Results for tag "tom-winton"

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A boomer’s look back at sometime magical years

July 24, 2015
Boomer Cafe

What do some of us baby boomers do for our Second Act? A lot of us write. And at least one of us, Tom Winton of Dahlonega, Georgia, has done quite well at it. He had his first novel published only five years ago when he was 62, and now has six under his belt; all have become bestsellers on Amazon. The latest is “Beyond Nostalgia,” which takes place back in those sometimes magical years of the 1960s and 70s. Funny thing is, Tom didn’t always want to be a writer.

Although I completed my first “novel attempt” more than fifteen years ago, I’ve only been socializing with other writers on Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest for three years now. But over the course of that time, I have been fortunate enough to befriend (and learn from) hundreds of authors from all over the world. I’m deeply indebted to many of those folks and to others I’ve met on writer’s communities such as Authonomy and YouWriteOn.

Writer Tom Winton

During the course of my everyday contacts with writers, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard folks say things like, “I’ve been writing stories since I was six years old,” or, “I wrote my first novel when I was just seventeen,” or “I wanted to be an author ever since I read Flaubert’s Madame Bovary in high school.”

Well, for me it was different. While in some ways I wish I had started scrawling words when I was six or sixteen, I can’t honestly say that I did.

Nevertheless, by the time I was in my mid-forties, I had done quite a bit of reading. And there were fleeting moments when I entertained thoughts of writing something myself. The problem was that I thought I was too busy— too busy “living life” to bother sitting down and writing about it.

Yes, I thought it would be really cool to be like Hemingway, write in the mornings, fish in the afternoons, and party at night with a bunch of famous and infamous friends. I wanted to be a writer but didn’t want to pay the piper. I wasn’t ready to stand for hours and scrawl stories on lined yellow pads like old Hem did. Heck, I wasn’t even ready to sit on my tail and do it either. But I sure dreamed about getting the respect and attention that accomplished authors so often do.

Ernest Hemingway

Then one day I woke up.

After years of never having less than six books lying on the carpet alongside my recliner, I finally thought, Oh, hell . . . I can do this writing thing! I can do it better than most authors I’ve read. I know I can do better. How hard can it be to describe a green hill in Africa, or a southern plantation gone kaput in Georgia? Ha . . . lemme go get a pad. I’ll whip something up right now.

Boy . . . was I wrong!

I went and got a spiral notebook, then plopped right back into my easy chair to begin my great American novel. What did I accomplish that first sitting? Nada, as in, not a thing. I had no idea where to begin. My next attempt was just as fruitless, so was the next, and the next, and every other attempt I made for two straight years. If I wasn’t out fishing, working, running around somewhere, or reading, I’d be in that soft mauve chair agonizing over what a flunky I was with a pen.

I lived on Florida’s Gulf Coast at that time but somehow, after moving across the state to the east coast those two years later, I found myself on a quiet beach with that damned notebook again. I thought if I took a folding chair with me and sat out there on the sand, I just might finally get something down on paper.

And I did. I don’t remember how much I wrote that day, but I started my first novel. Why was I finally able to come up with something that I thought was halfway decent? Did my muse float in on a wave along with all the brown seaweed on that beach? Had my inspiration surfaced ten miles out in the Gulfstream and blown in on the easterly wind? I doubt it.

I think what happened was that I finally had a story somewhat worked out in my mind. I had a beginning, a middle, and an end. And that’s all I needed. Well, almost all I needed.

Sure, the rough plot I had worked out in my head helped give me confidence, but so did something else. I did exactly what Ernest Hemingway told aspiring writers time and time again: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.” And I did.

Starting a new novel still isn’t easy for me. None of the writing process is. But in my mind, there aren’t many things in this mad, maddening world more rewarding than a productive morning at the keyboard. And I’m awfully glad that I learned what writing one true sentence can lead to.

In the past four years I’ve had six novels published. I’ve had two different publishers but parted ways with both. Now all my books are self-published and will continue to be. That is, until the “big six” publishers have a desperate, frenetic bidding war over them. Ha! Talk about a classic example of a writer’s imagination running wild!


If ever there has been a story to give voice to the joy and pain of love, it’s Forever Three.

For far too long author and nice guy Dean Cassidy has lived with the misfortune of loving two women at once. Over and over his heart has been stretched, wrenched, twisted, and bruised in an emotional tug-of-war.

Dean has loved his wife, Maddy, since long before they took their vows, but after 22 years, he still can’t shake the memory of his childhood sweetheart, Theresa Wayman. And now things are getting worse. Suddenly, the torturous triangle is closing in on him like a three-sided vice.

Day after day Dean is pummeled by a dizzying, soul-numbing succession of guilt, joy, tragedy and uncertainty. He’s all but lost the will to go on. Nevertheless, the human spirit does not destruct easily. It is resilient and tenacious. And as close to going down as Dean is, he’s determined to keep swinging until the very end. The question is will it be enough?


Examiner’s Review!

Tom Winton is the new Ernest Hemingway–From the 1/8/2014

A Second Chance in Paradise is similar to Earnest Hemmingway's "Old Man and the Sea".

