Friday, April 27, 2012

Patty Smith Hall: Author And Lover Of History With A Twist

Everyone's Story welcomes this week its new guest author Patty Smith Hall. Enjoying history with a twist, Patty likes to read and write about the tidbits of history that one usually doesn't encounter, thus providing a fascinating story. One of the things I most enjoy about hosting guests on this blog is discovering little or big tidbits about my guests as well: Patty is one of the founding members of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and has served on the ACFW board. There are many of us readers and writers who are thankful that a group with the desire to increase God's love in the form of Christian fiction had the desire and determination to start such a truly dedicated organization.
Book Giveaway:
Patty is offering one copy of her upcoming Love Inspired Historical HEARTS IN HIDING to one randomly chosen viewer who leaves a comment. The drawing for the lucky winner will be held next Friday on May 4th. Meanwhile, here's a blurb on the book:

A Patriot...or a Traitor?
Engineer Edie Michaels loves her life-she has a good job, close friends, even a chance at romance with former soldier Beau Daniels. But she could lose everything if her secret comes out...that she's the German daughter of a devoted Nazi. And when her father sends spies to force her loyalty, everything Edie values is at risk.

Time in a Nazi POW camp changed army medic Beau Daniels. When he discovers a letter of Edie's written in German, he can't help his suspicions. Is she truly the woman he's started to love? Or has she been the enemy all along? With Nazis on Edie's trail, the pair must fight for survival. . . and for a chance at love.

When God Works On Me by Patty Smith Hall

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2            
     I’ve struggled with this blog post. Not because I couldn’t shoot out something about the writing craft or my love of history of something equally interesting, but I’ve felt God leading me to write about one of my personal faults and as anyone can tell you, it’s not fun admitting when God’s working on you.
     You see, I’m a whirlwind kind of person. If I’m not running errands, or writing my next book, I’m cleaning house or volunteering. Anything to keep moving!
     So it was a bitter pill to swallow when my neurosurgeon informed me that the spinal fusion I had put off for years had to be done. NOW!
    While most folks put off this type of surgery fearing pain, I put it off because the recovery process. Who wants to have their activity level restricted for as long as a year? Certainly not me!
     But I had no choice. The first two weeks didn’t seem so bad--I was feeling good, in fact better than I had felt in years. Still, I had to rely on everyone else to do the simplest task. Lifting a pot to cook noodles or grabbing a warm towel out of the dryer became a two man operation. Friends offered to cook dinner for us but I was determined to lick this thing. By the time my husband returned to work, I’d grown frustrated and my recovery wasn’t even a week old.
     Determined to get some normalcy back in my life, I opened my devotional to Galatians 6:2. Bear one another’s burdens. I hurried through the reading, grumbling to myself. How could I help someone else when I was such a burden myself?
     By allowing others the opportunity to bless you.
Courtesy Google Images
     I thought about how much I enjoy serving others, the warm feeling of knowing that someone who needed help has had their needs met. Was I robbing others of the blessing that came only from serving others?

     The thought of Mary sitting at Jesus’s feet suddenly came to me. Jesus didn’t turn her away when she knelt in front of Him, a flask of perfumed oil in her hands. He allowed her to show her love for Him by bathing His feet and wipe the excess oil from His skin with her hair. Even after the disciples told Him how the oil could help the poor, Jesus didn’t deny Mary that moment, maybe because He knew she would cling to that simple act of service for her Savior long after He returned to His heavenly home.
     And if I want to be like Christ, I have to put my pride aside and stop stealing other people’s blessings.
Courtesy Google Images
     It’s not an easy battle to win, and I’m not quite where I want to be yet but I’m working on it. I found God’s confirmation I’m heading in the right direction in the most unlikely place this week--on one of my apps on my facebook page. It said God wanted me to know that even God took a rest--maybe I should take the time to simply breathe and recover.
     Don’t you just love it when God confirms His word for you!

Do you have a battle-story to share of either helping to lift another's burdens or receiving the help from others to help lift your own burden? Patty would love to hear from you.

Author Bio:
Patty Smith Hall has been making up stories to keep herself occupied since her parents forced her on boring Sunday drives into the Georgia countryside when she was too young to stay home by herself. Now she's happy to share her wild imagination and love of history with others, including her husband of 29 years, Danny, two smart and gorgeous daughters, and a yorkie that she spoils like a grandbaby until someone decides to actually give her one. She resides in North Georgia.

