'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 14 January 2012

Blog Tour: Gunnedah Hero by Clancy Tucker

KBR warmly welcomes author Clancy Tucker on his blog tour, in celebration of the release of his new book Gunnedah Hero. Enjoy this wonderful interview!

Welcome, Clancy! What's your story?
I have lived in four countries and speak three languages. I currently live in Victoria and write young adult fiction for reluctant readers. I have also achieved success as a poet and photographer. I am now a full time writer, but I been a speechwriter, public servant, farmer and small business operator. I have also taught students in the USA, and worked with street kids. I draw on all of these life experiences to write entertaining stories for kids.

How long have you been writing?
I began mentally writing as a kid. Then, in my early twenties, I began writing short stories and poetry, entered contests and had stuff published in newspapers. I wrote my first manuscript eleven years ago, and I’ve written seventeen more since. I have at least ten manuscripts ready to roll.

What genre do you write in?
I write for the young adult market but adults enjoy my books too. I write historic adventures that people can identify with.

What other genres have you written in?
I write poetry and maybe one day I may publish anecdotes about my life experiences. It’s called A Free Spirit.

What is your greatest joy in writing? Climbing into my character’s heads to make them real for my reader.

Tell us about the birth of Gunnedah Hero. Where did the idea come from?
Having a great appreciation for Australian history, I wanted to write a story that would not only be adventurous and factual, but also one that described the harshness of the Australian bush and the spirit of our pioneers.

The book parallels the story of two fourteen-year-old boys - one a present day student named Gunnie, the other his great-great-grandfather, Smokey. Gunnie's grandfather left him a box containing a manuscript written by Smokey after his epic journey up the long paddock as a fourteen-year-old drover - during a harsh drought in 1910. At the back of the manuscript is an envelope. It’s NOT to be opened until Gunnie has read the entire story. On a visit to the family property, Gunnie discovers that it is again under threat - but from a different source. He must read the story and letter in an attempt to save it.

Does the life of your main character parallel with yours in any way?
Good question. Answer: Yes! Life is a collection of grand finals. Do you roll over when you are a goal down, with minutes to go? No way! You stand up, dust yourself off and push on regardless. If you win, you grin. If you lose, you suck it in and fight another day. That’s life, and that is how Smokey led his.

What do you hope Gunnedah Hero will impart its readers?
This story contains many disguised messages – the final letter, ‘To my reader ... from a simple drover’, from Smokey, at the end of the story, says it all –

‘Life sucks sometimes, but don’t let it suck you in’.

What do you love most about producing books for young adults?
There is a kid inside me who understands exactly where kids are today. I clearly recall what it was like when I was their age and love getting in touch with my inner child. And I love writing stuff that is equally suitable for 'cotton wool' kids and for 'struggling' kids. Both types have issues.

What advice would you have for anyone wanting to write a book in the young adult genre?
Find something you are passionate about and write passionately about it. Don't preach, be a kid, observe young people and write from the heart.

Other than writing, what else do you love?
Travel, sport, people older than me, naughty kids, Thailand, photography, my folks, my readers, debating serious issues, and the company of very close friends.

Describe your perfect day.
Great company, good food, warm weather and a great discussion.

What five words best sum you up?
Passionate, self-motivated, loyal, blunt and real.

What’s next for Clancy Tucker?
I will not live long enough to write what I have planned. I am about to begin the third book in the Gunnedah series – Magic Billie. After that, I have at least ten more books to write in the same series.

Also, I’d like to publish a powerful story about a beautiful young Thai girl named Boo that I recently finished. It’s based on a true story - titled Pa Joe’s Place. Other than that, I have a folder of ideas – ones I’ve collected for many years. That folder would have about 400 ideas for manuscripts.

Learn more about Clancy and his work at clancytucker.com.au and morrispublishingaustralia.com. 

Gunnedah Hero is available in paperback from morrispublishingaustralia.com and clancytucker.com.au. The eBook is available from Smashwords and Google eBooks. During Clancy's blog tour, from14 to 31 January, the price of the Gunnedah Hero paperback will be slashed to $25! Head to Morris Publishing and choose the Buy Now button under discount copy text.

Want to win a copy of Gunnedah Hero? Just head to the Morris Publishing website contact page, fill in your details and write Blog Competition and your preferred eBook format in the message (ePub, PDF, Kindle). Please don't worry if the message doesn't disappear after you have sent it; it will disappear when you leave the page. The winners will be drawn on 31 January 2012 and notified by email. 

Clancy Tucker - Gunnedah Hero - Blog Tour Schedule

January 14 - Kids Book Review Author Interview

January 15 Jill Smith - Book Review

January 16: Buzz Words - Article - Writing Historical Fiction

January 17: Carol Warner - Author Interview
January 18: Elaine Ouston - Review

January 19: Buzz Words - Review

January 20: Sheryl Gwyther - Author interview

January 22: Aussie Book Reviews - Review

January 23: Morris Publishing - News Update

January 24: Sherford Bear - Review

January 25: Miss Helen - Author Interview

January 25: Kids Book Capers - Author interview

January 26: Grand finale - Blog Bud - What's next for Clancy