Sunday, 29 April 2018

All we are saying, is give lad lit a chance!

The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Comedy, Funny, Laugh Out Loud,
This guest post was originally posted on By The Letter Book Reviews on Monday, March 21, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

I often lay awake at night fretting over the choices I’ve made as an author. It is like some sort of literary insomnia; panic setting in as I toss and turn over the fact I have thrown all of my eggs into the lad lit basket, the frowned upon little brother of its more successful chick lit sibling.

I’m lying of course. I don’t really stay up all night because of my genre choices. I have an 11-month-old baby girl who keeps me up until the early hours. But she is super cute so I let her off.

I’m just trying to pull at your bibliophile heart strings. You see, I believe that lad lit is just misunderstood; a victim of a severe case of Chinese Whispers.

According to, lad lit is: A literary genre that features books written by men and focusing on young, male characters, particularly those who are selfish, insensitive, and afraid of commitment.

That description wouldn’t exactly encourage me to read lad lit either.

But let’s not be too hasty here. If lad lit was a Hollywood movie genre, surely it would be a comedic triumph. Just take a look at some of the recent loveable rogues who fit that lad lit description: Stifler from American Pie, Phil from The Hangover, Seth from Superbad, Jay from The Inbetweeners. They all arguably steal the show in those respected films. They are not characters we love to hate, they are quite simply characters we love.

Maybe lad lit isn’t the right term to use. Perhaps there is already too much of a stigma attached to those two little words that evoke the wrong reaction in booklovers. Other variations of the genre don’t really do much help to the cause either: bro lit, bloke lit, geezer lit, fratire, dick lit.

Dick lit?!

No wonder it has a bad name, especially as I’m willing to guess that most readers would rather pick up a good thriller or crime novel before they even consider a book with the word ‘dick’ associated to the classification!

So let me try and build a case for lad lit.

Tony Parsons, Mike Gayle, Nick Spalding, Matt Dunn, Danny Wallace, Jon Rance. Call it what you like – romantic comedies, chick lit for men, funny books about relationships, laugh out loud novels, lad lit – they have all written brilliantly wonderful stories full of characters that reader’s fall in love with.

The one glaring omission from that list is of course Nick Hornby; the undisputed king of lad lit, multi-time best-selling author, a Bafta winner and two-time Oscar nominee! Here is a man who brought us Rob Fleming in High Fidelity; one of the greatest contemporary novels of our time. It is probably fair comment to say that Fleming was selfish, insensitive, and afraid of commitment, but we loved him nonetheless.

With that argument being made, I don’t think we should consider lad lit an unworthy genre. I think it encapsulates the category perfectly. Let’s not overcomplicate things – lad rhymes with lit, it sounds like chick lit, it is invariably books with a male protagonist exploring their emotions through love, friendship and adventure. Lad lit works.

With my Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series I make no bones about the style of my writing and the obvious lack of romance synonymous with chick lit. My books are about the fun side of dating and relationships. It’s about that car crash first date you still tell your friends about 10 years after it happened. It’s about that relationship that leaves you forever wondering what was I thinking? It’s about that fabulous roller coaster of experiences you have to go through before you meet the one, because long after you have had that HEA ending, those memories will stay with you and you’ll always look back with a smile.

For me, that’s what lad lit is really about. Women have long debated over a glass of wine or two how clueless men can be when it comes to romance; I just try to bring that to life in the pages of my books. I’ve had both men and women read and enjoy both The Drought and The Flood; many who have never even heard of or read a lad lit novel before. I interviewed Jon Rance recently and asked him if he thought lad lit would become as big as chick lit one day and he said:

“I don’t think so simply because the majority of readers are women. One of my biggest and luckiest breaks was working with an amazing and lovely editor at Hodder. We became good friends and still are. One of the first things she told me was that most of my readers were women. It made me realise that I wasn’t writing books for blokes like me, but women, who were not like me at all. You have to take this into account when writing. I don’t think lad-lit really exists because not enough men read it. This is why it’s so hard for men to tackle the world of romantic comedies. We’re at a disadvantage going in. There’s also a lot more women writing in this genre than men. But that doesn’t mean a handful of men can’t be successful.”

His response saddened me somewhat because I think with the right sort of publicity, lad lit is a genre that many more readers – both male and female – would enjoy immensely. That’s why I started #LadLitSunday, a social media initiative to highlight the great work being written by lad lit authors.