You can reach Patty at:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rebecca Price Janney: Keeping An Eye On The American Family, Heaven, Hell, and History

Everyone's Story welcomes this week's guest, Dr. Rebecca Price Janney. Rebecca is a theologically trained historian, speaker, and author. Having written about the American family, the cultural history of heaven and hell, American history, and YA novels, Rebecca makes an awesome guest to help celebrate the one-year anniversary of this blog. Begun last year on April 19th as a gesture toward establishing an internet basis, plus a nod toward the commemoration of my mother's birthday, Rebecca's interest in honoring family and life is perfect timing!
~*~~*~Book GiveAway~*~~*~
One randomly chosen commenter (please leave email address within comment) will get to choose one of the following books by Dr. Price Janney:

Great Events in American History
Then Comes Marriage: A Cultural History of the American Family
Who Goes There? A Cultural History of Heaven and Hell

Questions for Rebecca Price Janney:

I admire your biographical author history, Rebecca. You began by facing off to a seemingly hard-nosed editor pre-determined not to give you the time of day but you stood your ground and he hired you. And this at the age of 15! At 17 you published your first article with Seventeen Magazine. Looking back, where do you believe you found such strong confidence at such a young age? What advice can you offer teens today during these changing publishing times that are stiffening the competition for everyone?

Sometimes I look back and can’t believe I did those things either!  I think part of it is the callowness of youth—you believe anything is possible.  The dark side of it was that I felt driven to prove myself, to gain approval from my family.  I do believe God used all those things, however, for my good, and hopefully for His glory.  He made me an enthusiastic and ambitious person.  I’ve tried to let Him steer me since then!

Times certainly have changed in publishing since then, but I think more roads have opened to teens than before.  A creative and ambitious young person can use the internet and social media to flex writing muscles, as well as going the traditional route of contributing to school publications and trying to connect with local media.  In my area (Philadelphia) there are internships available with public TV stations for teens who are interested in journalism.  Many writer’s conferences also have workshops available for young writers.  The possibilities are there!

You describe yourself as a theologically trained historian. I imagine this background as extremely helpful for non-fiction writing, but does it also help—or hinder—your fiction writing when it comes to freeing creativity, or what some call a “writer’s license to stretch the facts.”

It’s also helpful to me as I write historical fiction because I can be both accurate with the facts, as well as creative.  For example, in my new book, On a Steed of Iron, I take actual events and put fictional people alongside real ones as the story plays out.  Because I’ve researched the times so thoroughly—in this case, the late 1960s—I can present the adventures and dilemmas my heroine faces in a way that’s harmonious with that era.  This helps me not to impose current mores and pop culture upon that decade’s.  It’s like, when you know the rules of good grammar and spelling, you can work with them in an innovative way that doesn’t offend the language.

In THEN COMES MARRIAGE?: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN FAMILY you wrote about the past, present, and future of family life. Are there cyclic patterns that tend to repeat themselves, shaping and shifting themselves to the ups and downs of the other cyclic factors effecting the country such as the economy or do you see the American family as moving in only one steady direction, and if so, which way? Fiction wise, will the future reader of the novel read only about family life as something that occurred back in the “old days”?

If you look across American history—actually human history as a whole—you find periods of rebellion and low moral standards, followed by a reining in of those impulses and a resulting spread of better manners and basic decency.  I was surprised to find that early in American colonial history, premarital sex and living together outside of marriage were not uncommon.  After revivals happened (the subject of my new novels), people’s lives became better morally.  

After World War I, the “roaring twenties” were a “loose” decade, followed by that reining in process during the Depression, World War II, and the family-and-faith-oriented fifties when people felt more of their need for God. We’ve been in decline since the late 1960s, but I’m not sure when or how that will turn around.  Based on past trends, however, I think it will change—for the better.  We’ve not hit rock bottom yet, but we’re awfully close.
Your book WHO GOES THERE? A CULTURAL HISTORY OF HEAVEN AND HELL grabs my attention just by the title itself. The blurb tells its about the attitudes Americans have about heaven and hell. Can you share a little bit about these attitudes with us? As a country, do we Americans have distinct differences in our attitudes than other countries? 

I became intrigued with American attitudes about heaven and hell after Princess Diana’s death in 1997.  In the media, there were many references to her being “up there looking down” on us.  I wondered what made people so sure she had gone to heaven, and where they got the idea of her being able to see the rest of us.  After that, it seemed that whenever anyone famous died, it was the same thing.  Then everyday people started using similar language; it was cross-cultural and went across religions as well.  

