Albert S. Tukker [astukker]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
That would have to be back in Grade School. I remember Jack London's "White Fang". If that is the actual first, I don't know, but it's the earliest I can remember reading.
Not sure when or how I began to write, but in school I always doodled and dribbled on paper while in class. Then, somewhere in my early teens, I started putting down words. When I moved to the "oldest's" bedroom in my parents house, the words really started coming out. What drove me to write is a mystery, and still is. It's an urge, a desire, to create a vision, a feeling, an attitude, with words. It's a desire to enthrall and entertain, and since I can't sing, I write.
Way back when I first started writing, nobody read my work. Then, after a few poems, I let some friends read them. I even had two published in a year book in high school. Now, my mother is my proofreader and most of my family has read at least one of my books.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
My favorite genre to write in would have to be Sci-Fi/Horror. You can do so much with these genre's. You can explain as much or as little about something as you want, as long as the story is good, and the story is never about the science. Look, nobody ever explained how a warp drive works or how a man physically turns into an animal, but Star Trek and the Werewolve were big hits. Albeit, my style of Sci-Fi is unique, even eclectic, but they are stories that will grip you and pull you in.
My website is: http://AlbertSamuelTukker.com I have preview chapters, poetry, and a short story that'll knock your socks off(so don't wear shoes while reading it).
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
My creative process? Hmm, never really thought about it. The stories just...happen. I do have a shoebox of story ideas that I go through periodically, but some inspiration hits from only one line, as with 'Justyn Thyme, the StoneAge Wizard' became the book, "The StoneAge Wizard". "Pole Shift" all started with an idea about ticks. Too often I have to stifle, slow down the thoughts, the "inspiration", because the time is not right.
But, for the most part, it just happens. Even going through the shoebox, something will just grab me.
I don't really do a whole lot of preparation to write. Mostly, I get "hit with inspiration" and sit down at the computer and start typing. But, since I still have to hold down a full-time job, when I write it is cut up into spurts: I awake and start writing until it's time for work. Upon returning home, I write until exhausted or I notice the time. I repeat until the story is done. I've done this schedule for up too eight months. Not much else gets done during this time, unless it's a "have to". Dishes pile up, laundry falls behind, my dog has to hound me to go outside, etc., etc.
I'm still waiting for that "big break" with that "six-figure offer". Then, then I will be able to write all I want without the creative process being interrupted, and I have so much to write. That shoebox is stuffed.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
I don't read much fiction anymore(I have my own to write). I do read a lot of articles that occasionally give me inspiration. Usually I get my inspiration from life itself.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Other than beginning, middle, and end? Uh, believable characters, creative plot, comfortable voice.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I like writing in first person, although, my third person accounts are just as enthralling. My book, "Solitaire", is a short story collection, all written in the first person.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Edgar Allen Poe; Kurt Vonnegut; Stephen King
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
A character must be human, and not a prop to spout words. If you can give her a fault, or a heart, even better.
I create my characters by making everything up. The character is who I want him to be. Even the name can be part of the character. In "The Rage", the main characters last name is a piece from the 'Ouija Board' game, that triangular piece of wood the players put their fingers on is called a "planchette". The character is named, Jules Planchette.
That's only one. In another story, I have a character named Roaceport, a sideways spelling of "corporate".
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
I don't like to tell stories orally, even long jokes. I tend to start rushing it.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I think I'm suppose to say, "I write for those I'll never see." But deep down, I write, else my head would explode.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I participate in some competitions, when I run across them.
My book, "Pole Shift", won the 2007 Science Fiction Book of the Year for Literary Excellence from Books-and-Authors.net.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
After five novels, I believe I have found my "voice".
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
Hoo, boy. This is gonna date me. Uh, when I first started writing there were no PC's. So, I started writing on legal pads with "special" pens. Pens that felt good in my hand and were easy to use. I eventually purchased fountain pens to write with; now I use one to write in my journal.
For some years now, I've done most of my writing on my laptop. The space bar and "A" key have worn spots. The machine is ten years old this month, December of '08. Go laptop!
I print after each draft, making corrections, additions, on that draft. I'll do this several times, at least. When I can't find anymore mistakes, I send it up to Lulu.com, with cover art, and print out a book. I give this book to my mother to proof.
I would like to thank her now, if I could, for all the hard work she has done for me, especially since she doesn't like some of the language I use in my books. Thanks Mom.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Can't say, they've never written back.
Is there one out there looking for something unique? Stories that are written for the story, not word count?
What are you working on now?
Futile attempts to start the sequel to "Pole Shift"
This past November I held my first book signing. I had two others within six weeks, but had to stop.
I was in the process of getting "noticed", when I had to stop and catch up on bills. Advertising gets expensive, fast.
I'm hoping to re-start in March.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Uh, show someone. But make sure they are going to be honest about it.
Albert S. Tukker
Council Bluffs, IA USA