If you haven’t heard of The Break-Up Recipe by Munir Bello (or at least seen that marketing photo…) then where have you been? (and you need to click here, pronto!) Described as ‘classic man-Lit for women’, the e-book release of The Break-Up Recipe has been so successful that it’s now out in paperback too. I’m delighted to have been able to quiz Munir on his publication journey, where he gets inspiration for his lead character, Mark Mutton, and his experiences writing for a female-dominated genre…
Hello Munir, welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hello Holly and the Bookaholic Confessions crew, my name is Munir Bello and I am the author of, The Break Up Recipe.
The Break Up Recipe is a novel about break ups and relationships from a mans point of view. Mark Mutton who is the leading character of the book gets dumped by his fiancée a month before their wedding. He has flashbacks of his various encounters with women. The book offers an insight into the male mind and features plenty of typical male humour.
Mark Mutton is the lead character in The Break-Up Recipe. Can you tell us a bit more about him? Writing from a male perspective do you see elements of yourself in Mark?
He is a typical bloke in his 20s. He likes to have a laugh and does have a very crude sense of humour but beneath all that is a heart of gold. I do see certain elements of myself in Mark but there are plenty of differences also. I don’t think that i’d go to some of the lengths that he does.
Did you have a target audience in mind when writing your book? Would you say The Break-Up Recipe would appeal to both men and women?
The Break Up Recipe is a book that is written predominately for a male audience. The humour is very male orientated which i think some female readers would find offensive. Surprisingly the book has had more female fans and from what I’ve seen it’s due to the fact that they are curious to see how the mind of a man works. The book is a comedy so anything in there should be taken with a pinch of salt. In answer to your question, yes I do think that it appeals to both male and female audiences.
How have you found writing in the ‘romantic comedy’ genre, a genre which is primarily dominated by women? Would you say there are any advantages/disadvantages to writing from a male perspective?
I think that the advantage for me at the moment is that I am considered a bit of a novelty as one of few male authors in this genre. There haven’t been too many disadvantages but one thing that does frustrate me is when a female reader takes offence at some of the situations in the book. It is a romantic comedy that is written by a man, so although some of the humour is not what you’d expect from that genre it’s all tongue in cheek.
Do you plan on writing any follow-up books to The Break-Up Recipe?
I’m in the middle of writing the second book which is a follow up to The Break Up Recipe. There will be a third book on Mark Mutton and then I’ll move onto other genres.
What inspired you to write a story on relationships, sex and dating?
These are areas that I’ve always been interested in. I have a lot of female friends and the more time I spent listening to them talk about relationships the more I thought that it’d be interesting to write on the subject. The process probably got accelerated when I went through a horrific break up. I found myself living alone and it was the perfect time to write, so the process began.
It was bloody hard work. As an individual with no previous writing experience I knew that I was always going to struggle to get a publisher (funny enough I did get a few offers but the financial terms were insulting), so I decided to self publish and use social media to help me promote the book. I did the naked picture to generate interest and get people talking (about the book, not me) and then created a facebook (www.facebook.com/thebreakuprecipe) and twitter (www.twitter.com/@munirbello1983) page to try and build an audience. I sent out 5000 emails to bloggers and journalists and handed out 10000 flyers to people in the street and slowly people started to take notice.
Who are your favourite authors and what types of books do you like reading yourself?
Maya Angelou, Alex Haley and Carlos Ruiz Zafon. They are all gifted in different ways but are fantastic authors. My interests in terms of what i like to read vary between historical, autobiographical, crime and fiction. Just depends on my mood.
I bet you could tell us a few stories about your childhood after being born in Nigeria and moving to London when you were just ten years old. How did you find growing up in a different country? Do you miss Nigeria?
I certainly could! Growing up in a different country was fun, i really enjoyed the independence of being away from my folks whilst i was at a boarding school. It was awesome to meet so many people from different countries and the access to Mcdonalds whenever i liked was amazing!
And finally – Can you tell us what you’re working on at the moment? What’s next for you?