Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Interview with Alan Tucker

Alan is the debut author of A Measure of Disorder which is a fantastic fantasy novel! (You can find my review here.)

Buy a digital copy at Smashwords, or bound copy at!

1) What inspired you to write A Measure of Disorder?

I have written things, here and there, all my life. Poems, short stories, etc. but I had never finished a novel. I'd started many through the years, but could never pull together a complete effort. I either had a great beginning with no ending, or vice versa. Last summer, my younger daughter (the one that still lives at home ; )) was away visiting family and I had the house to myself. My graphic design business was slow, so I decided to give one more shot to writing something more than copy for a newspaper ad or an email. I had some ideas in my head, but nothing concrete, and I just sat down and started writing. A month later, I had about half the book written and knew where I wanted to go with the rest of it, which was an achievement in itself for me! I finished the first draft in October.

So, now to actually answer the question! I've read fantasy and science fiction for as long as I can remember. And, yes, I was a D&D geek in high school! I always enjoyed coming up with adventures for my friends and we had a great time. Two things I wanted to do most of all in writing the story were to write something that I would want to read and also something that my kids would enjoy as well. I succeeded in the first and I think I succeeded in the second ; ) but only they could tell you that for sure!

2) Can you share with us what it was like to be published?

It was a labor of love because after writing the story, editing, and rewriting, I designed the cover and did the page layout for the printed version. I've had two "wow" moments I guess. The first was holding the proof copy of the book in my hands for the first time. I felt like I'd really accomplished something. Then seeing the book in my local Borders bookstore alongside all the other "real" novels was pretty cool. Publishing has become easier than ever these days, but writing something of quality is as difficult as ever. Time will tell whether I've done that or not.

3) If you could choose any of the races you created to turn into, which would you choose?

Race choice would have to be Elvorstrastenai, though I'd love to have Jenni's ability! That would be way too much fun.

4) What challenges did you face while designing the vivid world of Mother?

Consistency is terribly important to me and, I believe, to a good story. Even in a fantasy world, there are rules to follow. If you break those rules as an author, you lose the trust of the reader. So, once the parameters for something — be it magic, biology, or social system — are established, it's imperative to stick to them. I don't like worlds that have "Get Out of Jail Free" cards because I don't believe they exist in our world. Lastly, I wanted to create something "permanent". Meaning that if/when the kids found the means to get back to Earth, things would be different for them... in most cases drastically so. I didn't want to have everything go back to the way it was, like the end of a TV sitcom.

5) Where do you go for inspiration while writing?

I don't have any specific place to go, but I do walk a lot. Sometimes I just pace around my office or home, but preferably I go walk around the block, or the park near our house. I always have the next scene buzzing around in my head and my family often finds me just sitting and staring into space — "Oh, Dad must be writing again!"

6) Favorite author(s)?

Oh, gosh that's such a hard question. My favorite growing up was Alan Dean Foster. I loved the Flinx and Pip stories and fancied myself as Flinx. My shelves are full of the likes of Asimov, Donaldson, Butcher, Brooks, Novik, Hayden, Niven, Herbert ... okay I'll stop now, but hopefully you get the picture!

7) Random question of the day: Shoes or Sandals?

Definitely shoes. I have Hobbit feet that Tolkien would be proud of.

8) What are you working on now? Can you share anything about it?

I'm working on the follow up and second in the series: A Cure for Chaos. The first chapter is included in the back of A Measure of Disorder. It takes place a few months after the end of the first book and things happen in a hurry as you can see if you've read it! My goal is to have the first draft done by August or so, then it will go out to the alpha readers and my editor. I'm shooting for publication in early 2011 but if it's ready before that, it will be available! I'm not sure yet how many books there will be in the series. I know where I want to go with it, but I'm not sure how long it will take to get there!


Thank you again Alan for offering to do an interview! Readers, please check out his book! It is a really well written story!


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