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Monday, 15 October 2012
Top Ten Lad Lit Authors (the male version of chick lit!)
In a previous post, I attempted to answer the question What is lad lit. Well in this section I am going to attempt to introduce you to of the world of lad lit authors, with a list of some of the most well-known authors in the genre, plus a couple of up-and-coming writers to watch out for...
1. Nick Hornby
The undispited king of lad lit! Hornby has penned some of the great lad lit novels of our time and marked his arrival on the scene with Fever Pitch; a memoir about his obsession with football and Arsenal FC in particular. But it was High Fidelity where Hornby set the benchmark for all aspiring lad lit authors. His tale about thirty-something record shop owner Rob Fleming laid out many of the adult male insecurities with great hilarity. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Hornby is that, despite the huge success of his novels, he has only published six fiction titles since High Fidelity in 1995, with the 2009 novel Juliet, Naked being his latest work.
2. Mike Gayle
Mike Gyale was a features editor and later an agony aunt for girls mags Just Seventeen and Bliss, which probably goes quite some way to explaining why he is so good at understanding the chick lit for men genre. His first book, My Legendary Grlfriend, received fantastic praise and was even heralded as a Bridget Jones Diary for the male audience. Since then Mike's novels have continued to generate great feedback from readers, but some would argue that his style of writing has crossed over from being lad lit to more traditional chick lit author, albeit one that tends to write from the male perspective.
3. Danny Wallace
One of my favourite authors at the moment. Where Danny gets his crazy ideas from are anyones guess, but he writes them so brilliantly that you just can't help but get wrapped up in the story. He is probably best known for Yes Man (which got turned into a Hollywood blockbuster starring Jim Carey) and his award-winning column in Shortlist magazine. But the first Danny Wallace book I read was Friends Like These, where Danny travels around the globe to track down his ex-Primary School classmates. Utterly pointless but totally brilliant at the same time. Danny's recent novel Charlotte Street was his first foray into the world of fiction.
4. Tony Parsons
Tony Parsons is in the same ilk as Nick Hornby, in that he found huge success writing about the trials and tribulations of the thirty-something man. Parsons had written a number of books before he found huge success in 1999 with the multimillion selling novel Man and Boy; the brilliantly engaging novel that follows Harry as he learns to become a father to his son and a son to his aging father, and tries to find love at the same time. Parsons found his niche writing about relationships and often refers to his novels as Men Lit.
5. Nick Spalding
I only recently discovered Nick Spalding, who has enjoyed the successful journey from best-selling indie author to getting a three-book deal with a top publishing house. Another author in the Mike Gayle mould, where there is a very thin line between him being a lad lit or chick lit author. Still, what Spalding does is capture and identify the emotions and feelings from both the male and female characters, as he did so brilliantly with in Love... From Both Sides. It will be interesting to see what he delivers now he has the backing of a big publishing house. I'm watching this space!
6. Matt Dunn
Matt is another one of those authors that I have only recently just come across since I started to delve a bit deeper into the lad lit genre. I haven't read any of of his books yet, but he has had great success with his contemporary romantic comedy novels including Best Man and The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook, which was shortlisted for both the Romantic Novel Of The Year award, as well as the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. He's also written about life, love, and relationships for various publications including The Times, Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Company, Elle, Glamour, and The Sun.
7. Ben Mezrich
Ben Mezrich is perhaps not the most obvious name to jump out at you when you think of typical lad lit, but I add him to this list because he has an uncanny ability to spot real-life stories with male leads, and make you want to be that character! You might be more familiar with Mezrich's work on the big screen as he penned the books which the Hollywood smash hits The Social Network and 21 were based on, which starred Justin Timberlake and Kevin Spacey respectively. What Mezrich does so brilliantly is take a true story and use his artistic freedom to create a a really exciting read, albeit from very interesting stories.
8. Steve Carter
Steve Carter is the author of the number one Kindle smash hit Love, Sex, and Tesco's Finest Cava, which reached number one spot in the UK humour and number one in contemporary romance in March 2011. Another indie author who has proved that you can achieve great sales by going it alone, but other than that I don't know too much else about this author, other than his second novel is called Finding Yourself in Seville.
9. Mil Millington
Mil Millington first came to public prominence when he created a web-site entitled Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About. The site's main content was anecdotes describing arguments and misunderstandings between Mil and his German girlfriend Margret, mother of his two sons. Such was the popularity of this site that Mil was offered a publishing deal, and wrote a novel with the same title as his web-site, but with new content, published in 2002.
10. Steven Scaffardi
You didn't really expect me to write a top 10 list of lad lit authors without including myself did you?! Okay, so it's a little bit cheeky but with each and every positive reader comment and book review that trickles in, I'm confident and hopeful that my name will one day start to appear on other peoples top ten lad lists in the not too distant future. My debut novel The Drought is often compared to some of the authors I have listed here, which I always take as a huge compliment. And if you don't believe me, then just check out the reviews and comments it has been getting yourself!