A warm welcome today to lad-lit author Steven Scaffardi whose new book The Flood is out right now. Steven and I have both written novels which are romantic comedies from a male perspective plus we both have a background in newspaper journalism so it’s a real pleasure to have him along here today – welcome Steven.
Tell me about your journey as a writer – how you started and how you have developed?
Hey Chris, thanks for taking the time out to chat to me. I studied journalism at university and after graduating I freelanced for a while for various football magazines and lad mags, before becoming the sports editor for a local paper in Crawley.
After three years I switched careers, working in the media and marketing sector, but continued to enjoy writing in my personal time and eventually I wrote The Drought.
In terms of how I have developed my writing skills, I’d say that I try to make sure that each character has a true identity and individual personality. It doesn’t matter if they appear in one chapter or in all of the chapters I want to know exactly how they’d react in a certain situation. The more you know about your characters the easier it is to create the world around them.
How would you describe your work – it‘s themes and the important things about it?
I like to look at love, relationships and dating from the man’s point of view because I think we get it wrong so often that it’s funny! If chick lit is the perfect ‘after’ picture then lad lit is the not-so-perfect ‘before’ picture.
I have sat with my wife on countless occasions shouting at the TV when she has made me watch another one of her romcoms. I get that it’s escapism, but those films do men no favours whatsoever! They set the bar far too high – women watch these films or read chick lit books and expect to meet the perfect man. We’re far from perfect! It’s a fairly well-known fact that when it comes to dating, we’re pretty useless! I’m bringing the bar back down and doing men everywhere a huge favour. No need to thank me – it’s my pleasure!
I know you write in the lad lit genre, can you tell me a bit about the genre and what attracted you to it?
It is indeed lad lit although I am quite happy just labeling it comedy. It tackles relationships and dating from a male perspective. For me, the most important thing is to make people laugh. I used to do stand-up comedy and being able to make people laugh is the best thing in the world.
Let’s be quite frank here – my books are not going to change the world. It’s about a guy trying to get his leg over so he can put an end to his sexual drought! But every time I get a review that says the book had them in stitches or a reader contacts me to let me know that they laughed so hard they spat their tea out on a train, it gives me a lift.
I’m not quite at the sales numbers JK Rowling has achieved yet, but I’ve had people read The Drought from the UK to the US and from Malaysia to the UAE, and knowing that somewhere in all corners of the world someone has laughed at my words is awesome! It takes on a different meaning when I tell you that The Drought was loosely based on a period in my own life, which pretty much means that people on each continent are laughing at me but that’s a different story!
Tell me about your current book – what is it about and what makes it a great read?
I am just about to publish my second novel The Flood. It is a follow-up to The Drought and part of the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series I am writing. From my point of view it was great fun writing it as I got to ‘work’ with a lot of the same characters again as I became quite fond of them the first time round.
I’m hoping this one will be equally if not funnier than The Drought. So far it has been getting some really good feedback on Goodreads with one reader saying: “Oh my gosh, laugh out LOUD funny! My roommate ran in the room asking what was so funny and when I told her, she laughed so hard she could no longer walk!”
Tell me about your journey to publication, who is your publisher or did you decide to self-publish and why?
I self-published with a company called Acorn Independent Press. They were super helpful and they’re really cool guys too. I tried going down the traditional publishing route after I had written The Drought but I didn’t get very far. This time round I didn’t approach and literary agents or publishers, for no other reason than I couldn’t quite bring myself to write so many submission letters again!
I’ve had quite a lot of fun getting to know readers across social media and Goodreads so I just decided to stick to what I know. I got inspired by other self-published authors like Nick Spalding (who also writes lad lit) who did amazing self-publishing his own books. And the anonymous author The Bourbon Kid series – which happens to be my favourite set of books at the moment – self-published and he has just sold the film rights to Hollywood. So as that 90s diva Gabrielle said, dreams can come true!
Where can I buy a copy of your book?
You can buy my books at Amazon. The eBook is just 99p and the paperback is £8.99. The Flood will be available on the Kindle from April 30 (you can pre-order now for 99p) and the paperback will be published on May 19. However, as a special treat over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, I am running a giveaway from April 28 to May 2 so you can download The Drought for free!
Where can we find out more about you?
You can find my at all the usual hot spots – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and on Goodreads. Plus you can follow me on my blog, and if you want to know more about lad lit make sure you follow the #LadLitBlogTour and #LadLitSunday hashtags.
Official Book Trailers:
The Drought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0a_CZMMjP0
The Flood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxekG9crUoc .