up points on each of their themed nights from Snogathon (see how many girls you can kiss), Frolic with a Fogey (points rewarded based on the age of the lady and how far the contestants get with them), then there is, Identity, Deception, the list goes on. Along the way they appoint one of them as the judge who proceeds in making the pointing systems more and more elaborate and confusing. There are laughs, fights, make ups, lads being lads on a lad’s holiday, and then there is the sex because, after all, each one of the guys wants that crowning glory and the title of Sex God.

Meat Market, The Race, Rob Radcliffe, Lad Lit
You have also written thrillers and sci-fi novels. Do you have a favourite genre to write? And do any of the genres ever cross-over - could we see lad lit in space one day?!
Lad lit in space, now there’s a niche I’m guessing wouldn’t be too crowded, although wouldn’t that essentially have been the Red Dwarf spin off novels by Grant Naylor? I think for the ease of writing Lad Lit is my favourite genre to write in. It is also fun because really anything goes in terms of dialog. It is the closest to reality I write and so I try and keep the themes and characters as realistic as possible. Although, and this is a big ‘Although’, I recently finished a novel called The Divine which is a kind of an epic science fiction saga. It is not sci-fi in the traditional sense, there is no space or aliens, this book deals with themes such as immortality, evolution, the next step in man’s evolution and granted it took me a long time to write but at the moment it is the piece of work I am most proud of. The Divine will be a four or five book series but in between each book I will be writing a Lad Lit novel to keep myself entertained.

Out of all of the characters that you have written in your two lad lit novels, who is your favourite character and why?
Stu, without a doubt. Stu is Greg’s best friend in Meat Market, the unapologetic Lothario who leads Greg down the path of singledom and teaches him the way of his world. Such a great character, such fun to write and I think he comes out with the best and funniest one-liners in the novel. Upon reading Meat Market recently for the first time in several years an idea for a possible sequel has begun to form in my mind so watch this space.

Sounds intresting! We'll be watching! What made you decide to write lad lit?
I guess reading some lad lit, although I wasn’t even aware it was a genre at the time. I had spent my teenage years immersed in Jack Higgins, Stephen King, Irving Walsh, and John Grisham novels, but then I picked up a novel called What men think about sex by Mark Mason and loved the conversational style of writing. The Race was conceived on the back of Manson’s What men think about sex, and I gave writing in first person perspective a go…the end product is available for all to try. I went on to read Matt Dunn and Nick Hornby while writing and began to get a feel for the genre, but it wasn’t until I picked up Danny Wallace’s Join Me and then Yes Man that I realized how funny, sarcastic, and silly an author could be in order to make the reader smile. So in answering your question without going around the houses, Mark Mason introduced me to writing lad lit but Danny Wallace got me hooked.

Do you think lad lit will ever reach the heights of its older and much more successful sibling, chick lit?
That’s an interesting question, and I’d love to be the male Cecilia Ahern or Meriam Keyes but I think Chick Lit’s naughty younger brother will not be able to outshine his big sister and that is down to the readers. I have found that 70% of my Lad Lit novel’s readers are die-hard Chick Lit fans, which is great, but it also means there are still a lot of Chick Lit fans who don’t read Lad Lit…yet. As the reader base for this genre of writing is predominantly female it means more girls need to start discovering Lad Lit to even the playing field. That or guys could put down their FHM or Loaded magazines and start reading our stuff, come on guys, you’re letting the side down here, the girls are winning!

What are your top five lad lit novels?
5. Best Man by Matt Dunn
4. The Catch by Mark Mason
3. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
2. What Men Think About Sex by Mark Mason
1. Yes Man by Danny Wallace

Unless of course I am allowed my own, yes Meat Market is by far my favourite Lad Lit novel. No? Against the rules voting for myself? Oh, alright then, stick with the list.

