Monday, February 27, 2012
Interview with Author Thomas Blubaugh
“This book can only be described as a rare gem. Truly a work of art! I couldn't put it down. You won't find another book like it on the shelf these days.” -- Salena Stormo
It’s a story about my maternal grandfather who died before I was born. I had a little information about him, one being he was a Cossack soldier in Russia. I researched enough to know the information I had was factual and I began writing about him for myself. It was very important to me since both of my grandfathers were gone before I came on the scene. I always wanted to have a grandfather. I didn’t really think about it being published until sometime after I started the project.
This is so awesome. As some of you know, I fly throughout the U.S., teaching people how to write the stories of their ancestors. This subject is very dear to me. So… what is a Cossack?
Cossacks were members of several peasant groups of Russian and Polish descent. They lived in autonomous communal settlements, especially in the 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.
What age group would appreciate Night of the Cossack?
I have received correspondence from readers age twelve through eighty-six telling me how much they enjoyed my book. It’s classified as a YA novel, but I think of it as a historical fiction for all ages.
What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
This was very interesting. I was not fond of history as a student, but I found the study of Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Italy, France and the Cossacks to be fascinating. I used our local library, the Internet, a travel agency in Ukraine Geneology.com and the museum at Ellis Island as sources of historical information. I also used the map department of Missouri State University to review actual maps of the time of my novel. I also talked with a Russian History professor at MSU and interviewed students from Russia and Ukraine and an elderly Jewish lady from Poland.
That must have been so interesting to interview everyone. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
As a result of a series of events I became homeless in 1998. Although it seemed tragic at the time, God used it for good. After years of being self-employed, I found myself free to pursue writing and volunteer work and for the first time in years—I had time to smell the roses.
Ahhhhh! To smell the roses! How wonderful! Now we know the inspiration behind your novel: Your Grandfather! Thank you, Tom, for taking the time to talk about your book. My dear readers, I just wanted you to know that the first page of Tom’s book grabs you right away. Read it and see what I mean.
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!