Tuesday, 20 March 2018

An Interview With a Lad Lit Fan

This interview was olriginally posted on Hey Said Renee on Friday, May 6, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

G’day fellow book lovers! It’s day 18 of the Lad Lit Blog Tour and I’m here in sunny Australia with Hey Said Renee. For the past two and half weeks I have been busy promoting my books and championing lad lit, but I’m worried people might be getting bored of hearing from me. So to change things up a bit, I interviewed chick lit fan and book reviewer Kell Smurthwaite, to get her take on lad lit…

Hi Kell, thank you for joining me for this interview to discuss everything lad lit as part of the Lad Lit Blog Tour. For readers who have never read lad lit before, how would you describe it?
That's a tough one, because Lad-Lit is such a wide-ranging genre that can incorporate anything from sci-fi to historical fiction to action, and everything in between. One thing that I do see recurring most often, though, is a darker sense of humour than Chick-Lit, which I love. I've also never really been a fan of romances, as I tend to find them a bit namby-pamby and very unrealistic, whereas, if there happens to be a bit of love interest in a Lad-Lit novel, there is that ever-present undercurrent of humour, and a little more realism, rather than idealism.

As a fan of both chick lit and lad lit, what do you think are the biggest differences and similarities between the two genres?
I think the way romantic encounters are portrayed are probably the biggest difference. As I mentioned before, there's that element of poking fun at the protagonist, and a more realistic approach to the foibles of the partners in Lad-Lit, whereas Chick-Lit often puts a soft focus on those scenes, painting a picture of the perfect man for the heroine. I live in an imperfect world, and I don't want an impossibly perfect image of a man – it kind of sets the standards too high for real life relationships, if you get what I mean! Lad-Lit definitely has the edge for me there. I guess I'd say the biggest similarity between the genres is the imperfection of the lead character. In Chick-Lit, you'll often have a ditzy girl who can't get her life together till she meets the right guy (I know, right? Since when was life made easier by love?), and Lad-Lit will often have a similarly clueless guy in the lead, often a bit of a Jack-the-lad, although, he doesn't always settle down when he finds the right girl. In fact, he usually screws it up in some way. I guess I prefer the complications involved there – far more realistic!

Who is your favourite lad lit author and why?
I love Nick Hornby! I recognise an awful lot of his leading men as being very like guys I know and have known in the past. I usually find them rather endearing, often because of, rather than in spite of, their idiosyncrasies.

What is the best lad lit book you've ever read?
I know it's probably a little clich├ęd to say it, but High Fidelity by Nick Hornby is one of my favourites. I think partially because of my own love of music, but largely because of how raw the emotions of Rob and Laura are portrayed. Their reactions to their relationship problems and life in general are very real and very, well, human. It's just a great book, full stop. Everyone should read it, male or female!

In your opinion, why has lad lit never hit the heights of chick lit?
The only reason I can think of could possibly be that reading has largely been seen as a more feminine pastime – although I know plenty of men who do read, I know far more women who do, and the reading men in my circle are heavily outnumbered by the non-readers. I love it when I see a guy reading. A man with a book in his hands is instantly infinitely more attractive to me – it shows he can engage his mind in a way to which I can personally relate. And let's face it, who doesn't love talking about their favourite books with other people?

If you had 20 seconds to convince someone why they should read lad lit what would you say?
People should just read, full stop! Seriously, pick up a book and start reading. It doesn't matter what genre, just read! And if you don't like the book you're reading, put it down and try a different one. There are so many great books out there, and if you don't enjoy reading, it's just because you haven't found the right book to light that fire in you that makes you want to keep going and read more. Find that book, and you'll never look back!

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