What's next for Rob Radcliffe the lad lit author?
The novel I am currently writing is called Untitled and is available for free download on amazon, itunes, B&N etc. I should probably explain what I am doing with this project a little more. As a writer you find yourself shut in the dark while you scribble away in the hope your book will connect with your readers once you have finished. For Untitled I have turned that on its head. As I write the chapters I post them on my website and the pages are accessible to people who have signed up to The Novel Experiment reader’s list. I wanted feedback and comments as I wrote this book, I wanted reader engagement as I went through the writing process and so far feedback has been awesome. There have been readers who have made suggestions to me which have helped shape the direction this novel is going and it is great. The title will be voted for by my ever growing email list and it really feel like I am connecting with the people I do this for, my readers.

As of this morning I am 26,000 words into the novel (Lad Lit but a lot darker than anything I have written before) and I am hoping to have the finished product available by June/July.

Once Untitled is done and dusted I will begin outlining for book two of the Divine Chronicles: CHRONOS. Already ideas are littering my head but I need to keep kicking them to the side so I can get Untitled written and ready for my readers.

Sounds very cool! I'll keep my eyes open for that. Good luck with the project and thanks for stopping by.

Find out more about Rob at his website and at his Amazon author page.

The Lad Lit Blog is now on Bloglovin!


That's right, you can now follow my blog with Bloglovin by clicking the link! I don't have too much else to say on this subject other than - give me a follow!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

#LadLitSunday: Mike Gayle and Matthew Norman have new books and Tony Parsons dines with a cannibal

#LadLitSunday, Keep Calm It's Lad Lit Sunday, Lad Lit News, Lad Lit
Mike Gayle will be launching his new novel The Hope Family Calendar at Waterstones on Birmingham High Street on June 14 at 7pm. The lad lit superstar (yep, that's a title now!) will be enjoying a glass of wine or two with fans to answers questions at the official book launch.

In Mike's new book, Tom Hope takes the centre stage as a man struggling to get on with life following the death of his wife. A year on from the tragic accident and Tom is arrested, leaving his mother-in-law Linda to step in and take Tom's two daughters off to Australia.Tom is left with the decision to either fall deeper into grief or step up and be the father his girls need. Pre-order the new book at Amazon.

Matthew Norman also has a new book coming out. The Domestic Violets author publishes We're All Damaged on June 1 and has been busy promoting it on Twitter saying: "My pre-pub publicity strategy for We're All Damaged is to awkwardly tell my friends I have a book coming out soon."

The story is about down-on-his-luck Andy Carter who has just lost his wife, his job, ruined his best friend's wedding and is now living in a tiny apartment in New York City with an angry cat. Then Andy meets Daisy who comes with her own baggage, but might just be Andy's last chance to set things right.

Tony Parsons was interviewed by WHSmith this week to promote his new crime thriller The Hanging Club and gave some very interesting answers on his favourite crime fiction, including that the fictional crime character he'd have dinner with is Dr Hannibal Lecter! Parsons said: "I think it would have to be Dr Hannibal Lecter – I am sure he would be civilised, sophisticated, amusing company – as long as I wasn’t actually on the menu." Read the full interview here.

Quick bits
  • I will be interviewing lad lit author Rob Radcliffe in the next 1-2 weeks to talk about his book Meat Market, following the Ben Hatch interview I announced last week.
  • The #LadLitBlogTour starts this Tuesday at Boon's Bookcase and then goes on to visit a further 38 blogs. Follow the hashtag for all the fun!
Tweet of the week
It's a double whammy this week! First John O'Farrell gives Obama something to think about...

