Scott Ashley was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1963. Enamored with Bruce Lee as a child, Scott started karate training on his 16th birthday. A product of a broken and scattered family; and raised by an abusive father, Scott made martial arts the singular focus of his life. Thriving on competition, Scott entered the boxing/kickboxing realm, trained in New York’s world-famous Gleason’s and Gramercy Gyms; and was coached by Fred Corritone, Al Gavin, Al Shevlin & boxing icon Angelo Dundee. During his prize-fighting career, Scott competed in twenty-four kickboxing and seventeen boxing bouts. After capturing the Super Welterweight World Kickboxing Title, Scott wrote; “Kickboxing a Champions Guide to Training,” (Llumina Press 2009). “Road to the Title: Memoir of a Champion” (Amazon/Kindle), documents Scott’s perseverance to rise above adversity in an accomplishing his childhood dream. Scott has five children; lives with his wife of 20 years, works in Law Enforcement, and operates a karate program for children in Coral Springs, Florida.
Bio provided by author
It was our pleasure to get a chance to know more about Scott and see how he came to be an author through the struggles in his life. Scott is the kind of person who’s determination and outlook on life are a positive role model for others who have had a few knocks in their life. So get comfortable and please give a warm welcome to Scott!
What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
Since the two books that I authored; Kickboxing a Champions Guide to Training (Llumina Press 2009) and Road to the Title: Memoir of a Champion (Amazon Kindle/CreateSpace 2012), are both nonfiction and are based on my personal knowledge and experience, their hook lies in my credibility within the martial arts community. I am a sixth-degree black belt and I held the United States Super Welterweight Kickboxing Title from 1993 until 1994, and the Super Welterweight World Kickboxing Title from 1994 until 1997, when I retired to pursue a career in law enforcement. I have been teaching karate for over 30 years and defensive tactics to police recruits for the past 12 years. I am considered a use-of-force subject matter expert by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Kickboxing a Champions Guide to Training; is a comprehensive training manual that includes the personal training routines that led me to a championship. Competitive fighters aspiring to improve their performance would naturally gravitate towards the training advice of someone who has reached the pinnacle of the sport.
Road to the Title: Memoir of a Champion; details how my rise to the top was fueled by an insatiable desire for recognition, which stemmed from my being the survivor of abuse, neglect, and abandonment as a child. The entertainment industry is enamored with this type of compelling story as the films; The Blind Side and The Fighter each grossed hundreds of millions of dollars.
Although my story is uniquely mine, there are a countless number of individuals facing similar circumstances that would find inspiration within the pages of my memoir. The adversities that I overcame in achieving my goals, and accomplishing my dreams, give hope to those faced with similar circumstances; thus, my inspiration comes from my desire to inspire others to pursue their dreams with an unwavering commitment.
Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I would consider myself fairly organized when it comes to my writing. I do not take notes or make character lists; however, I spend a considerable amount of time contemplating the details that I wish to express. Once I start hitting the keyboard, I can easily stroke out several thousand words in one sitting. The real organization of my stories begins with the editing process; when I ensure that the timeline is correct, and the details that I wish to communicate are properly documented.
Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
I honestly wouldn’t commit to naming any one author as my favorite. As a young martial artist, infatuated with the Eastern culture, I read and enjoyed James Clavell’s Asian Saga series of novels. Bruce Lee’s, Tao of Jeet Kune Do, provided theories that were instrumental in developing my fighting strategy. And I still find pleasure in reading the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe.
My inspiration for writing does not come from another author, but from my sincere desire to express myself. As a martial artist, my channel for self expression is the practice of the formal techniques that are combined in a dance like pattern, which are called kata, or forms. As a competitive fighter, I used the ring as the means to express my art for the enjoyment of spectators. Art is ever evolving; therefore, its mastery is impossible. I will study the craft of writing, approaching it as the art that it is, and will continue to evolve as a writer. I desire to connect with readers on a personal level, and I hope to satisfy a willing audience with my writings.
It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
As I write, watching my thoughts blossom into phrases that form stories is quite satisfying. I would have to conclude that editing is the most unpleasant part of the overall process. It’s not only a painstaking task, but cutting away sentences that I have formed; that gave life where there was none, and then removing them with the touch of a delete button, gives me a real sense of loss. Yes, in the end, I will have a better product to offer to the reader, but watching parts of my creativity disappear is not particularly satisfying. For example, Road to the Title: Memoir of a Champion, was 120,000 words, after editing, it is now 92,000.
Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
Whenever I take on a new interest, I dive in wholeheartedly, and without a doubt, I find the best way to educate myself on a new topic is to gather as much reading material about the subject as possible, and dive right in. I am currently reading, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King.
How did you come to write your personal story of how you became a kickboxing champion?
My story is not just about a martial artist or prize fighter looking to gain fame or notoriety; it’s about the maturing of an insecure child struggling to establish self-worth. Reflecting on the events of my life, and considering the situation from where I came to the accomplishments that I have achieved, I thought that documenting the extreme adversity that I overcame in making my dreams come true would give hope to those faced with similar circumstances. Throughout the course of my life, and through martial arts, I have been able to mentor several young people who credit me with many of their life’s successes. As a writer, I’m hoping to reach a far larger audience where I can have a positive impact on the greatest number of people as possible.
Your books have been published with Amazon.com, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
I published Kickboxing a Champions Guide to Training through Llumina Press in 2009, and I invested approximately $1,500 in getting my book to the public. In an attempt to have Road to the Title: Memoir of a Champion published by a traditional publishing house, I sent a query letter to approximately 50 agents. As many writers will attest, it’s not exactly easy to influence an agent to represent the work of a relatively unknown author. Amazon is the perfect outlet for authors with a polished product ready to publish, and who are confident in their ability to market their work successfully. I can’t see any reason why I would even attempt to secure an agent for my future writing endeavors.
Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
Since I am fairly new to the business of marketing, I do not have an established list of writing material on the net that is ready to read. My Facebook page is listed as Scott Ashley, my Twitter is @ScottAshley63, and I recently started a blog; thefightingwriter.blogspot.com. I am currently researching the channels that I need to be active with in order to reach the public, and am hoping to attract readers through the World Wide Web.
Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
Since I have been working as a law enforcement officer for the past fifteen years, I am currently writing; We the People, and I have completed 14,000 words. I’m looking to give the reader a realistic perspective of common police practices from the officer’s point of view. Some of the issues that I wish to detail have to do with unethical police conduct, and I’m not certain how I will be able to publish this while still employed as an officer. When the manuscript is complete, I will consider my options.
Who would be your first choice to play you in your book “ROAD TO THE TITLE: Memoir of a Champion”?
Since Road to the Title: Memoir of a Champion spans three decades, it would require different actors to portray my character. Robert Patterson would be a proper fit for my adult years. Any young actor representing my character from 10 years old through my early teenage years would have to have diversified life experience to draw from. Expressing the sorrow of an abused child, as well as the excitement of a young man discovering the wonders of the world requires a broad range of emotions. One thing I know for sure, I would be the best person to portray my abusive father as I truly know how cruel he was.
If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
I would love to come face-to-face with my Lord Jesus, and I would ask him why the first man, Adam, who was formed in the image and likeness of God, was so weak in the flesh that he succumbed to the temptation of the evil one.