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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Tom Shachtman

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing, for me, is about curiosity and challenge, two matters that are important for everyone but especially so for writers. Even after 40 published books, I awake eager to get started on my research and composition. All writers, I believe, are historians, and no matter they are writing they incorporate their impressions of the world for the benefit of their fellow human beings/readers in the present and the future.  

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Revision and rewriting. And sometimes to do so out of order, e.g., Chapter Four and then Chapter Two.

What is your favorite time to write? Mid-morning, after breakfast, with a goal of completing a draft of a certain section or a certain number of words before I can allow myself a lunch or an exercise break.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Don’t believe your good reviews or your bad reviews.  

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The complexity of today’s world provides a constant need for writing that helps people navigate their world, through empathetic fiction and historical analysis and analogies.  

Tom Shachtman’s The Founding Fortunes: How the Wealthy Paid for and Profited from America’s Revolution is out now with St. Martin’s Press.