...and then Danny Wallace displays his brilliant quick wit once again!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Lad Lit Blog Tour line-up announced with 39 dates! #LadLitBlogTour

Lad Lit, Blog Tour, Lad Lit Blog Tour, Steven Scaffardi

19 APRIL: @JULIEBOON
BOON'S BOOK CASE
boonsbookcase.blogspot.co.uk

20 APRIL: @MYBOOKFILEBLOG
MY BOOK FILE
mybookfile.wordpress.com

21 APRIL: @BOOKAHOLICHOLLY
BOOKAHOLIC CONFESSIONS
bookaholicconfessions.wordpress.com


22 APRIL: @LINDAHILL50HILL
LINDA'S BOOK BAG
lindasbookbag.com


23 APRIL: @JRANCE75
JON RANCE BLOG
jonrance.com


24 APRIL: @BELLABOOBOS11
CHAT ABOUT BOOKS
chataboutbooks.wordpress.com


25 APRIL: @CHICKLITGODDESS
CHICK LIT GODDESS
chicklitgoddess.com


26 APRIL: @REVIEWCAFE
THE BOOK REVIEW CAFE
thebookreviewcafe.wordpress.com


27 APRIL: @CHILLEDCH
CHRIS HILL BLOG
chrishillauthor.co.uk


28 APRIL: @GILBSTER1000
RACHEL'S RANDOM READS
rachelsrandomreads.blogspot.co.uk


29 APRIL: @CHICKLITCLUB
CHICK LIT CLUB CONNECT
connect.chicklitclub.com


30 APRIL: @SOPHIERTB
REVIEWED THE BOOK
reviewedthebook.co.uk


1 MAY: @23REVIEWSTREET
23 REVIEW STREET
23reviewstreet.blogspot.co.uk
2 MAY: @KINCAVELKROSSES
BCF BOOK REVIEWS
bcfreviews.wordpress.com


3 MAY: @BOOKREVIEWSAFAE
TRUTH ABOUT BOOKS
tabbyafae.com


4 MAY: @HELLOCHICKLIT
HELLO CHICK LIT
hellochicklit.com


5 MAY: @SARAHHARDY681
BY THE LETTER BOOK REVIEWS
bytheletterbookreviews.com


6 MAY: @HEYSAIDRENEE
HEY SAID RENEE
heysaidrenee.blogspot.co.uk


7 MAY: @HAYLEYSBOOKBLOG
RATHER TOO FOND OF BOOKS
rathertoofondofbooks.wordpress.com

8 MAY: @BCBANDMORE
BCB & MORE
bestcrimebooksandmore.co.uk


9 MAY: @MANOFLABOOK
MAN OF LA BOOK
manoflabook.com/wp


10 MAY: @AMYLUISAA
AMY'S BOOKISH LIFE
amysbookishlife.blogspot.co.uk


11 MAY: @CHICKLITPLUS
CHICK LIT PLUS
chicklitplus.com


12 MAY: @LOVEOFAGOODBOOK
THE LOVE OF A GOOD BOOK
theloveofagoodbook.wordpress.com


13 MAY: @CHELLESBOOKREVI
CHELLE'S BOOK REVIEWS
chellesbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk


14 MAY: @BECCASBOOKSUK
BECCA'S BOOKS
thisisbeccasbooks.blogspot.co.uk
15 MAY: @SBROADHURST
SARAH'S BOOK REVIEWS
sbroadhurstreviews.blogspot.co.uk


