Everyone has gone through a complicated break-up. Personally, my worst break-up involved me convincing one ex that I had stomach cancer. It was the only way to get her to leave. Maybe you never convinced someone you had a fatal disease, but I bet you have some sort of crazy break-up buried in your life somewhere. Let’s take a moment while you think about that horrible situation … *Jeopardy Music*
“The Break-Up Recipe” is a great book written by Munir Bello. It is a collection of relationship stories played out by Mr. Mark Mutton. It’s Funny, it’s been compared to Sex In The City, and it’s an Amazon best seller. Today I am releasing an interview with the author. Let’s read on shall we?
Munir Bello, welcome to the Opinion Blog! You have written this book, “The Break Up Recipe”. I have ordered it myself. It seems to have gotten quite a bit of attention. The front cover even has you posing naked. Before we get into the book please give us a brief description of yourself.
Well my favourite colour is red and my favourite number is 5 hahaha. Seriously, thanks for having me and thanks for getting the book. I'm a 31 year old Nigerian, living in London and I am a full time writer. If i'm not working then I'm either spending time with my girlfriend, friends and family, or working out in the gym. I rarely sit still (partly because if I do, then I have no income). I'm a person who is determined to succeed and I like to work hard and fast. Away from my book I am also shooting a dating show in London which will be airing in the Autumn/Fall of 2014 and am now a regular relationship columnist for a London blog called, We Are The City.
Now that we know a bit about you tell us a little about your book.
The Break Up Recipe is about a young salesman named Mark Mutton. The Mutton man gets dumped by his fiancé, four weeks before their wedding. We witness his heartbreak and flashbacks through his encounters with different women in the past, present and future. I was inspired to write it because I'd gone through a similar break up (parallels between me and Mark stop there) and decided to do something constructive. I needed to make money quickly and so I worked my arse off to make this book happen. I'd say it's a light read. I wrote it to make people laugh. I just wanted to take a series of everyday situations and exaggerate them, the aim was for each situation to have a humorous conclusion.
Wow that guy's life sucks. I feel so much better about myself right now. Can we get a snippet of one of the more well-known situations in your book? So we can see what to expect before we all go check out your book on Amazon?
The most talked about chapter is the third one. Mark goes into a coffee shop and needs the toilet. He ends up going into a women's toilet and his stomach lets him down. The more women that end up in the toilet, the louder his diarrhoea gets. After they hear him, he walks out of the toilet after he's done his business and tries to play it cool. It was definitely my favourite chapter to write because it's full of tension and comedy. Good fun
Sounds great! I have used the woman's restroom myself in a pinch. The women waiting weren't very happy to see me leaving the restroom. Oh well a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Let’s talk about the path to independently publishing your book. Tell me about your social networking plights. Was social media the only way you spread word about your book?
With social media, I set up a facebook page, www.facebook.com/thebreakuprecipe and a twitter handle, www.twitter.com/@munirbello1983and I did not stop shouting about the book, which I still do to this day, I also printed off flyers and handed them out to people on the street about the book. I wrote 5000 emails and handed out 10000 flyers personally to passers by to get to this stage. It's the hardest I've ever worked. Living on 3 hours sleep a day. I wrote the book while still doing my day job and the routine was to world, go to the gym and then write for a few hours, I survived on hope. Publishing independently was the only way I could get this book released. The language is explicit and the humour is very locker room orientated, so no mainstream publisher would have touched it. I also wanted the independence and control that comes with doing it myself. I hustled hard man and nearly killed myself from exhaustion but i'd do it again. Although it was and continues to be hard trying to promote the book worldwide, it is so exciting every time I get a like on facebook or I see the sales figures go up even it is just by 1 book. It helps that i am incredibly passionate about it, so when my business is doing well i am happy and when it's going through a lull I am extremely sad.
Wow what an adventure! A lot of emails and a lot of flyers. It's nice to know that you're humble enough to appreciate every book sold and every like. Let's talk about this cover. Most people seeing an author naked on his/her own cover can say so many things. What are you trying to say? What is the story behind your naked book cover?
The message behind that picture is, me naked and giving my all for my baby. I'm looking at that cover with the purest love which I of course have for something I took 9 months to write. It is my first book and I worked bloody hard to write it. The sacrifices I made are unbelievable. I pretty much did not have any contact with anyone because I wanted to make it as good as I possibly could. The idea for a naked marketing image came to me because test reads proves that the book had a female audience. I wanted to release an image that would appeal to them. It was something that I knew would be a conversation starter but there is no sexual undertone to it. If a picture can capture how I feel about my work it is that one. I was in a tough place financially when I wrote the book and I was determined to make it work at all costs. I believe the picture is a demonstration of my dedication. It's definitely not a vanity thing which is a common misconception.