My research fascinated me, as I discovered how attitudes have changed and where we are now regarding what the Bible teaches about the afterlife.  While there are some distinctions, the media casts such a large net of influence, and America is such a cultural trendsetter, that many people from other nations believe related things.  Also, Americans have become syncretistic about their religious beliefs, picking and choosing teachings from other countries and faith traditions.  Reincarnation is one example.

You’ve written many Young Adult novels. With the YA market exploding, have you entertained the idea of becoming the next big YA author?

Actually, I haven’t, but I’ve never given up on some of my earlier inspirations.  I wrote three books in the mid-to-late 90s about some homeschooled kids who time travel to solve historical mysteries.  That’s an idea that still appeals to me!

Who is your most inspirational person in American history and why?

It’s always hard for me to choose just one person because our nation has been blessed with so many outstanding people.  Those who come to mind include:

George Washington—a man of outstanding integrity, vision, and faith
Abraham Lincoln—whose weaknesses God turned to strength
Harriet Tubman—she had nothing earthly going for her, but God at work in her made for an extraordinary life (I wrote a book about her, Harriet Tubman)
Teddy Roosevelt—another man of God with boundless optimism for America
Ronald Reagan—I stand amazed at how God used his mother to form her son’s faith, and how God spared his life and enabled him at an advanced age and in failing health to bring an end to the Soviet Union.

Your new fiction release is ON A STEED OF IRON. Fascinating title. Please tell us where that title came from, and share with us a line or two about the book.

The year 1968 was one of the worst in American history—the Tet Offensive in Vietnam occurred, costing many lives, then Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, resulting in terrible riots, and two months later, Robert Kennedy was assassinated.  Most heroes in stories ride off into the sunset on a white horse, or steed—by contrast, RFK rode off on a funeral train—a steed of iron.  The title is from a poem my heroine writes after supporting Kennedy and finding her dreams dashed to pieces.  The book deals with her attempts to find peace and meaning in that tumultuous era, culminating with her experience at the February 1970 revival at Asbury College in Kentucky.  God’s presence filled the campus, and the revival spread to many parts of the country.  It still amazes me when I read accounts of it, and speak with people who were there.
Rebecca & family
With your academic and vocational backgrounds, if you’d like, dare you confess any secret fun reads you enjoy? Any Mad Magazines hanging out in your coffee table stash?

No Mad Magazines, but I love to read women’s fashion magazines, and fun fiction—P.G. Wodehouse, Jan Karon, Robin Jones Gunn, Joyce Magnin.  I’m also enjoying reading the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew to my little boy.

Any predictions of where the future of literature is going?

I sure wish I could offer some!

If you could wave a magic wand, how would you like readers to remember you the most? 

That I loved Jesus with all my heart, and wrote inspired works—with excellence-- that he used to bless many lives.

What part of American history or culture fascinates you? Rebecca looks forward to hearing from you--leave a comment ✍

Author Bio:

During her senior year in high school, SEVENTEEN published her first magazine article and, in conjunction with the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, named her a runner-up in their teen of the year contest for her work as a budding journalist. In September 1996 Horizon Books published Rebecca's best selling GREAT WOMEN IN AMERICAN HISTORY, featuring 23 women of faith and principle whose lives impacted the nation. GREAT STORIES IN AMERICAN HISTORY came out in the summer of 1998 and went into its second printing in two weeks. GREAT LETTERS IN AMERICAN HISTORY was published in January 2000, and Rebecca's biography of Harriet Tubman (Bethany House) appeared in August, 1999.

Multnomah published her IMPOSSIBLE DREAMERS series for 8-12 year-olds in 1997. In the books, three pre-teens time-travel to solve histories' unsolved mysteries. Rebecca is also the author of the eight-book HEATHER REED MYSTERY SERIES published by Word. She has also written for dozens of newspapers and magazines and regularly contributes to other books.

Her most recent books focus on history and include Then Comes Marriage? A Cultural History of the American Family and Who Goes There? A Cultural History of Heaven and Hell from Moody Publishers, and Great Events in American History from AMG. Rebecca enjoys speaking at schools, churches, and civic organizations, as well as on radio and TV.