16 MAY: @INKEDBROWNIES
INKED BROWNIES
inkedbrownies.com


17 MAY: @XLEPTODACTYLOUS
XLEPTODACTYLOUS
xleptodactylous.co.uk


18 MAY: @CHICKLITCENTRAL
CHICK LIT CENTRAL
chicklitcentral.com


19 MAY: @COMMONBOOKSENSE
COMMON BOOK SENSE
commonbooksense.blogspot.co.uk

 
20 MAY: @CPHILIPPOU123
WRITING ROUND THE BLOCK
cphilippou123.wordpress.com


21 MAY: @BOOKBINGE
BOOK BINGE
bookbinge.com


22 MAY: @EMSB84
BOOKS & BOARDIES
booksandboardies.com


23 MAY: @THEBOOKMAGNET
THE BOOK MAGNET
thebookmagnet.blogspot.com


24 MAY: @LEAHJMOYSE
REFLECTIONS OF A READER
reflectionsofareader.blogspot.co.uk


25 MAY: @PORTYBELLE
PORTOBELLO BOOK BLOG
portobellobookblog.com


26 MAY: @SHAZSBOOKBLOG
SHAZ'S BOOK BLOG
shazsbookblog.blogspot.co.uk


27 MAY: @ANNETTEHANNAH
SINCERELY BOOKANGELS
sincerelybookangels.blogspot.co.uk

ebook giveaway, kindle giveaway, free ebook, free kindle, Steven Scaffardi, The Drought, The Flood

#LadLitSunday: Lad Lit authors support the occupiers of Carnegie Library & Rob Radcliffe tops the charts

Keep Calm It's Lad Lit Sunday, Lad Lit, Lad Lit news, #LadLitSunday, Lad lit superstars Nick Hornby and David Nicholls have thrown their support behind the occupiers of Carnegie Library by signing an open letter of support to condemn the proposed changes to the Lambeth library service.

Forty protestors have occupied the building in Herne Hill, London, since March 31 to campaign against council plans to close the library and transform it into a healthy living centre. More than 220 writers signed the letter within 24 hours of being asked to do so.

Good news this week for lad lit author Rob Radcliffe as he celebrated his novel Meat Market going straight to number one in the free download charts on Amazon in the humour category. Radcliffe was full of thanks on Twitter for the readers who shot him to the top of the charts.

I am delighted to announce that the Lad Lit Blog Tour has announced another eight dates taking the grand total to 39. Starting at Boon's Book Case on April 19, the tour will the travel all across the UK taking in 26 stops, with eight in the US, two in The Netherlands and two more in Australia. You can follow the tour on Twitter at the #LadLitBlogTour hashtag.

Quick bits
  •  Author Nick Spalding will be at the London Book Fair (April 12-14) this week at Olympia, London on Thursday morning. Go see him at the Amazon KDP stand
  • I will be interviewing Ben Hatch (author of The P45 Diaries) in the next week or two as part of my Author Interview series
Tweet of the week
Great banter from Danny Wallace this week as always...

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

UK Garage Horse Racing might just be the most brilliant thing I've ever seen!


Any group of lads involved in a WhatsApp group know that you are going to be guaranteed three things: discussions about the next boys night out, footy banter on a weekend, and the links to some pretty funny shit on the internet.

The latter happened to me a couple of days ago when one of my mates introduced me to UK Garage Horse Racing by comedians Ross & Josh - hosts of The Not So Late Show.

This my friends, is genius...


I think it might just be worth keeping an eye out for these two tallywhackers from Leeds...

Sunday, 3 April 2016

#LadLitSunday: Matt Dunn donates the dedication in his next book to charity

Keep Calm It's Lad Lit Sunday, Lad Lit, Lad Lit news, #LadLitSunday, Another week, another #LadLitSunday and this week there is no other place to start other than the awesome initiative Matt Dunn has set-up to raise money for the charity Streetwise.

The author of Home and The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook will dedicate his next novel to one lucky winner to donates just £2 on his JustGiving page to help the homeless. Matt has been busy promoting the unique opportunity this week on Twitter by Tweeting: "Win a WHOLE BOOK DEDICATED TO YOU (or someone you love/fancy/want to embarrass) for just £2." The dedication will appear in every single copy sold, not just the copy the winner receives.

It's a brilliant idea and I have already made my donation - you can make your donation here.

Elsewhere, Esquire magazine published the article 50 Novels All Men Should Read. Some of the books included in the list: The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, and Hearts In Atlantis by Stephen King. Sam Parker who wrote the article writes: "Forget coming-of-age fiction or impenetrable 'classics' – these are the books all grown men should be ticking off. Why? Because they're as entertaining as they are wise."

