July 21st, 2008 14:34 EST
An Interview with Albert Samuel Tukker
Albert Samuel Tukker is a writer whom the SOP readers will surely find interesting. In this interview he shares his personal and professional experience, as well as talks about the life of an artist. Whether you are a poet, novel writer, or simply enjoy reading cool stories, read this interview and visit Tukker`s website: www.albertsamueltukker.com.
Q: How would you introduce yourself to the SOP readers?
AST: I have always hated these type of questions. How about: "Hi. I`m Albert S. Tukker, an unknown, writer with a unique, eclectic writing style that seems to bother publishers. Do you want to take a journey into your mind, without drugs or alcohol? A journey that, when complete, you will find it difficult to discern from memories? If you do, take my hand and I will lead you into the depths of your mind that you didn`t know existed. But, I must warn you. I`m known to let go of your hand at the worst possible time.
Q: The subjects of your books range from a man lost in virtual reality (Gamer) to a psycho unable to control his rage (Rage). From where do you takes ideas for your new books? Do you include any autobiographical experiences in any of your works?
AST: The ideas, inspiration, comes from all sorts of things. Sometimes it`s something I watch or hear that sparks story. Just the other day I was watching PBS(public broadcasting) and heard something about Humboldt squid. I did a little research on the creature and now have a good start on a story involving same squid, with nearly 5,000 words spewed out in four days. Sometimes just a line or phrase will spark an idea, as in "StoneAge Wizard". That book all started with the phrase, "Justyn Thyme, the StoneAge Wizard". As for autobiographical experiences, of course. What writer doesn`t? I`m just not going to tell which experiences are mine, and which are made up. Although, the empirical research for "StoneAge Wizard" was a blast.
Q: When did you decide you would be a writer? Was it just an impulse or it was a thorough process?
AST: Can`t say I `decided` to become a writer. I think people are born to be certain things. Fate, or destiny, or whatever you want to call it. Whether or not they follow that destiny depends on how close they listen to their heart. I do remember in grade school, especially junior high, that I liked the `creative writing` assignments in English class. In my first year in high school, I had two poems published in the year book. So, it was in my mid-teens that the words started pouring out, almost nightly in the upstairs bedroom in the house in Omaha, Nebraska. Can`t really say I decided to do it, the words just came. When I was sixteen or seventeen, I moved into the upstairs bedroom in my parents home. The upstairs bedroom was for the next sibling getting ready to leave the nest. I started putting words to paper then. That`s when I wrote "Pawn" and "The B.B.B"(both can be found in, "From the Attic"). I`ve been listening to my heart about writing since my late teens. Which is probably why I never did any good at any of my jobs. They were only that, a job so I could survive to write.
Q: Do you consider yourself more a poet or prose writer?
AST: A poet or prose? Geez, either one can make words sing, put images in your head as if a memory. I consider myself a writer. It`s up to the reader as to rather or not it`s poetry or prose.
Q: How do you write your books - from scratch or do you conduct research on the subject first?
AST: I simply just start writing out an idea and the story takes over shortly after. Currently I have several stories started, under construction if you will, and have done some sort of research for all of them. I don`t know how many ideas in vignette form are waiting for me to get back to them. I conduct research when I get into an area I don`t know anything or little about. Like in "Pole Shift", at one point I stopped writing and did some research on fireflies, because I have a blue firefly as an integral part of the story. I also did research on sniper rifles. I have also studied spiders for "Frequency Seven", and the Netherlands and Amsterdam for "StoneAge Wizard". For "Frequency Seven", I even took a trip out to the area I was writing about(Indian Springs, Nevada) when I was on hiatus from employment in 1999.
Q: Do you have any other occupation, apart from being a writer?
AST: Yes, unfortunately I have to work until my work as a writer becomes known and can support my lazy ass(actually, last year I had a mild heart attack and am now the proud owner of one stent). Currently, I work in a non-profit organization that rebroadcasts foreign news and entertainment for universities and subscribers in the US. I stand up every hour or so and push a couple of buttons. Then I sit back down. It provides money, and a break from my writing.(I really consider it an interruption, but if my boss reads this, my raise is out the window) I work to survive, so, I can live to write.
Q: You have your own website. How important is it for a writer to promote his/her works? Do you consider the Internet an important tool for your career?
AST: Yes, my website(if I may self-promote) is: http://www.AlbertSamuelTukker.com. I consider my website my doorway to the world. It`s been up for three years now and interest has been sporadic. Apparently, if a publisher isn`t promoting you, you can`t write for beans(although my reviews belie that perception). I believe my problem with publishers is that I don`t fit their formula and what they want said. Also, my stories are the wrong word length. My stories are written until the story ends. I`m a minimalist writer, I`ve been told. My stories are unique in their context, the way it`s told, and the story itself. The main characters are more likely to be regular Joe`s just trying to make a living put into to some insane situation than some government hot shot ridding the corrupt world of corruption. I consider the Internet an important tool for my writing career, especially since it`s been up. Agents and publishers won`t even look my way since I`ve become self-published. So, I hand out business cards with my website and book titles, and talk to the few people I can, relying on word of mouth. The reviews on my website are the genuine thing. Each was sent to me by a reader. That sure feels good. I simply don`t have the funds to advertise more than what I am doing, although marketing on the Internet is about the cheapest way to go. I`m looking to change my circumstances here shortly, and hope to be able to advertise on the `Net soon.
Q: What do you like the most and what do you hate the most in the writing profession?
AST: Profession? Well, maybe once I`m paid for my writing. Actually, I consider it more of a calling, something that is inside looking for an escape. I`ve told a few of my closest friends that if I didn`t write, my head would explode. "Gamer" has an example. Maybe I`m just opinionated, but I feel a compulsion, an urge, to write. I like the writing the most. Taking a blank page, or nowadays, a blank screen, and fill it with words that create a picture, then a scene, calms my soul and allows me to enjoy sunsets. What I don`t like is the pay. Nothing until you`re discovered, anyway. Always up to somebody else.
Q: Do you think that people can start to write at any point in their lives?
AST: I don`t see why not. It`s not that difficult to learn the mechanics: punctuation, grammar, etc.. There`s books all over the place on how to write for the market, ie., formula writing. I think writing, like any art, should come from the heart, the soul. I think writing, like any art, should get people to view the world in a different way, not necessarily the artist`s viewpoint, neither. Numerous times I have had different reviews concerning the same story or poem. That, is what I consider art.
Q: Do you have any advice for beginning writers and poets?
AST: Know what you want from the start. Do you want to write to please the publishers(which may get you a book contract), or do you want to write for yourself, from the heart? To tell the things the way you see it? Feel it? Sense it? Either way, it`s a long, hard struggle between creativity and insanity.
Thank you very much!
Please don`t forget to check out my latest podcast - History Cafe - available here, on the SOP!
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