Hi Tom. Please introduce yourself, then tell us how you got started writing.
Tom: My first writing was done when I was fourteen. I wrote poems. I was influenced by the advent of rock and roll and I had visions of my poems turning into lyrics for Elvis. This, however, didn’t work out. I continued to write poems, mostly to girls in my class. At age thirty, I started writing nonfiction.
What have you published and what is your current project?
Tom: I self-published a book in 1974 for my ministry, Behind the Scenes in the Bus Ministry. I also wrote some articles for denomination magazines and a business magazine. In 2009 I co-wrote a devotional journal for Barbour Publishing under contract. On April 6th, my first attempt at fiction, Night of the Cossack, was published by Bound by Faith Publishers. At this time, I’m working hard at marketing my name and book and trying to enjoy some of the summer since I missed summer last year due to writing. In the fall I’ll continue with a sequel to my novel. I also have some children’s books in my mix.
The Night of the Cossack looks like it required quite a bit of research. How did you go about that? Did you encounter any obstacles?
Tom: Night of the Cossack did require a lot of research. I worked hard at it and took my first fifty pages to a Russian History professor at a local university and asked her to read it. She did and told me there wasn’t a word of truth in it, which really threw me. At the time, I was tutoring English as a second language and there were some students from Russia and Ukraine. One of them read it and told me it was all true. I told her I was confused. She asked me where the professor was educated and I told her in Russia. She told me that was the problem—that there is one version of history taught in the universities and there was the true history written by those who escaped and immigrated to the USA. After that, I continued researching and writing.
As a writer of faith, what is your philosophy on marketing?
Tom: Great question. I believe my talents come from the Lord and that I’m to do everything to the best of my ability, which includes marketing. I think He expects me to do all I can do and He’ll do what I can’t.
Great Answer! ;) Tell us about a "God incident" related to your writing.
Tom: This truly is a God thing. I wasn’t sure I was going to publish the story because I was creating a legacy for my children and grandchildren. Both my grandfathers died before I was born so I never had the experience of having that role model. Now I have fourteen grandchildren and am winging it. When I was nearly done with the manuscript a friend called me and wanted me to help him set up a website. I met with him and his wife. They told me they were starting an independent Christian publishing company. I didn’t think anything about it because I wasn’t writing the book from a Christian perspective since my grandfather was a Jew.
In the process of helping them, I showed them my website. They picked up the fact that I had the first chapter of my book on the site for reading. They didn’t say anything, but when they got home they read it (I found this out later). They called me and said they’d like to read some more of the story, so I sent them a couple more chapters. They then asked to read the entire manuscript after which they wanted to meet with me and my wife, Barbara. During that meeting they asked to publish the story. Not your normal publishing story, but I certainly know who is in charge.
What are your hopes/dreams for the future?
Tom: I feel like I’m living my future. I’m 69 and my wife is retiring in January. I’ve been retired since 2004. I can’t think of anything I need or want other than to see this book do well. I have a wonderful family and as I stated we have fourteen grandchildren. I’m sure I’ll write as long as I live or as long as I’m able. After that I’ll be in heaven.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning to write and wanting to publish?
Tom: Don’t wait another minute to start promoting your name and what you’re doing. A deep platform is extremely important if you want to see your work do well. I don’t know how the writers did it before the computer.
Any last words?
Tom: There is a great need for clean, wholesome literature for young adults.
Thanks Tom. All the best as you continue to write for the Kingdom. :)
Tom Blubaugh, Author of Night of the Cossack--Read the first chapter get a signed copy by ordering here. FREE shipping in USA. Published by Bound by Faith Publishers.
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Co-author of The Great Adventure published by Barbour Publishing. (out of print).