A graduate of Lafayette College and Princeton Theological Seminary, Rebecca received her doctorate from Biblical Theological Seminary in April 2000, having focused on the interpretation of women's roles throughout American history.

You can contact Rebecca by:
website:  (Includes my blog)
Facebook: Rebecca Price Janney
Twitter: @PriceJanney

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tom Blubaugh: The Accidental Road To Publishing A Novel

Everyone's Story is pleased to have as its guest this week author Tom Blubaugh. If I had to choose one word to describe Tom I'd select gracious, which in the dictionary is defined as one who is courteous, kind, and pleasant. Okay. That's 3 more words. But how true it is. Tom has been all that in my dealings with him... let's throw in one more word: patient. And just maybe all these traits of his came to use in publishing his first novel at age 69! Congratulations, Tom.

Tom is offering us lots of fun things. First, one copy of his Middle Grade/YA novel (enjoyed by many adults too) NIGHT OF THE COSSACK will be won by one randomly chosen viewer who leaves a comment with their email address within comment.

And second, below is an excerpt of Tom's first chapter from his novel for your reading pleasure. Trust me, it's full of intrigue.

By Tom Blubaugh
Chapter 1

Nathan’s eyes flew open. Sounds, screams and gunshots penetrated the cold air of his upstairs bedroom. The pungent smell of smoke invaded his nose. He coughed. Am I having a nightmare? Shadows danced wildly across the ceiling and down the walls. 
Heart pounding, he threw off his covers, jumped out of bed, and rushed to the window. His little brother, Israel, followed.
Its real!
“What is it, Nathan?” Israel whispered.
Nathan pulled his brother against the wall behind him.
“Hey! I want to see!”
“Shush, Israel.” Nathan looked through the window at the valley below, his heart racing. Men in long coats and fur hats were running through the village brandishing swords and raising rifles. Cossacks!
The Bukolovs’ and the Gorbenkos’ houses were burning. Bodies lay on the ground. He couldn’t tell who they were, but he knew they were friends.
Momma rushed into the room. “Get away from that window, Nathan!”
“Those are Cossack soldiers, Momma!”
“Cossacks,” echoed Israel.
“Get dressed, Nathan. Hurry.”
Nathan hesitated at the window.
“Now!” she shouted, grabbing him with such force he lost his balance. “Get dressed. Bring your coat.”
Nathan turned from the window.
Momma pulled Israel’s clothes from the hook behind the door, hurried him into them, and down the stairs.
Nathan shoved his trembling hands into his shirt, the horrible scenes replaying in his mind—houses ablaze, soldiers on horseback, dead bodies, his friends in terror. Why are the Cossacks here? What do they want?
He pushed his feet into his boots, jumped up, and hurried to the chest at the foot of the bed. Lifting the lid, he pulled out a knife in its sheath and shoved it into his right boot. He reached back for a leather bag containing lead balls and patches, and a powder horn. He fastened the pouch and powder horn to his belt. The firelight danced across his father’s pistol. He picked up the gun and balanced it in his right hand. Momma said I can’t use it until I’m older. She doesn’t know I’ve taken it out when I’ve gone hunting and practiced shooting it. I’m sixteen. I’m a man. Why should I have to wait? The thought calmed him.
Nathan shoved the unloaded gun into his belt, went back to the window, and stared at the nightmare below. He turned away and tried to close his mind against the violence. His rifle, loaded and ready to fire leaned against the wall in the corner. He slipped his arm through the sling, hefted the rifle on his shoulder, and grabbed his coat. He ran down the stairs.
The back door banged in the cold January wind. Nathan pushed his right shoulder against the door and forced his way through. A bitter gust whipped down from the Caucasus Mountains and hit him full in the face, pushing him off balance.
Nathan gasped as acrid fumes attacked his nose and stung his eyes. He blinked away the tears and peered through the smoke. Momma moved like a ghost across the yard, her robe billowing behind her. Her long, black hair blew wildly in the wind. She was only halfway across the yard pulling Israel by the hand. Why isn’t she already in the root cellar? Then he knew the answer—she had waited until he was out of the house.
Nathan lowered his head and fought his way after her. A few meters from the cellar, he froze when he heard the piercing squeal of his terrified horse. He turned toward the barn. “Aza, I’m here. I’m coming,” he yelled.
Before he reached the barn a woman’s scream ran a chill up his spine. The sound was cut short, followed by an ominous silence. Nathan felt sick. Momma?
He glanced toward the cellar. He couldn’t see Momma or Israel. Fearing the worst, he turned and stumbled toward the underground room. His eyes still stinging, he stumbled to the entrance, using his rifle as a crutch to keep him upright.
“Momma?” he whispered.
Silence. His heart stopped.
“I hear you, Nathan. We’re all right.”
Nathan staggered down the steps with relief. His mind swirled with images and terrible sounds. His thoughts returned to Aza. He turned back to the steps.
“Nathan, stay here!”
“I must go to Aza, Momma. I heard him scream. He’s panicked, he could hurt himself.”
“What can you do for him, Nathan?”
“I can calm him down and turn him loose into the woods. If they set the barn on fire, he’ll die. He’ll be safe in the woods. I must go!”
“You’re more important than your horse. I, we need you here with us. Stay, Nathan. I couldn't bear to lose you.”