A Second Chance in Paradise by Tom Winton

Tom Winton must be channeling the spirit of Ernest Hemingway. If you liked “The Old Man and the Sea”, you’ll love “A Second Chance in Paradise”. Like Winton’s previous book, “Four Days With Hemingway’s Ghost” this novel has a lot in common with old Papa’s titles. It’s about a “wounded warrior”. It takes place in the Florida Keys. There’s a lot of fishing, ocean storms, and battles of several kinds that pit man against nature. When the hero, Sonny, lands a 165 pound fish, the description is so vivid that you’ll swear you’ve suffered line cuts on your own hands, and you’ll wonder why your back hurts.

Sonny Raines is a furniture salesman in New York. After telling his boss off, and quitting his job, he comes home to find out his wife, Wendy, is having an affair. He packs his bags into his old van and heads for Florida to start a new life. He settles into a small town just outside Key West where he meets good common people who also have battle scars like his own. He finds a new job, makes a new life, and falls in love again. But while he is at it, he gets pulled into a dispute about a real estate developer, protected mango trees, and a threat to the new life he’s learned to love.

If you’re a fan of Hemingway’s scarred heroes, and you want to read a six-star future best seller, here you go. If you are a budding author who wants to study the work of a master, well, this is how it’s done, son.

Agents and editors will blog and write articles about the “rules” of writing, and point to techniques that no author should even think of sending in. It is a rare and talented writer who can get away with breaking those rules. One of those rules is that a writer should never say “little did he know”. Another rule is that background information should be delivered in small doses. Too much background at one time is known as an “information dump.” As a rule, background should not exceed more than a page at a time.

In this story, Winton successfully uses the “I didn’t know this at the time, but…” ploy, and follows it with pages of background that cover Julie’s engagement to her former fiancée, a car accident, and a resulting handicap. It’s done so smoothly that the reader doesn’t even notice the rules are being broken. After reading that chapter, I had to stop and consider the feat this author pulled off. I read the chapter again, just to admire the beauty and skill of the way it was written.

The love scene is also excellently portrayed. While written from a man’s point of view, using tasteful language and descriptions, the scene comes off the way a woman wants it. It’s not just climactic, but tender and loving at the same time, giving, not taking, passionate, yet tender. Wendy was a complete fool to ever let Sonny go.

The action scenes are also tastefully described, yet make you gouge the edges of your Kindle and squirm in your seat. These scenes prove that, with skill, a writer doesn’t need to resort to guts to make a book gut wrenching.

The only thing that could possibly improve the story would be if Sonny realized that being sterile is a sort of handicap, too. That would have motivated the ending better, but even without that insight, the ending will make you say “aaaaaaaah” and you’ll be tempted to read it again and again.


Just Released — Within a Man’s Heart

Amazon — Kindle — $1.99

Four years after burying his young wife, New York sales executive Christian Crews still can’t move forward with his life. Day after day, treasured memories of his beloved Elyse continue to drift through his spirit like an endless procession of mournful ghosts.

Chris wants to leave Manhattan—walk away from his job and the apartment he and Elyse once shared. He dreams of moving to New Hampshire, where he feels he just might have a chance of finding peace. But in his grieving mind, breaking away from those memories would be the same as abandoning Elyse—an unforgivable act of betrayal he could never live with.

Then, on the fourth anniversary of Elyse’s death, Chris makes two shocking discoveries, and a part of him begins to believe that she would want him to go on with his life.

Two weeks later he makes the move to New Hampshire, and minutes after arriving in the small rural village of Mountain Step, he meets a beautiful local woman with mesmerizing gray eyes and a heart as big as the surrounding mountains. Beginning another emotional relationship may be the last thing on Chris’s mind, but he soon finds himself falling for Gina Elkin, every bit as hard as she’s fallen for him.

Could there be a future for them? Will Elyse allow it? After all, she’s still deep within Chris’s heart—a place no one else has ever been.









A Recent Interview I Did With My Good Friend, Barbara Silkstone

The little fellow on the LEFT is Indie Author Tom Winton. Please share his interview below:
Who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife, Blanche. Anyone who could put up with me for as long as she has deserves to be loved. But, I must say, my ill-mannered terrier, Ginger, is a close second.
When and where were you the happiest?
When I was coming of age in New York, back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The way I see it, there was never a better or a more exciting time to be on this planet. Can you imagine…the first moonwalk and Woodstock occurring in the same month? And that‘s just scratching the surface of the exciting events that took place during that period in time.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what do think it would be?
How about a person, Barbara? I sure wouldn’t have minded living Ernest Hemingway’s life. I’d probably tweak a few of the things he did, but it would be one hell of a ride.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would have started writing much earlier. Had I done that I’d have had about fifty books to upload onto Amazon. Plus, it may not have been a snap, but it certainly was easier to land a big publisher thirty years ago.
What historical figure do you most identify with?
Henry David Thoreau. I’d love to live in the woods with the critters. I pretty much did that with my wife and Ginger for five years. We lived right near the beginning of the Maine North Woods. Our place backed right on the woods. We had moose, coyotes, porcupines, deer and all the rest for neighbors. I dream of moving back there someday.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Yesterday was history, tomorrow is fiction. All we have is the here and now.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I’m not sure if you’d call it a characteristic, but I have absolutely zero tolerance for greed and injustice. And that’s a tough thing to live with in this maddening 21st Century.
How would you like to die?
Thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll pass on that for now.
What is your motto?
Time doesn’t heal all wounds. But it usually numbs the pain.

