Posted in authors, books, characters, Florida, history, Indie, readers, writers, writing

T.M. Jacobs presents SW Florida History

T.M. Jacobs
T.M. Jacobs
Welcome, T.M. Jacobs to Author Interview Friday. Tim is on the Corporate Board of Directors for the Gulf Coast Writer’s Association and Owner/President of Jacobs Writing Consultants in Fort Myers, Florida.  He is also Advisor to the Board of Directors for Southwest FL Historical Society. It is my honor to have him with us today.
Tim, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?
For me it was the sound of the typewriter. My mother used to do some typing at home for work, and I fell in love with the “click-clack” of each letter as she typed. I was probably around 5 or 6 years old at the time.
Do you always write in the same genre?
No, I don’t. I write a little bit of fiction, I have written poetry, but I love to write non fiction, especially local history. I believe that writing in different genres helps the creative part of mind to always be going, always searching for ideas, twists, plots, etc.
For the book we are promoting today, what shelf would we find it on if it were in a bricks and mortar bookstore?
It would be in the local Florida section, as it covers Harvie Heitmanof Fort Myers, as well as other events and histories of that area.
Why did you choose to go the self-publishing Indie route in lieu of traditional publication?
I wanted to have more control in the overall process of the my book. I also wanted to learn as much about the industry that I could. Prior to publishing my first book in 1996, I took a job at a publishing company was able to learn all the ins and outs of the business before venturing out on my own.
What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?
I’ve seldom used an outline for my writing. I think both the synopsis and query are a challenge. It’s hard to focus your novel or book down to a mere page or two, but that’s how you make the sale to an agent or publisher. As far as the building the story, I’ve always felt that the stories build themselves. In fiction it’s the character that tell the story, you just write it down. With non fiction, let the facts tell the story.
It is not enough to write a book and wait for the money to start rolling in. What marketing techniques do you implement to increase your sales?
You need to constantly put yourself out there, or your book out there. Constantly repost to Facebook, send out emails, mention your book to organizations that you belong to you, write articles for newspapers and magazines and put in your byline your book title and where it’s available. Think outside the box. Set up tables at craft fairs and other events. Do book signings and lectures, lunches, etc.  
What advise would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?
Don’t give up. Keep writing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, join a writing group or form one of your own – they’re so valuable. It’s where you find support because everyone there knows what it’s like to be a writer. They understand the struggles you will encounter and will be your loudest cheerleaders when you reach a success.
What is the premise of your novel we are promoting today?
Tim Jacobs book cover
“H. E. Hiemtan, An Early Entrepreneur of Fort Myers, Florida” is the biography of Harvie Heitman, the man who practically built First Street in downtown Fort Myers. It’s also the history of the businesses that flourished downtown from the 1880s to the 1920s.
Where is your book available?
It’s available at Savvy on First in downtown Fort Myers,  Bombay Liquor/Book Den on Marco Island, the Southwest Florida Historical Society, the Southwest Florida Museum of History, or by emailing me
How did your consultant business come about?
With the advent of Kindle, Nook and e-readers, it has become easy for anyone to upload their novel or book, and become a “published author.” I was amazed when I began to download books and read them, only to find there was little to no editing done. It’s like the author thought he or she wrote it without error and quickly posted it for the public to buy and read. In some cases the story was fantastic, but difficult to read as you had to think or (in your mind) put in a comma, figure out where the missing quotation mark goes, or who’s speaking in a dialogue. So, I got together with a few editors, and put together Jacobs Writing Consultants to assist writers. Our tagline is “We ignite your writing – one page at a time.”
How can a writer contact Jacobs Writing Consultants?
The best way is through our website – One thing we tell potential clients: “We’re so confident you will love our work, we’ll do the first four pages free and you’ll decide to say, ‘yes. . .finish it!'” Send us four double-spaced pages of your current project, and we’ll edit them and show you what we can do to enhance your writing.
What’s the most challenging aspect of being a consultant?
It’s difficult at times to get clients to see and understand that their writing or their story needs work. They believe because a co-worker or their best friend read their manuscript and loved it, that it’s good. True, the story may be good, but the nuts and bolts of it need to be tightened and adjusted. Sometimes the writer is too attached to their work, and it’s hard to get them to step back, let go and to take an alternate view of their book or main character.
Thank you Tim, for being on Author Interview Friday at Writing Under fire today. You can find out more about Tim, his writing and his consulting firm on his website:
Posted in authors, children, friends, love, parents, writers

Happy 4th of July


On this day of family picnics, and fireworks and joy, take just a few minutes to say thanks for the privilage of being an American. Most of us have never lived anywhere else, and especially not in a third world country where our freedom and liberties are unheard of. Life is not perfect  in America, but it the only place I would ever want to be. With the majestic landscapes, from ocean shores to rocky mountains, to wind swept prairies to rolling hills – there is no place like home.

Unless you are a native American, your family once came from somewhere else. Perhaps it was just a generation ago . . .  or perhaps like my family, you have been hear since this all began in 1776.  My father’s family first arrived in America  on Nov. 9, 1738. They sailed on a ship called the “Charming Nancy” and they only spoke German. It took over a hundred years for my mother’s family to make it to the “new world” from Sweden in mid 1850’s. Eventually both families ended up in Ohio and two families merged into one, the first mix of nationalities when my parents married in 1940.

House-Koczwara Painting 2
The homestead house, painted by Koczwara, still owned by my cousin

I was fortunate to grow up on the same land that my father, and grandfather and great-grandfather lived on. My neighbors were my cousins  and life was a simpler time. Now only one family member lives on the family homestead, that is soon to fall out of the family forever. It saddens me to know that part of our history will be gone. But we are more than “Boardmanites” or Ohioians, we are Americans.

I am one of those people who can’t sing the Star Spangled Banner because of the lump in my throat.  I stand when our flag passes me in a parade , and I put my hand over my heart. I understand the sacrifice that hundred of thousands of men and women have paid since 1776 to give us the country we have today. No, it’s not perfect and as long as we have humans in all our frailties, it will never be perfect  . . . but This is MY Country, Land that I Love.

Remember those that gave their lives for our freedom today. And take a minute to pause for the other types of heroes as well . .  . the first responders, the police, the paramedics, the fireman —- ah, the fireman. While you re splashing on the beach, or clapping to the high school marching band, say a little prayer for the families of the 19 fireman that lost their life in the Arizona fires.

Then laugh from your belly, sing a little more in key, clap your hands a little louder and ooh and ahh at every firework, and say “Thanks for letting me be an American.”

Have fun and stay safe.


Posted in children, parents, writers

Remembering those that gave it all.


On this Memorial Day, I need to take pause to reflect on the many blessings we have here in the United States because of the men and women who were willing to give it all, including their lives for our freedom.  Many times I do not agree with what is happening in our country or how things are being run, but we have the right here to speak up and say those things. Many people in many countries on this big earth do not have that option. Freedom is not free. It is paid for dearly by the men and women in the Armed Forces. Thank you to the fallen. Thank you to the survivors.

I also want to thank those that made it back alive, some in one piece, and some just back.  If you know something that served, take a moment to say thanks. There are others that also serve to keep us safe, our police, fire, first responders and those serving in the FBI, CIA and Homeland Security. On this Memorial Day, I believe it is right to also say thanks to them as well. Some of them also gave the ultimate sacrifice.

My husband served for twenty four years in the Army, was Special Forces in Vietnam and was one of the lucky ones that made it home. Our grandson, Ian said Grandpa Tai is his hero. He is mine as well. Thank you Tai, I love you.