Thursday, 26 May 2016

Author Interview: Steven Scaffardi

Today I'm delighted to be welcoming Steven Scaffardi, author of The Drought and The Flood, to the blog as he nears the end of his epic #LadLit blog tour. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your new book The Flood?
Hi Sharon, thanks for having me! The Flood is my second comedy novel and the second book in the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series. In follows a similar pattern to The Drought in that it explores relationships and dating from the male perspective, and pretty much exposes men for being hopeless at romance rather than hopeless romantics! 

Unlike The Drought, where Dan (the lead character) was going through a sexual drought, this time round he finds himself in the position of having to juggle multiple women at one time, and things don’t get much better for him. 

The book has been going well so far, with a very positive response from readers on Goodreads. Fingers crossed people keep buying the book and keep laughing.  

The story revolves around a bet which results in serial dating, are there influences of any of your own dates in the book? 
Yes, unfortunately there are, in both books! For all the bragging men do down the pub in front of our mates about our sexual prowess, we’re not actually as good as we think we are! That is why I think lad lit is the perfect complement to chick lit, because it brings balance back to the world! 

I have been on some truly hilarious dates for all the wrong reasons, and after listening to stories from friends about their experiences, it gave me enough material to write 10 books, let alone one! Of course, I have used a bit of creative freedom in some cases to add a bit more comedy to the scenes, but in one or two cases, the stories you read in the books are exactly how the dates went in real life!

Describe Dan in three words.
Unlucky in love.

Why did you decide to arrange this Lad Lit blog tour? 
Because I didn’t really feel like lad lit gets the press it deserves. There are lots of great writers in the genre producing some great work, but for whatever reason there doesn’t seem to be an obvious platform for it. We tend to hijack chick lit blogs, and I think they’re getting a bit tired of us. It’s time we got our own place! The thing is, most readers I speak to have never heard of lad lit before, but once they have read one of my books, they absolutely love it! I say most of the readers, you can’t always please everyone, including the reviewer who called The Drought imbecilic! Fair comment I guess, it is about a guy trying to get his leg over!

What can we expect from you next? 
Right now, the Lad Lit Blog Tour is taking up all of my time, but it’s been an amazing experience and I’ve met some awesome people. I have started jotting down ideas for the third book in the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series. At the moment the working title is The Pact and it follows the boys as they travel to Latvia in search of a girl who dated Dan’s best friend Rob. It’s a slightly different type of story to the first two books, and is a bit of a tribute to the anonymous author of the Bourbon Kid series. So far the boys encounter two karaoke loving corrupt cops who love Wham, a Pimp who is stuck in the 70’s, two drag queens, a sleazy hotel boss and his strange wife, a Russian mafia don, and a henchman called Ray the Local. I’m hoping to have something out by the end of the year.

How did your writing journey start?
I’d always enjoyed writing stories as a kid, but it wasn’t until five years ago that I sat down in front of the laptop and tapped out The Drought. My enthusiasm came from being forced to watch one too many romcom movies by my wife where I would find myself shouting at the TV: “But a man wouldn’t say that!” So I decided to put the record straight, and write a book that told it how it really is!

Before that I studied journalism at university and worked as a journalist for nearly three years before I took my career in a new direction.

Has your journalism experience help you during the writing/editing process?  
Definitely, 100%. Studying and then working as a journalist certainly taught me a number of skills, apart from the obvious! The editing process is just as important, but perhaps more importantly, the job I do now is helping me even more with the marketing side of things. I work with a lot of companies like Facebook and Twitter, so understanding how to use these platforms to reach an audience has been really valuable. I’m not there yet though, and sometimes I fear my age will get in the way. I can just about work out how to Tweet, but all these new social platforms like Snapchat? Forget about it!

What authors have influenced you as a writer? 
There are lots of great lad lit authors I look to like Nick Hornby and Tony Parsons, but I’d say the two who influenced me the most would be Mike Gayle and Nick Spalding. Mike Gayle because My Legendary Girlfriend was the first ever lad lit book I read, and I loved it so much it probably gave me the shove I needed to write a book myself. Nick Spalding inspired me because he was in the position of so many indie authors and showed that you can be a successful lad lit author without the backing of a big publisher or agent. Plus his books are hilarious!

What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
I remember when I was editing my first novel and I wanted it to be perfect so I just kept re-writing and re-writing. In the end, the editor I was working with said: “Steve, it is time to let your baby go.” What she was saying was that sometimes as a writer you need to just step back and trust what you have created is good. You become so close to the work and end up reading it back hundreds of times that you start trying to make changes for the sake of it. Just trust in what you set out to do and whatever will be, will be.

Steven Scaffardi is the author of the Sex, Love and Dating Disaster series. His first novel, 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 Drought and his new novel The Flood – a comedy about one man trying to juggle four women at the same time – are both available for just 99p on the Kindle at Amazon.

Follow all of the fun on his 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.

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