Blogs That I Follow and Recommend

I don’t follow a lot of blogs – don’t have enough time. However, I do follow the blogs of Darlene Craviotta, Lynn Schneider and Clancy Tucker. Because I believe that all these blog sites are above average, I intend to post excerpts from each one over the coming weeks.
To start the ball rolling, the following is a blog interview with a most talented and fascinating man. Clancy posts on his blog ‘ Clancy Tucker’ daily and his subjects and interviews are varied. Take it away Clancy;

1. What is the title of your book?

‘Gunnedah Hero’. Gunnedah is a rural city in New South Wales, Australia, and the ‘hero’ of this story will become evident as you read the book – Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson. Why was he nicknamed ‘Gun’? Read the book.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

This story is about the ‘long paddock’; an expression not many Australians would have ever heard of. What is it? Basically, back in the dim dark ages when life was tough in Australia (1910), farmers moved their cattle along the sides of the public roadways to keep them alive during harsh droughts – always in search of feed and water. Great idea, eh? But, to write a story about a fourteen-year-old Aussie drover with three cattle dogs and a pack horse would have been fairly boring so I had to include all sorts of adventures and misadventures along the way – and disguised lessons in history. Young Smokey leaves home as a boy, but matures during his trip and arrives home as a young man – a lot wiser.

3. What is the genre of your book?

It is young adult fiction, but certainly suitable for ages 8 – 80 years-of-age.

4. Which actor(s) would you choose to play the characters in a movie rendition?

Mm … always said this story would make a better movie than a book, and have thought about this a lot. This story has something for all members of the family – grandparents to young kids. Actors? I’d like to have new Aussie actors to play in the movie. Why not? Everyone deserve an opportunity, and it might just give them that kick along to do other movies. Besides, using undiscovered actors would give me a buzz. It would also provide a ‘fresh‘ element to the movie. Part of the movie deal would include three major points: 1. That I choose the actors. 2. I spend time with them, outlining the characters they will portray. 3. The move maker does not alter the story – at all. That’s it.

5. What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

This is a wonderful coming of age story for boys – especially reluctant readers.

6. Is your book self-published or represented by an agent/publisher?

This book is self-published. However, I’ve rejected four contracts for this book – Sydney, Melbourne, London and New York? Why, because I am passionate about my work. Why should I be ripped off? I own the ‘c’ in the circle – © it’s called copyright.

7. How long did it take you to write your first draft?

Three months and 84,000 words of passionate pleasure. All of my manuscripts take roughly three months to write. It’s an adrenalin rush; almost better than a cold beer on a hot day. The sequel has already been written – ‘A Drover’s Blanket’©, and I’m about to write the third book in the series – ‘Magic Billie’©.

8. What other books would you compare yours to within your genre?

Not so sure there are any along similar lines. This book is two stories in one – 1910 and 2010. Two years ago I deliberately read 237 YA fiction books in one year. Result: most had no story – per se. A majority of them did not edify or enhance the lives of young adult readers – or entertain them. The only one I vividly recall is ‘The silver Donkey’ by Sonya Hartnett who went on to win the most lucrative literary prize in the world. This story hooks you from page one, and there is a connection between the young modern (2010) protagonist, Gunnie, who is fourteen, with the 1910 protagonist, Smokey, Gunnie’s great-great-grandfather, who is also fourteen. I always write for my reader, and this story is one that keeps the reader wanting to flip pages to find out what happens. Although this is about a topical subject, drought, it is also a story that will silently educate city kids who nothing about the bush. Milk and meat do not come from the supermarket!

Maybe comparisons: ‘Secret of the Sands’ – a mystery about the great Sphinx of Ghiza – Egypt … or, ‘Behind the Bedroom Wall’ – a story about the Nazi youth.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

No one person or thing, but I’m inspired to write about topical subjects. This book is about drought, and was written during the biggest and harshest drought in Australian history. Also, I have been concerned for some time that young Australians know very little about our country’s history, so I decided to write ‘Gunnedah Hero’ and provide raw snippets of what life was like back in 1910. So, rather than write a text book, I wrote a book that contains hidden messages and images of life around 1910.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

As I said, it is two stories in one – 1910 and 2010. This book is highly believable and inspiring. It is character-driven by people who did it tough; folks who struggled during harsh times but had principles and integrity. It would be a great box office hit. Why, because the entire family would buy tickets – grandparents, parents and kids. Every member of a family would relate to someone in the story, and there are hidden messages for all of them.

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