Thanks to Steven Scaffardi for stopping by CLP today on his #LadLitBlogTour! Read a Q&A below!
When did you know writing was for you?
Probably at school, although I was too busy trying (and failing) to be the next Gary Lineker (soccer player) to realise it. I used to enjoy writing short stories at school and when I was about seven I wrote my first ever novel called The Time Machine. I even drew my own pictures and my teacher managed to get the local library to put it in the children’s section. My mother was so proud. Fast forward 26 years in that time machine and I finally got around to book two when I wrote about a man suffering from a sexual dry patch in my debut comedy The Drought which Chick Lit Plus kindly reviewed a couple of years ago and said it was “absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud.” Thank you very much – that was very kind of you!
Why was The Flood a book you wanted to write?
I had enjoyed writing about the characters in The Drought so much that I wanted to write a follow-up, and that’s where the Sex, Love & Dating Disaster series came from really. I never set out to write a series, but so many readers seemed to really like Dan and his pals as they bumbled their way through one dating disaster to the next that I decided to write a follow-up. In The Flood Dan continues to have problems with the opposite sex, but this time it comes after he makes a drunken bet with his friends that he can date four different women at the same time, and as you can imagine, things don’t go according to plan! The Flood was only published on April 30 but already it has had some really good reviews on Goodreads so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
You write lad lit. Can you tell us more about this genre and why you chose it?
You don’t choose lad lit, lad lit chooses you. Sorry, I wanted that to sound like one of those really cool Hollywood lines, but I’m not sure I can really pull it off! To be honest, I didn’t technically set out to write a lad lit book. I used to do stand-up comedy and I just really enjoy making people laugh with funny observations about everyday things that happen. Relationships is always a good subject, because a lot of the times in books or films, the way relationships are shown could not be further from the truth. My wife loves romcoms but she has banned me from watching them with her because during one that perfect scene when the guy says something that melts the girl’s heart, I normally shout something out like: “But a man wouldn’t say that!” So I set out to write a funny book about dating and relationships from the male perspective, and quite frankly – we’re not very good at it. But it does make for some funny reading. It was only after I had published The Drought that readers started referring to it as lad lit and comparing it to great writers like Mike Gayle, Danny Wallace and Nick Spalding. Lad lit is typically written by men with male protagonists but it has never quite reached the heights of its older and much more successful sibling Chick Lit. That’s why I’m doing this blog tour and why I started the #LadLitSunday hashtag to try and raise the profile of lad lit.
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Probably just finding the time! I have a day job, which luckily takes me all over the world, so I get to spend quite a bit of time writing when I’m on the plane. Other than that I’ll try to get a couple of hours in each evening when I’m writing a new book, plus weekends. But a year ago things changed slightly when my daughter was born. When I should be writing I am normally playing with her, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are your favorite genres to read?
Unsurprisingly lad lit is up there. I’ve mentioned a couple of my favourite authors already, but you simply can’t beat Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. The man is the undisputed king of lad lit! Other than that I’m a big fan of anything Ben Mezrich writes, and there is nothing like a good crime thriller. Jeff Abbott is probably my favourite in that genre. My favourite book series is The Bourbon Kid series, but I can’t tell you the name of the author because he is anonymous!
What do you want readers to take away from your story?
If you’re a man then probably make sure you learn to do the absolute opposite to what Dan and his friends do if you ever want to go on a successful date again. And if you are female then I’m afraid your fears are true – this is what men really think! In all seriousness, I just want to make people laugh and if a reader comes away with a smile of their face then that is brilliant. Let’s be frank, my books will never be held up as a literary great like anything written by Charles Dickens – it’s about a dude trying to have sex for crying out loud! But I’ve had readers from all over the world write reviews and send me messages telling me that they were laughing out loud in public when reading The Drought. That is more than good enough for me.
How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
In many ways it has revolutionised the industry, like it has for many other industries. I work in media and marketing so I see first-hand the benefit of social media. It has brought authors closer to the readers, and now you can have real conversations with people who have read your books. What better way of finding out what fans want than being able to communicate directly with them. But social media is such a beast that it can become daunting. Where do you start on a platform like Twitter that has over 300m users? It’s crazy. I think the best thing about social media is that it allows you to create a community, whether that is with readers, fellow authors, book bloggers or publishers. As long as you have a discussion with people and don’t keep spamming them, then social media can be a great tool when used alongside a whole host of other tools now at an author’s disposal.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Wow, I’m not even sure I’m remotely qualified to give out that sort of advice as I am fairly new to all of this myself! What I have learned in a very short space of time is that you should read just as much as you write. If you are writing chick lit novels, then pick up books by the likes of Sophie Kinsella or Helen Fielding and learn from the best. I don’t mean copy them, because you always have to find your own voice as a writer, but there is no better way to learn your craft than by reading the work from those who are smashing it out of the park already. Be inspired.
Sex, Love & Dating Disasters: The Drought is available to download for free at Amazon on May 19-20 to celebrate the paperback release of The Flood on May 19. You can also download The Flood for just 99¢ for a limited time only on the Kindle.
- The Drought (Amazon UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Drought-Love-Dating-Disasters-Book-ebook/dp/B00FM53MK8/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
- The Drought (Amazon US): http://www.amazon.com/Drought-Love-Dating-Disasters-Book-ebook/dp/B00FM53MK8/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
- The Flood (Amazon UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flood-Love-Dating-Disasters-Book-ebook/dp/B01D1U7Z0I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
- The Flood (Amazon US): http://www.amazon.com/Flood-Love-Dating-Disasters-Book-ebook/dp/B01D1U7Z0I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
- Author bio: http://stevenscaffardi.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-steven-scaffardi.html
- Stand-up comedian bio: http://stevenscaffardi.blogspot.co.uk/p/stand-up-comedy.html
- Steven Scaffardi performing stand-up comedy (YouTube):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRWZJlal5QM
Social media links
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5162103.Steven_Scaffardi
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevenScaffardiAuthorAndComedian/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteveScaffardi
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Scaff7
- Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Steven-Scaffardi/e/B006XWRD8Q
- Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Scaffardi/e/B006XWRD8Q
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+StevenScaffardi
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stevescaffardi/