Monday, 23 April 2018

23 Review Street Q&A with Steven Scaffardi

The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit
This author interview was originally posted on 23 Review Street on Sunday, May 1, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

Hi Steven! Thank you so much for being on 23 Review Street today and for asking me to take part in your Lad Lit Blog Tour. I am thrilled to be able to ask you questions about your books and about being a part of the genre Lad Lit. So let get down to the questions!

You have written two books so far, The Drought and The Flood. Could you summarise what they are about?
Hey, it’s great to be here! Thank you for having me. Both books are part of the Sex, Love & Dating Disaster series. The first book, The Drought, is the laugh-out-loud tale of one man's quest to overcome the throes of a sexual drought. After the stormy break-up with his girlfriend of three years, Dan Hilles is faced with the daunting task of throwing himself back into the life of a single man. With the help of his three best pals, Dan is desperate and determined to get his leg-over with hilarious consequences!

The Flood is the follow-up, but this time Dan has the opposite problem as he has too many women! After making a drunken bet with his three friends that he can date four women at the same time, his love life takes a rather complicated turn (especially when the four women he dates turn out to be a stalker, the office ice queen, his ex-girlfriend, and the one that got away).

There are more books being classed as Lad Lit now, what do you think makes a book part of the genre 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.

Both The Drought and The Flood are part of the same series, do you have more planned for the future?
I certainly do! I’ve started working on some ideas for the third book in the series. The working title is The Pact and it follows Dan and his pals as they travel to Latvia in search of a girl that Dan’s best friend, Rob, dated. It’s a little bit different to the first two books, and is a bit of a tribute to The Bourbon Kid series of books in terms of the style and storyline. So far all I can say is that the boys get tangled up with a Russian mafia don, two karaoke loving corrupt cops, a pimp who is stuck in the 70s, two drag queens, a sleazy hotel boss and his weird wife, and a henchman known as Ray the Local. Watch this space!

I loved reading about Dan’s (the main character) love life and the troubles he experiences; do you have a particular favourite character to write about?
Jack is my favourite character. He is the best one to write because he knows no boundaries and always says and does the most outrageous things. He is full of one-liners and is a real cheeky-chappie. As part of the blog tour, Jack was recently interviewed. It’s been one of my favourite posts of the tour so far and you can read it here.

What would a day in a life of a Lad Lit writer be like?
I guess I can only speak for myself, but when I’m writing I try to spend 1-2 hours a day at the laptop. In terms of ideas, they come from everywhere – my own experiences, stories friends tell me, eavesdropping in on conversations on the train! I also find putting together a soundtrack for your book helps get the creative ideas flowing. I often go out jogging and play the ‘soundtrack’ to the book I’m currently working on and the ideas just start coming together. Other than that, you can normally find me playing with my daughter, who has recently just turned one, and is just about the cutest thing you have ever seen!

If you had to sum up your writing style in three words, what would they be?
Laugh out loud.

Thank you so much for joining me on 23 Review Street!
Thank you for having me!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

"I almost dropped my Kindle in the bathtub while reading in there, because I was laughing so hard" - BCF Book Reviews reviews The Flood

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit,This book review was originally posted on BCF Book Reviews on Sunday, May 1, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

4/5 Stars
I was fortunate enough to review the first book in this series, (The Drought) a few years back (you can see my review HERE) and found it pants-wettingly hilarious, so when I was offered the chance of reviewing the sequel, I grabbed it with both hands, expecting to once again bust a gut laughing.

I was not disappointed!

The Flood picks up where we left Dan and his pals. A spanner has been thrown in the works of Dan’s love life, and his friends, Rob, Jack and Ollie, are there to lend him a shoulder to cry on. Oh, wait, hang on, this is LAD LIT, not chick lit – the guys would laugh Dan out of the pub if he cried like a big girl! Instead they’re there to poke fun at his total lack of prowess with the ladies, and get him into situations he’d do far better staying well out of. But if Dan didn’t get into trouble, we wouldn’t have this gem of a comedy to amuse us, and that would be a crying shame!

The lads are fleshed out more roundly, and we see a little more of what makes them all tick. Jack was still incredibly annoying (I don’t know – maybe it’s a girl thing, but I wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole!), but I found Rob strangely attractive – is he showing a slightly more sensitive side? I’ll leave you to be the judge of that. And Ollie, well, even the thickest of mates can occasionally be the wisest and most astute, and his seemingly naive words, more often than not, provide the advice that helps Dan the most.

Then there’s the introduction of a new Welsh workmate who isn’t black enough, and an absolutely insane flatmate with a dog obsession that had me almost falling out of my chair. More than once, I snorted coffee out of my nose whilst reading this book, and on one occasion I almost dropped my Kindle in the bathtub while reading in there, because I was laughing so hard – I couldn’t put it down!

