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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Blog Tour - Author Q & A with Steven Scaffardi

Today we are delighted to welcome LadLit author and blogger Steven Scaffardi onto the blog. This is a genre we hadn't heard of before so we were eager to find out more about it, see below for our Q & A.

About the new book, The Flood

One bet, four girls, eight weeks, multiple dates. What could possibly go wrong?

Following his traumatic eight month dry spell, Dan Hilles is back in the driving seat and ready to put his dating disasters behind him.

But if only it were that simple.

After a drunken afternoon in the pub, fuelled by the confidence of alcohol, Dan makes a bet with his three best pals that will complicate his love-life more than ever when he brazenly declares that he could juggle multiple women all at the same time.

With just eight weeks to prove his point, Dan is about to find out how hard it is to date a flood of women without them all finding out about each other, especially when they come in the shape of an ex-girlfriend, a stalker, the office ice queen and the one that got away.

The Flood is the hilarious follow-up to The Drought by lad lit author Steven Scaffardi, chronicling the adventures of unlucky-in-love Dan Hilles

Title:         The Flood
Author:    Steven Scaffardi
Published By: Lad Lit Press
Date:        Ebook: April 30th Paperback: May 19th 2016
Link:        UK: Amazon  US: Amazon

Author Q & A with Steven Scaffardi

Hi Steven, welcome to Sincerely Book Angels blog.
Thank you for having me, it’s great to be here!

First of all can you tell us what exactly LadLit is?
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. 

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I think I fell in the love with the characters I’d created in the first book (The Drought) so much that I didn’t want to leave them. It was like some sort of bizarre literary separation anxiety! Part of me wanted to know what would happen next, so I decided to write The Flood to find out. I didn’t set out to write a series, but I can see Sex, Love and Dating Disasters running for another two or three books after this one, which is quite exciting.

Did you always want to be a writer?
I always enjoyed writing stories, but I don’t think I ever really considered it until I was about 23, but even then it took me nearly a decade to actually write a book! Better late than never I guess.

What other jobs have you had?
When I was younger I worked on a building site, I was a barman, and a white van man. Then I studied journalism at university and I was sports reporter for a couple of years. After that I moved into sales for a publishing house before moving on to events in the media and marketing sector, which I am still doing to this very day. I get to work with some cool clients like Facebook and Twitter, and I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the world because of my work, so lots of my writing now gets done on planes and in hotel rooms.

How did it feel when your first novel was published?
I love how eBooks have transformed the way people read, but nothing quite beats seeing your book in print. I guess the best way to sum up how I felt was proud. You put so much time and effort into writing a book that it’s a great feeling to finally have all that hard work come to life in that paperback.

Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
Oh yeah, it happens quite a lot. The way I deal with it is to walk away from the laptop and try not to think about it too much. One technique I use is to create a music playlist for the book I’m working on – like a movie soundtrack. I normally go out jogging to clear my head and listen to the songs and that helps me come up with new ideas. The problem is, the older I get, the less I’m able to run so the ideas need to come pretty fast!

What motivates you to keep writing?
It sounds a bit corny, but just the love of it really. I enjoy making people laugh, and so far the first two books I’ve written seem to be doing just that. About four years ago I did a bit of stand-up comedy for a year, and it was such a buzz being able to make a room full of people laugh at the stories I would tell them. I still get that same feeling when I get a good review or a reader contacts me on social media to tell me something crazy like they laughed so much that they spat tea out on the train! It makes it all worth it.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
No, not really, although some of the characters and themes are based on my own experiences or stories I have been told by friends, so I feel very close to these characters. Because I write comedy I guess I have to be in the right mood to write it. There is no point trying to write something that you hope will make people laugh if you’re feeling a bit down or angry about something. The jokes probably wouldn’t be that funny!

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
1. Write character bios for all of your characters – whether they appear in one chapter or all of the chapters – because that way you will always know how they will react in different situations.
2. Carry some form of notepad, whether it’s paper or an app on your phone. The best ideas will always come at the most random of times, so you should always be prepared to take notes.
3. Create a music playlist for your book, as I mentioned earlier. Listening to your book soundtrack will help unlock those ideas floating around in your head trying to get out.

Which authors inspire you?
Any author who can continuously come up with new and brilliant stories over a sustained period of time inspires me. Whether it’s Stephen King drawing us into an intense horror, or JK Rowling creating an amazing new world, or John Grisham expertly guiding us around a courtroom drama; I am in awe of anyone who can use their imagination to create something that captivates so many on something as simple as written word on a piece of paper.

What are you reading at the moment?
I’ve just finished reading an autobiography called Milk-Blood by Adrian Simon. Adrian’s father was sentenced to 12 years in a Thai prison when he was only a young boy for drug trafficking in what was a huge media story in Australia when it happened. Adrian tells his story about how he coped with that burden growing up, but what really made this such a good read was that Adrian and his mother have led such incredible lives. Next on my reading list is This Thirtysomething Life by Jon Rance.

If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Great question! You know how I love my soundtracks. I think Take Her Back by The Pigeon Detectives would be a really good shout. It’s fun, up-tempo, and it’s about a guy hooking up with a girl (or a series of different girls) so the theme works. Other than that, The Flood by Take That would be a good choice for two reasons: 1) The book is called The Flood and 2) I’m just a massive Take That fan!

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
This is getting freaky now! Two years ago I blogged about what actors would play the lead roles if The Drought was made into a film. For Dan Hilles (the lead character in both books) I opted for an actor called Alex Carter who played a character called Lee Hunter in TV soap Hollyoaks. Both Dan and Lee Hunter have a lot of similarities so I thought it was a good match. You can read all of the blog posts here.

What is your next book about?
It will be the third book in the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series and this time the boys all head off to Latvia in search for a girl who dated Dan’s best friend Rob. The story itself is a little bit different to the first two books, and in a way it is a bit of a tribute to The Book With No Name from the Bourbon Kid series of books, which is one of my favourite books at the moment. There are some very weird and whacky characters planned for this book including a Russian mafia don, two karaoke loving corrupt cops who worship Wham, a pimp who is stuck in the 70s, a couple of drag queens, a sleazy hotel boss and his strange wife, and a local henchman called Ray the Local. I’m excited about this one.

And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.'

Which book has made you:

Laugh out loud?
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.

Cry your heart out?
I’ve never read a book that made me cry; then again my wife doesn’t think I have any tear ducts because I rarely cry at anything!

Want to read it again?
The Godfather by Mario Puzo.

Think more?
Milk-Blood by Adrian Simon.

Wish it would be made into a film?
The Book With No Name (anonymous author).

In The Shadow of Papillon by Frank Kane.

IT by Stephen King

Thanks for joining us today Steven and good luck with the book.

Book Angels x 

About the Author

Steven Scaffardi
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 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.

Both books are available at Amazon and can be downloaded on the Kindle for 99p or you can buy the paperback for £8.99.

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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