In other news, I interviewed lad lit author Ben Adams this week and he revealed he was busy working on his third book with the working title Trouble in the Staffroom. You can read the full interview here.

Quick bits
  • I announced this week that my Lad Lit Blog Tour will start on April 19 and run until May 19. Follow the hashtag #LadLitBlogTour for more announcements
  • The Real Men, Real Style website put together their 10 Books All Men Should Own list. You can see it here.
Tweet of the week
Great quote picked out from author Jon Rance. It's got to be up there with Rod Stewart's "I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger." :) 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Book Giveaway! Download The Drought eBook at Amazon for free from April 28 - May 2

Book giveaway, Amazon KDP, Amazon KDP giveaway, ebook giveaway, The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Sex Love Dating Disasters

To celebrate the upcoming Lad Lit Blog Tour I am delighted to announce that I will be offering Sex, Love & Dating Disasters: The Drought for free for five days straight in the build-up to the Bank Holiday on May 2.

You will be able to download the Kindle version of the lad lit comedy novel between April 28 and May 2. If you do download the book, please Tweet about it using the #LadLitBlogTour hashtag and then leave a review at Amazon so I know what you think of it.

But I don't have a Kindle
Not a problem! You can download the Kindle app to your smartphone or tablet absolutely free and then take advantage of this fantastic giveaway! Simply click one of the links below to get started.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/kindle-read-books-ebooks-magazines/id302584613?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.kindle&hl=en_GB

And finally all you have to do is to get yourself over to Amazon on April 28 and download the eBook. And if you can't wait that long then you can always treat yourself to a copy for just 99p! I'm almost giving it away right now!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Drought-Love-Dating-Disasters-Book-ebook/dp/B00FM53MK8/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
http://www.amazon.com/Drought-Love-Dating-Disasters-Book-ebook/dp/B00FM53MK8/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

So now you have no excuses! Make sure you download The Drought during the #LadLitBlogTour, leave a review at Amazon and keep checking back for more lad lit news!

Author Interview: Ben Adams

Author Interview, Ben Adams, Lad Lit, Six Lies, Six Months to Get a Life
Hi Ben, thanks for taking the time out to chat to me today. I'm guessing you must be very busy promoting your new book Six Lies which came out at the end of last year. Tell me a bit about that book and how it has been doing so far.
Steve, it’s a pleasure to be invited on to your blog. Yes, the last few months have been busy. Six Lies came out in December, the idea being that it could fill a stocking far more effectively than your average socks, ties and cheap aftershave. The book did reach No.1 in some obscure category on Amazon for a while (books written on a Tuesday by a bloke called Ben), but the absolute top of the charts was dominated by a bunch of barely literate sportspeople with bugger all to say.

The story is in some ways classic lad lit. There’s a band stuck in the 1980s, a wife running off with a librarian and a fair bit of drunken banter. But there’s more. Our protagonist, Dave Fazackerley, discovers the day after her funeral that his mother wasn’t his mother after all. Six Lies follows Dave as he tries to make sense of his life. Will he discover the truth about his mother? Will he ever discover that there’s life beyond U2? More importantly, will he win his wife back from the clutches of the book dork?

Six Lies is your second novel following Six Months to Get a Life about a man coming to terms with the break-up of his marriage. You have openly talked about your own divorce inspiring you to write a novel so how much of your own experiences translates on to the pages of your book?
I remember staring into my fridge one lunchtime. It was Good Friday. I was in a pretty low place. My kids were off having fun with my ex, my house was oppressively quiet and all my mates were with their own perfect families. Should I open a can of lager and drift blissfully into a drunken stupor? It certainly wouldn’t have been the first time.

Somehow I found the will to kick myself up the arse, to stop feeling sorry for myself. It was time to get a grip. In a moment of inspiration, I decided to write Six Months to Get a Life.

