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Thomas Jerome Baker
ii
The Lost Art Of Love Letters: A
Romantic Gift For Christmas,
Valentine, Birthday,
Anniversary, or H...
Copyright © 2016 Thomas Jerome Baker
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 1535448547
ISBN-13: 978-1535448543
DEDICATION
For my wife,
Gaby,
the love of my life.
Indeed, you are life itself.
Your love creates my world,
gives purpose ...
CONTENTS
Acknowledgments i
1 With All My Heart 1
2 12
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
About The Author
i
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
What is love? In the year 2012, that phrase - what is love -, was
the most researched phrase on Google. ...
3
WITH ALL MY HEART
What is love? In 1845, the poet Robert Browning, in his first letter
to the poet Elizabeth Barrett, wr...
Thomas Jerome Baker
4
of people when you once have given them too much pleasure—that
is a fact...I will say that I am your...
The Lost Art Of Love Letters
5
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on March 6, 1806. She
lived with her father, mother, an...
Thomas Jerome Baker
6
Wow. The Brownings, Robert and Elizabeth, are an amazing
love story. I think what I like most about ...
The Lost Art Of Love Letters
7
matter of personal taste. In this, your opinion matters. Your
individuality, your unique st...
Thomas Jerome Baker
8
show up. Although Brenda sat directly behind me in class, and we
had every subject taught to us by t...
The Lost Art Of Love Letters
9
chance that I might be wrong. One day, the kids around me was
talking and the teacher told ...
Thomas Jerome Baker
10
I folded up this love letter, loked to see if anyone was
observing me, and slyly handed the message...
The Lost Art Of Love Letters
11
squeezed my hand, bringing back the sensation to it, and taking
away any possibility for m...
Thomas Jerome Baker
12
13
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Bio:
Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the
past Coordinator ...
Thomas Jerome Baker
14
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
None that I am aware of. I always write what I know. This l...
The Lost Art Of Love Letters
15
Also, find yourself a genre and a writer who is so good you think you could
never write as...
Thomas Jerome Baker
16
There’s this guy named Ed Stafford who was a captain in the British Army.
He actually survived in t...
The Lost Art Of Love Letters: PreOrder Today!  https://goo.gl/egiSRx
The Lost Art Of Love Letters: PreOrder Today!  https://goo.gl/egiSRx
The Lost Art Of Love Letters: PreOrder Today!  https://goo.gl/egiSRx
The Lost Art Of Love Letters: PreOrder Today!  https://goo.gl/egiSRx
The Lost Art Of Love Letters: PreOrder Today!  https://goo.gl/egiSRx
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The Lost Art Of Love Letters: PreOrder Today! https://goo.gl/egiSRx

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Publication Date: August 19, 2016
PreOrder Today! https://goo.gl/egiSRx

When was the last time you got a love letter? When was the last time you wrote a love letter? Now that writing love letters is a lost art, what better gift can you give the one you love than an old-fashioned, authentic, hand written, love letter! The purpose of this book is twofold. One, it shares some of the most romantic love letters ever written. They act as a model to help you express your love in a profound and personal way that your partner wil treasure for the rest of their life.
But first, what is love? In the year 2012, that phrase - what is love -, was the most researched phrase on Google. Five writers from diverse backgrounds tried to define what love is. The five people were a physicist, a psychotherapist, a philosopher, a romantic novelist, and a nun.
The answers they gave were eloquent, convincing, and yes, diverse. The nun said that love is a paradox. “Love is free yet binds us.” The romantic novelist said that love is everything. The philosopher said that love is a passionate commitment. The psychotherapist identified six different types of love and said that it is unlikely to experience all six types with only one person. And the physicist? He said that “love is chemistry.”
So what is love? In this book, I have tried to show love that is as diverse as the five authors above have defined it. I also try to show love that meets the precise definition that Paul gives in his first letter to the Corinthians, below:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” ~ The First Letter of Paul To The Corinthians 13:4-8

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The Lost Art Of Love Letters: PreOrder Today! https://goo.gl/egiSRx

  1. 1. Thomas Jerome Baker ii The Lost Art Of Love Letters: A Romantic Gift For Christmas, Valentine, Birthday, Anniversary, or Holiday (Sample Chapter) Publication Date: August 19, 2016 PreOrder Today! https://goo.gl/egiSRx Thomas Jerome Baker
  2. 2. Copyright © 2016 Thomas Jerome Baker All rights reserved. ISBN: 1535448547 ISBN-13: 978-1535448543
  3. 3. DEDICATION For my wife, Gaby, the love of my life. Indeed, you are life itself. Your love creates my world, gives purpose to my days, and completes me in all ways. Always. I love you, yes I do, forever, and one more day. This I pray.
