Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Interview: Vet Pens Historical Fiction

Hi! I am Carolyn Howard Johnson, your trusty New Book Review blogger and author of the multi award-winning HowTo Do It Frugally Series of books for writers. This blog has heretofore been exclusive for reviews but I thought I’d do a special series of interviews after I chatted with Jeanie Loiacono, President of Loiacono Literary Agency – Where ‘can’t’ is not in our vocabulary!  I thought sharing the interviews would help the many subscribers and visitors to this New Book Review blog, including authors, reviewers, and, of course, readers who just might find a new favorite author among the featured books and authors.

So, today welcome Thomas E. Simmons. 

Simmons grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi, attended Marion Military Institute, the U. S. Naval Academy, the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Alabama. Tom was once the commercial captain of a seventy foot sailing vessel, has been a pilot since the age of sixteen, (3000 plus hours in the air), has flown professionally and participated in air shows flying aerobatics in open-cockpit bi-planes. In the late 1950s he served as an artillery officer in Korea. He is the author of three nonfictions: The Man Called Brown Condor (Skyhorse, 2013), Forgotten Heroes of World War II: Personal Accounts of Ordinary Soldiers Land, Sea and Air (Taylor Trade, 2014), Escape from Archangel (University of Mississippi Press); and two historical fictions: By Accident of Birth (TouchPoint Press, 2015) and The Last Quinn Standing (TouchPoint Press, 2016). He has also written numerous magazine articles, an example of which, “Growing Up With Mr. Faulkner,” was published in The Oxford American, a literary magazine founded by John Grisham.

  1. What is your genre? Is it fiction or nonfiction? Both historical fiction and nonfiction.
  2. What made you want to be a writer? My love of books, and the fact, as with most writers, I write because I am driven to.
  3. Of all the authors out there, who inspired you most? Too many to list.
  4. What is your writing style? Do you outline? Linearly? By scene?  Linearly. Why? It is the way my brain works. Nonfiction should flow as the history of your subject to make it easier for the reader to follow and understand. I write fiction linearly for it wouldn’t be fun if I knew how my story will end. I want it to be as big a surprise to me as for the reader.
  5. Do you write every day? How much? How long? When working on a project I write a little almost daily. If my muse is flowing, I may write late into the night when all is quiet and there are no interruptions.
  6. Do you think reading is as important to writing for an author? Absolutely. Why? It presents a study of sentence structure, new ways of looking at specific words, different story or fact presentation, implants the desire to do better; all, of course, if you read quality work.
  7. What are some of the things you would like to share with budding authors? Perseverance, dedication, courage, research, research, research until you know your subject, character, setting, facts…never get caught stating facts or details that are wrong; revise, revise, revise; develop a thick hide to handle criticism, rejection slips, and disappointment, and work hard to get an agent (mine is Loiacono Literary Agency, Jeanie Loiacono ) in the field of which you are writing.  If you can’t get an agent, rework the piece and try again. Remember, John Gresham (with his book The Firm ) was turned down by some thirty-nine or more agents.
  8. Do you have any marketing and promotional advice, referrals, tips you would like to share? Work with your publisher, work with independent book stores in your area, use any contacts you have with radio stations, TV stations, newspapers in your local/regional area, volunteer to make talks and book signings, use social media. Friends will spread the word, and last but not least, read Carolyn Howard Johnson’s book The Frugal Book Promoter.
  9. Do you think conferences are beneficial? If so, what have you learned? Which ones do you frequent? Yes, they are beneficial. Only been to one and that is where I met my agent. There is much you can learn at conferences about writing, publishing, and marketing.
Where can we find you, your books and when is your next event? You can find me at my web site; at my E-mail I have a new novel, By Accident of Birth, which has just been released, with launch at Barnes and Nobel 15246 Crossroads Parkway, Gulfport, MS 39503, and a second printing of The Man Called Brown Condor (which won the Gold Medal for Biography from the Military Writers Society of America) this time in soft cover due out in January 2016; its launch at Barnes and Nobel 15246 Crossroads Parkway, Gulfport, MS 39503.
Three books of mine are currently in print and can be obtained at any book store, Barnes and Nobel, Amazon, Kindle, and one as an audio book. Nonfiction: Escape from Archangel; Forgotten Heroes of World War II: Personal Accounts of Ordinary Soldiers Land, Sea and Air and The Man Called Brown Condor, hard cover and soon in soft cover. Fiction: By Accident of Birth just released.  Amazon Author Central
Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency, Jeanie Loiacono


Jeanie Loiacono, President, Loiacono Literary Agency
A facilitator of dreams, Jeanie Loiacono represents over eighty authors. Her forte is mystery, romance, thrillers, historical/military/southern fiction, and all quality fiction/nonfiction. Her passion is to see her authors succeed.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to hold one of my author’s books and know I helped bring it to fruition. I am so blessed and privileged to be able to work with some of the most talented writers in the world.”    

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

1 comment:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I love how Jeanie supports her authors. And thanks, Jeanie, for suggesting I add interviews to The New Book Review!