Seriously, whether or not you are a fan of lad lit, if you like a good laugh, this is the book for you. Just make sure you read The Drought first to really get the most out of this sequel, (you can get it FREE from Amazon until the end of Monday 2nd May – just click HERE) then continue Dan’s hapless adventures in dating with The Flood. Never has a reversal of fortunes been so funny!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

"The Drought made me laugh, not your normal laugh but a side splitting laugh" - 23 Review Street book review

The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit,
This book review was originally posted on 23 Review Street on Sunday, May 1, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

4/5 Stars
The first thing I can say is that The Drought made me laugh, not your normal laugh but a side splitting laugh that still make you laugh even now. The second thing is that everyone should read it...now!

The story follows Dan Hilles who after breaking up with his girlfriend is having a bit of a sex drought, no matter what he tries seems to end with him getting beaten up or a laughing stock from his friends. The story is told through entries from different days that are before and after his break up from his girlfriend and involve the main parts of his drought.

While Dan isn't so happy about being single again mainly due to the no sex issue, his best friends are thrilled their friend is single and are willing to help him get back on the dating scene again...if only it was that easy. Throughout the book you met a lot of different characters including Kelly who is Dan's co-worker and his information source for finding out what women want and how he can get one to take notice of him.

I loved the friendship between Dan and Kelly, even with his dating issues and work problems he knows he can count on her to give him the facts straight. Which is the totally opposite to the advice his friends give him. There are a number of funny pick-up lines in the book which are mainly told from his friends that let you know that they are just as bad as Dan when it comes to dating and that maybe they should all take Kelly's advice and just be straight with women instead of trying to be something they are not.

The Drought is a funny novel that has everything you want in a book, with it's dating disasters, friends who don't care if you are the butt of their advice and the situations that Dan gets himself in trying to get himself out of his drought. If you like reading about men doing funny things and getting themselves into situations that you could totally imagine happening in real life then this book is for you!

Three Memorable Words: Humorous, Memorable and Legendary.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Top 5 Reasons Why Chick Lit Fans Will Love Lad Lit

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit, Funny Book, Comedy Novel, Kindle Unlimited, Kindle, eBook,
This guest post was originally posted on Connect With Chick Lit Club on Friday, April 29, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

Steven Scaffardi on why he believes you should give lad lit a chance
First off, I will openly admit that I am no chick lit expert – I’m certainly no Steven Watson who decided to read nothing but chick lit for a whole year. If anything, I’m the guy who sits with his wife watching a romcom and screams at the TV: ‘A man wouldn’t say that!’

But in recent years I have unexpectedly stumbled into the chick lit world, and to be honest, you guys have been very welcoming. If I was to hazard a guess, I’d say that 70% of the people who read my debut novel Sex, Love and Dating Disasters: The Drought are a) women and b) fans of chick lit.

I found myself inadvertently writing for an audience I never thought in a million years would be interested in the rambles of a 30-something man nostalgically reminiscing about all of the ridiculous things I did when I was single and dating in my 20s.

So with that in mind, here are my top 5 reasons why chick lit fans will love lad lit:

1. Is that what men really think?
I’m afraid so ladies, and deep down, I think you always knew it. Let’s face it, as the old saying goes, you can’t live with us and you can’t live without us. We’re immature and ludicrously hopeless when it comes to romance. Lad lit will give you an insight into the male mind, and it’s not always pretty. But that’s not to say that it won’t make you smile and that leads me nicely on to…

2. Laugh-out-loud funny
Juliet Madison singled out the importance of humour in a good chick lit book in her article 5 Things I Love About Chick Lit and if there is one thing I can guarantee with lad lit, it’s that you will get plenty of laughs. But don’t take my word for it. Chick Lit Plus reviewed The Drought and said: “Steven Scaffardi’s first novel is absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud.”

3. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince
Chick lit is renowned for its Happy Ever After endings. It makes you feel warm inside and fills you with hope and promise. It’s the calling card of a well-written romantic comedy. But if life really does imitate art then you need that other side of the coin, and that is where lad lit comes in. Don’t get me wrong, lad lit has its fair share of happy endings but it’s just a little bit different to chick lit. Lad lit is that awful first date you went on years ago but still laugh about to this very day with your girlfriends over a glass of wine. If book genres were diets then lad lit with be the ‘before’ picture and chick lit would be the ‘after’ image.

4. If lad lit was a movie, you’d probably watch it
Think of some of the funniest films you’ve ever seen. Superbad, American Pie, The Hangover. You are basically watching lad lit on the big screen.

5. It covers the same themes as 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 will tackle themes that we can all relate to, just like it’s older and more successful sibling chick lit. So please, help your little brother out and give lad lit a chance.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Author Interview with Steven Scaffardi (taken from Chris Hill's blog)

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit, Comedy Novel, Funny Book
This author interview was originally posted on Chris Hill's blog on Wednesday, April 27 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour 

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.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Character interview with Jack Chatham from The Drought and The Flood (taken from Rachel's Random Reads)

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit, Comedy, Funny, Kindle UnlimitedThis character interview was originally posted on Rachel's Random Reads on Thursday, April 28 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

Jack Chatham is the happy-go-lucky cockney character from the Sex, Love and Dating Disaster book series, and good friends with the main protagonist Dan Hilles. Today he has popped into Rachel’s Random Reads as part of the Lad Lit Blog Tour…

Welcome to Rachel’s Random Reads Jack. Thanks for joining us, please tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
Thanks Rachel, I’m excited to be here. Out of the four boys who star in The Drought and The Flood, I’m the joker in the pack. I’m the one who keeps the banter full to the brim. Girls love a man with a sense of humour, you know?

