John Tucker is another one of my partners in prose, a trusted friend and ally in my war against the publishing industry. His Bemused and Bedeviled series and The Rask Trilogy have established his reputation as an indie author, and he is admired by his colleagues for his ongoing projects in presenting new writers to the Internet community.
The most noticeable works in your repertoire are the Divisive series and the Bemused and Bedeviled series. It seems like your antagonists always get the upper hand and continually escape justice. Is it a way to keep readers hooked or is there a message being conveyed?
Both. Every good novel should have a protagonist and an antagonist, and I think the villain should be the strongest of the two. Readers react to a novel with a mixture of emotions – anger, grief, joy, shock, and awe. The bad guy will get the majority of the memorable lines, elicit the most emotions, and are capable of driving a story to places where the reader will not expect. Personally, I was in a dark state of mind while writing Divisive. I had some setbacks in my private life and most of my valued friends basically deserted me. Since then I’ve recovered to a point but it’s still hard to allow people to get close to me. Fox Mulder of the X-Files had a motto – The Truth Is Out There. Mine’s closer to Gregory House – Everybody Lies.
There’s a lot of sexual tension in your novels bordering on soft-core. How do your female critics generally react to your story lines?
I make sure my synopses inform the reader what they’re in for. In Divisive and The Fifth Game, sex is primarily used as physical collateral. Love is virtually non-existent and manipulations and lies are verbal currency. I’m at the point in my life where I know true love doesn’t exist. Human relationships are based primarily on lust, compromise, and comfort. As far as my female readers go, I’ve only had a few complaints. One reviewer mentioned she had Divisive pegged as a 3-Star book halfway through because of the violence, profanity, and sex but, by the end, changed it to a 5-Star because the book was so riveting she couldn’t put it down. Women today aren’t like they were 30-50 years ago. They’ve taken control of their sexuality and have made actions and feelings about intercourse, masturbation, lust and desires purely for their own.
I haven’t read The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight yet, despite having reviewed a few of your novels. How does it compare to the aforementioned works?
So far, The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight is my sole YA effort and, even so, is aimed at the higher spectrum of young readers (17-19) There’s no profanity, sex is alluded to or implied, and there’s actually a moral to my story. During the investigation of her estranged mother’s rape and strangulation, Steph Linder finds out the woman was a barely functioning alcoholic who flirted with or screwed any man who succumbed to her charms. With Steph involved in a sexual relationship with a teacher at her high school, she’s forced to confront her own moral demons while wondering if she’ll end up just like her mother – promiscuous and emotionally alone. While the overall tone is lighter than most of my novels there’s still a dark undercurrent in play, especially in the damaged Linder family dynamic .
Your Facebook and Amazon pages don’t give us a lot of information. What is your educational background? How did it impact your writing career?
Once I graduated high school, I had the misfortune/luck to get my girlfriend pregnant. For the next five years I worked two jobs to keep my family in comfort. After becoming a manager for a pizza chain, I worked the next twenty five years until a back injury forced me to collect disability. So, brass tacks, I’ve had a high school education with no college to speak of. When I first decided to write a novel, just to see if I could, I discovered I wrote a mess. I joined an online writing/critique group and, over the course of a year, learned the basics of English again. While I admit my books will never be confused with fine writing, I’m proud of what I’ve done over the last four years and will defend my right to publish it.
There is a theological dialogue that resonates throughout Bemused and Bedeviled. Do you consider yourself a religious person, and does the narrative reflect a particular viewpoint?
I was raised in the Pentecostal religion for most of my childhood and believe organized religion is a poison. I believe in the Holy Trinity and the Bible and worship God and Jesus, but doubt the various saints and writers of the Holy Word knew how the spiritual institutions they built would become so corrupt over the ages. While my Bemused and Bedeviled Series can be viewed as irreverent, my mixture of mythology and Judeo/Christian based icons clearly uphold the values of good and the horrors of evil. I will also freely admit they skewer the ritualized pomp and deeply-ingrained corruption of organized religions assorted faults and follies with a definite tongue-in-cheek.
It seems as if the Divisive series carries a strong message as regards dysfunctional families and their effects on children in such relationships. Were there people or events that influenced you in making a literary statement?
I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. We looked close to perfect on the outside but had so many internalized problems they still affect me to this very day. I’ll not go into specifics but alcoholism, anger, apathy, and mental issues were but the tip of our familial iceberg. In Divisive, Dennis Rask was physically abused by his single mother and sexually abused in his pre-teen years by a spinster aunt. He came to use his hatred for single mothers who ruled dysfunctional families as a mission to rid the world of them and to keep their spawn from doing the same thing when they matured.
Tell us how your life in Georgia affected your world view as an author.
They say write what you know, and I know my home state. From the suburbs, to the urban areas, to the rural countryside. I know accents, surroundings, and the ways of the South. Most of my novels have taken place in Georgia – save Romancing the Fox – and I try to impart the innate courtesy and state pride most of us Georgians possess. Other than a few trips to California, and a year in North Carolina and Florida, my world has been the Peach State. Do I want to visit foreign locales and fabled cities – sure. Will it kill me if it doesn’t happen – no.
Do politics or social issues affect your writing? Some of your novels seem to indict a flawed legal system. Do you ever think of writing as a personal platform?
I’m highly cynical about the political process. The powers that be control every aspect of it and the little people have no say, I repeat no say, in the big elections. I do believe the ones for mayor, city council, and head dogcatcher, of course. But the three branches of the federal government, not a chance. I also view the leaders in law enforcement as corrupt as the religious system.
Your Facebook page shows that you spend a lot of time promoting other authors. What has been most encouraging in making your way along the literary jungle?
I promote other authors unless they become delinquent in returning the favor. It’s definitely a two-lane street. As a rule, Indie Authors should support each other because the ‘traditional publishing world’ doesn’t give a damn. I’m also heartened by the fact that so many diverse people enjoy my books and support me the best they can. It does my cold, hard soul some good to see a dozen likes and shares to my posts every day, along with a few new friends, and many messages awaiting me every morning when I wake up.
When college students of the future take note of Indie Writers of the 21st Century, what do you hope they will remember John Tucker for?
For my quirky novels, my immoral villains, and my tongue-in-cheek humor. If I become a cult-novelist instead of a famous one, I’d be happy with that too.
Here’s links to John’s work and contact info!
Facebook Author Page —-http://www.facebook.com/hutt1234
Amazon Author Page — http://www.amazon.com/John-Tucker/e/B005GQUH3I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Twitter — @Hutt1234John
Twelve Doors to Ecstasy —- http://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Doors-Ecstasy-John-Tucker-ebook/dp/B00EWBWUT2
The Fifth Game: Elizabeth’s Soul (Divisive Book 2) http://www.amazon.com/Fifth-Game-Divisive-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B00DX5E8B6
Splits in the Skin — http://www.amazon.com/Splits-Skin-John-Tucker-ebook/dp/B00F27T0RA
The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight – http://www.amazon.com/Little-Goodnight-Steph-Linder-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00ANCRJ9A
The Bemused and Bedeviled Series
Vol 1 – Terpsichore in Love —- http://www.amazon.com/Terpsichore-Love-Bemused-Bedeviled-Book-ebook/dp/B00DWWFFXA
Vol 2 – The Mark of Cain — http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Cain-Bemused-Bedeviled-Book-ebook/dp/B00DX5TAP0
Vol 3 – The Seventh Seal —- http://www.amazon.com/Seventh-Seal-Bemused-Bedeviled-Three-ebook/dp/B00I7B6CK6