Tom Seymour came to Just Write Books for the first time in 2008. He had completed several years of blogging about the natural world around his home in Waldo, Maine. The blog itself was being removed and Tom felt that he had a great audience and so was reluctant to lose his work through a delete button. Tom and I worked on Hidden World Revealed: Musings of a Maine Naturalist. Since that time Just Write Books has been fortunate to publish Wild Plant of Maine: A Useful Guide and Tom’s Forager’s Notebook, an undated journal for the forager. Tom is a dedicated writer, an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. It is always a pleasure to learn more about Tom so we asked him a few questions we thought would be intriguing to hear the answers.
JWB: When did you start writing?
Seymour: 1973. I began as a newspaper correspondent.
JWB: What are some of the themes that you return to regularly in your writing?
Seymour: Nature, fishing, wild plants and country life, with emphasis upon the vicissitudes and also the humorous side of living in a rural setting.
JWB: What is one event that has shaped your writing?
Seymour: I have always written, even before doing it professionally. There was no seminal event. However, my long-running newspaper column, began in 1987, has achieved a measure of acclaim among readers, inspiring me to continue and to strive to do my best job. Also, my first book, Hiking Maine, inspired me to continue writing in the outdoor/nature genre.
JWB: What are three of your favorite books to reread?
Seymour: Holy Bible, The Flowering Plants of Great Britain and Euell Gibbons, Stalking The Wild Asparagus.
JWB: Any advice for young authors?
Seymour: Avoid the passive tense. If you don’t know what that is, get a book and find out. Also, be frugal with words. The fewer words you can use to convey your meaning the better. Write, write and write some more. And all the while, compare your writing to published works. Go to bed with a Thesaurus and a Dictionary. Become a good speller.
JWB: What are you currently working on?
Seymour: In the past year, I wrote a new book and revised two other books already in print. I spend my time now writing about the history of coastal Maine, life in the country and hunting and fishing for a New England outdoor magazine. I’m working on my thoughts for a new title and will query my publisher in the near future.
An avid writer as well as a naturalist, Seymour writes six regular columns and a multitude of features for The Maine Sportsman Magazine. Seymour's other credits include articles in Fur-Fish-Game, Maine Fish and Wildlife, Backpacker Magazine, Northern Woodlands and People, Places, Plants, among others. Seymour wrote a long-running, award-winning column "Waldo County Outdoors" for the Republican Journal. Seymour just began a regular wild plant coumn in Maine Food & Lifestyle Magazine, a new publication. Seymour leads nature walks in coastal Maine—teaching people plant recognition, identification of edible wild plants and appreciation of our natural environment. His previous books are: Hiking Maine, Fishing Maine, Foraging New England and Birding Maine—for Globe Pequot Press (GPP). Also for GPP Seymour edits Maine Off the Beaten Path. Seymour's Maine Wildlife was published by The Maine Sportsman Magazine. His "Maine Wildlife" is a popular column in that magazine. Tom's book Tom Seymour's Maine, A Maine Anthology, details Maine history and folklore.