So next time you find yourself with a free Sunday and nothing to read, be sure to check out the hashtag, and you never know – you might just be pleasantly surprised with that selfish, insensitive, commitment phobe you’ve been trying so hard to avoid.

David's Book Blurg gives The Flood a 5-star book review!!

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit, Funny Book, Comedy Novel, Laugh Out Loud,
This book review was originally posted on David's Book Blurg on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

5/5 Stars
The Flood is the second novel in the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series. If you haven’t already read my review of The Drought, check it out here.

We are back with Dan Hilles and his very unfortunate love life..If you haven’t read the first book don’t worry, the author weaves such a good story they work well as standalone tales.

If possible this book was even better than the first, for me it had more cringy moments where I found myself laughing on public transport.. at one point I even let out a little snort..not my finest moment I’ll admit.

The guys in the story are a very likeable bunch. I think the author really does give a true male perspective. Yes we can be tits sometimes but for the most part we mean no harm.. we just don’t use our brain as much as we should… and we can end up in some awkward situations just like Dan.

From the opening chapters and synopsis I thought I had a good idea what the direction the story would go in but with all the twists and turns the author throws in I literally had no idea what would happen next.. the only thing I knew for certain is that I had to keep reading.

One of the things I liked most in this book is we are introduced to some very weird and fun new characters… some were so unpredictable you just had to keep reading to see what they got up to next

If you read my reviews you’ll know I’m not one for spoilers.. but the ending blow me away.. didn’t see it coming a mile off and I’m eagerly looking forward to more from the author.

I definitely feel the characters have grown a little since the first book, although not very much ha ha they’re still the fun bunch of lads that had me laughing in The Drought.

Overall I felt this was a honest, funny and clever tale that pretty much anyone will enjoy.. how can you not 🙂

If you’re looking for a nice fun read then this is the series for you. It keeps you hooked and leaves you wanting more..

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review his was my absolute pleasure

Thursday, 26 April 2018

"I don’t think I’ve ever smiled as much or laughed as hard as I did reading this book" - David's Book Blurg reviews The Drought

The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit, Funny Book, Comedy Novel,
This book review was originally posted on David's Book Blurg on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

5/5 Stars
First let me say this.. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled as much or laughed as hard as I did reading this book, multiple times a had to cover me face to stop the laugh coming out while on public transport.

This book follows Dan and his numerous disasters in the dating world. Although I felt for the guy I couldn’t help but laugh at the events that played out.

One of the best things about the book for me was that the author hit dead on with the events, so much so that it reminded me of my own life at points during my late teens/early twenties. I identified with the characters and could see a lot of my own friend’s personalities in Dan’s friends.

The book is well written and funny and is told at a good pace. I found myself getting to the end of a chapter and pausing to take in the events, chuckle some more and review the events that have played out in my own life

For me this was a very honest tale of a young man, recently single looking to get his end away, he’s not looking to hurt anyone and I’d like to think most men will identify with that.

Overall the book was brilliantly funny and spot on with the comedy, made up of funny events and some very cringy ones that will leave you with a smile on your face.

When I first heard about this book I did wonder if it was better suited to a male audience and thanks to my friend Sarah @ bytheletterbookreviews I’m very glad to say she found it just as funny as me. You can see her review here…. And I definitely agree with Sarah’s comment that this would a brilliant TV show

If you’re looking for a fun read this is definitely one to pick up! My thanks go to Steven for the opportunity to read/review the book.

I’m half way through the follow up book ‘The Flood’ and can tell you so far it hasn’t disappointed.. just as funny and I’m dying to read more.

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!

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?


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.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Lad Lit FAQ

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit,
This guest blog was originally posted on The Book Review Cafe on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

The most frequently asked question I get these days is “So what is lad lit?” It’s not exactly the thing you want to hear as a lad lit author – one reader after another confessing to not having heard of the genre you have put so much work into. It’s a bit like being Kim Kardashian and someone asking you what a selfie is.

The truth is lad lit has many names – bro lit, dick lit, fratire, bloke lit, chick lit for men. And it could technically fall into a number of different categories such as humour. But whatever name people want to label it, there is no denying that some of the best contemporary fiction in recent times can be classed as lad lit. Take High Fidelity by Nick Hornby for example.

So when I knew I’d be popping into The Book Café for my favourite cup of coffee, I decided to bring along my very own lad lit menu of FAQs to try and answer the questions on everyone’s lips. So…

What is 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.

