Today we have a special treat on the blog. Matt Dunn, a British novelist living in Malaga, Spain (lucky!) has stopped by for an interview and a giveaway. His novel Ex-Girlfriends United, the premise of which includes a website with reviews about people which people can check before they go on the date with them, has just been released in the US by Sourcebooks!
Welcome to Nikola’s Book Blog! We are so happy to have you here.
Thank you for having me!
You write fiction that has, if I may say so, traditionally been reserved for women, if you don’t count certain bestselling authors like Nick Hornby, Dan Begley or Tony Parsons. Have you felt any anxiety of authorship? Do you think men and women write differently?
I don't feel any anxiety, perhaps because I don't feel I'm writing for any particular gender, and while I'm aware that more women than men read my books, I actually enjoy the fact that I'm 'different'. I've been told that one of the reasons women like my books is because I give the inside track on what men really think about life, love, and relationships - if that's my 'USP', then I'm happy to oblige.
As to whether men or women write differently, I think they often write about different things, mainly because they're often interested in different things, but good writing is good writing whatever sex the author is.
Your novel Ex-Girlfriends United is coming out in the US this month. You must be pretty excited, even though you’ve already had the book come out in the UK like three years ago?
I'm very excited. The prequel, The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook, came out in the US last year and got a good reception, so I'm interested to see how this one does.
The premise of Ex-Girlfriends United doesn’t seem very far-fetched. Were you inspired by any websites that really exist? Do you think this instant-getting-to-know-someone is typical of relationships nowadays?
No – I wasn't aware of anything like SlateYourDate, although it's a mystery to me why a website where people can rate their exes doesn't exist yet. Surely it'd be an ideal add-on to some of the bigger dating websites – it'd save people a lot of time and effort! And yes, internet dating in particular has meant that people know an awful lot about each other before they've even met – assuming what's written on their profile is true – meaning the early fun part of relationships, the 'getting-to-know-you' bit, is accelerated, and in some cases bypassed. It adds an interesting dynamic, but I think it also makes people feel relationships are a lot more disposable. Which isn't a good development.
Do you read chick or lad lit yourself? Do you have any favorite or inspirational authors?
Nick Hornby's High Fidelity was the book that made me want to write in the first place, John O'Farrell's The Best A Man Can Get was the book that almost made me want to stop, it was so funny. In terms of chick lit, Sophie Kinsella is hilarious (and was kind enough to give me a quote for the cover of Ex-Girlfriends United) , but I read a variety of authors– most recently, I've enjoyed David Nicholls' One Day. David Mitchell is possibly my favourite writer – Cloud Atlas is the most amazing novel I've ever read. I also love Haruki Murakami, Jay McInerney, Iain Banks, Douglas Coupland... Too many to mention, really. I've just read my first Jonathan Tropper – How To Talk To A Widower – which was excellent, so I'm looking forward to reading more of his work.
You write on your website that From Here to Paternity may become a movie! How do you feel about this?
I'd love it if it happens – but I know a lot of authors, and while many of them have had their books optioned, only one - Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic - has actually made it to the big screen, so I'm not holding my breath. Of all my books, I'd love The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook to be made into a movie – not only because I've already written two sequels – but because I'd love to see Ed and Dan brought to life. So if any producers are reading this, feel free to get in touch.
Thanks for stopping by the blog! And a big thank you to Beth from Sourcebooks who graciously offered one copy of Ex-Girlfriends United to one lucky reader!
Here are the rules of the giveaway:
To enter, simply leave a comment below and make sure you include your email address! The giveaway ends on June 25th. You can win extra entries by doing the following:
+2 follow my blog
+2 tweet about the contest (leave a link)
+2 link to the contest anywhere else (leave link(s))
+4 visit Matt's website and come back with the title of the book of his you'd most like to read and why!
The giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only.