My second male author guest this weekend is James R Tuck. He is new to the scene and his debut release, Blood and Bullets, is due out at the beginning of February. He is also friends with my other male guest this weekend, J.F. Lewis.
Take this opportunity to get to know the author and his debut in the following interview. Enjoy! And don't forget to enter the contest! James is giving away a copy of Blood and Bullets.
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here again as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your debut book, Blood and Bullets?
James - Thank you for having me!
BLOOD AND BULLETS is the first book in the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series. It follows the story of a man (Deacon) who hunts monsters for a living. One of them sets him up and tries to kill him which sends him on a long night of tracking down who it was and trying to kill them right back. It's a dark and bloody ride that pushes him to the brink. I tried my best to give the reader an action-packed book that didn't pull back. It's like a summer blockbuster action/horror movie.
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for Blood and Bullets? Was it a long process or did it just come to you?
James - Well, the character of Deacon Chalk came to me one day. He kind of stepped into my mind completely ready to kick some monster ass. I also had the basis of the plot that became BLOOD AND BULLETS, although in the writing that had a lot of changes occur.
My motivation for actually writing a novel came from reading. I love urban fantasy. It is tied with crime fiction as being my absolute favorite genre. I love the action mixed with the scares that urban fantasy has. However, I do find that a lot of books in UF tend to pull back at the last minute. To soften the horror that would occur if monsters were real in the world. I didn't want to do that. I wanted to push right to the edge and then some.
Amber - Deacon Chalk is a kick-ass character. How did he come into existence? Is he based on someone or is he more of a superhero you would like to be?
Amber - In Blood and Bullets you go into depth about quite a few of the weapons Deacon uses. Did you research all this or was it something you know from experience?
James - I am a die-hard gun fan. I love them. The fun of going to the range and shooting is hard to describe if you haven't ever done it. And I think guns are beautiful. Not all of them, but there is some serious artistry that goes into the design of some firearms. I also have a permit and carry a gun every day. Mostly because I am old and have a family as well as a home and business that I have to protect. Yes I live a peaceful life, but the world is filled with those who don't. If our paths intersect, I like being prepared.
Amber - If Blood and Bullets was going to be made into a TV series or Film, who would you like to see playing the main characters?
James - BLOOD AND BULLETS would make a GREAT movie! Deacon Chalk would be played by the unreplaceable Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. He is the man I picture when I think of Deacon. Robert DeNiro for Father Mulcahy. Edward Norton could swing Larson. Scarlett Johansson for Kat. I would be tempted to cast Natalie Portman for Tiff, but she doesn't feel quite right. Charlotte is Angela Bassett. Amber Heard is Blair after her turn in Drive Angry. Longinus could go to Clive Owen or John Barrowman and I would be happy. And Appollonia is Eva Green. She was the bright spot in a show called Camelot that was on starz. I watched her rendition of Morgan Le Fey and it was like watching my character on the screen.
Amber - How do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?
James - Deacon Chalk came from always liking the word Deacon as a name and then pairing it with cool sounding words that had a tenuous connection to the supernatural. The second I spoke the two words together, they became a name and the character stepped out. Father Mulcahy is a nod to the show MASH which I loved growing up. Larson is a nod to a radio show I used to listen to hosted by a man named Bob Larson. It was a crazy show with witches and demons and all kinds of things going on. I think Charlotte's name is an obvious nod, but you gotta read the book to see what I mean. Every one else, their names just fit the character.
Amber - Despite Deacon's bad ass attitude he sometimes shows a soft side. Will we see more of that in future books?
James - Well, it is a hard, hard life in the Deaconverse, and as I said before, Deacon is a damaged hero. He isn't inhuman though. We will see more of the softer side in future books, and a bit more humor also. The series starts on this particular night because finally after five years of hunting monsters Deacon has healed enough for there to be a change. There are characters introduced in this book that will bring that change out. But be warned...no one is safe. No one.
Amber - When will we see more of Deacon? Are you working on any other projects?
James - At this point readers can find both THAT THING AT THE ZOO which is a .99 cent e-novella set about six months prior to the events in BLOOD AND BULLETS. There will be another e-novella this summer called SPIDER'S LULLABY and then book two hits in August. It's called BLOOD AND SILVER and we get to see more about how lycanthropy works in the Deaconverse. It will be crazy.
The series will continue. It is contracted for three novels and three e-novellas and I have plans for the next ten books.
The list of future projects is huge. You will see me dabble in some crime fiction as well as paranormal romance, more urban fantasy, a touch of sword and sorcery and I even have two YA books in my wheelhouse. All that is still to come and should be a blast!
Amber - What is it like being the new author on the block? Lots of parties? ;)
James - I love it! Everyone has been really nice and receptive. I have met some great folks. Authors, bloggers, and fans. It is awesome. Some of my fellow writers have been truly great. Faith Hunter, Jeanne C. Stein, Jenna Maclaine, Annabel Joseph, and Adrienne Wilder read my book and loved it. They were all kind enough to give me blurbs.
Amber - How about being one of the only males in a female dominated genre? Do you guys stick together?
James - Yes, we have each others backs. lol. Well, I have become good friends with J.F. Lewis. He is awesome. If you aren't reading his books then shame on you!. Larry Correia is super awesome, and Jonathan Maberry was very nice. Matt R. Jones of the Hollywoood Vampires series is about one of the nicest folks you could meet. And David B. Coe and S. A. Swann were awesome to panel with at Dragoncon.
Amber - Did you always wanted to be an author? Why did you pick the Paranormal Urban Fantasy genre?
James - The writing bug didn't hit me until 2010. I had dabbled before that, but 2010 is when I got serious and wrote BLOOD AND BULLETS. I chose Urban Fantasy because I love it so much.
Amber - In Blood and Bullets you mention a few other characters from other books in the genre. What authors/books do you like reading?
James - Oh man. I am a huge reader. Huge. I read a lot. I pretty evenly split between crime and Urban Fantasy, with some other stuff thrown in for fun. My must buy list includes Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series, The Dresden Files, and Lilith Saintcrow's Jill Kismet series. I am sad to see it go, even though the last book kicked complete ass.
Amber - What have you been watching lately? What is your favourite paranormal series/film?
James - There are some shows on series record on the Tuck family DVR. The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural are on there. Doctor Who tops the list. Major Who love going on here. Hell, I have a Dalek tattooed under my arm! The Closer is a favorite along with Project Runway. I am also burning through 24 on netflix at a rapid pace. And that is about all the time I can squeak away from my writing.
Amber - What about music? Is there any music that influences your writing? Any bands/songs in particular that you listened to while writing Blood and Bullets?
James - I love country, blues, and late eighties cock rock. For those of you who are unaware, cock rock is also known as hair metal and consists of bands like Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, and Cinderella. Country is what I grew up on and what I listen to the most, but my love is the blues. I listen to a lot of blues writing about Deacon. They are blues books, probably because of the nature of Deacon and his past.
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
James - Hmmmm. I would be a Were-unicorn just because that would rock my face off. lol.
Amber - Thanks for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog again!
Mr Tuck is giving away a signed copy of Blood and Bullets to one lucky winner! Sorry only open to US and Canada only!
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