AUTHOR OF NIGHT OF THE COSSACK
Bernard's Word welcomes Tom Blubaugh. Tom is devoted to the art of writing and Night of the Cossack is his first published novel.
1. Tell us when did you first know that you would be an author? This is an interesting question. I didn't know I would be one- really. I've been a writer for over fifty years (can it really be a half of a century?), but it wasn't until my unintentional novel was published that I knew I was an author. I say unintentional because it wasn't my intent to write a novel. I was creating a heritage for my children and grandchildren since both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I was simply taking a handful of facts about my maternal grandfather and was creating his character.
2. Who are your favorite authors? Louis L'Amour is one of them. I have always liked westerns and he has kept them clean. There is always a good guy, a bad guy and a girl. You'd think that it would get old, but it doesn't. The team of Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye for their Left Behind series.
3. What are your favorite books? The Left Behind series; Island of Saints, Breach of Promise.
4. Share with us your journey to publication? I wrote poetry at the age of fifteen. There were always ads in comic books about turning poetry into song lyrics. I was really into rock and roll, sideburns and duck tails. I had a dream of my poems becoming lyrics for Elvis, Conway and others. I would always get a packet back with a letter telling me if I'd send money, etc. I didn't have money so the dream died. My writing stopped until I was twenty eight, when I became a Christian. I began writing nonfiction and I self published a book for my ministry in 1974 and sold it at seminars. A few years later, I was published by two denominational magazines and a business magazine.
In business I wrote newsletters and and then text for websites. It wasn't until my mother passed in 2005 that I started writing fiction. As I stated earlier, both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I became a grandfather in 1998 and I didn't have a role model to follow. The hole my grandfathers would have filled kept getting bigger. I didn't know much about either of them, but one thing I knew-my maternal grandfather was a Russian Cossack soldier. This intrigued me enough to start me on a path of research. The Russian history of the Cossacks grabbed my interest and I started creating my grandfather for myself and my heirs. I joined an online Christian writer's group and as encouraged to pursue publication. I found a local critique group and joined. They agreed I was on to something. When I was close to completing my manuscript, a friend called me and wanted help with a website. He and his wife was starting an independent Christian publishing company. I didn't think anything about it because I wasn't writing a Christian novel. My grandfather was a Jew. During the process of developing their website, they read the first chapter of my book which was on my website. They wanted to read more and decided they would like to publish the story. This, of course, is not the unusual process, but it was God's way.
5. What advice do you have for aspiring authors? There are several things that I could say about writing, but if you want your book read by readers other than your friends and family, work diligently to build a platform. Not after you've written your manuscript, but from the very beginning. People need to know who you are before they will want to read what you have written.
6. Have you explored interracial themes in your writing? Not unless you consider my novel where my grandfather is a Jew. Being a Jew includes both nationality and religion.
7. What are the keys to success for a writer? Have a passion other than making a name for yourself and money. Never give up on your story. Everyone has one, but most don't write it. If it doesn't ignite your passion, it won't excite others.
8. Tell us about your future projects? I'm thinking about now. Everyone who has read my novel asks about a sequel. I will continue to build my author platform. I enjoy public speaking so I'm working with elementary, middle and high school creative writing groups and classes. When it turns cold, I'll stay in my office and probably work on the sequel.
You can find Tom at http://tomblubaugh.blogspot.com.
http://nightofcossack.com (read the first chapter for FREE)