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20 January 2012

Welcome special guest: author Tom Mach @kansasauthor

Today we have Tom Mach visiting! For his interview, I asked him three simple questions: How did he decide to become a writer? ~ What does he like most about being one? & What does he like the least about being one? Below is what he shared with me. Welcome Tom!

How I Decided To Be a Writer & What I Like Most & Least of Being One by Tom Mach
     I don’t think one normally wakes up one morning and says, “You know what? I want to be a writer.” The writers I know just naturally flowed into it, writing on the side while doing various jobs to earn a living.
     My penchant for writing first began when I was 17 and a junior in high school. I had been reading a book a week and I decided I would see if I could write a novel. I did—a 370 page manuscript called The Boss’s Son, which was typed on an old-fashioned portable typewriter. At the time I thought my novel was great but I received personally-typed rejections from top editors working for New York houses. I gave up writing for a while, although I attempted a few short stories while I was working as a chemical engineer. Then in my 30s, while I was a marketing manager for a major food company, I tried my hand at writing articles. I found success with that venue and soon I was pouring out an article a week for a newspaper chain. After that, I progressed to writing articles for magazines—including some biggies such as Writer’s Digest, Jack and Jill, Women’s Day, and others, all while I was working full time.
     Even at that point I never thought about becoming a full-time writer. It was drummed into my head that writers starve, and I was interested in eating—as well as feeding my family. I did have an interest in writing ad copy, which I taught at San Jose State University and in being an editor, which I did for a small magazine in Ohio. I also wrote a great number of industry marketing reports for an international market research firm. But the idea of writing what I wanted to write full-time didn’t strike me until I retired, and with no pressures to earn a living, I decided to focus on writing novels, short stories, and poetry—and I succeeded in all three areas.
     What I liked most about writing is that it gives me the same kind of exhilaration as if I were on vacation. I like it when my plot takes hold, my characters come alive, and the whole thing comes together. I am able to play God and see into the minds of my characters and enjoy the same things they feel, see, hear, touch, and smell. My very first novel after retirement was Sissy!, and I was surprised at the great reviews I received on it and, to top it off, winning the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award as well.
     What I like least about being a writer is huge amount of time I have to spend away from writing and doing marketing and promotion of my works. I know it’s important to try to sell your own books, but I wish I could just write and have someone else do the legwork on selling what I write.

Thanks for joining us here today, Tom! It’s a pleasure getting to know a bit more about you and your work. Readers ~ Please leave a comment here on this blog post and visit Goddess Fish Promotions to find the other blogs Tom has visited & comment there as well. The more places you visit and comment at, the more chances you have of winning a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

More info on Tom & his book…

Tom Mach’s Bio ~ Tom Mach wrote two successful historical novels, Sissy! and All Parts Together, both of which have won rave reviews and were listed among the 150 best Kansas books in 2011. Sissy! won the J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award while All Parts Together was a viable entrant for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Award. He also wrote a collection of short stories entitled Stories To Enjoy which received positive reviews. Tom’s other novels include: An Innocent Murdered, Advent, and Homer the Roamer.
His poetry collection, The Uni Verse, won the Nelson Poetry Book Award. In addition to several awards for his poetry, Writer’s Digest awarded him ninth place in a field of 3,000 entrants. His website is: He also has a popular blog for writers of both prose and verse at
Also find Tom here ~

The book ~ STORIES TO ENJOY — This unique collection of 16 short stories written by prize-winner Tom Mach includes stories such as "Real Characters," which is about a writer who gets his wish--that his characters come alive.... "Breakfast, Over Easy" makes you wonder about loyalty in the face of temptation.... "When Kansas Women Were Not Free" takes you to a time when women were less free than former males slaves.... "Son" make you think differently about compassion. One novelist describes STORIES TO ENJOY as "memorable and intriguing, with O. Henry twists that are sure to surprise and entertain."

An excerpt ~
     The professor focused his entire attention on what Ford’s Theater looked like back in April of 1865. He imagined himself to be John Wilkes Booth’s friend and stagehand—Edman Spangler. After a long while he felt himself growing exceedingly tired, and when he opened his eyes he found himself in the real Ford’s Theater. There was no one in the presidential box and Wilson, who now believed he was indeed Mr. Spangler, ran his hand over the balustrade.
     “Spangler,” a voice called out to him from below, “are you still working on removing the partition of the box to make room for the President and General Grant?” It was John Wilkes Booth himself speaking to him!


marybelle said...

Knowing my history, the excerpt gave me chills. Thank you for that delicious slice.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Tom today.

MomJane said...

I have really enjoyed following your tour. Each time I learn more about you and your writing.

award-winning writer said...

marybelle and MomJane--

Thanks so much for your comments. I'm hoping you will read my book and tell me which story is your favorite.

Karen H in NC said...

Interesting interview today. I am constantly amazed at the wide variety of 'day jobs' held currently or in the past by some of our favorite authors. And it looks like you held some pretty interesting jobs before if we ever really do retire! Too many other things to do now.

Renald said...

Very busy ,but I make time to read. Thanks for the interview.

award-winning writer said...

Thank you all for your comments. I want you to know that soon I will be raising my prices on all of my eBooks. So I won't be selling them for 99 cents apiece much longer. Prices will all go up in Feburary and I'm sure 99 cents is affordable (costs less than a cup of coffee these days).