When I joined the John316 Marketing Network, one of the first names I saw in my mailbox was Tom Blubaugh. I quickly discovered that Tom is a very active member of the network. He welcomes new members, responds quickly and enthusiastically to member requests of all kinds, and contributes new ideas to make the group more effective. I barely had my feet on the ground when I decided that I would like to get better acquainted with him, because it was obvious he was someone who could help me grow as an author.
This is Part 1 of 2 interviews with Tom. This interview concerns his work as an author. Part 2 , scheduled for next Monday, April 23, looks at his marketing workshop for authors.
I have read your materials and cruised your site with great enthusiasm. I never knew anyone before who had a Cossack for an ancestor. You must have thought about your grandfather for years before you ever wrote Night of the Cossack. What inspired you to put pen to paper? Or maybe I should say, to put finger to keyboard?
I did think about my grandfather for years. What brought me to the point of writing about him was the death of my mother. I only had one living relative on my mother’s side and I decided I had better spend some time with her getting as much information as I could before she passed. I recorded a two-hour interview of her, but gained very little new information. She has Alzheimer now. The inspiration to write was to get to know my grandfather even if it was mostly fiction.
On the Barnes and Noble site where your book is available, your author bio indicates that you love macro photography. I share that love, calling my explorations tiny worlds. What subjects do you like to photograph using macro settings? Why?
I like anything in nature that blooms, flies, crawls or swims. When I import the images into Photoshop and start working with them I become fascinated with God’s handiwork. It increases my faith when I study the detail of his creation.
Since you worked in insurance and financial planning, I have to believe that you love people. I’m more a recluse. Tell me what you think is the secret to making happy connections with people that bless you and them alike?
This is a tough question. I’m a contradiction. I’m both a loner and a people person. I can develop a relationship with a person if the common ground is spiritual, financial, writing, computer, literature, or photography. I tend to go deep in thinking and conversation. I liked financial planning because I delved into people’s financial problems and helped them work out solutions. I received a great deal of satisfaction when I saw the stress leave their face and hope come into their eyes. On the other hand, I can spend hours by myself writing, reading, working with photography or looking at pictures from the Hubble telescope. I’m not a sportsman and I don’t like small talk. I usually end up sitting with the ladies talking about ‘relevant stuff.’
I’m a Missouri girl, born and reared in the bootheel. What made you choose Springfield as your home?
In my first marriage, we would come through Springfield when traveling from Kansas City to Mountain Grove, MO. I came from a small town in Kansas with a population of 10,000. After I joined the navy, I was stationed in San Diego and Long Beach. Afterwards, I lived in Los Angeles, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Minneapolis. In 1975 I was living in Kansas City when I heard a news broadcast of a multi-car wreck with deaths and injuries. The reported sounded like he was broadcasting a sporting event. The next morning I picked up the newspaper and it had its usual headline of how many homicides had occurred for the year. I felt like they were keeping a score on crime. I decided I didn’t want to raise my sons who were 8 and 5 in that city and moved to Springfield. I’ve been here since.
On your Genesis Project site, you recount a love/hate relationship with the Bible for many years. What do you think of the Bible today? What is different about the way you read it today from the way you read it before 1998?
It was actually a love/hate relationship with God. I was sexually molested by a member of the clergy when I was 12. By time I was 15 I was out of control. When I was 28 I went through a divorce. All of the anger I stuffed came to the surface and I directed it toward God. I’ve been working through that since. I started reading the Bible when I became a Christian in 1970. Even though I had anger issues, I never stopped reading the Word although I read it filtered—I mean I read Christian books that quoted the Bible rather than reading it direct for a period of time when I became anti-church. That was from 1998 to 2007. I’m now involved in a nondenominational church and I’m simply a Christian. More than you asked for, but you pushed a button.
I very much enjoyed reading your blog post about time. You talked about time and eternity, and you said you keep careful records of your time. What is the value of planning and documenting your time? Do you feel that your life has a current dimension in eternity?
I don’t actually document my time as on paper, but I spend very little time doing nothing. I know I have 24 hours a day and I’m to use it wisely. I’ve finally come to the realization that everything I do can be an act of worship because God is interested and involved in every part of my life even when I’m taking a shower or sleeping. I quit compartmentalizing God. I used to get a headache thinking about eternity—being alive a trillion years from now with no end—ever, until I realized there would be no time. God created time, but He doesn’t live in it. He sees everything in the present. Of course, I can’t really comprehend this, but I do understand he sees the beginning and the end of my life here and beyond. I believe my life here is a preparation of what I will be doing after my body dies. I believe I’m actually in eternity now as Scripture says I am in Christ and where He is—I am. As you can tell, I am somewhat verbose.
You are very open in sharing your faith in Christ. Your faith has clearly led you to your work with offenders and addicts. How has your faith shaped your career in writing?
Scripture tells me that I’m to do my best at whatever I do—to do it as unto the Lord. I try to do this no matter what it is. Night of the Cossack is a very spiritual book. My grandfather was a Jew as am I. My novel is a book of faith and trust in God. Most of what I write, whether fiction of nonfiction involves God. In 1994 I came across two verses that changed my life regarding God’s will for me—Prov. 16:9 and 19:21. I leave it up to you and your readers to look them up. I walk between those two verses.
If I met you on a plane traveling from Springfield to St. Louis, what would you want me to remember from that encounter?
That you met a man of God and you could clearly see Jesus in me.
It was a privilege to meet Tom Blubaugh and get to know him better. His novel, Night of the Cossack is a compelling adventure about a teenager who is forced to grow up quickly. The main character, Nathan Hertzfield faces many life or death situations during his saga. Join Nathan on his exhilarating journey through parts of Russia and Europe during the early 1900’s. Don’t miss the adventure and suspense in the riveting story, Night of the Cossack.
Follow the links below to find Tom Blubaugh:
ebook for Kindle available at Amazon.com. Be sure to like my page and do a review when you finish, if you like my book.
Amazon Author page.
ebook for Nook available at Barnes & Noble
Night of the Cossack Facebook author page. Be sure to like my page while you’re there please.
Personal Facebook page
Visit My Blog. Be sure to sign up as a follower.
Author’s Den. A great Author/Reader site. You can join free. Look me up and be sure to become a fan while you’re there.
Check me out on Goodreads.
Co-author of The Great Adventure published by Barbour Publishing. (out of print).