Who writes lad lit?
There are a cluster of best-selling authors in the UK writing lad lit including Mike Gayle, Danny Wallace, Nick Spalding, Matt Dunn, Tony Parsons, Jon Rance and the undisputed king of lad lit – Nick Hornby. A Bafta winner and two-time Oscar nominee no less!

So why haven’t I heard of it before?
Lad lit has been living in the shadow of its older and much more successful sibling, chick lit, for quite some time now. Plus there is a common perception that women read more than men, so sometimes it is not obvious where the fan base would come from.

Is lad lit just for men then?
No, not at all. It’s certainly a genre that men can relate to with great hilarity, but at the same time it offers an alternative to chick lit and opens up the door to a man’s mind leaving women to worry if that’s what men really think with a nervous laugh!

What’s the difference between chick lit and lad lit?
Apart from the obvious (one is written from a woman’s point of view and the other is an insight into the male mind), then not too much really. They both tackle the same sort of issues, but of course you’re always going to get different completely different angles, and in that very subtle difference is the major separator. After all, men are from mars and women are from venus.

How will I know if I will like lad lit or not?
The best way to find out is to sample it. You can read chapter one of The Flood HERE

How is the Lad Lit Blog Tour going to help raise the profile of lad lit?
I’m hoping to promote the genre to as many book lovers as possible. A lot of readers would have picked up a lad lit novel before without even realising it is lad lit. I hope as many people as possible follow the #LadLitBlogTour and I’d be happy to answer more questions on Twitter.

If lad lit was a film, what would it be?
It would probably be something like The 40-Year-Old Virgin or Knocked Up. In the case of my Sex, Love and Dating Disaster series, a TV producer actually likened The Drought to hit Channel 4 comedy The Inbetweeners.

Seeing as you have brought it up, what is The Drought about?
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!

And you are sure that women are going to enjoy this as much as men?
Oh yes, in fact Chick Lit Plus gave it a four-star review and said: “Steven Scaffardi’s first novel is absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud.”

Finally, what is The Flood all about?
Much of the same in terms of the laughs, but this time Dan makes a very silly drunken bet that he can date four women at the same time, and of course, it turns into a total nightmare! Not that he should be surprised when he is dating a stalker, his ex-girlfriend, the office ice queen and the one that got away.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Chick Lit vs Lad Lit

The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit,
This was originally posted on Chick Lit Goddess on Monday, April 25 as part of #LadLitBlogTour

“But a man wouldn’t say that!”

This is a common rant I direct at my wife, normally heard a few seconds after I have picked up a copy of whatever chick lit book she happens to be reading at the time and have skimmed a few lines.

“And he definitely wouldn’t turn into a vampire.”

That specific rant is reserved for when she happens to be reading Twilight.

I’ll hold my hands up and admit I’ve never actually read a chick lit novel, but I’ve been forced to endure plenty of romcom films and I’ve skimmed enough pages to know that chick lit is setting the bar far too high for us men.

Let’s be honest ladies – how many of those perfect male chick lit characters who win the heart of the main female protagonist have you actually met in real life?

I’m not trying to say that men are completely clueless when it comes to the opposite sex, but there’s a reason why wine and girls nights out were invented, so you could all sit around commiserating about the fact that we are still friends with our ex’s on Facebook and don’t see why that’s a problem.

I often use the analogy that if book genres were a diet then chick lit would be the perfect ‘after’ picture and lad lit would be the rather sheepish looking ‘before’ picture.

I sometimes wonder if there is some sort of conspiracy that I don’t know about and all of these chick lit novels are actually written by men pretending to be women, just so the seed can be planted that there is an abundance of flawless men somewhere out there.

But then I realised that if a man did have that idea, he’d probably get so excited that he’d call his mates up to invite them to the pub to celebrate, drink too much, neglect to text his girlfriend to let her know he’d be late home, roll in at about 4am with a kebab and completely forget the great idea he thought of.

That’s why I believe men write lad lit, to create some balance in the world. Lad lit is about exposing the male mind to female eyes and leaving women the world over wondering: is that what men really think?

And when you think about it, lad lit is the perfect companion for chick lit fans. It’s the other side of the coin, the yin to the chick lit yang, the John Lennon to the Yoko Ono. Lad lit is completely different to chick lit, yet exactly the same – just like the perfect relationship.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that chick lit vs lad lit is a bit like the battle of the sexes. We both strive to get the upper hand in the gender stakes, but at the same time we simply can’t live without each other.

