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Author Andrew Lock explores why he chose to write about Walt Disney’s career on The Table Read, “The Best Book Reader Magazine in the UK.”

JJ Barnes editor of The Table Read online creativity, arts and entertainment magazine

Written by JJ Barnes


I interviewed author Andrew Lock about his life and career, what inspired him to write, and the work that went into his new book release, Walt Disney’s Way.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

Andrew Lock, author interview, Walt Disney's Way, on The Table Read
Andrew Lock

My name is Andrew Lock, I was born and raised in England, and moved to the USA in 2003.  I’m an entrepreneur with a number of different businesses, and I’ve written 10 books.

When did you first WANT to write a book?

At the age of 14 at school, I was called into the headmaster’s office one day and I was racking my brain to think what I’d done wrong! 

He sat me down and said, “Do you know why I’ve called you here today?”  I said I had no idea, he laughed and said, “All your teachers tell me that your born to be an entrepreneur, and we want to award you as the top student in your year for business studies!” 

I was shocked (and pleased) and that ‘defining moment’ confirmed the path I had already selected in my own mind.  I knew that people tend to seek out experts to do business with, and one of the best ways of being seen as an expert was to write a book, so that’s what I did!

When did you take a step to start writing?

I first researched what other books were available on the topic, and thought about what I could bring to the table that would be different from those other books.  

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

It took about a year.

How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?

My latest book, “Walt Disney’s Way” about the entrepreneurial side of Walt Disney is my most thoroughly researched book to date.  Overall, it took about 3 and a half years of part-time research and writing to complete.

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write this book?

I’ve been fascinated by Walt Disney since I was at school.  I remember sitting in a doctors waiting room around the age of 12 or 13 and picking up a Readers Digest that had an article about Walt Disney’s life. 

Andrew Lock, author interview, Walt Disney's Way, on The Table Read

I was captivated and fascinated by everything he accomplished, and that led to a life-long obsession to learn everything about Walt.

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What were your biggest challenges with writing it?

There have been many books written about Walt Disney and I didn’t want to replicate the same information, so I was careful to focus on bringing something new and practical to the table. 

My book focuses on Walt as the entrepreneur who had some incredible ideas that most people dismissed as crazy, but he stubbornly persisted and saw them through to completion, which has literally changed the world!

What was your research process for this book?

I spent hundreds of hours in Disney theme parks, particularly Disneyland, which was the only park Walt himself personally developed and saw through to completion.  I studied every aspect of how the Disney company operates, and traced many of the operating procedures back to Walt, who was a true visionary and genius.

How did you plan the structure of your book?

It was a fluid process.  As I thought of themes and ideas, I formulated those into chapters, wrote those chapters, and then juggled the structure at the end to make it flow as logically as possible.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did your book need?

Every book benefits from having a professional editor.  An author is too close to their own work to see the woods for the trees.  A good editor will suggest ideas for sequencing thoughts, highlight areas that need clarification, and make the book flow better.  In addition, a good proofreader will pickup on any spelling and grammatical errors that need fixing.

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

First, in the case of non-fiction which is my genre, look at what other books are out there on the same subject.  What can you bring to the topic that is different compared with the existing works?  Then, research thoroughly and aim to simplify the topic as much as possible, as that makes a book more readable.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

Over the last few years I’ve been fascinated by the topic of customer retention, and I’ve developed a lot of experience in that field, so I’m thinking about writing a book on that topic.

And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

The greatest result for any author is to see people read their books and provide positive feedback.  Every week I receive emails from around the world from people I’ve never met, telling me how much they enjoyed the book, and what an impact it has had on their life.  That’s a wonderful experience, and makes the effort worthwhile!

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