22 January 2013

Book Savvy Spotlight on Ray Matthews

Bringing you exclusive interviews with authors featured in the Book Savvy Newsletter.
Our Guest is Ray Matthews*
Enjoy the interview.

Q1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book 'Me and my Shadow?
I am now living my dream life - doing almost all the things I ever wanted and fulfilling ambitions that were not possible before retirement whilst fully occupied earning a living. 'Youth is wasted on the young' is an understated comment made by my father, oh how true. Writing 'Me and My Shadow' has opened up new avenues I never thought possible. 'Me and My Shadow' is about a dedication to achieving goals in extreme sports.  The book is about endurance running events and how it all began with boxing as a young boy brought up in a South Yorkshire steelmaking town.

 
Q2. Why did you write this book?
To start with, I wrote this book mainly as a record of some of my challenges and then later for my own satisfaction.
 
Q3. What provided the inspiration for you to become a writer in the first place?
The inspiration behind the writing of this book came from a number of friends, who almost demanded I write an account about my life. In fact one particular friend actually grabbed the collar of my shirt and said "by not sharing your life story you are being selfish!"

 Q4. What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?
Actually, it was sitting down long enough to write more than one sentence. Where to start, how to bring interesting facts together without losing momentum of the overall story and then ending it satisfactorily.
 
Q5.  What are your interests when you are not writing?
Retirement has given me time to devote to other passions like oil painting, training for ultra distance running and motivational speaking.
 
Q6. Describe how you felt when you first saw a copy of your published book?
"Wow, I did that!" A great sense of achievement, because I am a do-ER rather than someone who would ever find time to sit down and write anything.
 
Q7. What is the first thing you did to promote your book immediately after it was published and what are you currently doing to promote your book?
I emailed all my friends, set up my own - long overdue website and contacted the local press/radio. Media attention with my latest running challenge also mentioned the book.
 
Q8. If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you've used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
The media picked up on my running challenges and advertised the book at the same time, reaching an already interested audience.
 
Q9. Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?
Probably more Internet via Facebook and traffic through my website.
 
Q10. Who will this book appeal to, what is its target audience?
All ages in the boxing, running, fitness and inspirational market.
 
Q11. What would you like people to take away from reading your book?
To motivate one person enough to take on a challenge they only ever dreamt about doing. We are generally afraid of having a go because of the fear of failure.
 
Q12. Are you concerned about the effect of e-publishing on traditional books?
We must be prepared to move with the times and trends. I try not to be an old dinosaur.
 
Q13. What kinds of feedback have you received from your readers?
I have had incredibly encouraging feedback from people from all walks of life. It's inspiring just to think that my book has inspired so many others.
 
Q14. What have you been up to since your book has been published, and what do you have in mind for the future?
I have taken on greater challenges by running longer distances; I have just completed a 150-mile solo non-stop challenge, which will provide interesting stories for my next book. I would also like to do more motivational speaking in the near future.
 
Q15. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
If you have a story to tell, don't keep putting it off. Just do it!
 
Thank you for your time. We wish you every success in your writing career.
 
 
*Born 1941 in Masborough, Rotherham, Ray is the eldest son of a family of four brothers. Retiring at the age of 66, and now having the time to devote to his love of running, he has managed to take on bigger and more adventurous challenges each year. Called upon to fill a gap Ray delivered a motivational talk to a large group of fitness instructors, ending the night with a standing ovation, and has now launched himself into the speaking business. The decision to write this book has been the hardest task Ray has taken on to date. 

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** Book Savvy is an e-newsletter of Pneuma Springs Publishing, featuring news and information about all published books and new releases with highlights about the authors behind the books. Look out also for helpful resources e.g. blogs, book reviews and of course, discounts, special offers etc.