Finally on the air

My mother-in-law just got notified that her interview with Tavis Smiley is finally going to get aired Dec 11, and will subsequently be posted forevermore on-line!

Hello Ms. Tomblin,

I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know that your interview
with Tavis will be running on our show this weekend. You can likely
hear it on your local public radio station, or hear it on demand at our
website at
It should be available by 12 noon PT on Friday (tomorrow).

I’m remembering the old days when we would tape interviews and songs off the of the radio on warbly cassette tapes. Good times.


Related to someone getting more and more almost famous by the day

Well my mother-in-law’s interview with Tavis Smiley still hasn’t been broadcast (perhaps they are saving it for February?), but she got a very good review from the Washington Times dated Oct 8,2009.  Of course, the internet being the internet, it has totally fallen off the front page of the book review section and even the Military History section, but lives on in the hard disk cache in the sky.  If you google “Escaped Slaves and the Union Navy” you get right to the review page by Gordon Berg.

It is interesting to me that it takes a third book to start getting positive buzz that goes beyond friends and acquaintances.   While the topic helps a little bit in that with Obama in the White House people are taking a fresh look at black history in our nation, I don’t think that is entirely all of it.  Her book on “G.I. Nightingales” was also pretty good, and should have been just as popular, but didn’t get the buzz.  Nor is it just that after three books one’s writing is bound to improve.  Perhaps it is just that with three books reviewers are more likely to review a book, and the publisher is more likely to get more traction marketing the book.

Maybe the next book will be optioned by Hollywood, then we’ll really be related to somebody famous!

Or maybe I will write four books on transportation engineering and get a movie made.

Or maybe one of the girls will finally write the book with the title “The Moon is the Nightime Sun” that they’ve been on about since they were 5…

Not yet almost famous

I learned something pretty interesting last weekend, as we visited my in-laws and we finally got our copy of Barbara’s latest book on the civil war.  Apparently, Tavis Smiley tapes his shows in advance, and then airs the segments when they fit.  I always assumed that these radio talk shows were just non-stop live craziness, with people walking into the studio, sitting down, and then the interviewer doing the interview.  I guess if that were true, Tavis Smiley, and all the rest of the NPR personalities would have superhuman stamina and vivacity.   Or else drink a lot of coffee.

Anyway, not that anybody who knows me or our family or knows Barbara or cares about freed slaves in the Civil War actually reads this blog (well, amend that to “not that anybody actually reads this blog”) but Barbara was *not* on the Tavis Smiley show last week, she was taped and will be on the show in the future when Tavis has a slot in which the interview fits.

So stay tuned sports fans.

Barbara Tomblin is getting interviewed on Tavis Smiley show!

Crazy news.  After toiling away for a few years researching a book on escaped civil war slaves and their role in the Union Navy’s blockade of the South in the Civil War, and after push push pushing to get it published, my mother in law, Barbara Tomblin finally got her third (I think) book published.  Then, before she’s even given her daughter a copy  to put on our book shelf next to G.I. Nightingales and With Utmost Spirit, we got a call yesterday that she’s going to be on the radio on the Tavis Smiley show today.  I guess the interview is getting taped today, will probably get picked up on the radio show later today, and then will be podcast at some point on the website.

Anyway. I’m posting this here so maybe Google will pick up a link and anyone searching for “the role played by escaped slaves in the Union blockade along the Atlantic coast” will have a better chance of finding her interview.