  4. 4. CONTENTS Acknowledgments i 1 With All My Heart 1 2 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 About The Author
  5. 5. i ACKNOWLEDGMENTS What is love? In the year 2012, that phrase - what is love -, was the most researched phrase on Google. Five writers from diverse backgrounds tried to define what love is. The five people were a physicist, a psychotherapist, a philosopher, a romantic novelist, and a nun. The answers they gave were eloquent, convincing, and yes, diverse. The nun said that love is a paradox. “Love is free yet binds us.” The romantic novelist said that love is everything. The philosopher said that love is a passionate commitment. The psychotherapist identified six different types of love and said that it is unlikely to experience all six types with only one person. And the physicist? He said that “love is chemistry.” So what is love? In this book, I have tried to show love that is as diverse as the five authors above have defined it. I also try to show love that meets the precise definition that Paul gives in his first letter to the Corinthians, below: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” ~ The First Letter of Paul To The Corinthians 13:4-8
  6. 6. 3 WITH ALL MY HEART What is love? In 1845, the poet Robert Browning, in his first letter to the poet Elizabeth Barrett, wrote: “I love your verses with all my heart… and I love you too.” Robert, at that time, had never met, never even seen Elizabeth. It was enough for him to read her poetry to fall in love with her…truly…deeply…passionately. Look at a sample extracted from his first letter to her: Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett New Cross, Hatcham, Surrey January 10, 1845 I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett,---and this is no off-hand complimentary letter that I shall write,-- whatever else, no prompt matter-of-course recognition of your genius, and there a graceful and natural end of the thing. Since the day last week when I first read your poems, I quite laugh to remember how I have been turning and turning again in my mind what I should be able to tell you of their effect upon me...I do, as I say, love these books with all my heart---and I love you too... Yours ever faithfully, Robert Browning *** Look at the extract of what Elizabeth wrote back to him: *** Elizabeth Barrett Barrett to Robert Browning 50 Wimpole Street: Jan. 11, 1845 I thank you, dear Mr. Browning, from the bottom of my heart. You meant to give me pleasure by your letter—and even if the object had not been answered, I ought still to thank you. But it is thoroughly answered...Will you take back my gratitude for it?...For the rest you draw me on with your kindness. It is difficult to get rid
  7. 7. Thomas Jerome Baker 4 of people when you once have given them too much pleasure—that is a fact...I will say that I am your debtor, not only for this cordial letter and for all the pleasure which came with it, but in other ways, and those the highest: and I will say that while I live to follow this divine art of poetry, in proportion to my love for it and my devotion to it, I must be a devout admirer and student of your works. This is in my heart to say to you—and I say it. And, for the rest, I am proud to remain, Your obliged and faithful, Elizabeth B. Barrett *** 18 months and almost 600 letters later, they married secretly and eloped to Italy. Elizabeth’s father didn’t want her to get married. On her honeymoon, Elizabeth wrote Robert some love poems (sonnets) so beautiful that he said: “I dared not reserve to myself the finest sonnets written in any language since Shakespeare’s.” (Me? My favorite is Sonnet 43): *** How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of everyday's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right; I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with a passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets From The Portuguese, XLIII (1850) ***
  8. 8. The Lost Art Of Love Letters 5 Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born on March 6, 1806. She lived with her father, mother, and 11 younger siblings. Her mother died when Elizabeth was 21. Her father, who owned a plantation in Jamaica, never remarried. When she was 15, Elizabeth fell off a horse. She became dependent on morphine, a strong pain killer. Because of this, she would spend most of her life, living in her father’s house. In her twenties, she became a well-known poet who was admired by other poets and fans alike. Her poetry was based on classical mythology, Italian literature, classical English literature, and culture. She also wrote about common themes like love and death. She wrote a tremendous amount of personal letters to her family, friends, and literary agents. Robert Browning was six years younger than Elizabeth. He fell in love with her by reading her poetry one day. A week later, he wrote to her. He identified himself as a writer and an admirer of her work. In his letter (January 10, 1845), he expressed how he loved “this great living poetry of yours” (her verses). Amazingly, he declared his love for her, a woman he had never seen! He went on to describe how they almost met many years before. The next day, Elizabeth wrote a letter to him that showed she was also interested in getting to know him better. Six hundred letters and 18 months later, their love had grown into a mutual desire to spend the rest of their lives together. On September 18, 1846 – they ran off to Italy. They had already gotten married – secretly - on September 12, 1846. However, they could not tell their friends or family. Although Elizabeth was 40 years old, and financially independent, she did not want her father to find out about her marriage. Her father was opposed to any of his children getting married. He would disinherit any of his children who defied him. In fact, once he found out about the marriage, he disinherited Elizabeth and never spoke another word to her for the rest of his life. Robert had wanted to tell him, Elizabeth knew it would do no good. In the end, they eloped to the Renaissance city of Florence, Italy. It figures prominently in much of their later work. They had a son. She died on June 29, 1861. Robert never married again. ***
