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Self-Published Author Spotlight: Michael J. Vaughn

September 15, 2021 (Last Updated September 29, 2021)

48 Hour Books

What is the title of your book?

Encyclopedia of Eight Generations of the Family of John Nicholas Rampy (1729-1781): Palatine Immigrant to South Carolina

 

What is your book about?

This is a definitive compilation of the descendants of John Nicholas Rampy, through 8 generations, who immigrated to South Carolina in 1764.  He is the progenitor of the Rampy/Rampey family in the USA.

 

About the Author:

Michael J. Vaughn is a retired attorney and former law professor who holds degrees from Baylor University and Yale Law School.  He is a member of several lineage organizations including The Jamestowne Society and Sons of the Republic of Texas.  He and his wife Martha have been married for 54 years; they have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

 

What inspires you to write?

Other than a legal treatise that I wrote in 1970 and a cookbook that I wrote several years ago, my books are family histories or local history research resources.

 

How often do you write?

Depends on the project.  If I have an ongoing project, I write every day.

 

How long have you been writing?

Since the early 1960’s.  My first book was published in 1967.

 

What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?

Since my books are generally considered research works, the most difficult thing is presenting the information in a clear, understandable way, otherwise they are of no benefit to the reader.  Also, choosing a title is often challenging, and I usually don’t create a title until the book is done – it can be as simple as a very straightforward title, as in this book, or one that is designed to really pique someone’s interest, even if they are not closely related to the subject matter.

 

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how long does it usually last?

Since I don’t write fiction, I don’t find that to be a problem, but can certainly see how a writer could get blocked.  In the few instances when I have felt blocked, I just kept at it until the moment passed.

 

Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

If writing a research work, remember that you likely know more about the subject than almost anyone else, and focus on your reason for writing in the first place – that and a good cup of coffee and/or a short nap should rejuvenate the creative urge.

 

Describe your writing process. Do you have a routine?

I do have a routine. First, I decide on the scope of the book, then develop a strategy for gathering the information and storing it in an accessible format.  Once that is done, I plan the presentation format, and then just start writing.

 

Do you read much, and if so, who are your favorite authors?

Yes, every day.  Favorites have changed over the years.  From Francis Parkinson Keyes when I was young, then Allen Drury, Harold Robbins, now John Grisham, Alex Berenson – and many others.

 

What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?

That it accomplishes what the author sets out to do – not whether it sells thousands or even hundreds of copies, though there is nothing wrong in wanting that.  If the book is to entertain, does it entertain; if it is to inform, does it do that in a helpful way?

 

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers or authors looking to self-publish?

Never give up, and always be willing to take a chance on yourself. Your second book will be better than your first book, almost always – and your fifth book will be even better.  If you really have the drive to write, you will not be satisfied until you see your words in print.  And I cannot stress enough the need to proofread and edit, over and over again.  When your book is in print it will be there for a long time.

 

What is the most rewarding thing about printing your book?

This book is the culmination of research that began over 60 years ago.  So far, it seems to be well-received by those who have bought it.  Books of this nature are all a variation of the old adage that “virtue is its own reward” as it is the love of the subject matter and the desire to share with others that is the motivation.

 

 

You can purchase, Encyclopedia of Eight Generations of the Family of John Nicholas Rampy (1729-1781): Palatine Immigrant to South Carolina, by visiting: http://www.cayugatexas.com/Rampy_book.html

 

 

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