- About Steve
- Steve's Books
- Lad Lit Book Reviews
- Indie Info
Sunday, 24 April 2016
Author Interview: Rob Radcliffe
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.
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.