Nathan was torn. Breathing a heavy sigh in resignation as he pulled the cellar door shut, he let his eyes adjust to the dark. He leaned his rifle against the wall.
Momma wrapped her arms around her older son. Nathan felt her shiver. He knew she was more afraid than cold. Had she heard the scream?
She sank to her knees, pulling Nathan down. “I know you’re afraid,” she whispered.
Nathan tensed. “I’m not afraid. I’m a man—the man of the house. You’ve said this yourself.” He pulled away from her. “You say I’m brave and strong. You tell me I’m like Papa, but you treat me like a little boy.”
“Nathan, you’re both. You’re my little boy, but at the same time you’re a man. Can you understand?”
Ignoring her question he said, “Papa should be here to protect us. I didn’t even get to tell him good-bye.” 
“Don’t be angry, Nathan. He loved you very much. He loved all of us.” She slipped her arms around him again saying, “It was an accident. There was no chance for anyone to say good-bye. Dying wasn’t his choice. You’re a man, Nathan. You look just like him—tall and strong, yet gentle. You have his black, wavy hair, hazel eyes, even his strong chin. What would I do without you?”
Nathan didn’t say anything. He couldn’t stay mad at her. Her soft voice melted his heart. Even when she’s afraid, she comforts me. Momma’s right. About all of it. It isn’t her fault Papa died.
His anger, no longer directed at her, receded.
 “Momma, are we going to be all right?” asked Israel.
“I pray we will, son. Who can know with certainty?”
“I’m scared, Momma,” Israel said.
“I know, son, I know.”
Nathan felt her arms leave him. In a few seconds, he felt her rocking against him. He knew she was holding Israel.
The woman’s scream crept into Nathan’s mind again. He put his hands over his ears as if he could silence it. Was it Vasile’s mother?
Vasile was his best friend. It didn’t matter to Vasile that Nathan was a Jew. The two of them hunted elk, roe deer, wild boar, rabbit, and birds almost every day and rode their horses all over the surrounding countryside. They raced. Aza was faster and Nathan always won. Where is Vasile? Is he alive? Is he hiding in his cellar? Does he have his rifle?
Nathan was the better shot even though he was two years younger. The men in the village used to wager on which boy would bring in the most game.
The wind howling through the spaces in the cellar door pulled Nathan from his thoughts. He realized he couldn’t dwell on Vasile and his family. It was too painful.
His thoughts turned toward the village. Gagra sat at the base of the Caucasus Mountains in northern Georgia, on the eastern shore of the Black Sea. Tonight was one of the rare times the mountains let the Arctic winds assault the village. The Cossacks seem to have blown in like a whirlwind. Why have they attacked us? What is here that they want? Women? Food? Weapons? Many of the houses are already damaged and there are few families.
Nathan stroked the handle of Papa’s pistol. His father found it after the Turks raided the village. He told Nathan a Turkish soldier must have dropped the gun. The rifle and ammunition bag were gifts to Papa from a woman who lost her husband during the raid. That was when Papa became the village hunter. I’m the hunter now.
A strong gust rattled the cellar door, startling Nathan. When it died down, he could hear the terror of the night—constant gunfire, men cursing, women wailing. The sight of the burning house flooded his mind again. Please God, don’t let them burn our house.
Time crept past. The gunfire died down and the yells ceased. Suddenly, there was the sound of hoofbeats on the road—many horses at a gallop. The sound faded into the night.
“Momma, I think the Cossacks have gone. I’ll see if it’s safe now.”
“No, son.” She pulled Nathan to her and held him tight. “Wait a few minutes more. Maybe the fires will die down.”
“The wind’s too strong, Momma,” he protested. “The fires will burn all night. I need to see.” He tried to pull away from her.
She tightened her hold on him. “What can you do if it isn’t safe, Nathan?”
What can I do? I must do what Papa would do. I must be a man like Papa. “I’ll be careful,” he said pulling free of her.
He reached for his rifle, crept up the steps, and pushed the door open just enough to see into the yard. The fires from the burning village houses cast an eerie glow on the thick smoke swirling in the wind. He breathed a sigh of relief as he realized their home was still standing.
“The house and barn look to be all right,” he whispered to his mother. “Aza is safe. I won’t be gone long.”
Before she could protest, he pushed open the door and stepped into the yard. He let the door go just as Momma cried, “No, Nathan!”
He crossed the yard in a crouch, the rifle gripped tightly in his hands. The wind pushed at him with angry fingers. The back door was shut. This is good. Perhaps no one has gone inside.
He slipped into the house, pulled the door closed, and stood still listening for any sounds. There were none except from the outside. The smell of smoke was strong. The blaze of fires lit the room with an odd glow. Through a window, he could see the village. A strange peace filled the house in contrast to the nightmare outside.
Nathan checked each room. Clear. He ran up the stairs. Satisfied everything was in place he returned to the kitchen. He took one last look around and stepped out the door.
As he turned to shut the door, his rifle was jerked from his hand. He froze, his heart pounding, his breath suspended. He felt a pistol jab into his back.
“Well, well. Who do we have here?” asked a deep, raspy voice. “Put your hands behind your head and turn around slowly.”
Nathan obeyed. As he turned, he gazed into the piercing eyes of a Cossack soldier.