  9. 9. Thomas Jerome Baker 6 Wow. The Brownings, Robert and Elizabeth, are an amazing love story. I think what I like most about the story is that it is a true story. It’s not something dreamed up by Shakespeare or some other romance author. I read somewhere a list of the ten greatest romance authors. Here is the list: Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, Margaret Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, Nicholas Sparks, Thomas Jerome Baker, Nora Roberts, Jude Devaraux, Julie Garwood, and Judith McNaught. (Who are these people?) Are you shaking your head after reading that list? After all, it’s the top ten greatest romance writers. Ever. Of all time. You get my point. Now, even if you don’t agree with all of the people on this list, there are some people we can both agree with. Thomas Jerome Baker, for instance, is a master of romance. I’m serious. Besides being the CEO of Baker Publishing Company (where I work), he is a prolific author. He wrote titles such as: The Lost Art of Love Letters, Love Letters of Henry The Eighth: A Linguistic Analysis, Emily and David’s Quest, Jewish and Nazi Shoah U-Boat Catchers, Animal Farm ReVisited, Myths, Monsters And Love From The South of Chile, I Live In Chile, Looking For Catarina: A Love Story From Santiago de Chile to Florence, Italy, Meet Me In Memphis: A Story of True Love, Clestial Games, Five Short Stories, and Story Teller’s Trilogy. thndr.it/1tYAego OK, I admit it. Those are my books, and maybe, it’s possible, you haven’t read any of them yet. When you do, I trust you will enjoy yourself. But I want to focus, not on my books, but these other great authors on the list with me. I’m sure you have heard of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, Charlotte and Emily, right? Well, I’m going to name some of their books, and let’s see which ones you are familiar with: Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, The Professor, Shirley, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. OK, how did you do? Which bok is by Jane, which is by Charlotte, which is by Emily, and which is by none of them? I’m sure you got them all correct, especially the books that none of the three women wrote. My point in putting you through this exercise, hopefully amusing, is that great romance writers are a matter of personal taste. By extension, writing a beautiful love letter is also a
  10. 10. The Lost Art Of Love Letters 7 matter of personal taste. In this, your opinion matters. Your individuality, your unique style, is the most important consideration. Don’t try to sound like, write like, be like, anyone but yourself. That’s the only thing that matters. Let me share with you what my style is like. I tell you this story because it illustrates my point. It’s about the first love letter I ever wrote. Can you remember the first love letter you ever wrote? Now, if you haven’t ever written a love letter, a real love letter, with pen, and paper, and placed it into an envelope, and delivered it to the one you love, you are missing out on one of the greatest human pleasures known to mankind. I’m serious about that. Anyway, my first love letter is what I want to share with you. As I recall, I was 10 years old, a 4th grader, and I had fallen in love for the first time in my life. The object of my affection was the girl with the long black hair and beautiful brown eyes who sat directly behind me. Her name was, and still is, and always will be, Brenda. Brenda was the reason I never missed a day of school that year, the 1972-1973 school year. In Arkansas, the school year ran from August to May. As I recall, I used to steal looks at Brenda all the time that year. You know what I mean. When she wasn’t looking at me, I would be looking at her. That’s what I mean by, “stealing looks.” I would get to school early and watch her arrive, walking with her sister, who was in my sister Linda’s second grade class (I think Brenda’s little sister was named Sarah). Anyway, Brenda would be walking Sarah to her second grade class, holding hands so Sarah wouldn’t get killed by an automobile, and I would be outside the building where the buses dropped kids off in the morning. To the uninitiated observer, I appeared to be waiting on some school friend to arrive so we could go play together. The truth of the matter is that I only had three real close friends, and they were all from my neighborhood or they went to the same church as I did, Gospel Temple. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned that the church was built by my grandfather, Mr. Pete Williams. I never got to know him or my grandmother, Kate. When my sister Kathy first showed me a picture of my grandmother, my jaw dropped open. My sister Linda looked exactly like my grandmother. If you ever visit me, I will show you some pictures of them. Anyway, I was waiting on nobody but Brenda and her sister to
