Book Savvy Spotlight on Ray Matthews
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.
To start with, I wrote this book mainly as a record of some of my challenges and then later for my own satisfaction.
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!"
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.
Retirement has given me time to devote to other passions like oil painting, training for ultra distance running and motivational speaking.
"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.
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.
The media picked up on my running challenges and advertised the book at the same time, reaching an already interested audience.
Probably more Internet via Facebook and traffic through my website.
All ages in the boxing, running, fitness and inspirational market.
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.
We must be prepared to move with the times and trends. I try not to be an old dinosaur.
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.
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.
If you have a story to tell, don't keep putting it off. Just do it!
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