Just Released–Four Days with Hemingway’s Ghost

6/27/12–Tom Winton’s new book, Four Days with Hemingway’s Ghost for sale at Amazon.

Four Days with Hemingway’s Ghost is not a story of spooks and spirits.  It is an entertaining weave of heartrending emotion, humor, and a sprinkling of little known facts.  The novel also examines the lives of two very different men.  One is mortal, the other immortal.  One is painfully ordinary, the other world famous.  But despite their
differences, they both learn some invaluable lessons from one another during
their few days together.

Jack Phelan is a forty-two-year-old underachiever.  He lives in South Florida, and though he mows lawns for a living, he’s not what you might think.  He’s got an exceptionally sharp mind and is a self-educated Hemingway aficionado.  After Jack gets into a highly unlikely accident, he’s flown by helicopter to the nearest hospital in West Palm Beach where he remains in a coma for four days.  But minutes after he blacks out, he finds himself in Key West, lorida.  He’s leaning on the brick wall in front of the Hemingway Home now turned museum.  As he admires the house and grounds, he suddenly realizes someone is standing right next to him.  Thinking it’s a tourist crowding him, he turns to confront the man.  But he doesn’t.  Instead his eyes spring wide open and he is absolutely stupefied.  Standing alongside him is an aged Papa Hemingway, and he’s staring straight into Jack’s buggy eyes.

Hem has been sent from above to help determine whether or not Jack has what it takes to write a book for “The Main Man above the clouds.”  But what Ernest doesn’t know is that the book is going to be about him.  And that its purpose is to change the world’s perception of the swaggering, hard-knuckled, macho myth he has become.  Over the next four days,
Jack Phelan and Ernest Hemingway travel to some of the legendary author’s old haunts and rub shoulders with many of his long gone friends.  But wait. Once their time together ends, the story is still not over.  That’s when things really get interesting.

A Recent Interview with Tom Winton

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bio:  Tom Winton was born and raised in New York City. During his working career he has done everything from working on a railroad gang in the Colorado Rockies to driving a taxicab in Manhattan. Now retired, he has also been a mailman, a salesman, an entrepreneur and more. He lives in Hobe Sound, Florida, with his wife
Blanche and their ill-tempered but loveable Jack Russell terrier, Ginger. They spend part of their time in Carmel, Maine.
Product Description:  It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then one
small soul rises from the crowded depths of obscurity and causes the earth to
wobble on its axis. This last happened in 2008 when an unemployed doorman, in a
secondhand Goodwill suit, stepped onto the worldwide stage in Stockholm and accepted The Nobel
Prize for Literature.
In this me-me twenty-first century, Thomas Soles may very well be the last American martyr. This self-described “simple man” writes a simple book that resuscitates the all-but-dead international labor
movement. The response to his thoughts and perceptions are astounding. All around the globe, from pole to pole, from America to Zimbabwe, the marching footsteps of workers, young and old, tremor the earth. But not everyone is pleased. There’s a tight-knit, elitist clique that is absolutely livid over the thoughts and ideals that fill the pages of his book. And the moment Tom and his wife, Elaina, return home from Sweden, they realize just how angry this profit-hungry mob really is.
Q—What will readers like about your book?
Firstly, it’s a very timely book!  With struggling people and economies all over the world, most readers will in one way or another easily relate to the subject matter.  Also, The Last American Martyr is a suspenseful novel sandwiched between two heartrending romances.  Already it seems to be garnering a very wide reading audience.
Q—Why did you go indie?
After ten agents asked for all or part of my debut novel, Beyond Nostalgia, last July (yes TEN
agents–four in one day) I allowed myself some hope.  But I did not have one taker.  Several said they were “sure” I’d find the right agent “soon”, but it didn’t happen.  I was then approached by a small indie publisher, and Beyond Nostalgia came out this past February.  By the way, this book that ten agents nixed…it has been on
four Amazon Bestseller lists at one time and three “Top Rated” charts.
Q—Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
Odd as this is going to sound, I don’t read a whole lot of suspense.  Though, like I said, The Last American Martyr is suspense in the middle of two romances, it somehow evolved into that.  I had a rough idea of what the story was going to be, but I let the MC, Thomas Soles, take me wherever he wanted.  My favorite authors are Pat Conroy, Steinbeck, and Jim Harrison, just to name a few.
The Last American Martyr link:

The Last American Martyr

The Last American Martyr

Newly Released

Just released last month, Tom’s new novel, The Last American Martyr, has already been on two of  Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” lists.   It is also a finalist for the “2012 Book of the Year Award” on Random House’s Youwriteon website.
Full of suspense, mystery, drama, and romance, it is available for $.99 Kindle and $9.99 paperback.