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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Author Interview & Contest with James R. Tuck

This weekend is male author weekend! It isn't all romance and girly stuff! There are a lot of female writers in the Paranormal and Urban Fantasy genre but there are a few guys out there too.

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?

James - Well there is a lot of me in Deacon. He is the closest character to how I think. I also drew on a lot of my life to write him. No I never hunted monsters and my family is still (thankfully) whole, intact, and alive, but he still shares a lot of my thought process. But Deacon is THE alpha male that you find in UF and sometimes that makes him  a little bull-headed and stubborn. Plus, because of his past, his first reaction to almost any situation is violence. And he has a death wish. He misses his family and wants nothing more than to die and go be with them, but being Catholic, he can't take his own life. So instead, he throws himself at monsters waiting for the day that he is just a little bit too slow, a little bit not strong enough and then he can see them again. For all of the simplicity of his view on monsters (Kill them.), he is a complicated, damaged character... which is what I think someon who would make a life killing monsters would 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! 


Contest Time

Mr Tuck is giving away a signed copy of Blood and Bullets to one lucky winner! Sorry only open to US and Canada only!

How To Enter

What other male authors do you enjoy reading and can recommend?

No Answer = No Entry

'Please enter me' posts will NOT be counted as an entry

Earn more entries for each link you place about this contest on the net. You can post on Facebook, Twitter & MySpace but make sure you add links here for me to confirm your entries! However please do not make individual postings for each entry. Please post all your entries in one post.

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You can also earn extra entries by emailing your friends about the contest. Just make sure you send a copy of your email or receipt to me at Amberkatzes_book_blog at gmx dot net.

Make sure you post your links here so I can confirm your entries.

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The contest will stay open until Sunday 29th of January 2012 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.


Stephanie said...

I enjoy reading Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series.


Alicia0385 said...

I have always enjoyed reading Jim Butcher and Terry Goodkind.

Barbara E. said...

I love Kevin Hearne and his Iron Druid books, Justin Gustainis and his Occult Crimes Unit Investigation books, and Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series.
I'm looking forward to reading Blood and Bullets, it sounds fantastic.

Antonio Jones said...

Jonathan Maberry I highly recommend great writter of the Pine Deep trilogy, Rot & Ruin zombie series, and the thriller series of Joe Ledger great books.

shaunesay said...

Jim Butcher, Anton Strout, Kevin Hearne, Mark Del Franco, John Levitt... there really are so many good ones, and so many I've yet to try! I'd love to give Blood and Bullets a try, I've been seeing it all over the Blogoverse! :) Thank you for the contest!

shaunesay at gmail dot com

Bethany C. said...

I normally read all uf, but for some straight-up dork fantasy, Terry Brooks's Shannara books are amazing.


Vickie said...

Just ordered THAT THING AT THE ZOO. I believe I know what my bedtime book is going to be tonight.

Male authors I dig:
Mario Acevedo
Jim Butcher
John Levitt
Justin Gustainis
Charles Stross

JenM said...

Hmm, I guess the only other male UF author that I've read is Kevin Hearne. I'll have to work on reading more.

Starr K said...

The only UF male author I can think of right now would be Jim Butcher. I didn't realize how many female UF authors would come to mind..that was surprising

clynsg said...

I see that most of the others are sticking to UF writers, but in the overall group, I like Harry Turtledove's alternate histories, in which he often includes magical elements.

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

Daelith said...

I'm another Dresden fan as well as a Void City fan. Just finished Crossed a couple of weeks ago.

Looking forward to getting a copy of Blood and Bullets.

And I completely understand the fun at the range! I try to go at least once a month to stay accurate. Plus it's a great way to vent some stress.

SandyG265 said...

I like Jim Butcher, Mark Del Franco and Anton Strout

sgiden at verizon.net

Ironstrangeprompts said...

Personally I love, Jim Butcher, James Patterson and Clive Cussler.


Gail said...

Great interview! I'm looking forward to reading 'Blood & Bullets'. Sounds right up my alley:)
Other male UF/horror writers...a few favorites are: Marcus Pelegrimas, Richard Kadrey, Jim Butcher, John Everson. I just finished Richard Kadrey's latest 'Aloha from Hell' and loved it!

Anonymous said...

I love reading Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Ted Dekker. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

slb3334 said...

I am a big fan of Clive Cussler and have read most, if not all, of his books.


Katie said...

I read a ton of male authors. A few of my favorites are Justin Gustainis, Jonathan Maberry, James Rollins, Matthew Reilly, and Jeremey Robinson.

bigferret at email dot com

Kelly said...

I love Stephen King. I also read John Irving & Jim Butcher.

Lil said...

I enjoy Kevin Hearne and Jim Butcher.

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

Vickie said...

Wanted to let you know I posted a review of THAT THING AT THE ZOO and mentioned your blog and this interview and contest.


ajeep said...

i love Michael Connelly, Dean R. Koontz, and Eoin Colfer's books also John Sandford's Phantom Prey is a pretty good book. and of course J.R.R. Tolkien. i also like Douglas Preston's and Lincoln Child's Relic. Blood and Bullets sounds fantastic cant wait to read it.


Kim (Randominities) said...

Jim Butcher is one of my favorites with the Dresden series.

Thanks so much for this interview and contest. I loved finding out the author is a gun enthusiast. I'm sure my husband is going to like this book. Maybe I've found him a new favorite author. :)

Valerie Taylor Mabrey said...

John Flanagan is great!
try his Ranger apprentice series
vmkids3 at msn dot com

AEKZ2 said...

I like read Ken Follett and Jeffrey Deaver.