Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Brunch 9/29/13

My Sunday Brunch Guest Today is
author John Tucker
First and foremost, it is a pleasure to have you here. Welcome to Harper’s Sunday Brunch Interview!
Thank you, Harper. By the time we’re finished, you may want to rename your blog Harper’s Bizarre.

So, can you tell us what makes John Tucker tick? What got you started on the path to becoming an author?
I wrote short stories in high school, was editor of the school newspaper, and loved to read. By the time I graduated, my life was filled with a new marriage, two children in two years, and had to get two jobs to support them. Long story short, about seven years ago I decided to have a literary mid-life crisis and wrote my first novel – Romancing the Fox. Since then, I’ve written six more – touching on several genres – and absolutely love it when people read my stories and gush about them.

What are you currently working on? Would you care to share a snippet?
I’m currently working on the final draft of a novel co-written with a woman I’ve never met before. Twila Vernon has two published novels and eagerly agreed to team up with me on a ‘He Said/She Said’ type of romance story. Here’s a snippet of eTernalMates.

Dale waved at Sarah when she entered Los Gauchos and put his menu aside until she settled into the booth. Being an avowed leg man he liked seeing her in short dresses, but he understood khaki pants had been a necessity for the business meeting with her superiors that day. However, the black sweater with seashells mystified him because it was a scorcher that day. Still, he shrugged off the fashion disaster, knowing women and their clothing choices would always be an eternal mystery to men.

Dale reached out and took Sarah’s hand, looking past her frazzled expression to stare into the big blue eyes that first caught his attention in college.

“How’d it go?” he asked while she returned his smile. “Did they love you?”

“I…um…think I impressed them.” Sarah squeezed his hand and took her menu. “They said I’ll know sometime today or tomorrow at the latest.”

“You’ll get their support, grab that promotion you’ve been expecting, and kick butt.” He tapped his foot on the green carpet with scarlet swirls. “Next stop, Fortune 500.”

Sarah snorted and gave him a slight nod. “So what’s this surprise you have for me?” She crinkled her nose and looked around. “I was hoping for a box of chocolates, a dozen red roses, and a life-size teddy bear.”

“That sounds like a repeat of Valentine’s Day.” He opened his menu and winked. “This one is totally original and I think it’ll make us grow even closer.”

He watched her eyes narrow while her pink lips swerved from side to side. She’d given him that stare more than a few times in their relationship. Usually, it came on the heels of intimate pleas that ranged from asking her to go steady with him, to the recent and more complex one of accepting his engagement ring. In all other aspects of their life, she was open, lively, and loved to do anything with him. When he forced the boundaries of their relationship, Sarah seemed to mentally bolt; like a nervous filly starting her first race.

“Is this about setting a date?” she asked softly. “We’ve only been engaged for a year.” Sarah bit her lip and scanned the menu. “We don’t have to rush it…do we?”

It’s time’s like this I really think she doesn’t love me enough. He shook away his dark thought and manufactured a chuckle. “While a firm date on getting married would be great, I wanted to talk to you about something else.” Dale watched her lift a brow and smile. “It’s an idea I came up with for an investigative report…and I need your help.”

Do you include some of your own personal experiences in your books or do you prefer to use your imagination?
Oh, Wow!! My life’s been way too normal to have moments inserted into a dramatic novel. I do admit to patterning several characters after people I know, and in some cases, merged two into one. Like Alfred Hitchcock put himself into every one of his movies with a cameo appearance, I always insert a large piece of me into a character’s demeanor or mannerisms.

What genre do you typically write in, and why did you choose this over others?
As I mentioned before, I like to stretch myself out by writing in several different genres. Divisive and its sequel, The Fifth Game, are psychological thrillers about a serial killer. The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight is an upper end YA mystery. Romancing the Fox is an adult contemporary about a good girl/turned porn star that falls in love with the man who gets her out of the business. Splits in the Skin is a gritty story about a bounty hunter who pursues a man with a strange outlook on family. Terpsichore in Love and The Mark of Cain are the first two books of a six book Bemused and Bedeviled Series about Muses, Sirens, and the special mortal that impacts their lives.

Do you have a specific process or a ritual you go through when sitting down to write?
After I come up with the premise, start, and ending, I’ll formulate the main characters descriptions, mannerisms, and eccentricities. Then, I’ll do a chapter outline of the book which will change constantly as I go along. After that, it’s on!!!! Give me hard candies and a little music and I’m a happy camper.

Where do you find your inspiration for your plots? Do you have any tricks of the trade you would care to share?
It varies. Romancing the Fox started as a going to bed fantasy where I hooked up with a porn star. Divisive’s plotline started with a basic premise – a detective sits on the bed of a twelve year old girl who hung herself. Her sister is in the hospital after an attempted overdose and their mother is in the crazy tank after trying to kill her fiancé. Splits in the Skin started out with a premise that plays on the subject of an entire town that commits incest rather than just one family. My Muse is a wicked little goddess. :)

What is the oddest place/situation where an idea for a book/plot has come to you?
During a funeral. I hate funerals, regardless of relatives or acquaintances. As we stood around the grave, I took my mind off the person involved and thought about a teenager who just lost her mother and was grimly determined to find the killer. That morphed into The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight.  

What makes a book stand out and perk your interest?
Definitely the plot. After I start reading, if the characters aren’t remarkable and the story is weak, I don’t waste my time by finishing it.

We all have our favorite authors. Can you share some of yours and tell us why you like them?
I only have two favorite authors – Stephen King and John Jakes. To me, King does horror like no one else, and Jakes is the master of the historical novel. Both are strong on storytelling, making memorable characters, and aren’t afraid to waste a main character if necessary. My favorite independent author is Carmilla Voiez – her Starblood Trilogy rocks!!! **

We all have a pet peeve, care to share yours?
Helping fellow authors without reciprocation really irritates me – enough to unfriend them if I find out it’s intentional. Some will hide behind Street Teams that do everything for them - apparently giving them a license and an attitude to not return the favor. I also hate small, yappy dogs, commercials dealing with health problems, spinach, and screaming kids. 

 When you’re not writing, what are the things you enjoy doing to relax? 
Television reality shows and great movies. Survivor, Amazing Race, and Big Brother are my guilty pleasures. My fave movies of all time include anything by Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorcese.

Thank you so much for joining me here today, John. I know my followers will enjoy this spotlight as much as I have conducting it. Good luck on all your future endeavors.

Thank you, Harper. Great questions. I wish you, your writing career, and blog the best. 


A life-long Georgia native, John D. Tucker has burned through three wives, raised two sons, and has persevered despite being brought up in a wonderfully dysfunctional family. Following on the heels of his novels Divisive, The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight, Romancing the Fox, Terpsichore in Love, The Fifth Game, and The Mark of Cain, he plans to release three more books over the course of the next few months - the erotic fantasy Twelve Doors to Ecstasy, the morally raw Splits in the Skin, and the third book in the Bemused and Bedeviled Series, The Seventh Seal. He is a proud member of IWW (The Internet Writers Workshop) and Scribeslice, both of which he highly recommends to aspiring authors.




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