Is that right? In The Drought you are known to favour chat-up lines when attempting to woo a lady. What is your best chat-up line?
There are so many Rachel, but it’s all in the delivery. Allow me to demonstrate (clears throat, licks his finger and wipes it down Rachel’s top). Let’s get you out of those wet clothes! And if that one doesn’t work I normally just invite the girl back to my place for pizza and sex. If she says no, at least I know she doesn’t like pizza.

Really? That’s your best chat-up line? No wonder your friend Dan experienced a sexual drought if that was the sort of advice he was getting!
What are you talking about? That is top grade material right there. It is not my fault Dan is hopeless with the ladies.

Tell me a bit more about Dan and how he comes to end up in this predicament.
Basically you either have the golden touch with the girls or you don’t, if you catch my drift Rachey babe. Dan’s problem was that he stupidly got himself into a relationship and wasted three years when he could have been playing the field like me! So when he broke up with his ex-Stacey – which by the way was hilariously messy – he had completely forgotten how to go on the pull. It was embarrassing to be honest; watching him get into one ridiculous situation after the next. Do you know that he once went on a date and was unable to seal the deal because he got chased away by a sausage dog? True story.

In an attempt to help Dan get over his drought, you and the boys take him on a road trip. You created a set of rules for you and your friends to abide by. What is the most important rule you have to obey on a road trip?
That one is easy Rachey babe…

Stop calling me Rachey babe.
…What happens on tour, stays on tour! When you’re away with the lads, you can’t go blabbing about every little detail when you get home. In The Drought I delivered a 10 point rule all men should follow when they hit the open road for the ultimate lad getaway. You can read it here.

Things are a little bit different for Dan in The Flood as this time round he makes a bet with you and your friends that he can date four girls all at once. What can you tell us about that?
Watching him transform into a nervous wreck trying to keep each girl from finding out about each other was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Dan never makes things easy for himself. Instead of finding himself four quiet and unassuming girls that would have been easy to deal with, he goes and dates a stalker, his crazy ex-girlfriend, the office ice queen, and a girl so hot she could melt the polar ice caps. The problem is, when you are as unlucky-in-love as Dan is, it is never going to be smooth sailing!

Okay, time for a quick-fire question round before we wrap this up. Who would you be stuck on a desert island with?
Cheryl Cole.

What is your greatest ambition?
To be stuck on a desert island with Cheryl Cole.

What's your greatest fear?
That if I made it on to that island with Cheryl Cole, she might be good at boat making.

Thanks for joining me Jack and good luck with promoting The Drought and The Flood.
It was my pleasure Rachey babe. Hey, do you like pizza?

Sigh.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

"The Flood can definitely be read as a stand alone... I was smiling the whole way through" - The Flood book review (taken from Rachel's Random Reads)

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Chick Lit, Lad Lit, Funny Book, Comedy Novel, Kindle Unlimited, Amazon, Kindle, eBook,
This book review was originally posted on Rachel's Random Reads on Thursday, April 28, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

My only slight regret with regard to this book, is that I didn't make the time to read The Drought first, and that is purely because I loved the writing so much in The Flood, that I'm already longing for more. The Flood can definitely be read as a stand alone and enjoyed as such, and I was smiling the whole way through.

My first impressions of this book, was that it reminded me a bit of that 90s TV programme, Men Behaving Badly, especially with regards some of the humour. I find that humour is subjective, so although this didn't have me rolling on the floor with laughter, as I may have been hoping, I did find it very amusing, and there are some brilliant one liners.

In fact any time Olly or Steph said something they got either a giggle or an eye roll from me, depending on the exact level of stupidity they were displaying. They are loveable characters, just unfortunately a bit dim, or as Olly said for himself at one point, that he needed to work on his "vocadbury".

If you are a person who doesn't like reading about men dating multiple people at one time, then this may not be the best book for you. However this is fiction, none of these women got hurt in the making of the book, and it is all a bit of fun, especially for a group of four lads in their twenties, as a result of a very drunken bet.

The Flood is a brilliant example of the Lad Lit genre between its sense of humour and the overall storylines and situations the characters find themselves in. This is emphasised by Dan and the four women he attempts to date simultaneously which include his ex-girlfriend, a stalker, the office ice queen who loves bad boys and the girl he has previously messed up two previous dates with.

We also get to know all of Dan's friends really well, and with the introduction of reasonably naive lad into the group, who needs Jack's expert tuition to be better with the ladies. There are chat up lines galore in this book, as well as drunken hijinx, a very weird flatmate, the stalker's stalker, and all manner of weird and wonderful happenings.

All I am going to say at this point is that books ends with those three words can really bug a person, and I am really looking forward to the next edition of this Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series. I think Steven Scaffardi is definitely a talent to be watched in this genre.