Wednesday, January 26, 2011

World of Writing, Interview #38

-- World of Writing --

Today's special guest on our blog is: Tommy Batchelor

Growing up in central Georgia gave Tommy many outdoor adventures either in
the woods or along the banks of the Flint River. Lost on Spirit River, is Book 1
of the Spirit River Trilogy and Tommy’s first Middle grade fiction for ages 9 - 14. Tommy’s first published book, Sunday’s with Papa T, A River Adventure, for ages
5 - 8 is a 28 page Picture Book. He resides in Middle Georgia with his wife, Cathy,
and can be found via his site at

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
A: Growing up in Middle Georgia, I took to the fields and forest as my playground. Playing along creeks and battling enemies in the tall grasses of open pastures near my home. Obtaining a license at sixteen, spreading out to the rivers, camping out under the stars. There’s nothing like waking up in the early morning before the sun rises on the river. I thought nothing would stop me from being a Wildlife Ranger, but things do change and I never got to be that Ranger. It doesn’t stop me from what I love most, that’s exploring the outdoors.
Q: What makes a good story?
A: To me, the characters make the story. The characters have to make the plot convincing. It could be the best plot in the world for a book, but you cannot convince me unless the characters can pull it off. When I begin to read a book no matter the plot, if I can’t get into the main people in the story, I have to lay the book aside.
Q: What makes you write in certain genres?
A: My first book, Sunday’s with Papa T, A River Adventure is a picture book for ages 5 and up. This book was done for my younger Granddaughters. I tell you, picture books are some of the hardest books I’ve tried to write in my life. Lost on Spirit River is my first attempt at Middle Grade. Once I started this project, it flowed through me with so much ease. I really enjoyed writing this type of book.
Q: Do you insert your own characteristics in your writing?
A:  I would like to say no I don’t, but that would not be the truth. I used some  characteristics of Papa T in my picture book.... As you read Lost on Spirit River, you'll find that Tony is one hardheaded young man. When he has his mind made up about something it’s the way it is.
Q: What was your path to Publication?
A:  I tried the old path to start with, sending in submissions to all the "Big Houses". The letters of rejection begin to arrive just as fast. I did have some interest in Lost on Spirit River, but they were talking publishing in 2012 or 2013. Well, I might be dead by then and every author wants to see their baby in print.

I wanted more control that’s why I published with Mirror Publishing. I picked my illustrator, Kim Reale, this is her first Illustration for a book and she did an awesome job. My cover by Laura Redmond was my choice, because of her great skills at cover design. The profit is better (with this publisher), so I can spend more on marketing.
Q: What is your proudest writer moment?
A:  Mine is the same as a million other writers, when you get the word, your book is on its way. It’s like an operation; you cut off parts and reinsert new ones. You nurse it back to health and you keep repeating this process, over and over. The day arrives… a new book is born!

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