TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
JRT: I find it next to impossible to write before 3 pm. There are magic mornings where the muse is a knockin at 7 or 8 am, but normally if I am writing at that time it is because I have come from the otherside of it and have been up all night. I am a night owl. Always have been. My preferred schedule in life would be to go to sleep around 6am and to wake at noon.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
JRT: My favorite writers would include Laurell K. Hamilton and Andrew Vachss. They are the epitome of both styles I love to read and write. One is urban fantasy (LKH) and the other is crime (AV).
For influence, hands down Lilith Saintcrow. Her Jill Kismet books (which everyone should read) are just distilled awesome poured in a glass made of spectacular. I love those books. They are dark and gritty and violent. And her character is just as flawed as Deacon Chalk is.
I also try to be influenced by Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD. It has the most stunning use of language. It is a breathtaking book.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
JRT: A totally reformed pantser. BLOOD AND BULLETS was pantsed like a sunnuvabitch. I just made it up as I went along. No idea where the journey would take me. Now I outline. It's not a detailed outline, more a list of the big scenes and some cool bits thrown in that I want to make sure are included in each book. It makes my books much stronger.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
JRT: Keeping the color of people's eyes straight. Seriously. It's those little details that trip you up. Someone in BLOOD AND BULLETS was apparently wearing colored contacts when they first come on the page because their eyes change from green to blue! LOL. What can you do? You roll with it.
TQ: Describe Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter 1) in 140 characters or less.
JRT: Big. Damn. Hero. (Thanks Joss!)
TQ: What inspired you to write Blood and Bullets?
JRT: Well, it's the book I wanted to read. I searched for a book that was urban fantasy and was dark and “realistic” but everyone of them I read pulled the punches. They ran right up to the line and then pulled back and softened the blow. I wanted a book that would show just how damaged someone would be who had an encounter with monsters. A hero that, while they ARE a hero, is DEEPLY flawed and kinda screwed up.
I couldn't find it so I wrote it.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Blood and Bullets?
JRT: My whole life has been research. I grew up loving not only fantasy books like Robert E. Howard's Conan and violent gun-filled books like Don Pendelton's Mack Bolan series; I also grew up devouring all books I could find on mythology, monsters, folklore, and magick. I love the stuff. I have a fascination with religion, mythology, and folklore that has been fed for almost 4 decades now. Plus it has been spiced with literally hundreds of great fantasy and urban fantasy books so all that crazy story stew is just bubbling in my brain all the time. This is your first serving, there is more to come.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
JRT: Deacon is the easiest character to write. There is a lot of me in Deacon. Now I am not a monster hunter and I (Thank God) have not lost my family but I can imagine what that kind of trauma would do to me. With nothing to live for I think I would probably become a very dangerous person to be around. I take that unfathomable pain, run it through my imagination and you have Deacon Chalk, a monster hunter who is a hero at his core, but has suffered a loss so big it gives him a death wish.
The hardest would be Tiff. It has been a long time since I was an innocent girl. LOL.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Blood and Bullets?
JRT: There are a lot. I am really happy with the book. I can't think of a scene I dislike or would change. But the one I am most happy with today is the scene with Gregorios. I think I really captured some creepy and disturbing stuff alongside some very human emotional themes. I may be reading too much into my own writing, but I really like it.
TQ: What's next?
JRT: I am knee deep in finishing book 3 (BLOOD AND MAGICK) and then I have to write the 3rd e-novella in the series (tentatively titled OVERLORD OF THE FLESH). After that is a break from the Deaconverse. I want to write a crime novel. Then it will either be another Deacon book or possibly a new urban fantasy project, either a stand alone or a trilogy, and then a new Deacon book.
I would like to get set for 1 Deacon book a year and 1 other style novel a year and fill the rest with short fiction and writing comic books. (You hear that DC Comics? Hit me up, I've got some stellar ideas for your universe!)
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
JRT: No, thank YOU for having me. I love it around here.
About Deacon Chalk Occult Bounty Hunter
Blood and Bullets
Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter 1
Kensington, February 7, 2012
Mass Market Papberback, 352 pages
Since hunting down the monster who took the lives of his wife and children five years ago, occult bounty-hunter Deacon Chalk has lived by only one rule.
He does not work for the monsters. He kills them.
So why would a vampire try to hire him as protection against another monster hunter? After enforcing his only rule Deacon goes to meet the target, a vampire slayer named Nyteblade. Professional courtesy demands he tell this Nyteblade the vampires are hiring people to kill him. Deacon finds the vampire slayer waiting in an alley.
Waiting to stake him.
He discovers that Nyteblade is a bumbling, fumbling, wanna-be instead of a badass vampire hunter. Someone who needs saving from monsters instead of the other way around. This is proven when a horde of vampires descend and he has to escape while trying to keep Nyteblade alive.
Someone has set Deacon up. Someone wants him dead.
Someone should have sent more vampires.
Bound and determined, Deacon will find out who tried to kill him no matter how many bloodsuckers, were-spiders, cursed immortals, undead strippers, or insanely powerful hell-bitches he has to wade through.
It's going to be a long night.
That Thing at the Zoo
Kensington , December 27, 2011
Shredding monsters is his stock and trade. He sniffs them out, tracks them down, and corners them. End of story. But when the tables are turned, expect the unexpected. . .
Knowing his enemy is a rule Deacon Chalk swears by. But he's never seen anything like whatever is leaving the Atlanta Zoo's most dangerous predators bloodless, skinned, and hanging high in treetops. And he’s only got till sunrise to keep it from turning the entire city into a slaughterhouse. Now Deacon is in zoo lockdown with a handful of staffers to save. His zookeeper backup has more guts than monster-hunting experience. And the only chance Deacon has to run this thing to unholy ground is to risk unleashing his darkest, most uncontrollable instincts. . .
Blood and SilverDeacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter 2
Kensington, August 7, 2012
About James R. Tuck
James is a former bouncer and has been a professional tattoo artist for over 15 years. His tattoo work has been published in national tattoo magazines and he owns Family Tradition Tattoo in Marietta, Ga. He lives near there with a wonderful wife, three wonderful children, and six dogs of varying degrees of wonderfulness.
What: One commenter will win a copy of Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk Occult Bounty Hunter 1) from The Qwillery.
How: Leave a comment answering the following question:
Who is/are your favorite monster slayer(s)? (books, movies, etc.)
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Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, February 14, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*