That might be the best reason to use such a photo. I also see you had tact enough to cover the more private parts. You say that the majority of your audience are women. Was this your intention? If not what is the intention you had with your book?
No not at all, I wrote the book for men. It is about relationships and break-ups from a man's point of view. Women were naturally curious about the book because they wanted to get inside the mind of a man hence why there was more interest from them in the books contents
If only all women would try harder to understand men. I think more of them would rather learn about our insides through autopsy. Okay let's talk about this show. You said it was a dating show. What kind? How does it work? Are you looking for recruits?
Oh, the show! I'm so pumped about it. We've been filming in London. The couples who go on the date with each other don't know much about each other at all. They get to see a picture of each other and have a conversation on the phone. During the phone call, they get to ask each other one question. They are then taken to a salon separately, and the staff get to predict the outcome of the relationship based on first assumptions. The couple then go to a restaurant for a meal. their first meeting is on camera which makes for great viewing. After they've had dinner, they are taken aside and asked what they think of each other. They then come face to face with each other and tell one another whether they'd like to see each other again romantically. If the answer is no they have to tell the person why. They can't be diplomatic, they must be honest and blunt with each other, which again is great on camera. I'm looking to air it in the autumn. I'm currently looking for a few recruits but it's not massively important as we have enough to do plenty of shows.
You seem to be very busy. What are your plans for the future? Another book?
I try to keep myself busy. I am in the middle of writing the sequel to, The Break Up Recipe and will write a third book on Mark Mutton before moving on to books in a different genre. Depending on how the dating show goes it could end up being a regular thing that we film every year, fingers crossed.
You were born in Nigeria. How do you feel about the Boko Haram situation being that it’s so close to home?
Boko Haram's atrocities are happening very close to where I'm from. It’s a matter that is very worrying for me. I don't like what's happening because it is very cruel to kill anybody whose religious beliefs are different to yours. It also gives the wrong impression of my country. The world sees the reports and assumes that it is a terrorist hotbed which it really isn't. The government did not handle the situation correctly as they were slow to act. The western world offered it's support and our government should have been very quick to accept it without fear of losing face because the lives of innocent, young girls were at stake. The bring back our girls campaign was good but sadly it was a bit of a fad as it barely gets mentioned on social media now
The world has a wonderful way of making fads about everything, even stolen school girls. That is a very important point you bring up. Too often are people only saddened by fad pictures on social media. Even more so than they are by the actual instances. My last question to you sir is what's all this business about 4/6 of the toilet paper roll?
I got the idea of comedy by numbers from Nick Hornby. If you notice the first chapter of my book and subsequent chapters in which Mark talks about Samantha and Amy he has uses maths in his comedy. It's very hard to sum up in a short interview how that process works but an obsession with numbers particular in relation to mundane things like toilet roll or relationship milestones (break ups, kisses, first exchange of "i love yous") just works. For example if you're talking with a guy and you ask him when he first knew that his wife was the one and he responds, "After 4 weeks, 6 days, 7 hrs, 23 minutes and 5 seconds" it'll make you laugh or it will certainly raise an eyebrow. In the films, Rain Man and Jerry Maguire, numbers are used in a comical sense. In Rain Man it is when Charlie is asking about who took a picture and Raymond responds, "January 12 1965. Very snowy that day. 7.2 inches of snow that day" or in Jerry Maguire when the kid says, "The human head weighs 8 pounds"
Thank you Munir! I wish you luck in all of your endeavors in life. We really appreciate you answering all of our annoying questions. So until next time ... Cheers amigo! (I'm practicing my Puerto Rican British).
De Nada my Puerto Rican friend. Been a pleasure answering your questions, hope you guys enjoy the book and I look forward to hopping over to Florida to party with you all.
Please, please, please feel free to click on “The Break-Up Recipe” book link just below this article, and purchase a great read. As always this is just the opinion of one man.
Below are some other ways you can check out Munir Bello and what he's been up to.
102 reviews on Amazon UK, 93 are 5 star and 9 are 4 star. (Correct at time of writing):
Over 4900 likes on Facebook:
Over 1600 Twitter followers:
41 adverts, 1 of which is attached below:
Some Interviews done: