Last updated on January 13, 2023
I (Lorilyn Roberts) met Tom through the John 3:16 Marketing Network, and discovered a most unusual way to be prompted to write a book. Enjoy this short interview and learn what (or who) a Cossack is.
Lorilyn: What are your thoughts on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?
Tom: I have self-published a book, but it was many years ago and was for use in my ministry, but not publically marketed. The Night of the Cossack was traditionally published by Bound by Faith Publishing, a new, small independent. I’m treating Night of the Cossack as a self-published novel. I thought I had a pretty good platform established but found out I was kidding myself. One has only so many friends and family members. Even with Facebook and Twitter, it has been a real challenge.
I will be talking to book clubs and writing groups about the tremendous importance of establishing a strong, deep platform well before a book is published. In my opinion, a well-developed platform is necessary regardless of the publisher, large or small, new or well-established, independent or not. The market has changed with the fast-developing ebook distribution, the economy, and the problems in the publishing arena. The only difference seems to be who finances the publication.
Lorilyn: What have you found to be most effective in marketing your newest book?
Tom: There isn’t just one particular thing. It takes a lot of activities working together, interviews, Facebook, Twitter, book signings, talking to book clubs, writer groups, creative writing classes, press releases, websites, and the support of other authors.
Lorilyn: Can you tell us a little bit about your book Night of the Cossack?
Tom: Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I had a big hole in my life that most of my friends didn’t have. As I got older I felt a longing to have a grandfather so I took what little information I had about my mother’s father and started writing a story–actually creating a grandfather for myself.
As the story developed I found myself writing it for my children and grandchildren. An author I met online thought it was worth pursuing publication. I joined a local critique group and they agreed. It wasn’t until then that I realized I was actually writing a novel. Even the publisher came to me. It has been a phenomenal journey and I still have a ways to go to get it into the hands of readers. I’ve heard from readers 12 to 86 who have enjoyed my book.
Lorilyn: As a homeschooling parent, is this a book my daughter would enjoy as well as learn a little bit about history? What is the historical setting of your book?
Tom: This is an excellent book for a homeschooling parent. The story takes place in Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Italy, and France in the early 1900s. There is fear, separation, adjustment, relationship issues, violence, love, faith, and lots of decisions in the adventure. All of these are talking points for healthy conversations between parent/child and teacher/student regarding real-life and moral decisions. I have considered writing a workbook, but haven’t had the time.
Lorilyn: What is a Cossack?
Tom: Cossacks were members of any of several groups of peasants, chiefly of Russian and Polish descent, that lived in autonomous communal settlements, especially in Ukraine, until the early 20th century. In return for special privileges, they served in the cavalry under the czars. They were well known for their horsemanship. They raided villages for supplies, women and young men to increase or replenish their ranks. Eventually, they became a part of the Russian army.
Tom Blubaugh is a freelance writer living in Southwest Missouri with Barbara, his wife. They have six children and fourteen grandchildren. Tom has written non-fiction most of his adult life but has recently written a historical fiction titled Night of the Cossack, published by Bound by Faith Publishers.
This is Tom’s first novel. He co-wrote a devotional journal in 2009 for Barbour Publishing titled The Great Adventure. His other writings include articles for a denominational magazine and an insurance publication. He also self-published Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry in 1974.
Tom started writing poetry at the age of fourteen. His vision of turning them into lyrics for rock and roll songs for popular artists didn’t develop. He considers writing to be a God-given talent and feels led to develop it. His first novel was published at the age of 69. Tom says it’s never too late. He is now writing a sequel.
Tom spent twelve years as an insurance agent and eleven years as a financial planner. He is the past president of Jericho Commission, Inc., and still serves on the board of directors.
Kindle and print versions are available at Amazon by clicking here.