Interview and Book Giveaway with Thomas Blubaugh

Tells us first how you came to faith in Jesus.
I came to faith on Dec. 13th, 1970. I had gone through a divorce. After playing basketball in a church league with some nice guys from a church in the community, I met their pastor. He and I became friends. After the divorce, I decided to attend his church. On the second Sunday, I accepted Christ as my savior.

How old were you when you wrote your first real story and what was it about?
I started writing Night of the Cossack when I was 63 and it was published when I was 69. 

Where did you get the idea for this book?
Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I was envious of my friends who had grandfathers and I became more interested in finding out about mine when I became an adult. I knew very little about either one. My dad’s dad died when my dad was six, so dad didn’t remember a lot about him. One of the few things I knew about my mom’s dad was that he was a Cossack soldier in Russia. This captured my attention.

What do you want readers to take away from your writing and this book in particular?
I have to think on this. My purpose in writing about him was to fill the gap in my own life. As I got deeper in the story, I found I was writing for my children and grandchildren. My purpose was for them to have a great grandfather and great-great grandfather. I didn’t start thinking about the possibility of publishing until the story was nearly done—or at least I thought it was. I joined a critique group and when I was finished, what I thought was the beginning of the story ended up in the middle. I learned a lot. To answer your question, I guess I want people to know that all of our ancestors have a story and it’s important to know their story so it can be passed down through the generations. It’s important to know where we came from. We all need a family connection. 

What part of this book did you enjoy writing the most and why?

I enjoyed writing all of it, but I especially enjoyed reading it when it was finished. Even though a great deal of it is fiction, I felt I knew my grandfather. I also learned a lot about Russian history. I guess the answer is the research of the different countries involved, Russian history and the Cossacks.

What is your favorite Bible verse?
There are two of them—Proverbs 16:9, 19:21. These verses freed me to pursue my life without worrying whether or not I was in God’s will.  I read books and listened to tapes trying to figure His will for my life until I came to these verses. It’s a lot less complicated than I was making it.

What is your favorite comfort food?

I eat a lot of popcorn, usually late at night. I’m a night owl. I’m trying to change this and so I’m eating less popcorn now although Barbara, my wife, is growing some strawberry popcorn in our garden. I’ve never eaten any and I’m looking forward to enjoying some.

What are your hobbies other than writing?

I’m not doing so much of it now, but I really enjoy macro photography.  None of us really like insects in our houses, but they are so intricately made by our creator. I love to put an image of them on my large monitor and study them. Many of them are quite beautiful.

How does your faith play into your writing?

I turn that question around and say that my writing fits into my faith. All of my characters have faith in something or someone. My grandfather was a Jew, but his character is a man of faith. My book isn’t a Christian book, but it’s a family friendly/healthy book. The sequel will have more emphasis on faith, in places, due to the geographical locations. At least this is how I see it, but this novel is already much different than I initially planned.

What is your favorite book by another author and why?
Actually it’s a series of books by Andrew Klavan—The Homelanders.  He wrote four books of nonstop action, without any language or sex, that kept me turning pages late into the night. These books cover one year in the life of the protagonist. He’s a fascinating writer.

Favorite childhood book?

I wasn’t encouraged to read as a child. I know this is strange, but I read enough of stories to be able to give a book report. I started writing poetry when I was fourteen because I was too bashful to talk to girls. I think Black Beauty is the one I came the closest to finishing.

Which movie has inspired you the most and why?

This is a toughie. I’m a movie nut.  There are a lot that I really like. I like ones that are historical. One I saw recently that is on my list is For the Great Glory with Andy Garcia. It didn’t seem to get a lot of publicity, but it’s a tremendous story of –well I won’t give any of it away.

Where do you get most of your ideas for your books?
Most of my writing has been nonfiction—spiritual. Two of my spiritual gifts are Pastor-Shepherd and Teaching.  I can use about anything to teach a lesson. So far, all the fiction is about my grandfather.

Out of everything you have written, do you have a favorite and why?
The most humbling work was a joint effort for Barbour Published, The Great Adventure. I co-wrote, under contract, with fourteen other others. We wrote a devotional journal on nature. When I received the first copy of the book, it was so beautiful, I cried. 

Night of the Cossack historical fiction ebooks available at and Barnes & Noble
Night of the Cossack historical fiction signed paperback at Night of the Cossack  FREE shipping to address in USA.
Night of the Cossack historical fiction pdf file will be available soon.
Facebook fan page
The Write Trail Scribbling from the sometimes creative/sometimes scattered mind of Tom Blubaugh
Twitter @tomblubaugh

Leave a comment (with your email address) and post a link on all your
social media to be entered to win a copy of Tom's book You will also need to be a blog follower. 


  1. I'd like to win tom's book.

  2. i would like to win toms book too

  3. Marlayne, thank you so much for interviewing me. I'm looking forward to sending a signed copy of my novel to one of your followers.


    Tom Blubaugh, Author
    Night of the Cossack

  4. I wish I could do the ancestry thing, but everything costs you. I know the names of some of my great-grands, but would like to know more. Especially would love to know more about my mother's mother, who died when mother was only 5. I would like to win Tom's book. Maxie ( )

  5. I do not see my comment yet, but forgot to say that I shared this on my Facebook page. Maxie ( )

  6. I love that you wrote this book for your children & grandchildren. I've been doing my family ancestry & find it so fascinating. I plan on doing scrapbooks to go with it & doing it for my grandchildren. Your book sounds so very interesting. Thanks for this opportunity to learn more about it and about you, and the chance to win a copy. May God continue to bless you. Tracey

  7. What a wonderful interview--I loved the back story and how family was such an important factor. I've never heard of strawberry popcorn, but it sounds pretty cool. Thanks, Marlayne and Tom for a great interview!