June 14, 2011
Author Interview: MATT DUNN
Hi Matt! Welcome to Psychotic State Book Reviews. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me and my readers. You have a new book out - - Ex-Girlfriends United - - which I am reading now at the time of this interview and absolutely loving. What can you tell us about it?
MD: Thank you! Well, it's the sequel to The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook, and follows Ed and Dan as they try to navigate the minefield that is the world of dating. Here, Dan has got himself into trouble - his ex-girlfriends have been leaving, shall we say, less than complimentary reviews about him on a new website called Slate Your Date. Worried he'll never find another girlfriend if he doesn't get them to retract them, Dan sets about trying to right all his previous wrongs. Meanwhile, Ed is finding that the course of true love doesn't always run smoothly, especially when your psychotic ex-girlfriend reappears.
Did you have an easier time writing for the love ‘em and leave ‘em Dan or the more sedate and sensible Edward?
MD: Edward's probably easier to write, simply because there's more of me in him. Dan's a lot more fun to write, though!
Readers were first introduced to Dan and Edward, and other supporting characters, in The Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook. How did you come up with the idea for the books?
MD: I initially wanted to write about how it feels to be dumped, and Ex-Boyfriends sort of grew from there. I don't generally tend to plan out my books, and once Ed and Dan became fully-formed, it was fun to see where they'd lead me. I hadn't planned to write a sequel, but then I got a lot of emails from readers asking me what happened to the characters – especially Dan. I'd loved writing about them, too, so it seemed a natural thing to do a follow on, and that's where Ex-Girlfriends United came from. The third in the series, The Accidental Proposal, has just come out in the UK, though that'll (probably) be it - I think it's time to leave them to get on with their lives without any more interference from me.
MD: I know I have a lot more female readers than male ones, but I'm not sure I gear my books towards one or the other. I just try and write the kind of books I'd like to read, and I'm pleased that both men and women get some enjoyment from them.
Will women read your books and get a better understanding of how men think?
MD: So I've been told. Though I'd caution readers not to take Dan's opinions too seriously – he's not representative of most of us guys out there. I hope!
You have the very interesting and unusual niche of being a male writing chick lit. How does it feel holding the testosterone flag on an estrogen field?
MD: I love it. And if it means I can bring a different perspective to the genre, then that's great.
What part of being a writer do you enjoy the most? What is the least enjoyable part?
MD Ask me those questions on different days, and I could answer 'the writing' to them both! The worst? I guess sometimes editing can be a bit of a chore – by that time, you've read and re-read your own work so many times that you start to lose the will to live, but it's a minor gripe – I know that I'm extremely lucky to get to make up stories for a living, and I love the creative process. The best part has to be hearing from people who have read and enjoyed my books, or meeting them at readings/signings/events. It makes an author's day when someone takes the time to tell you they've enjoyed what you've written.
Are you working on a project now?
MD: I'm working on a few: Another romantic comedy, plus something a little more serious, and a stage play. After six novels, it's fun to have a go at something a little different.
When you’re not writing, what authors do you prefer curling up with?
MD: I like loads. David Mitchell is perhaps my current favourite – Cloud Atlas is one of my favourite books, and I've got his latest on my TBR pile. Nick Hornby is another author I love – his High Fidelity was the novel that made me want to write in the first place. And David Nicholls' One Day is one of the most stunning novels I've read recently.
If you could bring to life one fictional character from a book or movie, who would you choose and why?
MD: James Bond. I think he'd be an interesting friend to have.
Lastly, what one word would you use to describe Ex-Girlfriends United?
Thank you so much, Matt, for taking the time to answer my questions. Best of luck to you with the delicious Ex-Girlfriends United!
MD: Thank you. It's been fun!
For more information on author Matt Dunn and Ex-Girlfriends United, please visit his website.
To purchase Ex-Girlfriends United, please visit my Amazon store here.
What do you think, gentle readers? Can a man successfully write chick lit?
Stay tuned this week for my upcoming review of Ex-Girlfriends United!