It has been our great pleasure to be working with Dick Mawson. Dick is an inspirational man, you just have to look at a chronology of his early life to begin to get a picture of this man. He is now over 70 years old, still building and racing cars, loving life.
Dick as written his memoirs and it’s a great read, inspirational.
We met up with Dick and had a chat about him, his life and his memoirs…
Thanks for talking to us Dick. It’s a pleasure to chat with you. Firstly, what inspired you to write and release your memoirs?
My beautiful wife Penny who was a Junior Miss Rhodesia had been on at me for years to write about my life.
We started the book together when our Pub was quiet in the afternoons.
I wrote it purely as a record for any future family to read about the Mawsons arrival in Africa, subsequent life in Rhodesia and our return to the UK, never envisioning it as a published work.
In 2008 Penny went to Africa on holiday and was found dead in her bed four days later.
My life stopped, as did the book, I sold the Pub and locked myself away from the world for a period of 2 years I was heartbroken
Gradually I picked up the pieces of my shattered life and a sort on normality returned to me as I faced the future without my beloved Penny.
I was shaving one morning about 18 months later and I could fell Penny’s presence strongly around me.
Every time I looked in the mirror the thoughts in my head turned to the book, and once I had finished this played on my mind.
I found the manuscript later that morning and started writing, I finished two years later,
I sent it to a friend of mine to critique and check tenses and punctuation before I copied it for the family archives.
She phoned me about 10 days later and commented that my story was a fantastic read and it needs to go to a publisher. I thought about it when it was returned and after a number of inquiries sent it off .
A couple of months down the road I had had positive replies from all of them, their only critique being that it was too long and even with editing it would be an epic.
We decided that the book needed to be shortened but then a lot of the story would be lost, so we came up with the idea that it needed to be two books and I started rewriting and formatting the manuscript into two books.
I finished the first book in 2011 and sent it off for editing formatting proofreading etc etc etc, and by the time we had done all that another year had passed but book 1 of “The Gods Who Fell From the Sky” was published and out there.
Who do you think will enjoy reading the book?
Being a true story I think it is a book that can be enjoyed by all .
It is a multi faceted book, its a love story its adventure, it’s triumph over adversity.
A story of a tenacious young Rhodesian and his exploits, its about family along with the stupid things one does in life, its about living life to the full.
What do you hope people will take away from reading it?
I hope they realise that its pointless looking at what one cant achieve in life when there is just so much that one can achieve, there is nothing that I have found to be impossible there are always way’s of reaching your goal and the biggest thing is to have fun doing it.
From reading your book, it’s obvious you’re an inspirational man. Your book is sure to inspire others. But who would you say has inspired you throughout your life?
Having lost a leg at eleven and badly damaging my good leg at sixteen I have not found many people to follow who were in the same predicament, I had to get on with my disability and find out how to do things my way. I have for obvious reasons felt a special affinity with Douglas Bader. He has been a constant inspiration in my struggles to overcome – or at least to try to ignore – my disabilities.
You’ve overcome lots of obstacles, yet always remained fearless in your pursuit of success. What would you say is the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life?
“Rather than dwelling on life’s mistakes I believe I am a man of strength and determination who has used those mistakes to lift myself and family to new highs and adventures. My outlook on life and its challenges I hope stimulates people to make the most of their lives, just as I have done.
What would you consider your biggest achievements?
My greatest achievement must be my successful marriage to my gorgeous wife Penny and my family shared with my racing success which has been a part of my life since I was twelve.
What advice would you give to children or young adults about life?
Never give up on anything and remember, what was once invisible becomes visible and once impossible becomes possible.
Do you have anything left to do on your bucket list?
Continue with my life as I have lived it, I am still racing and building race cars. I have four beautiful granddaughters whom I enjoy immensely, along with a two month old grandson.
What more could anyone need, doing the thing that you love surrounded by the people that love you?
Dick Mawson’s memoirs (part 1) “The Gods Who Fell From the Sky” is out now.