Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist James Willstrop has released his second book – Interviews with Inspiration: Heroes and Icons… and What Drives Them to Succeed – which is available to purchase now.
Interviews with Inspiration is a forensic study of what it means and what it takes to be outstanding in the world of sport.
Willstrop, the most capped English squash player of all time and a three-time WSF Men’s World Team Squash Championship gold medal winner, talks to some of the sporting and cultural figures who inspired him and reflects on what they do and what drives them to do it.
As well as profiling some great athletes of our time, the Yorkshireman also delves into the worlds of writing, theatre, and even eye surgery: exploring parallels and differences that exist when people do things across the highest levels.
Interviews with Inspiration provides a fascinating insight into a cross-section of icons and achievers, from the viewpoint of one of the most successful English athletes of a generation.
“It is a compendium, or collection of interviews that I gathered over the last few years with certain characters,” said Willstrop.
“There were quite a few criteria on how I came across these characters. Some of them, I went for people that I really admire or have inspired me. Some were down to who I could get in touch with, get hold of and who would support me and help me. Essentially, it’s people and I think there are 21 or 22 interviews with people who I think have got some interest in what they say, they have been inspirational to me.
“A lot of them have been very high achievers but it is not always about the achievements necessarily. I have done a lot of sporting interviews, but a lot have gone outside of sport, in terms of interviewing my physio Alison [Rose] for instance, an eye surgeon, some chefs. People I have really been interested in and their working methods and how it compares to what I have done.
“It just interests me to see people in other areas, and obviously it interests me to hear what other sportspeople do and how they go about their days and how they cope with success and difficulty and failure. Essentially that’s it, it is a collection of interviews that interrogate some of these people and hopefully there is stuff in there that is interesting.
“Some of it will be more interesting than other bits and some things may be repeating other stuff, but hopefully it nails down a few points and it gives an insight into their world really.”
Willstrop’s first book, Shot and a Ghost: A Year in the Brutal World of Professional Squash, became the first squash book to be nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2012.
Interviews with Inspiration is out now and you can purchase it here.