Alan Tucker was so kind to give us an interview. His new book A Cure For Chaos has just been released and it is AMAZING. See my review HERE!
Austin: Can you explain the Mother-Earth Series?
Alan Tucker: I suppose, boiled down to their simplest form, the books are really about growing up. How do we handle the changes that happen in our lives — whether they be external changes or internal? Growing up and trying to figure out who we are is one of the most difficult things we do during our lives. And it's an ongoing process, not just limited to teens. I think that may be why the books seem to appeal to many older readers as well. Everyone goes through those things in their life, so they can relate. Maybe we don't have to deal with transforming into a completely different being, but even so, the process of going through the various stages of our lives can feel like that sometimes!
Austin: Who is your favorite of the characters you have created in the
Mother-Earth Series? Who do you like to write about most?
Alan Tucker: That's a tough one! I'd have to say my favorite depends on my mood any particular day. I know that sounds like a cop-out but it really does change. I relate to the different characters better on some days than others. It's worked out well because I can work on a particular section depending on my mood. One day I might feel a certain affinity for Jenni, then the next, maybe Brandon, or Sara, is on my mind.
Overall, Alisha has probably been the most interesting, in the second book at least, because she does a lot of growing up and discovers some surprising things about herself.
Austin: How did you get started in writing?
Alan Tucker: I've been writing off and on since I was your age or younger, but it was never really more than a hobby or for classroom assignments. I started and cast aside many stories over the years, and it took this long to find one I could carry through to completion! I studied English and Literature in college but was never really sure what I wanted to do with that. I got started in printing and graphic design after college, mostly on accident, and really enjoyed it. A couple of summers ago, the idea for these books resurfaced in my mind and I decided to give it a go.
Austin: Who are your author inspirations?
Alan Tucker: My teen years were filled largely with Alan Dean Foster. I couldn't get enough of his books — mostly the Pip and Flinx series, but all of his other "Commonwealth" books too. I read a lot of classic sci-fi — Asimov, Herbert, Niven — but I would always come back to Foster. Later, I branched out into fantasy with Donaldson's Covenant books, and of course classics like Tolkien. Since then, I've continued to read established and newer authors alike. I love Jim Butcher's Dresden files, Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, and Raymond Feist's Magician and subsequent books were wonderful. I'm sure all of these and many more have contributed in one way or another to my writing style and I'm grateful to them all!
Austin: Pirate or Ninja?
Alan Tucker: Ninja. Definitely. I mean, who'd want to spend days on end stuck on a ship with a bunch of sweaty, dirty pirates?
Austin: Do you have any advice to an aspiring author such as myself?
Alan Tucker: Read and write. I know that sounds simple and contrite, but, I believe, to be a good writer, you must read to discover what you like and don't like, then you must apply those discoveries by writing yourself. Write about things you are familiar with to begin with — simple things like a day at school, or a night out with friends. Then, take what you wrote and rewrite it in a different style. That way you can find out what you're comfortable with and what you like.
Austin: Do you have a writing routine? Some kind of schedule you follow when writing?
Alan Tucker: I would love to have a writing schedule, but current circumstances don't allow it! Writing isn't something that's putting food on the table just yet, so it has to take a back seat to things that do right now. Because of that, I do a lot of my creative work in my head regarding story lines etc. and jot down notes when I get a spare minute. Once I'm prepared to actually write a section of a book, I do my best to block out a good chunk of time for it. Writing while having distractions going on is never very productive for me. And, once I get on a roll with something, I don't like to stop!
Austin: What do you like to do in your down time?
Alan Tucker: I spend time with my younger daughter, who is fifteen. I also coach soccer at our neighborhood high school and I've coached for the city's club soccer organization for many years. I'll also admit to being a closet World of Warcraft player! I really enjoyed playing role playing games when I was in high school and college with my friends and WoW seems to have filled that void in recent times.
Austin: If given the chance, which author, living or dead, would you like
to have dinner with?
Alan Tucker: Probably Alan Dean Foster, simply because his stories really sparked my imagination as a teenager and I'd love to have the opportunity to thank him for that. A nice dinner would be a fun way to say, "Thanks!" And, I mean really, he's got the best first name ever! Next to Austin, of course!
Austin: Finally, what plans do you have in the future, after you are done
with the Mother-Earth Series?
Alan Tucker: I have a couple of projects rattling around in my head for the future, but right now I really try to set those aside to concentrate on Mother's Heart, the next book in the series. I won't say it will be the end of the adventures for Jenni and her friends, but my goal is to wrap up this story line in Mother's Heart. After that, who knows? Maybe I'll write a story about a boy who reviews books on the internet! And ninjas! Think there'd be any interest in that?
Thank you, Mr. Tucker, for doing this interview with me. I had a lot of fun doing this and I can't wait for book 3 of the Mother-Earth Series, Mother's Heart.