Tribesports' exclusive interview with novelist and adventurer Andy Remic!
This week we got the chance to meet up with Andy Remic, UK based Sci Fi novelist and editor of the ‘Ultimate Adventure Magazine’ to ask him about his new magazine and some of his more extreme sporting hobbies.
What was the drive behind starting up the ‘Ultimate Adventure Magazine’ and how did you entice your team onboard?
For a long time my writing has consisted working solely on novels (thirteen so far, with Theme Planet by Solaris Books out on 8th December 2011). In my spare time I thrive on climbing, biking, mountain biking and hiking, and the more magazines I read made me realise they are very narrowly targeted – and the reason for that is to have more titles and sell more magazines. Obviously these guys and gals are a business, but I thought it would be great to do something with a much broader appeal – something based on my passion for adventure and travel, as opposed to something driven purely by money. It’s an experiment, a very enjoyable experiment, and allows me to flex my writing muscles in different directions – as can be seen in the mag. And that’s why it’s a FREE download. The aim is to get to as many readers as possible; not buy myself a new Range Rover.
With regards the team, many are old acquaintances and writing buddies, and some are new to me, which is great, because I’m expanding my pool of adventurous mates :-) Obviously we have some very high calibre writers, with people like Ian Watson who worked with director Stanley Kubrick on the script for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, filmed by Spielberg after Kubrick’s death. Working with writers like Ian is an absolute joy in itself. Being a writer, all my friends are writers, so it was simply a case of asking if anybody fancied helping out. It’s very much a collaborative effort.
A lover of extreme writing and extreme sporting, what is it you love about a new exploit or adventure?
I think I get bored easily, which is why my novels are all so fast-paced and action-orientated. The same applies to me with novels, music, or films; I get bored easily, and there’s such a joy in discovering something new. New Model Army sang “There’s always something new to fall in love with” and I subscribe to that ethos. And so, to discover a new adventure – well that just puts the cherry on the Bakewell tart! For example I’ve been approached by a dude to write an article on Geocaching – that’s a new one on me, so I’m very much looking forward to being educated by him on his passion. With regards something like climbing a mountain or cycling a new downhill route, I just love the simplicity of the challenge, the joy of taking part, and the happiness of coming out the other end either a) in one piece, or b) alive. Without facing some kind of danger you can never really appreciate life.
Do any of your own escapades ignite ideas for some of the writing in your fiction?
Certainly! Lots of my novels involve fast bike chases and the joy of having a powerful machine rumbling between your legs (haha). I also tend to have many scenes set in dangerous mountain locations, on high ridgelines or on snowy plateaus. I like to convey the pain of excessive hard work and effort :-)
We are sure you have been on some amazing and treacherous escapades, tell us a bit about some of your experiences?
Compared to “true” adventurers like Dr Andrew Murray, interviewed in our first issue (who ran from John O’Groats to the Sahara Desert – argh!), mine are pretty mundane. Stuff like climbing Ben Nevis in winter, wandering over Crib Goch, going on Safari in Africa, motorbiking the length of the UK; I’m trying to work my way through the Munros and that’s a challenge to complete before I die. I want the magazine to reflect that “normal people” can also have amazing adventures; they don’t have to be massively extreme, just adventures that are interesting, odd, unique. Fun, even. After all, I ain’t ever going to win gold at the Olympics (well, maybe in mud wrestling/pie-eating/chainsaw combat....)
What is your greatest sporting achievement?
Probably having the willpower to drag my arse from being a fat, pie-eating student to getting to the top of Ben Nevis. As I said, I’m no kind of über-athlete, and to be brutally honest, if I see a fat woman running in the street, I have maximum and incredible respect and admiration for the effort and bravery involved. Everybody has different tolerance levels, and I think an achievement comes from continually pushing your own boundaries; driving yourself forward. So for me, those pretty mountains in skye are the next challenge. After that? Kilimanjaro would be my ultimate aim.
Who is your sporting icon?
Probably an unpopular choice this, but coming from a family with boxing heritage (my mum’s side were Liverpool dockers), I think its Mike Tyson in his early days. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such primal rage and barely held back insanity. Maybe not massively “professional” but man, he could fight; and I liked that rawness and danger about him.
Will you be taking any new and exciting challenges following the New Year?
Yes. Those mountains are calling... always calling... and I confess, I’ve never been snowboarding. So I MUST rectify that!!
You can check out Ultimate Adventure Magazine at www.uamag.co.uk, where it is there as a FREE download from 24th December 2011, and you can read more about Remic and his chainsaw at www.andyremic.com.
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