Lucky 13 with Tom Carter

Book Cover By: #JeffFasanoPhotography |

New York Times Best-Selling Author, Tom Carter’s Latest Release: 

“Nashville: Music & Murder.”
Tom Carter is no stranger to writing best-selling award-winning books, having nine on the New York Times or USA Today lists already. But rest assured, he’s definitely got his tenth on the way with his latest creation, “Nashville: Music & Murder.” Living just a few miles from Music Row, it’s no surprise that Tom decided to take on writing about the darker side of the music industry, focusing his story right in the heart of the Nashville music scene. The book covers the lifestyle of Maci, a small-town Louisiana girl turned major country star, from all the glitz and glam down to the darker side of fame. Barely escaping death after being targeted with a single gunshot from an obsessed fan during a live performance in front of a crowd of 18,000 people, Maci is not altogether safe after another attempt to take her life comes her way not long after the first. The thought-provoking story draws you in as you follow the mysterious murder attempts and dig deeper into the chaos that slowly takes over every aspect of Maci’s life from the outrageous media coverage all the way to the inside stories of the corruption going on at her record label.

Tom Carter has written autobiographies for Reba McEntire, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Ronnie Milsap, and Ralph Emery and novels for Britney Spears and LeAnn Rimes. His first of seven books to make an appearance on the New York Times best-sellers list, Memories: The Autobiography of Ralph Emery, reached the number-two spot. People magazine pointed out that Tom had written more best-selling memoirs during the ’90s than any other writer in America. His books such as Holiday In Your Heart and A Mother’s Gift have even served as inspiration to create prime-time movies on CBS and ABC. In 46 years of being a professional writer, Tom Carter has already left quite a mark and continues to expand his legacy. 

Nashville Music Guide had the opportunity to do our Lucky 13 with Tom … 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Writing a book is much harder than reading one. 

What is your favorite childhood book?

With the exception of my school text books, I had no reading material when I was a child. 

What does literary success look like to you?

When people recite passages I’ve forgotten from books that I’ve written. 

What kind of research do you do when writing bios, and how long do you spend researching and what kind of questions do you ask before beginning a book?

My research lasts for as long as my publisher will extend my absolute deadline. I collaborate with celebrities to write their autobiographies. I don’t formally ‘interview’ the celebrities. I instead inhabit their worlds, such as traveling on their tour buses, spending days and nights in their homes, and going with them to family and social events for as often as they’ll allow. Celebrities get weary of interviews laced with direct questions. But like everyone, they like casual chatting when I mention things about them, especially when I recall things they’ve forgotten. 

How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?

I’ve never been a part-time writer. In 1970, I began writing obituaries for a daily newspaper for two and one-half years. You might say my early career was dying. 

How many hours a day do you write?

Three to five hours. That span does not include interviews or research. 

What are you working on at the minute? What’s it about?

I began writing Nashville: Music & Murder in early 2015. I had the idea for the first chapter. That chapter had a beginning, middle and ending. It could have sufficed as a short story. However, upon its completion, I had an idea for a second chapter, which led me into the third. I got to a place where I couldn’t wait to see what I was going to write next. I fell in love with “Maci Willis,” the protagonist and ffelt guilty and sad when I took her through traumas. I was uplifted each time she triumphed. That may sound corny, but I’ve been corny for years, according to my wife. 

What genres are your books? What draws you to this genre?

I collaborate with celebrities to write their autobiographies. More recently, I wrote my first full blown novel. I like both because they address human behavior and the resulting emotions. 

What period of your life do you find you write about most often when you are working on bios?

My autobiographies focus on the spectacular events of my celebrity co-writer, and not necessarily on the time frame. 

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

Work with less fortunate people. My wife, Janie, and I have done that with “Feed the Children.” Anonymous human service is immensely rewarding. 

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I rarely read them. 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?


How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Eighteen to twenty-four months. 

For more information on Tom and his books visit: 



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