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Interview with Justin Lagat, the Running Author

December 27, 2018
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Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up in the rural areas in the Rift Valley region in Kenya. My primary school was about four kilometers away and I, with my siblings, would run to and fro four times in a day. This made me like running. However, in a land where everyone is born into the same life situations, it was hard to make a great impression as an exceptional runner. I would win in some low profile competitions, but could not proceed due to the abundant talents around. However, my interest in running began there.
Writing came out of my creative nature, and the two passions; running and writing have resulted in my books.

When did you first start writing?
In Primary school's creative writing tests. That's from around 1994.

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What motivated you to become an indie author?
I think I was born a writer.
Since the time I enrolled for my early education as a primary school kid, I excelled very well in reading and writing. I also used to like reading a lot of novels and some of the authors of these novels; Wilbur Smith, Chinue Achebe and Barbara Taylor, among others contributed in motivating me to become a writer. I remember I used to compose letters for other students while in high school!

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has helped me meet the exact audience for the kind of stories I write. I write stories mostly about long distance running, and there is someone somewhere out there searching for information regarding the same topic. Publishing with Smashwords is also free, so I count any payment that comes out of the sale of my books as 100% net profit.

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Just like reading, writing helps me to spend time thinking and searching deeply on a particular topic; which help refresh and sharpen my brain. I also value the opportunity to educate others on what I know, just like I have been learning from other writers over time.

What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are like family to me. The fact that I and my fans think about the same topics, running and fitness for this case, means we all have a lot in common and we do understand each other very well.

What are you working on next?
It should be a story based on my principal hobby and a topic I feel I have so much information to offer my fans; long distance running in Kenya. It could be a life story of a star athlete, my experience training for a particular race to the time I compete, among others.

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Who are your favorite authors?
Wilbur Smith, Chinue Achebe and Barbara Taylor Bradford

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Every day, I wake up thinking about bettering my talent in running and writing to make a positive impact in this world. I want to instill values of honesty, hard work, perseverance and hope, among others in my books and in my day to day encounters with others.

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend my free time enjoying it with my young family - my wife and daughter. Otherwise, I am out training on the roads, attending athletic meetings, interviewing other athletes and doing some freelance articles.

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I search ebooks to read by going to a category I am interested in, then read the introductions of the book and the biography of the author.

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