Welcome everyone! We’re on location today along the banks of the Flint River with children’s author Tom Batchelor. Tommy’s writing career started as “Stories to leave to my grandchildren, I wanted them to know the things I enjoyed when I was growing up”. The love for the outdoors and nature grew as he explored the waters and forest around his home in Middle Georgia. “Each day we come closer to losing a piece of our public land or one of our rivers in its natural state.
“Sunday’s with Papa T, A River Adventure”, a picture book for ages 5 – 8 was his first book published in 2008. “Lost on Spirit River” Book One in the Spirit River Trilogy is Author Tommy Batchelor’s first Middle Grade Fiction for ages 9 – 14. Tommy lives in Middle Georgia with his wife, Cathy.
Deanna: Tom, thank you for taking the time to be here so our readers could learn a bit more about you and your books!
Tom: Welcome Deanna, to Middle Georgia’s little piece of heaven along the shores of the Flint River - the subject of my newest release, Lost on Spirit River, Book 1 of the Spirit River Trilogy
Deanna: First off, Tommy, What made you want to become a writer?
Tom: Books have always been a part of my life since I can remember. My mother was a Librarian; books to read were only as far as the bookshelves away at home. At a early age, Mom would load us up in the car in the summer for a trip to the local city library once a week. Of course, the books were finished by the end of the first day. We had to wait another week to get some more.
Deanna: As authors, we love all of our characters. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?
Tom: Yes, the hardheaded characters. I’ve been called hardheaded more than a few times in my life, just the other day, my wife reminded me how hardheaded I am. You can see it in the beginning of Lost on Spirit River with the character Tony. As in real life, we mellow with age!
Deanna: Tell us a bit about YOU that our readers might not know.
Tom: Well, let’s see…When I was 5 or 6 years old I got a little plastic guitar for Christmas I was the next Elvis. I’ve got pictures and No I will not show them to you! I wanted to be a Game and Wildlife ranger out of High school and this and that happen so a year later I join the Army to see the world. Only thing I saw was three States in the South. Had been there, done that!
Deanna: Do you read in the same genre that you write in?
Tom: Yes, I read in all genre, not only for me and research. I read with my Grandchildren, which seem to be growing up faster than I can write for them.
Deanna: How many Grandchildren do you have, and you’re writing for them?
Tom: We have six total now, 5 girls and 1 boy. I don’t want to leave money to my Grandchildren, they spent it and it’s gone. Picture’s get torn and lost. A book is something of a heirloom treasure they will read and past down to their children, especially if it’s written by their father, mother or Grandparent.
Deanna: That's a great idea. Your work will be passed on for years to come. Tell us what the Flint River means to you?
Tom: As soon as I turned 16, I was on the road, exploring the area around my home. A friend of mine told me about this place along the Flint. We spend weekends fishing, camping, and canoeing. It kept us out of trouble!! In the early 70’s they wanted to dam up this section of over 10,000 acres in this valley for a dam for Atlanta, which was over 60 miles away. Thanks to our then Governor, Jimmy Carter, for stopping it. Now it’s a State Park.
Deanna: Most of us have vivid imaginations when it comes to story lines. Is the Flint River where your story ideas come from?
Tom: Yes, my first book, Sunday’s with Papa T, A River Adventure, is the story of Granddaughter and her Pawpaw making discoveries of nature on a Sunday fishing trip and end up tipping the boat over. Whose fault is it? Lost on Spirit River also begins to explore the Native American tribe of the Creek Indians.
Deanna: I’ve an interest in Native American tribes. Tell us a little more about the Creek Tribes?
Tom: Sure, at one time the Creek nation covered over half the state of Georgia. Over time, they were pushed to the western edge, living along the Flint River in village until they were removed and forced to move to Oklahoma along with the remaining Cherokee tribes. Remains of villages lost have been located on private land surrounding the waters. Tools and arrowheads lay upon the river’s edge up and down the Flint. I myself have found a few arrowheads from sandbars as a teen.
“When one generation is born, another one is lost” Q – Tommy Batchelor
Deanna: Where can we order books or stay in touch with you?
Tom: Look for me on Facebook or Twitter
Website at www.tommybatchelor.com
E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deanna: Tommy, it’s been a pleasure having you talk with us today, thank you so much! We wish you luck with your books and may you open a new world for our young readers! Is there anything you would like to add for our readers?
Tom: Yes, I have a question for your readers - what is the name of the Native American tribe in my new book, Lost on Spirit River? Comment the correct answer for a chance to win a Free signed copy of “Lost on Spirit River”; Book 1 of the Spirit River Trilogy for Middle Grade Readers ages 9 – 14. Winning name will be drawn from all who correctly answer.