We had the pleasure of interviewing one of our bestselling authors, Scot Whitlock- author of 'Simple Words from the Saddle' (Soon to have a sequel, so watch this space!)
So Scot, How have you been?
Very well, Thankyou. However I am extremely busy, still pushing the first book, proofing the second and writing another on my experiences of the Camino de Santiago on a folding bike, as well as attempting to launch a new cycling magazine. No rest!
We know your inspiration in writing your book was a result of your father’s unfortunate passing (and I’m sure we can all agree that he would be very proud of what you and the book has achieved.) But, we understand you had, prior to this novel, been writing for the magazine, Cycling World. When did you discover the urge to write?
It was something that crept up on me! Up until five years ago the only writing I did was in a birthday card or an impromptu shopping list. It really all came about when I travelled on my bike, it helped me remember!
If you could explain your book in three words. What would they be?
Interesting, Funny, Simple!
How old were you when you learnt to ride a bike?
Three or four, the bike was my chance to explore, even at that early age I obviously had an adventurous personality.
You travel all around the globe in your book. Barcelona, Cornwall, Wales, France, Somerset, China, Spain, Majorca and Tenerife to name a few! Do you have a particular favourite place in the world that you’ve visited? Is there anywhere you have always wanted to travel to and haven’t yet?
The Stan’s – Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan etc – which leads me on nicely to a project I have planned in September. A friend and I are riding across the country (1500km) and will be filming a documentary for the Bike Channel on SKY.
Upon reading, I noticed that you have a taste for coffee. I recall you having at least two dozen in the book. You mention Fairtrade is a must! Is there a particular style of coffee you prefer? One sugar or two?
I accept I drink far too much coffee, my preference used to be a hazelnut latte but I am now a man of simple pleasures and it has to be an Americano with 3 sweeteners! A touch of healthy living, until I then eat a whole bag of Haribo Tangfastic!
How did you feel when you realised your book was going to be published?
Ecstatic, proud, lucky – to have some form of legacy is a major personal achievement.
Are there any books that inspired you or a certain person that drew creativity out of you?
I do like to read travel books. I suppose I have been indirectly inspired by Bill Bryson. His humour and skill at describing places, people and things is something I truly aspire to!
I noticed the way you describe your ventures seem so poetic, charming and very appealing- so much so one is tempted to climb on a bike myself and see the sites you have. Is there a harsh reality behind the handlebars?
Yes there can be, I travel to many beautiful intriguing places but I always miss home, my wife, my kids and not forgetting the dachshunds. The open road can be lonely but also profoundly enlightening, thankfully the pros out way the cons.
Speaking personally, I have never been the biggest sports fan and certainly could never see myself reading a book centred on the genre. But despite all odds, myself and many others have thoroughly enjoyed it! Is there a certain ‘Je ne sais pas’ or is it something else?
Touring by bike is a great pastime, you can find yourself lost down atmospheric alleyways or discovering places no car can venture. I write in a way that makes me happy and that I would enjoy to read, that’s why ‘Simple’ is an adequate description. Obviously for the book and not me!
How would you describe your experience during the publishing process as a whole? Would you recommend it to other fellow authors wanting to get published by a London based publishing house?
Amazing, honestly the staff are so accommodating and helpful. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough
Now, we know you have a brother book coming out in the near future! How did this come about? Is it still just as exciting the second time around?
It just seemed the right and natural step. Over the past few years I have written a lot of articles for all types of magazine genres, so having the content was never a serious concern.
Speaking of your new sequel- Could you tell us a little about it? Does it differentiate in any way to your first?
The sequel is completely in the same vain, why change a success? However on this occasion there are a collection of pictures which provide the reader some form of visual of each of my adventures.
Due to the success of ‘Simple Words from the Saddle’, your first published works with us, you were offered a Traditional contract rather than a contribution based contract as before. Would you say there has been a big difference between the two contracts?
Absolutely not! The service and commitment from Olympia Publishers has been exemplary for both books. I now treat them as good friends who are always ready to help
And finally, if you could give any words of advice to inspiring writers, what would you say?
Just do it. Whatever you produce, they are your words and nobody can take them away from you! Also expect rejection, it's an unfortunate part of the publishing process but perseverance is key!