By Maggie James
I'm delighted to welcome multi-genre novelist John Tucker to my blog today. I'm in awe of a writer who can turn his talents to so many different types of fiction! With no further ado, let's give a warm welcome to John, and get going with the questions.
Tell me a little about yourself – who John Tucker is, your writing background, etc.
John Tucker the author began when I was forty-five. My sons were on their own, my third wife and I parted ways, and the middle-aged crazy man that remained decided to write the novel I always knew I had in me. My first effort was crap. From my voracious reading habits I constructed a decent story but my grammar and characters were flat and unimpressive. After a few months of English classes at a local community college, and the help of fellow authors at an online writing/critique group, I fine-tuned my writing and published my first novel – Romancing the Fox. A dozen books later, I'm building a following and making a name for myself as an impresario that concentrates on the dark side of literature.
You're a multi-genre author. What's your favourite, and why?
I like writing my thrillers – Divisive, The Fifth Game, Splits in the Skin, and Mouse and Katt. Inventing dark and malevolent characters , even in my lighter efforts, are what gets my juices flowing. A serial killer named Dennis Rask. Moses Bailey, a leader/preacher who protects his homeland and relatives with a single-minded ferocity. There's also Tatyana Stoyava, a Ukrainian immigrant with a switch-blade mentality who gets off on seductions that usually ends with a permanent finality. Everyone who reads, or watches movies for that matter, cheers on the hero or heroine – they're the appetizers and dessert. Still, the villain is always the one they remember – they're the main course that drives a novel.
Will you branch out into any new ones? If so, which?
So far I've written Psychological Thrillers, Paranormal Romance, Adult Contemporary, a YA Mystery, and Erotica. I doubt if I'll venture into any genres other than those but, if I did, I'd delve into Horror. I've never written a novel that deals with otherworldly monsters but when I come up with a storyline that does, I'll be right on it. I can tell you for certain it WON'T deal with Vampires, Werewolves, or Zombies.
Are you a planner or a pantser? How long does it take to complete each of your novels?
My first three books were pantsers – Divisive, Romancing the Fox, and The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight. I wrote them from start to finish without formally plotting a thing, probably because they had all been simmering in my mind for several years before I started writing. The last nine have been planned, usually with a chapter by chapter progression of how I want the story to flow from start to finish. Some things will change but the road map I draw stays on course.
Your covers are very striking. Do you design them yourself?
Oh, I wish. I have NO artistic talent whatsoever. I have a hard enough time drawing a straight stick figure. No, all my novels have been created by my more talented friends – Liz Smith, Julie Nicholls, and my publisher's cover artist, Kim Barton.
Are there any genres you’d steer clear of?
Any genre that proliferates the literature as we know it now. Paranormal Romance, Chick-lit, and Pure Romance. I don't like Sci-Fi or Steampunk so they would also be out of my realm of writing.
When did you start writing?
I attempted a few short stories in high school and began a novel that was never completed. Once I hit 45, I decided to make my hobby writing and eventually grew good enough to have a few published.
What do you find the biggest challenge as an author?
The biggest challenges are the technical aspects – editing, formatting, and publishing. Little by little I'm improving on them with the help of videos, blog articles, and friends.
And the biggest joy?
The best part is hearing good comments about my stories from strangers, and reading a great review on any of my novels. When readers ask me questions about the book they just read, it totally makes my day.
How much of yourself – your life, your values, your opinions – do you put into your novels?
Most of my novels will feature an anti-authoritarian, anti-organized religion, or anti-political subtext. All three subjects are a personal sore spot with me. The majority of religious leaders and all politicians are in their careers for the money. They don't care about the middle-class, live to beg for money in monthly donation telecasts, and help the poor only to further their own goals. On a lighter note, every novel of mine will have a little piece of me in the main character. Be it morals, mannerisms, habits, personality, or features.
What are your writing plans for 2015?
To increase my following and sales, release four novels, and start an editing business on the side. I see so many books that really need an editor and, most of the time, finances are the reason the books are so cringe-worthy. I'll work with my clients on the price and pay it forward on the people that have helped me in the past.
Thank you, John, for a fascinating interview!
You can find out more about John Tucker and his books via hisblog, Facebook page, and his Amazon author page. Simply click the links. You can also tweet with John via Twitter.
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