Today I’m chatting to author Andy Guest who has just published his autobiography – Type T. Quoting from the blurb ‘Type T is a true and compelling account of Andy’s testosterone-fuelled escapades, where not everything goes to plan. It’s a tale of the strength of the human mind when it steps outside the comfort zone.’
Good morning Andy and welcome. Can I start, as always, by asking you a little about yourself?
Good morning, Jo. Thank you for having me. Well, I’m just an average person who at the tender age of eighteen decided I wanted a life of adventures, and who realised in order to make it happen I would have to step outside my comfort zone. I hoped, in doing so, that I would perhaps learn more about myself, which I did. Adventures aside, I’m married to Alison and I’m a father of two sons who have their parents’ genes, so it came as no surprise to see their adventurous and competitive spirits surface. I live in Devon, a stone’s throw from the drop zone at Dunkesewell, where I spend most of my time jumping from aeroplanes as a skydiving instructor.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did your journey begin?
Many years ago my brother was interviewing my father about his experiences as a Malayan police officer fighting in the jungles, with the idea of writing a book about him, but sadly my father passed away before it was completed. It was only after I heard some of the stories that it struck me there was a part of my father I never knew, and my sons would never know. So, by writing my autobiography, future generations of my family will know something about me. I was spurred on by friends who, after hearing about my experiences, found them fascinating and urged me to write about them.
How did you find the writing process? Which parts were the easiest and the most difficult for you?
I’m extremely grateful that I was introduced to an editor who opened my eyes to the writing world and showed me the ropes. Once I got started, writing about most of my experiences was easy… I just viewed the images in my mind and transferred the stories onto paper. One story in particular was extremely difficult to write about, though. I had buried a lot of emotional stuff deep inside me and had put up a barrier as a way of dealing with it. Allowing that barrier to drop and letting those emotions resurface was painful, but the story had to be told as it had such an impact on my life.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about writing their own memoir or autobiography?
There’s no point in writing an autobiography if you’re not going to be honest. People will see through any lies so stick to the facts and remember that none of us are perfect. I wrote my book in the present tense, so the readers will feel they are with me on my journey, and I think it makes the stories come alive on the page. Some things will be difficult to write about but you need to rise up and overcome those difficult moments. Sometimes you may have to step away from the keyboard in order to compose yourself, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. For me, it was actually quite a cathartic process.
Do you have any plans for a second book?
Now I’ve had a taste of writing and enjoyed the experience, I’m certainly toying with the idea and have a few ideas flying around in my head, but I’ll initially take a break and let the ideas grow. While that’s happening I have a lot of marketing to do!
If you were cast away on a desert island, which four things couldn’t you live without?
I’d need an endless supply of tea to help me chill; a fishing line with a hook to entertain and relax me, and to provide food; a pillow (just having that little bit of comfort makes all the difference), and a machete. I’d obviously use it to build things but I could also wave it at an approaching boat and yell,”Get off my land!” if the need arose.
And finally, you are hosting a dinner party and can invite four celebrity guests (dead or alive). Who would you choose and why?
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer, as it be would be fascinating to hear about his adventures. Neil Armstrong, to hear his first hand account of landing on the moon. Douglas Bader, the Spitfire pilot and POW escapee. Wow! What an adventure he had in his life. And finally, Nellie Bly, the American journalist who stepped off the train in New York on 25 January 1890, and into history. She had raced through a “man’s world” in seventy-two days, and it would be fascinating to talk to her.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Join Andy Guest as he reflects on his lust for adventure and recounts the thrilling and often dangerous situations he has faced by living a life on the edge.
Packed with action and sprinkled with humour and emotion, this is an extraordinary story of one man’s quest to understand himself and to release an inner spirit that constantly challenges him.
Andy will take you up – to the clouds, the bridges, the skyscrapers and the mountain tops – in his pursuit of excellence in the world of skydiving and BASE jumping, and lead you from the gruelling Royal Marines training camp in Lympstone to ‘Bandit Country’ in Northern Ireland, and from the horrors of war-torn Afghanistan to the piracy of the open seas.
Type T is a true and compelling account of Andy’s testosterone-fuelled escapades, where not everything goes to plan. It’s a tale of the strength of the human mind when it steps outside the comfort zone.
Amazon : https://t.co/79d1yYwuZs