Author and Literary Strategist, Tom Blubaugh
Tom Blubaugh began writing poetry at age fourteen, but has written nonfiction most of his adult life. He self-published his first book, Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry, in 1974, and wrote articles for denominational and business magazines from 1975 through 1995. He co-wrote The Great Adventure for Barbour Publishing Co. in 2009. Bound by Faith Publishers published his first novel, Night of the Cossack, in April, 2011 at age of 69. Tom has been a public speaker for over forty years, and is currently a Literary Strategist working one-on-one with authors and writers in all aspects of the publishing arena, social media, brand building, and book marketing. He has been a self-employed entrepreneur since 1973.
Night Of The Cossack

 Hi Tom, We have traveled in the same circles for years and this is one long overdue conversations. Thank you for being here. 

Tom, was writing fiction always behind the scenes while you were writing nonfiction?
No. I didn't think about writing fiction until I was 65.

What were some of the pitfalls you ran into in your own writing career?
The first one was regretting that I disliked English in school and didn't pay attention. A group of writers, nearly all retired English teachers, rescued me via a critique group. I was surprised that I knew as much as I did, but they were wonderful.

What does a Literary Strategist do?
 I coach and assist authors/writers, one-on-one, through the entire writing/publishing process--if this is what they need/want. I also work on an as needed basis. Look at me as a manager/quarterback. I have a large circle of resources that includes website designers,
editors, formatters, graphic artists, public relations, and whatever else may be needed to succeed with the publishing and book marketing.

What led you to become one?
When I wrote my novel, Night of the Cossack, I was published by a small independent
publisher. It was the worst time to publish, 2011, as the publishing industry was changing at rocket speed. Brick and mortar stores were closing, publishers were requiring platforms, and marketing suddenly became a hot potato. Although I had 40+ years of marketing
experience, I found book marketing to be a significant challenge. Like most authors, I waited until the book was being printed before doing any marketing. I met hundreds of
authors who were doing what everyone else was doing without finding out what did or didn't work. I decided to combine my marketing, writing, and publishing experiences and help authors/writers market.

 Who would need a Literary Strategist and what can you do for them?
 I wrote a blog on the subject of who needs a Literary Strategist. 
I have to be honest and say I have not found an author/writer who doesn't need a Literary Strategist.

  What strategy do you use to sell books? 
The strategies are multiple. I started a LinkedIn group--Book Marketing Strategies for Authors/Writers--a few months ago, which can be found at: . In this group I share marketing principles and strategies. Right now I am working through Book Marketing 101. I will be sharing articles from my resource people in the near future.

  When and why did you decide to write your first novel, Night of the Cossack
When my mother passed away, I suddenly realized I was the second oldest person in her line and I hardly knew anything about my maternal grandfather who passed a year before I was born. In fact, both my grandfathers were gone before I was born. I decided to leave maternal grandfather's legacy to my children and grandchildren, so I created him from a few facts that were fascinating to me.

  Does Night of the Cossack convey a theme or message? 
There are multiples of messages in my novel. More than I realized until a retired teacher, Theresa Franklin, asked if she could write a 10 day lesson plan based on my story. It is amazing!
The Legend of the Tickle Bug

  Tell us about The Legend of the Tickle Bug?
 I wrote this story for my grandchildren (6 girls, 8 boys) when one of my granddaughters, age 4, called and asked me if I would bring some tickle bugs with me when I came to visit. I wrote and published it for them for Christmas 2007. I released it on Amazon in 2015. 

You have two other books, Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry and The Great Adventure. Can you tell us about them? 
Behind the Scenes of the Bus Ministry was a compilation of two term papers I wrote in Bible college--one for evangelism and one for Christian education. I was presenting seminars on how to start a bus ministry to churches and self-published it for that ministry in 1974. The Great Adventure was co-written by invitation from Barbour Publishing and was a book of devotionals by 14 writers. It was published in 2009. Both books are out of print.

  What role does faith play in your life? 
It is everything to me. I was raised in an alcoholic home and I was a victim of clergy sexual abuse at age 12. I was out of control by age 15 and was a convicted felon. Thanks to a high school teacher, a friends mother, the U.S. Navy, and a Baptist minister--God saved me when I was 28.

  Was there any particular book or author who influenced you? 
My mother was a freelance writer who was never published, although I was not strongly encouraged to read. At age 14 I was too shy to tell a girl I liked her, so I wrote her a poem. I have been writing now for 60 years.

 What authors do you read?  
Most of my reading was Christian non-fiction--Charles Stanley, Myles Munroe, and others until I was in my 50s when I started reading Louis L'Amour for pleasure. Now I mainly read client's books.

 Are you writing now?
Yes. I write a lot of blog articles and posts. Sarah Tun and I just published a book on social networking. I have a book in process. I intend to write and anthology titled For the Love of a Teacher. I'm inviting writers who have a teacher who was a life changer to send me a short story if they would like to be

 What advice would you give to your younger self?
Read! Read! Read! Learn every think about the English language you can. Talk to your ancestors while they are alive and learn their stories first hand. Quiz your parents about their ancestors before it's too late.

Thank you, Tom for doing this interview. I enjoyed talking to you!   ~JD

Buy Night Of The Cossack:

Buy The Legend of the Tickle: 

 Another book by Tom Blubaugh: 
Building Community: Developing Internet Relationships in the 21st Century using Google+

Tom Blubaugh's site:

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