I am very excited to be taking part in Steven Scaffardi’s Lad Lit blog tour today, and to have him on the blog today. I really enjoyed The Drought, and you can read my review of it here.
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.
Welcome, Steven. Tell us a little bit about you…
Hi Christina, great to be here at Writing Round The Block. I’m Steve –former journalist and lad lit author extraordinaire. Well, I’ve written a couple of books anyway. Both are part of the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series chronicling the life of unlucky-in-love Dan Hilles. Back in 2011, I spent 12 months on the open mic stand-up comedy circuit where I made it through to the final of the Golden Jester comedy competition. My brand of comedy combined witty observation and self-deprecating humour; incorporating tales of relationships, feeling old in my 30s, and encountering difficult situations on public transport!
In my debut novel, The Drought, Dan is faced with the daunting task of throwing himself back into the life of a single man after the stormy break-up with his girlfriend of three years. What follows is the laugh-out-loud tale of one man’s quest to overcome the throes of a sexual drought. With the help of his three best pals, Dan is desperate and determined to get his leg-over with hilarious consequences!
The second book in the series is The Flood. This time Dan complicates his love life by making a drunken bet with his friends that he can date four different girls all at the same time. Of course, anything that can go wrong does go wrong! But it’s hardly surprising when the four girls Dan dates include his crazy ex-girlfriend, a stalker, the office ice queen, and the one that got away.
Your inspiration for The Flood?
The whole Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series is inspired by my own personal experiences and stories told to me by friends. Quite frankly, when it comes to romance, I think chick lit is setting the bar far too high for men. They’re giving us way too much credit! I wanted to write books that exposed us men for how bad we really are when it comes to dating and relationships.
The Flood was obviously inspired by The Drought, what with this being the sequel to that book, and I came up with the idea because I thought it would be funny to see how Dan would get on dating multiple women after suffering such a dry spell in the first book.
You’re quite an advocate for lad lit – go on, tell us a little about that (you know you want to)
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.
I decided to create the Lad Lit Blog Tour to highlight the great work within this genre because I don’t think it gets the press it deserves. You only have to look at the list of authors writing lad lit (Nick Hornby, Mike Gayle, Tony Parsons, Danny Wallace, Nick Spalding, Jon Rance, Matt Dunn) to know that there are some seriously funny and talented people behind lad lit. It deserved a little pat on the back in my opinion.
Where and when do you write?
These days, with a one-year-old daughter, anywhere I can! When I’m working on a new book, I try to spend a couple of hours each evening writing and then as much as I can on the weekends. I’m an indie author so I still have a day job that keeps me quite busy, so it’s tough to squeeze in time to write, but I still love it and as long as I enjoy doing it, I’ll keep squeezing in the time in between changing nappies.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
I probably swing more towards a panster although I’m trying to get my stuff together to become more of a planner. Whenever I’m working on a new book, I tend to have a rough idea of where I want the story to go, but most of the time I’m making it up as I go along, which is quite exciting when you’re writing a book. It means that you don’t even know where the story is going at times, but the disadvantage of that can be getting a complete mental block and hitting several brick walls. That’s why I want to introduce a bit more planning into the equation.
Do you do any research? If so, any sites or sources you care to share?
The research I do tends to be from speaking to friends or picking up on stories I might hear, and then taking those situations, exaggerating them for comedic effect and building a narrative around that which can become part of the story I’m trying to tell.
I don’t really use the internet or any specific sites for research. Funnily enough, there isn’t a website that brings together communities of people suffering from sexual droughts to share their experiences (or lack of experiences I should say!).
Do you read inside your genre or out when writing?
I read a bit of everything really from thrillers to horror, to sports autobiographies to lad lit (of course!). If I like the sound of a book, I’ll give it a read.
Your author heroes?
I have already mentioned some pretty big names I’m a fan of within the lad lit genre. Outside of that I really like Jeff Abbott and Ben Mezrich, but my favourite author at the moment is anonymous! It’s the writer behind the Bourbon Kid series of books. I’m a big fan of Quentin Tarantino films, and this series of books is the closest I have read on the pages of a book to what Tarantino does on screen. It’s just good fun and I’m a huge fan.
Thank you, Steven, for joining us today.
Follow all of the fun on the Lad Lit blog tour by following him on Twitter @SteveScaffardi or by using the hashtag #LadLitBlogTour. More information about Steven and his books can be found on his blog.