Author name: Thomas Whaley
Genre: Literary Fiction
Book: Leaving Montana
Bio: Thomas Whaley was born in 1972 and has lived on Long Island his entire life. He is an elementary school teacher and has always enjoyed writing as a pastime. Thomas currently lives in Shoreham, New York with his husband Carl, their two sons Andrew and Luke, and loyal dog Jake.
LEAVING MONTANA is Thomas Whaley’s first novel and also the WINNER of the 2015 ERIC HOFFER Small Press Award, the 2015 INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD for Best New Literary Fiction, the 2015 INDEPENDENT AUTHOR NETWORK AWARD for Outstanding First Novel and THIRD PLACE in the 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award! Thomas recently won the 2014 NYS 2nd Grade Teacher of the Year Award and was featured on NPR’s 50 Great Teachers on All Things Considered!
Favorite thing about being a writer: I really enjoy meeting new people! Since Leaving Montana’s debut in July of 2014, I had the pleasure of communicating with so many readers and meeting amazing people at book events and book clubs. Now that Leaving Montana has been rereleased, I am getting to experience this all over again. There’s nothing more exciting than having someone you never met before tell you that they appreciate your work and can’t wait for more.
Biggest challenge as an indie author: Marketing is one of the biggest challenges for an indie author – especially if writing is not your full-time job. I am also an elementary school teacher and father of two active eight-year-old boys. Getting Leaving Montana noticed can be difficult. Although book events make it easier, they are temporary. It takes time to gain a following, especially if Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook reading clubs/groups and blogs are one of your main avenues of marketing. You really have to schedule the time to get the word out!
Favorite book: My favorite book is The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide To Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is one of those books that you keep close by and reference when certain life experiences challenge your happy place. I have referred it to so many people over the years and it has helped so many stay focused on being the best they can be.
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