New Client Alert – Derek Baxter

  • By: admin | Date: Sep 11 2019

Name: Derek Baxter
What you Write: Working on a narrative nonfiction book about my travels with a guidebook Thomas Jefferson wrote on Europe.
Agent: Amanda Jain

What genres do you write? Read? Travel and history. Rich on their own, but blended they’re as delicious as Burgundy with chocolate. I am writing about my adventures following a guide written by Thomas Jefferson, Hints for Americans Traveling in Europe, in which he set out an itinerary and subjects to explore. With Jefferson’s advice in hand, I set out on a search for meaning, revolution, and macaroni and cheese.

Where can readers find you on the web and social media?,, On my website, feel free to sign up for THE PURSUIT, my occasional newsletter about the making of my book.

If you could invite two authors, living or dead, to a literary dinner party, who would they be? J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee. Naturally, neither would come. I would wind up eating dinner by myself with my nose in a book, drinking the entire bottle of wine I had been saving for them. That is to say, a typical Monday night.

Day or Night writer? The morning, bright and early!

Drink of choice when writing? Some form of alcohol, naturally. Have these questions gotten judgmental all of a sudden or is it just me?

Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen? I love the challenge of adapting techniques from fiction—plot, character development, narrative arcs, and the like—to a series of true events. Throughout narrative nonfiction I look to unearth the stories hiding in a mass of facts.

What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing? “I cannot live without books” —Thomas Jefferson. He bought nearly 10,000 volumes over a span of seven decades. Even with these books, he eventually died, however.

Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?

The key is maintaining a consistent writing routine. I try to write an hour and a half each day, ideally in the same seat at the same café. Here is a breakdown of a typical morning:

7:30 arrive to find my seat taken; take a nearby seat and glower.

7:35 double check that no other author has published my book yet.

7:40 look for comments on my author Facebook page.

7:49 since I’m writing about Thomas Jefferson, remember a kid named Thomas from my 6th grade class and Google him (research).

7:53 send a mental plea to the person in my seat to leave so I can begin writing.

7:57 revise my prior day’s work, starting with deleting Oxford commas.

8:01 maybe I should have picked John Adams.

8:04 temporarily lift writing anxieties with the purchase of a croissant

8:09 restore Oxford commas.

8:13 boil with seething resentment at the person who has not only taken my seat, but stolen my good words for the day.

8:14 the day! my writing day will soon be over. panic.

8:15-8:55 write maniacally, words streaming out as if another person is telling me them. ride the flow and wish it would last forever.

8:56 shoot a look at my neighbor, conveying: you tried to outfox me but you failed. I wrote. keep that seat if it means so much to you.

8:59 leave by the back entrance. The rest of the day might prove to be a Dumpster fire, but nothing can stop me from smiling. I have my two pages.

4 responses to “New Client Alert – Derek Baxter”

  1. Avatar Brenda says:

    I don’t often read travel books but I will read this one. Looking forward to it.

  2. Avatar Derek Baxter says:


  3. Avatar Jen says:

    This book sounds like an adventure! Can’t wait to read it.

  4. Avatar Tim says:

    Great interview. Love his sense of humor. Looking forward to this book.