  11. 11. Thomas Jerome Baker 8 show up. Although Brenda sat directly behind me in class, and we had every subject taught to us by the same teacher, I had to see Brenda as soon as she got to school. This was especially true if it was Monday, and I had been two whole agonizing days without seeing her (for a ten year old deeply, truly, madly in love). Agony is a mild word to describe what my days and nights were without Brenda. I used to dream about her. The dream was the same: Brenda holding my hand walking with me to class. Some days (in my dreams and daydreams), we would take the long way to school, walking from her house (where I would pick her up and carry her books, to the Calhoun neighborhood at the far end of town, swing back and detour through the Riverdale residential district, go past the high school, and aproach the elementary school by going past Graveyard Stadium, home of the mighty Luxora Panthers. This “tour” of roughly some 40 to 50 miles, we always covered several times before finally coming in to our destination, Mrs. Norrid’s 4th grade classroom. I would casually give Brenda’s hand one of those knight in shining white armor, King Arthur kisses on the back of her left hand, and take up my battle position in the seat in front of her, defending my lady from devils and dragons, friend and foe alike. The only way any harm was going to come to Brenda was over my dead 10 year old body. Like Walter Mitty, the ringing of the bell to start class would always bring me back to reality. Math and reading and writing and science demanded my presence in the real world. It was, if I recall correctly, in the spring, the merry month of May, when I first got the idea to write Brenda a love letter. Firstly, my poor heart demanded it of me. I truly suffered a thousand agonies when I couldn’t be with her, in front of her, dreaming of her constantly. My heart demanded that I declare my love to her. If I didn’t, I was going to die of desire and there was no medicine that would be able to cure that. Secondly, there was no doubt in my mind that she loved me just as much as I loved her. She had caught me looking at her several times, and had held my eyes in hers. She didn’t look away when she saw me looking at her. It could only mean one thing. She must be in love with me. For what other reason would she be looking in my heart through my eyes? Still, there was a slight
  12. 12. The Lost Art Of Love Letters 9 chance that I might be wrong. One day, the kids around me was talking and the teacher told me to stop talking. Imagine that? I spent all my time sneaking looks at Brenda. I didn’t have time to be talking to the kids around me. I realised immediately that the teacher didn’t like me. So I turned around to get some help from Brenda to deal with this “dragon”, who dared to attack a knight in shining white armor. First, I said to Mrs. Norrid, “I wasn’t talking.” Then I turned around to Brenda, and looking at her deeply in the eyes, asked, “Was I talking, Brenda?” Everyone in the class held their breath, waiting to see what Brenda would say. Everyone, that is, except me. If there was anyone in the room who would take my side against a teacher, it was her. Brenda paused for a second, took a breath, and said, “No ma’am. Thomas never talks to nobody, especially not to me.” The room remained hushed, while I turned around triumphantly. Brenda and I had just killed a dragon. Like Saint George, I held the slain dragon in my power, waiting for it to take its final breath before expiring. In this, I would have miscalculated, because Mrs. Norrid would live to exert her power over me another day, making me stay in at recess to make up a test I had not taken due to an absence. But that’s another story. Class went on, and in my chest swelled indescribable emotions. My ten year old heart had discovered the joy of being defended against an adult by my lady love, Brenda. There could now be no doubt whatsoever about my future. Brenda and I were destined to be married and live happily ever after. Just like Snow White, Cinderella, and Prince Charming. Our future was already written in the stars. It was time to write Brenda a love letter. I expressed all of my emotions of the past year, all of my dreams and hopes and joys in the following love letter: Dear Brenda, I love you. Do you love me? Yes or No? Circle the correct answer and give it back to me. Yours truly, Thomas
  13. 13. Thomas Jerome Baker 10 I folded up this love letter, loked to see if anyone was observing me, and slyly handed the message to Brenda under the desk. I leaned forward on my desk and half turned my body, watching her read it. I saw her smile a smile that would have been beautiful enough to have her crowned Miss Universe. It was a celestial, heavenly smile. It was the kind of smile that would lead a doomed ship safely to harbor on the darkest, stormiest of nights. It was the kind of smile that an astronaut would smile who has just been told that he won’t be able to land on the moon and would he set a return course for Earth please? Yes, it was the kind of smile that Josephine would have smiled for Napoleon as she watched him slowly disappearing on the horizon. Brenda was happy. She was thrilled. She was exuberant. She now knew the reason for so many things that had puzzled her all year long. She now knew why she often caught me staring at her. She now knew why I always