So I’ll make all of you chick lit fans a deal right now. I’ll pick up a chick lit novel and I’ll give it a chance if you do the same for lad lit. But please, promise me one thing – don’t judge us. We try our best, and just like lad lit, all we want to do is put a smile on your face.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

#LadLitBlogTour Rewind! Interview with Chick Lit Goddess

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit, Funny Books, Comedy Book, Comedy Novel
This interview was originally posted on Chick Lit Goddess on Monday, April 25, 2016 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

Describe yourself in five words: 
Husband, father, friend, sarcastic and imaginative.

Tell us about your writing/editing/publishing process?
I try to write between 1-2 hours a day, and maybe a little more at the weekends. Writing is not my day job so I have to juggle a few things around it, but I try to use those everyday experiences as inspiration. I think the funniest things in life are those actions or scenarios that everyone can relate to. For example, in my new book The Flood, there are three or four scenes set around the main character’s train journey to and from work, and it includes people and situations that most commuters see on a daily basis. The reaction to those scenes in the book from book bloggers I gave preview copies to has been brilliant, with many of them highlighting those parts as the funniest.

In terms of publishing and editing, I self-publish so I do a lot of it myself. I must have written over 30 drafts of The Flood, and in the end I had to just stop myself because you end up becoming too familiar with the story and then want to change it all. You have to know when to walk away and know that you’ve done the best job you can.

If you could meet any author, who would it be and why? 
Wow, that’s a hell of a question! I have a few favourite authors who I bet have some great stories to tell. People like Ben Mezrich who has written brilliant stories such as the birth of Facebook to the MIT students who took down Las Vegas casinos, or maybe Jeff Abbott or John Grisham who I admire greatly for being able to create such suspense within their writing. But I think the one author I’d love to meet is probably Stephen King. I think he has one of the most imaginative minds on the planet. He is known for writing horror stories, but he has written so many different types of genres. For example, two of my favourite films of all time – Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption – were both inspired by Stephen King stories.

Tell us about the genre, Lad Lit? 
Lad lit is the male equivalent to chick lit. It is books primarily written by men about men, or certainly from the male perspective. Like chick lit it traditionally focuses on subjects such as love, relationships, and dating. From a personal point of view, I think lad lit should always have humour at the heart of the story.

Hard/paperbacks or eBooks?
As much as I love to embrace new technology, you can’t beat the feeling of holding a book in your hands. I think eBooks are great and make so many different types of books accessible to people all over the world, but sit me on a beach with a good paperback and I’m as happy as can be.

What’s a typical day like for you? 
I work in the media and marketing sector and luckily I get to travel all over the world for my job, so each day is varied. But the two constants in my life are my amazing wife and our beautiful baby daughter. I make a lot of fun in my books about the differences between men and women, but I love those two little ladies more than life itself.

What are you reading? 
I’ve just finished reading a book called Milk-Blood by Adrian Simon. It’s an autobiography about a guy in Australia whose father was convicted of trafficking heroin and sentenced to 12 years in a Thai prison. He talks about the impact his father’s choices had on him as a young child, but what makes this book so good was that Adrian has led such an amazing life. It’s an incredible story.

Is the social media a help or a hinder? 
I’d definitely say it’s a help because it has allowed authors – particularly indie authors like myself – to have direct access to readers. But it can be very time consuming. Take Twitter for example – you are playing in a field of over 300m users. Where do you even begin to get through to the right people? But it makes it all worth it when you get a tweet out of the blue from someone halfway around the world that has some nice things to say about your book. It makes it all worth it.

Do you have any writing rituals?
One I have is that I like to create a music playlist for whatever book I happen to be working on. It’s a bit like a movie soundtrack and it helps me come up with ideas when I’m listening to it. I also like to give each character as much background as possible, even if they are just appearing in one chapter. The more you know about a character, the better prepared you are to write about how they would react in different situations, and makes them less two-dimensional.

What do you want people to take away from your books?
I want them to walk away with a smile, having laughed their way through the pages and not taken anything too seriously. Life is too short. Smile, laugh, chuckle. I used to do stand-up comedy and there is nothing quite like being able to make a room for of people laugh at the jokes and stories you have made up. I love it when readers contact me to tell me that my book has literally made them laugh out loud in public. It’s a great feeling.

