5 min read

Gratitude, integrity and role models a chat with Matthew Ashdown @Gratitudem #BookMarket

In the month of January, I'm doing a Twitter Interview (Twitterview) of many of the participants of the #BookMarket chat. These are people who come and generously share their wisdom week after week. The Twitterviews give them a chance to shine.

Today, I caught up with Matthew Ashdown, @Gratidudem.  Matthew is an author, chief author cheerleader at Friesen Press, and gratitude master.

My take on the interview: I always enjoy talking to Matthew. He's such a positive, go for it person. It's nice to hear that he has tools that help him stay in that positive state. I think we all have to find those things that keep us feeling the light on our faces. I was interested to hear about his book - and more over, his excitement around creating his book. That's fun. I certainly resonated with: "Every successful person I know lives in gratitude."

ClaudiaC Q.1 - What 5 words would you use to describe yourself?

gratidudem Grateful, Passionate, Optimistic, Creative, Chatty!

ClaudiaC I have to ask, what are you most passionate about?

gratidudem Helping authors to see that the potential for success lies within them, and that they can be successful being who they are.  That life can be fun! And that it is attitude that will help create success in this industry, or any life adventure.

ClaudiaC Would you say that 'Life can be fun' is your life message?

gratidudem Yes, and that there is a gift in all our experiences, the great ones, and the challenging ones.

ClaudiaC Cool. Q.2 - What is your favorite thing about the publishing/writing world today?

gratidudem Almost every successful person that I have met lives in gratitude.

ClaudiaC Yes, that's true for me as well! RT @gratidudem: Almost every successful person that I have met lives in gratitude.

gratidudem There are so many opportunities with all the changes that are happening. We are already seeing great creativity.  Creativity is much needed in publishing right now, and many individuals are taking on the challenge.  Creating new ways to market, new revenue streams for authors, and new publishing models to mention but a few.  A lot of people are in fear too, so it is important for the leaders to show by example what can be done.

ClaudiaC Creative and grounded in old school business. It seems like you have to have a solid standing. Would you agree?

gratidudem Oh yes, taking the best of what has worked and still works, and innovate around it. There is value in it all. Although the way it may look is changing, social media etc, there are still proven core competencies that we need to develop.

ClaudiaC Seems like there's so much, erm, peacockery for lack of a better term in pubs. What leader do you follow? trust?

gratidudem Leaders who walk the talk. Word "Integrity" is thrown out in businesses all over, but it needs to demonstrated through action. Sometimes when so much change is happening we literally have to be the change. There are no perfect examples, but some greats.

ClaudiaC Ah Gratidudem, there is iron in your words of action = integrity! #misquotingoutlawjosiewales

ClaudiaC Such as? Who do you consider great at this?

gratidudem People I like include: Dan Poynter, Jane Friedman, Bob Mayer, James Redfield

ClaudiaC Great list!

gratidudem I like Richard Branson who started out in publishing, and who only does things if it will add to the fun in his life!  And I like to think that at FriesenPress there are some great things happening with great people, but I am biased :-)

ClaudiaC You have a great team at @FriesenPress! :)

gratidudem Thanks, we think so :-)

ClaudiaC Q.3 - If someone was totally dialed into your message, what would they understand about you?

gratidudem They would know that I believe that one of the most important things we can strive for is to know who we are. Not who society says we should be.

ClaudiaC Q.4 - Tell us about your novel? How far along in writing it are you? What's it about?

gratidudem That I believe that we are all innately creative, inspiring, and can contribute in a way that serves others & brings us joy.  I could talk all day about the novel, but I'll keep it brief. It tells the story of Sir Galahad before coming to King Arthurs Court. His coming of age story if you will.  I am going to be spending some time in the UK soon, at different sites, to do the research I need to do.  I have completed a first draft, but there is much to be done.

ClaudiaC Cool!

gratidudem It will have an inspiring message within it, and I am aiming it for teenage males primarily. At least my teen self.

ClaudiaC Why Sir Galahad? What interest you about him and that time in history?

gratidudem I have always been fascinated with Arthurian legends. And Galahad because he was the perfect knight who found the grail. Fearless, trusting, humble, and pure ( which has many interpretations )  And my thought was writing about him before he came to court, his journey to embodying those qualities.  So that young men could see it as something possible, when so many learn to believe there is something wrong with them.

ClaudiaC I always wonder sometimes if these folks would recognize themselves now. You know?How to you stay true to his voice?

gratidudem He struggled with fitting in & being different,but chose not to do that, & instead let his individuality lead him to the Grail.  Finding his voice was one of the challenges. Knowing who he became helped to inspire that. And making sure that the evolution of his character over time is believable makes it a fun challenge too.

ClaudiaC Are you planning a Sir Galahad series of books?

gratidudem Yes, I believe there is a series of books. Originally it was going to be one but there is just too much fun happening!

ClaudiaC Q.4b - What is Kriya?

gratidudem Kriya is a form of yoga meditation that I do daily. It has been a very powerful tool for me.

ClaudiaC How does it serve you?

gratidudem Kriya gives me a quiet place to go when there is lots happening, and it has definitely opened up creativity within me. So much science supports how meditation is beneficial for our well being in so many ways, and I love sitting in the silence :-)

ClaudiaC I've never heard of Kriya. Do you take classes? videos? books?

gratidudem There are classes that can be taken. It is something that is best learned direct from a teacher. I was introduced to it in the book, Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda

ClaudiaC I'd think so. RT @gratidudem: There are classes that can be taken. It is something that is best learned direct from a teacher.

gratidudem I hope to teach it one day.

ClaudiaC Good for you for finding somethng that works for you.Seems like we oftntalk a Zen-meditation-yoga game & don't do it

gratidudem It took me a while to find the one that worked best, but this is it for me.

ClaudiaC We are almost out of time, Matthew. Is there anything you'd like to add? Anything we missed?

gratidudem There are lots more things I could share, but I think we covered some great questions. Thank you!

gratidudem Other than to say that we are most successful when we live according to what we value most.

ClaudiaC thank you very much for your time and great answers! :) It's great to have a chance to get to know you better!

gratidudem Thank you, it has been fun!

y next #twitterview will be with @RuthSeeley at 12 noon ET on Monday Jan 16

Previous #twitterviews:

Eco-fantasy and @Harmonygirlit

Serial fiction, Moody vampires, and other fun with @TechTigger

Publishing with Kate from @CandlemarkGleam

Self publishing with @FriesenPress

Historic fiction with @CarolBuchananMT

Conversation and Confusion with @DavidRozansky

Caring and connection with @DanBlank

What's important to a reader with @Girl_Who_Reads

Creating heroes and coaching authors with @Beth_Barany