maneuvered to sit beside her at lunch. It was all clear to her. She was loved. She took up her pen, drew a circle around the correct answer, folded the paper, and handed it back to me. All the while, she was smiling the sweetest smile any fourth grade girl has ever smiled, from that day to the present. It is a smile that seared itself into my memory. As I took the love letter from her, my hand gently brushed hers. My hand was aflame, on fire, burning at some unknown elevation, my body being temporarily unable to regulate my body temperature at a human level. It was pure ecstasy, yes, it lasted only a milisecond, but it seemed like an eternity, that touch. It was the first time I had ever touched Brenda, and it was an overwhelming sensation. I lost the use of my senses temporarily. My eyes were wide open, but I couldn’t see anything else but Brenda. My ears were wide open, but I couldn’t hear any other sounds but the sound of her breathing, and the beating of her heart. I wasn’t breathing, I was breathless. My heart wasn’t beating, it was beatless. I was neither dead nor alive, I was in Limbo. The only thing that could bring me back to this world, the only thing that could save me, was to read the letter. Instinctively, Brenda knew that I had been struck dumb. There was only one remedy for my condition. If she didn’t want me to remain in a catatonic condition, I would have to read the letter. She
  14. 14. The Lost Art Of Love Letters 11 squeezed my hand, bringing back the sensation to it, and taking away any possibility for me to feel any sensation. I sensed, yes, but I was senseless. She smiled again, and whispered, “Read the letter.” Trapped on the other side of reality, I obeyed. Not even bothering to look at her response, I opened it and kept my eyes locked on her beautiful brown eyes. I swear I could hear the sound of Angels singing. After an eternity, which in fact had only been another millisecond in my 10 year old world, I glanced at the paper, expecting to see her circle of love around the word, “Yes.” The bell rang for recess. Brenda got up and walked outside to play with her friends. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see. I was dead and alive at the same time. Brenda had circled the word, “No.” Another 10 years would go by befre I would have the courage to write another, this time much more elaborate, carefully crafted, “love letter.” Let me tell you something. Love hurts. Sometimes, you are in love all by yourself. Sometimes, you have misinterpreted every possible sign and signal of the other person’s lack of romantic interest in you. I think that is why the story of Robert and Elizabeth Browning is the one I chose to work with in this book. It’s a one in a million story. It’s a literally impossible story. Robert reads some poetry by Elizabeth and falls in love with her. A week later he writes her a letter. He says how much he adores and admires her work as a poet, and, oh, by the way, I love you. That’s not the way love letters are supposed to be written. You are supposed to invest a lot of time, energy and effort into getting to know your beloved. You are supposed to be patient, letting love take its own sweet time. You will fall in love when the time is right, later rather than sooner. Do not get carried away with your feelings. Do not dream the dream of dreams. Breathe. Smell the roses. If it is true love, you will both feel it. If it is love, it will be there today, tomorrow, next week, next year, in ten years more. The story of my love letter to Brenda suggests that I should have been loved by Brenda in return for my love, but I wasn’t. The story of Robert’s love letter to Elizabeth suggests that his love should have been rejected, but it wasn’t. He had never even seen her. He declared his love before he saw her (madman). She loved him for the rest of her life, even, “better after death.”
  15. 15. Thomas Jerome Baker 12
  16. 16. 13 ABOUT THE AUTHOR Author Bio: Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the past Coordinator of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago 2012 & Edcamp Chile 2013, free professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago. Edcamp Chile 2013 was held at Universidad UCINF. Thomas is also a past member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile. Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. He has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, legends, myths, autobiography, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published more than one hundred forty books, all available here on Amazon. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr. Author Interview: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it? “Black History Is American History: Should Black History Month Be Eliminated? Or, A Great Debate” is my latest book. It was inspired by the actress Ms. Stacey Dash and the famous actor Morgan Freeman. Both had already stated that Black History Month should be eliminated. A friend of mine from my high school days agreed with them. I had a different opinion. Our difference of opinions led to our debate about the issue. Ultimately, the book itself is a record of not winning or losing, but as an exercise in free speech on a contentious, emotional issue. We both proved that you can disagree, agreeably, and that you can talk about things that matter. You don’t have to be silent just because you might hurt someone’s feelings. Talking is an option. The book clearly demonstrates how this can be done.
