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'Break Up recipe' probably funniest read for Valentine's Day

AUTHOR: Munir Bello

MUNIR'S OWN personal break up came as a complete shock, when on reaching over to cuddle his beloved, he found a thorny rose on the pillow instead, accompanied with a break up note, scribbled all over the last ‘bog’ roll - on Valentine’s day.

Munir decided to embark on his new life as a singleton, by indulging in regular pre-footie coffee ‘support’ meetings with the lads and arrived armed with a biro - where they analysed his split, and compared it to their own collective break up stories.

Munir found himself in a very difficult situation financially after the break up as they had been planning a wedding.

He decided to use his disappointment as fuel for a back breaking schedule of hard work to bring The Break Up Recipe to people’s attention.

Some of the things he did to get this book out there included visiting brothels and strip clubs (but not as a customer) many times with a gun pointed at him by bodyguards to leave flyers for potential customers.

He also handed out flyers all over London in the blistering cold. Some days he would do this all night, go home with hands that felt like they were falling off, jump in the shower and go into his day job. He slept for three hours a day on weekdays for nine months while working to bring the book to life.

He decided to make sense of it all, by penning a book, a few years later he met the woman of his dreams.

Munir, is currently in a happy relationship and can be found in his spare time in the gym, with his loved ones or engaged in a tricky long distance call to Lagos, explaining why he stripped naked for his book cover - to his mother.

The Voice catches up with Munir in the midst of a busy book signing, surrounded by an ecstatic crowd of female fans, in his local bar in Harlesden - we cut to the chase:

Why did you pose naked for the cover of the Break Up Recipe?

During market research I found that far more females were interested in the book than I had anticipated. I had originally written it for men so I decided to pose naked - in order to market to what was quite clearly my biggest audience.

What is the Break Up Recipe all about?

It is a series of stories about the main protagonist, Mark Mutton. They focus on different scenarios in his life. Each story is an ingredient for or from break ups, hence the title, The Break Up Recipe.

What is the underlying subject of your book-would you describe it as the idiots guide to understanding men in lust?

Ha ha no. I think anyone knows what a man in lust requires, give him that medicine and his needs are met. The underlying subject is a journey of self discovery for a man who goes through a break up.

Is there a little Mark Mutton in every man?

Mark does not fancy himself as a player. He is a vulnerable and naive man who I agree is definitely vain and he pays attention to his grooming regime. I think every man has a little Mark Mutton in him including myself.

What is key to a successful relationship?

Communication, trust, a good physical relationship and the ability to compromise amongst other things.

Why should people buy the Break Up Recipe?

Because they will laugh and forget about their troubles for the period of time that their nose is in the book.

How did you get the Break Up Recipe into the public eye?

Once I released the book, I started badgering my friends on facebook (which I still do) to get the book and spread the word. I handed out flyers in the streets and sent over 3,000 emails to bloggers and journalists to ask them to take a look. I guess those efforts and the positive reviews combined got someone to listen.

Your book has been compared to films such as Bridget Jones, Sex and the City and more recently Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man. How do you feel about this?

I am very flattered by all those comparisons because in their own way each of the mentioned films or TV series set a benchmark for relationships and were groundbreaking pieces of work. If people really think the same about my book then i am happy and proud.

Do you believe most breakups are due to the ‘male one track way of thinking?’

I believe that most break ups are down to a breakdown in communication from either one of the sexes. People talk less to each other when they’re looking to call it off and start to snap at each other most of the time due to the feeling of guilt that engulfs them. Before you know it they then break up, most of the time as a result of speaking to everyone about how they feel except their partner.

Do you believe both women and men have complexes, which possibly affect the ability to have a lasting relationship?

I think in this respect everyone is different. it’s not particular complexes that can lead to relationships breaking up. It can be due to a lack of chemistry in the first place. It can also be as a result of unfaithfulness or people rushing into it too quickly and then finding out after the fairy dust has settled down, that the person was the wrong choice all along.

Online your fans are hungry for a follow-up. Do you plan to write a sequel?

There are two follow ups to this book that I will be writing. The amount of love Mark Mutton has received, is still very overwhelming and I’m really happy that my first novel has had that level of recognition and merit.

What’s the best way for fans of the book to keep up to date with you?

Either on facebook (www.facebook.com/thebreakuprecipe), twitter (@munirbello1983) or future events. I’m holding a FREE Q&A at The Exhibit Diner in Balham, 12 Balham Station Road, London, SW12 9SG, on Sunday 4.30pm – 6.30pm, February 16.

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