Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Family Rules Blog Tour: Author Interview

I consider myself a lucky book blogger being that I am able to feature the same author and novel for two days - I am delighted to delve a little deeper today with Vincent Tuckwood author of the new book Family Rules.  The book looks great, the author is truly a pleasure to interview and I think you will find him engaging and fun!

I am so excited to be reading this novel, review coming soon!

About the Author:

Vincent Tuckwood is a story-teller working in fiction, song and verse. At any given point in time, he’s proud to be a father, husband, son, brother, cousin and friend to the people who mean the world to him.

He is the author of the novels Escalation, Family Rules, Karaoke Criminals and Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies? as well as the 2010 poetry collection, Garbled Glittering Glamours. His screenplays are Team Building and the screen adaptation of Family Rules, Inventing Kenny.

Vince regularly connects with his audience at and at his story-teller page on Facebook, often writing poetry in response to their prompts, and encourages everyone to get in touch there.

You can find out more about him and his work at

Author Interview:

What book are you reading now?

I’ve just come off the back of republishing all my books, so have been lost in proof-reading hell. While doing that, I took the time to catch up on books I either read a long time ago, or never got around to reading – some Charles Bukowski, George Orwell, William Burroughs.  In terms of new fiction, I’m about to start Snuff by Terry Pratchett.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I tend to notice upcoming talent in movies, more-so than books. I love small, independent drama – Netflix streaming is proving a treasure trove for me! I’ve had the pleasure of watching David Fincher’s career develop ever since I saw Se7en, Danny Boyle’s since Shallow Grave, and Christopher Nolan’s since Memento. Most recently, I’ve been impressed by The Disappearance of Alice Creed, written and directed by J Blakeson, there’s some real talent at work there; in the acting, writing and directing.

What are your current projects?

Well, right now I’m adapting Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies? for the screen – the movie will be called Certainty – and Karaoke Criminals as a 4-part television drama. That’s fun, reimagining the novels for the screen. If everything goes to plan, I’ll be taking my latest novel Escalation to screenplay in the Spring, with my screen-writing partners James Patric Moran and Timothy Quinlan.

We’re also out shopping the screen adaptation of Family Rules – the movie will be called Inventing Kenny. Several bites on the hook there, but too early for anything beyond hope. Alongside Inventing Kenny, I’m also shopping an original screenplay, the thriller, Team Building.

So, lots of work trying to bring my stories to screen, which all takes time, effort and commitment, but I also have two new stories in development – the first will likely be a novel/screenplay called Dare Ya! and the second a stage-play, In Consequence.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

I am filled with gratitude for my somatic learning at Strozzi Institute, which continues to have a profound effect on my shape and presence in the world.

Do you see writing as a career?

My corporate life was within the talent and organization capability arena and from my experience there I’m of the firm belief that, frankly, the concept of ‘career’ doesn’t apply to artists, so let me reword the question: Do I see myself supporting my family by telling stories for profit? Do I see myself developing my ability to tell stories that affect people?

Yes. I’m built to do this, why wouldn’t I do it as much as I can? And if people enjoy my stories, then I trust that they’ll be willing to pay me for the enjoyment I bring them.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I’m generally of the view that art represents what it was at the time it happened. Everything can be edited endlessly and, sooner or later, you just have to say, “it’s good enough!”

When I re-read my earlier novels, of course there’s stuff I’d rewrite just because it feels clumsy, and I’m a different writer now – hopefully, better! But the interesting thing is, new readers rave about them, so what I see as clumsy still has cohesion and integrity for the reader, and that’s all that counts.

That said, one of the joys of screen adaptation is that I get to explore alternative paths and interactions for the characters. While I don’t find myself making substantive changes, there is a further distillation that happens from novel to screen – it feels a little like bonsai to me, telling a macro-story through micro-focus on detail; minimalist, focused, compelling. It’s cutting to the very essence of the story.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I don’t have one, though I think if you monitored my reading you’d find several coming up time and again: Stephen King, Iain Banks, Terry Pratchett, Chuck Palahniuk, Colin Bateman. All these writers tell great, uncompromising stories, draw convincing characters and share their higher concept through the telling of the story, rather than pages of complex exposition.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

While movement is important to me – Karaoke Criminals was largely written in planes over the Atlantic, after all – the only place I have to travel is into my own sub-conscious. That’s not always been the easiest journey, but I’m endlessly fascinated by what’s waiting there!

When one of the screenplays gets traction, I anticipate heading over to the west coast much more – that’s a good thing, travel is one of the ways I rejuvenate myself, people-watching, new experiences, it’s all good.

Who designed the covers?

I grew up the proud son of a master printer, so I’ve been looking at copy, layout and artwork since I was a toddler, and it was natural for me to do the interior copy and covers for the second editions of Family Rules, Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies? and Karaoke Criminals. It was a lot of work, but very rewarding.
In 2011, though, I was truly honoured to have my friend Rob Edmonds do the cover for Escalation. Rob is a graphic artist living and working in Vancouver – we’re both members of the Boutique Empire artists’ collective. He does fantastic work – in my current author photograph, there’s one of Rob’s originals on the wall; it’s of our two girls – a beautiful capture of a very happy memory. His inspired cover for Escalation really captures the claustrophobia and press of the story.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Nothing really, or at least nothing that isn’t transitory. Writing is joy for me, even when it gets tough.
I see writing a novel as like running a marathon, and learned early that it’s easy to start out too fast, use up all my energy and find myself out of steam halfway through. Like marathon running, getting to the finish line is all about putting the training miles in. I’ve written eight novels, well over half-a-million words – which freaks me out sometimes – but I now know how to pace myself, and how to keep the well-spring rejuvenated.
I do run into writer’s block every so often, but don’t let myself get too hung up on that, I just keep writing. Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write was an enormous help in keeping me going whenever I do get blocked.
All that said, you should drop in when I’m in the middle of the next project, deep in the characters, trying to make it all make sense… I might well have a different opinion!

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