  17. 17. Thomas Jerome Baker 14 Do you have any unusual writing habits? None that I am aware of. I always write what I know. This lets me be comfortable with the topic I am writing about. The writing flows for me because of it. I write in silence, without music or outside distractions. I don’t drink wine or alcohol. I do drink coffee when I am working particularly long hours or if it gets late at night. Once the writing begins to flow, it is hard for me to shut it down, so I go for as long as the inspiration is with me. What authors or books have influenced you? Robert Louis Stevenson, Ray Bradbury, and Stephen King. These are all masters of the art and craft of writing. Their work has been very valuable to me as a reference to aspire to. What are you working on now? I have a unique story, a romance about a boy who meets a girl while she is out running alone. She doesn't like him at first, but then he protects her from an attacker and she falls in love with him. But... She discovers that when she was in fourth grade, he was in love with her... What is your best method when it comes to promoting your books? I use my blog, and social media like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, etc. Also, it’s important to network with authors and develop connections which are mutually beneficial. If you help other authors, counterintuitively, you end up helping yourself. I believe the best way authors can help themselves is by helping another author. Do you have any advice for new authors? Be as professional as your circumstances will allow you to be. Beg, borrow or steal the talents and abilities of other people as beta readers, book cover makers, and editors. Attractive covers help to sell books. Beta readers get you to see your story through the eyes of a reader. Editors find the mistakes you make but are unable to find yourself. Make your product high quality, as professional as your resources allow. And then, promote, promote, promote...
  18. 18. The Lost Art Of Love Letters 15 Also, find yourself a genre and a writer who is so good you think you could never write as well as they do. Read that author twice as much as you write. But whatever you do, don't let anyone or anything discourage you from achieving your goal. Eventually, your efforts will pay off, sooner, or later. What is the best advice you have ever heard? Never give up. What are you reading now? Someone Else's Daughter by Linsey Lanier What's next for you as a writer? I have many goals, including three works in progress right now, and several nonfiction books in need of a second edition or third , so 2016 is quite a busy year for me. I recently started a new author’s group. It is called Indie Author’s Social Media Support Group (IASMSG). It is about connecting with authors, establishing mutually beneficial relationships, embracing diversity, and fair and equitable access to tips, advice, strategies and information that helps authors to achieve their goals. The group is in baby diapers right now, but gradually stars are rising who will be important to the group’s future success. Membership is free, no cost, and participation is by invitation only. If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring? The Bible (for my spiritual needs) Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (instructive) War and Peace by Tolstoy (1,440 pages: perfect length) How To Survive On A Desert Island (a practical book)
  19. 19. Thomas Jerome Baker 16 There’s this guy named Ed Stafford who was a captain in the British Army. He actually survived in the Amazon Jungle. He walked it from one end to the other, alone, and lived to tell his tale. His expert survival tips: Water is the most important survival priority. Lay out giant clamshells on the beach to act as containers or ‘use pollution’ – I found enough washed- up plastic bottles to store up a reserve of 40 litres of water. Green coconuts will provide a workable substitute for water that is full of electrolytes. The liquid is in balance with the body. Coconut flesh is very high in calories but after a few days you will require protein to maintain your strength. Clay is the best sunscreen. Simple mud is a poor substitute. Social Media Tools: Author’s Email: profesorbaker@gmail.com Blog: https://profesorbaker.wordpress.com/ Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/IkHp74 Facebook: https://goo.gl/6HjBrH Twitter: https://twitter.com/profesortbaker Pinterest: http://tinyurl.com/z3px96w Instagram: http://tinyurl.com/j4j9nro LinkedIn: http://tinyurl.com/zfdh3ut YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/hsruyrr Vimeo: http://tinyurl.com/hpyjyl9 Tumblr: http://tinyurl.com/78q3n2f Scoop.it: http://tinyurl.com/hbhka6c Google+: http://tinyurl.com/hukcf8n HeadTalker: http://tinyurl.com/hrzzmup

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