Although it was a story about a man coming to terms with his divorce, it was never my story. I couldn’t write about my life. Aside from the fact that no one in their right mind would want to read my story, I had no right to write about my kids or my ex. So instead I took great pleasure in inventing a new ex, in inventing more interesting mates and, without giving much away, inventing a new love interest. Six Months to Get a Life is purely a work of fiction but it is certainly true to say that the emotions that Graham Hope, the divorced dad, feels are those that I felt at one time or another whilst going through my own crap time.

You also took part in a BBC documentary which aired in January called The Age of Loneliness. What made you decide to take part and how difficult was it to make the decision to speak in front of the cameras?
The documentary-makers approached me on the back of a blog I published bemoaning the havoc that my marriage break-up had reaped on my social life. ‘Will you speak openly on camera about your loneliness?’ The producer asked me. ‘No.’ I replied, and a year later, there I was, pouring my heart out on BBC1.

Ben Adams, BBC, Lad Lit, The Age of Loneliness

To this day I don’t really know why I agreed to take part in the project. Being filmed playing football with my boys, barbecuing sausages, writing my next book and then sitting on the BBC Breakfast sofa talking about the film were certainly a break from the routine. Being on the telly helped my book sales too, but I like to think that the reason I said yes was that I wanted other people who are going through what I went through to know that they aren’t the only ones feeling the way they do.

You've decided to tackle a genre of books dominated by female writers. How difficult is it for a lad lit author to make an impact when the audience you are going for are already committed to chick lit?
Most of my readers are women. I pitched Six Months to Get a Life to a few chick lit websites when it first came out. They gave the book great reviews but that doesn’t mean I am yet rivaling Sophie Kinsella and Helen Fielding for top spot in the bestsellers list. I have got a fair way to go before I can really say that I’ve made an impact.

In your opinion, what are the main differences between lad lit and chick lit?
Beer as opposed to wine? Penis size as opposed to weight loss? Moody strops rather than neurotic hang-ups? And maybe more lust, less love.

Seriously, I’m not sure there is a clear difference. Lad lit doesn’t always follow the same formula, and neither does chick lit. I might try and write a book with a neurotic, weight-conscious, wine-swilling protagonist one day.

Who are your favourite authors/books and why?
I love anyone who writes witty character-based stories. Without wishing to be clich├ęd, I have been a big Nick Hornby fan for more than twenty years. He writes about people you wouldn’t be surprised if you met down your local. Lisa Jewell’s ‘Ralph’s Party’ is also a story that has stuck in my mind. But I probably have to confess that Adrian Mole, or should I say Sue Townsend, probably convinced me that I wanted to write. Adrian and I are the same age. Obviously Adrian’s penis is shorter than mine, but other than that, the two of us had a lot in common. I started writing a diary once I had read his, and the rest, as they say, is history…

You are doing lots of self-promotion. What is the best advice you can give to an indie author from what you have learned promoting your first two books?
Don’t give your money to the multitude of websites that claim to have millions of readers clamoring to hear about your books. Instead, get active on social media. Blog more often than I do, tweet, be nice to other authors and doors will open for you.

From the two books you have written, which character is your favourite and why?
All of my characters have their personality faults but I love each and every one of them. They have all occupied a place in my heart for months at a time. If I had to pick a few out, I would say that I enjoyed writing Dave’s dad’s dialogue in ‘Six Lies’. He’s a cantankerous old sod. And Graham Hope’s children gave me some fun in ‘Six Months to Get a Life’. Children say things that adults might think but wouldn’t dream of saying.

I read one of your blog posts where you said writing is better than sex. Care to explain?!
No, my girlfriend has only just started talking to me again. If you really want to hear the argument, you can have a look here.

And finally, what can we expect next from Ben Adams?
More of the same I’m afraid. My third book, provisionally called ‘Trouble in the Staffroom’, is clogging up my laptop at the moment. I am thoroughly enjoying writing it. Hopefully it will be out later this year.

Great stuff, thanks Ben! Good luck with the new book.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Lad Lit Blog to go on tour!