Every author must have (a):
Perseverance. In abundance! I think you have to write for the love of it, and don’t expect people to read your book just because you have written one. Heck, you’ll be lucky if all of your friends even read your book! It’s tough trying to write, promote, and market your book all by yourself, so you’ll need to persevere at every corner.

What are you working on right now?
I have just finished my second novel The Flood, so I am trying to promote that but I am planning on a third book in the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series. The working title is The Pact and all I can really say at this stage is that the boys travel to Latvia and encounter a bunch of gangsters, drag queens, pimps, corrupt cops and lots more. I’m looking forward to getting it down on paper!

Sunday, 1 April 2018

My top five favourite characters from the Sex, Love & Dating Disasters series

The Sex Love & Dating Disasters, Book Series, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Chick Lit, Comedy, Funny, Laugh Out Loud, Funniest Book of 2018,This guest post was originally postedon Amy's Bookish Life on Tuesday, May 10 as part of the #LadLitBlogTour

On Sunday, before taking my daughter over to the park to enjoy the rare bit of the London sunshine, I was watching a bit of Sunday Brunch (don’t judge me – I’m 38. This is what I do with my life now!), and John Barrowman was talking about the series of YA books he writes with his sister, Carole. At one point he was telling a story of how his sister called him up late one night in tears, crying that she simply couldn’t kill off one of the characters they had created because she had simply grown too attached.

It got my thinking about the characters in my Sex, Love and Dating Disaster series. Who are the characters I simply couldn’t live without in the series?

So for this blog post, I wanted to share with you my top five favourite characters from The Drought and The Flood, and hopefully this will give you a bit of an insight to what lad lit is all about.

Kelly Campbell
5. Kelly Campbell
Kelly is probably the most challenging character I have to write about, because unlike the other female characters in the books, she is actually quite normal! But with that normality comes great responsibility. With more female readers of my books than male, Kelly is my one chance at proving that I had some knowledge of the female mind (although my wife would argue even that is pretty limited!). But Kelly is crucial to the book, because without her it would simply be Dan listening to a bunch of bad advice from his mates. She brings balance to the crazy world that Dan lives in, and creating a friendship between the two of them has been a lot of fun.

Ollie Pemberton
4. Ollie Pemberton
How could you not love a guy who thinks Kama Sutra was the name of a foreign exchange student he went to school with, or believes that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is historically accurate?! I think everyone has a friend like Ollie – the sort of guy who would do anything for you, but is as thick as two short planks! No matter what the situation the boys get themselves into, you can guarantee that Ollie will always say or do the wrong thing to make things even worse. I never get bored of trying to come up with an Ollie one-liner that is even more ridiculous than the last!

Dan Hilles
3. Dan Hilles
With no Dan Hilles, there would be no Sex, Love and Dating Disasters. Dan is the main man of books – the unlucky-in-love fool who can’t catch a break! Whether it’s experiencing a sexual drought in the The Drought or comically stumbling his way through having to date four girls at the same time in The Flood, you can always count on Dan to keep proving beyond doubt that men are definitely not hopeless romantics. We are, in fact, hopeless at romance. A lot of what happens to Dan has either come from personal experiences or those from friends, so he holds a very special place in my heart. For all the wrong reasons!

Denise Andrews
2. Denise Andrews
Denise is without doubt the most unpredictable of characters I have written so far. She was so much fun to write, because you could take her in so many directions depending on the situation. My favourite has to be the train scenes with Dan which has gotten so much positive response from readers because of how funny they are. Denise turns up in The Flood as one of the four women Dan ends up dating, and the fact she is known as a stalker tells you quite a lot already! Along with her ex-boyfriend, Ronnie (who by the way ends up stalking Dan too), I was never short of comical scenarios to stick her in. She was brilliant to write about, and secretly I think I’d like to date her too… just the once though!

Jack Chatham
1. Jack Chatham
Like marmite, you either love Jack, or you hate him, but I have nothing but love for the mouthy, little, cockney-wannabee who is always raring to take the mickey out of someone’s misfortune (normally Dan!). Jack’s relationship with Ollie is another highlight to write, because it pits the big, gormless, giant against the sharp-tongued mini assassin! The king of the chat-up lines with a small-man syndrome, Jack is the guy you probably warn your friends against dating, but can’t help but warm to once you get to know him. He is the little devil that lives inside each and every man, even though we might not show it quite as much as Jack.