My Writing Happening by Tom Blubaugh
The interesting thing about my novel is that I did not have any intent to publish it, at least not in the beginning. When my mother passed away in 2005, I panicked, sort of, because she was leaving me with one other source of information about my grandfather, Nathan Hertzfield. I had been asking her questions for several years only to hear her say, “my accounts are different than my sisters.” This was pretty much the end of the story. 
I grabbed a tape recorder and headed to my aunt’s home in Wichita, KS. I spent two hours asking her questions, but left with very little new information. Nevertheless, I started researching the information I had and found it fit in with Russian history. This excited me tremendously. At last, I thought, I’m learning about my grandfather. 
My writing was not in a book format. I was simply typing information that interested me, but as I continued, more questions developed than answers.  However, in the back of my mind I began thinking that this is something I could write for my children and grandchildren—perhaps a family legacy. 
At the same time, I began developing a family genealogy site pulling together information from every source I could find on both sides of my family. Every time I found something of interest, I would research and add links to sites that were of interest. When I finished I had hundreds of pages of information, pictures, and facts going back to France, Germany, Poland, and Russia. A wealth of information for anyone coming behind me who had the same desire for family history as I had. 
At this point, I began thinking I might have something worth publishing. I searched for an online Christian writer’s group and joined one on Yahoo. I stayed on the sidelines for a while to see what writers talked about. After a while, I saw a topic start that dealt with asking for critiques of some work. I sent a private message to Michelle Buckman—My Beautiful Disaster, Maggie Come Lately, A Piece of the Sky, Pretty Maids All in a Row and more recently, Death Panels and Rachel’s Contrition. I asked her if she would read the first chapter and give me her opinion. She did much more than that. She was very encouraging and I went searching for a critique group.
The group I joined was very kind and helpful. They told their goal was to get me published. I learned a great deal from this group and as the story developed, I could see it as a published work. I was not prepared for how it all came about. I read horror stories of numerous rejections, scrapped manuscripts and so on. I was not sure I wanted to put myself in the middle of this kind of process. 
It was while I was thinking this through that Dennis and Polly Vance approached me and asked if they could publish my book. It wasn’t so much me writing a book for children, but a spiritual happening. Even now, I know that readers from age 12 through 85 have read and enjoyed my novel.
Are you first venturing into the road to publication as a second career or in your post-retirement years? How have you been encouraged not to give up your writing endeavors? Tom would love to hear from you.
Author Bio:
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 a book, 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 his 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. 

How To Find Tom:

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.
ebook for Kindle available at Be sure to like my page and do a review when you finish, if you like my book.
Amazon Author page.
Amazon reviews.
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.
Twitter @tomblubaugh
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).

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