Business native Bobby Mathews recently released his first novel, “Living the Gimmick,” a murder mystery set in the world of professional wrestling.
“Living the Gimmick” follows retired professional wrestler Alex Donovan as he tries to solve the murder of his best friend and former world champion, Ray Wilder. Flipping the perspectives between modern times and the 1980s, the book “examines the strained ties of a lifelong friendship and how an all-too-real abuser can exist without scrutiny in a showbiz world full of badass fakes. and choreographed fights”.
While Mathews has long been a sportswriter in the Birmingham area, he has always had an interest in writing a novel. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic while working from home, he was finally able to find the time to make this dream a reality.
Mathews credits a teacher at Enterprise Junior High School for encouraging his passion for writing. His English teacher Janice Morgan nominated him to attend a conference for young writers and also placed him on the school’s competitive English team.
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“She absolutely impacted my life in a way that still holds true today,” he said. “I absolutely owe him a huge debt for believing in me and thinking that I had a seed of talent in me. He was really someone who encouraged me.
Mathews said the inspiration for setting his novel in the world of professional wrestling came from watching wrestling with his father when he was younger. In fact, Mathews dedicated the novel to his father.
“When we first moved to Enterprise, the first TV show I remember watching was Southeastern Championship Wrestling,” he said. “My dad and I used to watch this show every Saturday on WTVY. Even when I was a teenager, my dad and I didn’t have much in common, but we were still bonded through books and wrestling.
Mathews said most readers interested in murder mysteries, especially psychological thrillers, will enjoy “Living the Gimmick,” but the story isn’t one that holds back.
“It’s a murder mystery that kind of shows you the wickedness behind the act,” he said.
Mathews will host a book signing for “Living the Gimmick” Saturday at the Pea River Historical & Genealogical Society. The signing will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition to signing copies of the book, Mathews will read its first chapter and then do a Q&A.
For more information on Mathews or “Living the Gimmick”, visit his website at www.bamawriter.com