Blog Tour, Book Tour, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, The Lad Lit Blog Tour, The Drought, The Flood, Sex Love and Dating Disasters

I am delighted to announce that next month I will be taking the Lad Lit Blog on tour! Following my recent guest posts on By The Letter Book Reviews and Linda's Book Bag, I have decided to spread the word about lad lit as part of my promo drive for the release of The Flood.

This will be my first ever Blog Tour and starting on April 19 I will (hopefully) be visiting 30 different book blogs around the world before finishing with a round-up back here at The Lad Lit Blog on May 19 - the same day The Flood is published in paperback on Amazon.

So far I have 10 confirmed blogs including Boon's Book Case, Bookaholic Confessions, Linda's Book Bag, Chick Lit Goddess, Rachel's Random Reads, Chick Lit Plus, 23 Review Street, Chick Lit Central, By The Letter Book Reviews and lad lit author Chris Hill's blog. I am hoping to confirm the full schedule within the next week so watch this space!

The Lad Lit Blog Tour Press Release, The Lad Lit Blog Tour, Press Release, Book Tour, Blog Tour, Blog Tour Press Release
Press Release London, UK (28th March 2016)
Author Steven Scaffardi is on a mission to raise awareness of the lad lit genre by embarking on a one-month blog tour.

Starting on April 19, Steven is going to combine his efforts of promoting his second comedy novel Sex, Love & Dating Disasters: The Flood alongside a campaign to get more people reading lad lit.

“After publishing my first novel, The Drought, I soon realised that lad lit was not very well known, despite the success of authors like Nick Hornby,” Steven explained. “So with my second novel I wanted to not only promote my book, but the genre as a whole.”

Steven – who started the #LadLitSunday hashtag recently to get more people on social media talking about lad lit – is hoping to sign up 30 blogs to the tour, with the final blog post coming on May 19 on his own Lad Lit Blog to round-up his experience and the results of the tour. You can follow the journey on Twitter using the #LadLitBlogTour hashtag.

“It’s an ambitious number,” Steven said, “but with a combination of author interviews, book reviews, guest blogs, character Q&A’s and perhaps the odd surprise or two, I’m hopeful it can be done! I’ll also be offering a free download of my first novel The Drought on Amazon on April 28-29 to give readers a taste of lad lit if they have not read it before.”

The Flood will be available as an eBook for 99p from Amazon on April 30 with the paperback version published on May 19 for £8.99. 

The Lad Lit Blog Tour FAQ

What is lad lit? 
Lad lit is best known as the male equivalent of chick-lit, primarily written by men exploring relationships, emotions and day-to-day life experiences from the perspective of a male protagonist. Often told with humour, charm and wit, lad lit leaves many readers laughing out loud at the scenarios men get into.

Who writes lad lit? 
There are a cluster of best-selling authors in the UK writing lad lit including Mike Gayle, Danny Wallace, Nick Spalding, Matt Dunn, Tony Parsons, Jon Rance and the undisputed king of lad lit – Nick Hornby. A Bafta winner and two-time Oscar nominee no less!

So why haven’t I heard of it before? 
Lad lit has been living in the shadow of its older and much more successful sibling, chick lit, for quite some time now. Plus there is a common perception that women read more than men, so sometimes it is not obvious where the fan base would come from.

Is lad lit just for men then? 
No, not at all. It’s certainly a genre that men can relate to with great hilarity, but at the same time it offers an alternative to chick lit and opens up the door to a man’s mind leaving women to worry if that’s what men really think with a nervous laugh!

For more definitions on lad lit, check out these links:

Talking Lad Lit (Linda's Book Bag)
Lad Lit Explained (By The Letter Book Reviews)
Chick Lit For Men (The Lad Lit Blog)

If you are interested in taking part in The Lad Lit Blog Tour, please email Steven Scaffardi at steven.scaffardi@gmail.com.