1. Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing?
I was born in Australia, but I am well-travelled, having lived in four countries. Yes, I am sure that I write young adult fiction because of my childhood. I still recall what it is like to be a kid. Hence, I have role models in all of my stories. Sadly, many kids today would not know what a role model is.
2. Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not?
It was a short story called, ‘Topsy The Orphan’, based on my mother’s early childhood. Topsy was her nickname as a kid. The story is about a family of rabbits, and I still have the original manuscript.
3. What are you currently working on, writing wise?
I am revising the manuscript for my next 3 books. Also, I am deeply involved in research for a possible non-fiction story. It involves a famous incident, and alleged murder, that happened about 12 years ago in Australia and made world headlines for months. Hopefully, I might just have the evidence that will again be world headlines. Not a word more will I say. Watch this space …
4. What is your favourite character you have ever created and why?
Difficult question to answer. I use male and female protagonists. However, probably Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson; the main character in my first book – Gunnedah Hero. Why is he my favourite? Smokey is a very noble character with ethics, loyalty, empathy and passion.
5. Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later?
I have an idea and shoot from the hip. The story takes on its own life. I never plan a story. It normally takes me three months to write a manuscript of 100,000 words, working 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week.
6. What was your path like until you found writing?
I first wrote when I was about eight-years-of-age.
7. How is your relationship with your publishing company?
It’s excellent, considering I’m the managing director of my own publishing company. However, I’m always seeking interests from traditional publishers. Should they come to fruition, I would be prepared to negotiate on most things except two: changing the stories I write, and the covers for my books.
8. Tell us about your covers.
As a photographer, I do my own covers.
9. What inspires you to write?
I am well-travelled, and have done my travelling with an open mind. Travelling is the best university on earth. Also, people inspire me. I am very intuitive, perceptive, observant and interested in what goes on around me and the world.
10. How do you get book reviews?
With great difficulty, but I’ve been lucky enough to have had some brilliant reviews which can be seen on my daily blog: http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au/p/book-reviews.html
11. What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing?
Writing is very easy for me. It just rolls out. Editing or revising is a discipline you must accept as part of the journey and a major part of learning your craft. You cannot become intolerant of sitting for hours with a red pen, looking for better ways to write or say things in a manuscript. Marketing is an absolute pain, but sadly necessary. It takes me away from what I’m good at – writing. However, I write a daily blog and have a variety of guests from around the world. My blog has introduced me to some fantastic friends. I am always seeking the silver bullet.
12. If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now?
I’d say at least 500. I have a folder where I keep ideas that I’ve jotted down on various scraps of paper. Trust me. I will never live long enough to write what I have.
13. Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author?
No. Doubt I would do it. Nor would I write science fiction or fantasy.
14. What do you do to relax?
Not enough. I read, keep abreast of world affairs, fish, watch sporting events, and entertain.
15. If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be?
Not sure what you mean, but anything is possible, providing you are passionate enough. If you want to be a writer, find something you are passionate about and write passionately about it.
16. What advice would you have for this upcoming generation?
Leave your mobile phone and laptop at home and get out and do things. Travel, learn, observe, smell and do things for others. Life is short … use it … there is plenty to do.
17. Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life?
No, not really. Writing did! It’s great therapy for an open mind. Retain your own voice and let it out.
18. Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of? How about one that is overrated?
Mm … writing, reading, music and food are very subjective, like most things in life. So, who am I to judge? However, it always shocks me that Harper Lee wrote one book that sold 42 million copies – ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’.
19. Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing?
No. I write in silence.
20. If you could pick three people who are your heroes or role models, who would they be and why?
I have many, and for the same reason: Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Junior, My mother, Lech Walesa, Gandhi, the king of Thailand, Aung San Suu Kyi, Princess Diana – people with passion, empathy and a great belief in human rights. They also did things because they believed it was right.
21. Dog or cat person?
Australian cattle dog.
22. What do you want to eat right now?
23. What is your favourite holiday or time of year?
Summer. I hate the cold.
24. Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for inviting me. I wish you enough …
Check out his website for inspiring blogs and updates on his works: http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au/