Adam Gaffen interviews Alan Tucker upon the release of his latest book – A Knot in Time
Adam Gaffen for Amazing Stories: Please share a bit about your newest release, Knot in Time, without giving away any spoilers.
Alan Tucker: This book starts a new series and is science fiction, rather than the fantasy I wrote to begin with. It’s about a nineteen-year-old high school dropout who gets recruited to join an organization who can manipulate time … but I’ll let Dare introduce himself:
“My name is Darius Arthur Heisenberg, but most people call me Dare. If my last name sounds familiar, it’s probably because of my great-great uncle Werner Heisenberg. He was a physicist who came up with something called the Uncertainty Principle. But listen, Uncle Werner had no idea how uncertain things really are.
I work for a group, called the Keepers, that label themselves the custodians of time. And, believe me, time is a mess. It needs all the custodians it can get. Which is, of course, why the Keepers selected me, a nineteen-year-old high school dropout, to join them. I recently worked as a janitor for a couple months. Perfect fit, right?
Okay, it didn’t make much sense to me either, but I wasn’t in a position to turn down a steady job and a roof over my head. Besides, all I’m supposed to do is travel through time and save the universe as we know it, how hard could it be?
Yeah, better hold on. This could get ugly.”
ASM: Do you write under a pen name?
AT: I struggled with this for some time as I was going through the edits for my first book. In the end I decided it would be too confusing to create a pen name and just opted to use my real one.
ASM: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?
AT: Really any character that has some element I can relate to works for me. As an example, as a kid, I was never really into Superman. He was too perfect and could do EVERYTHING. Not very relatable for me. I was much more a Spiderman kind of kid.
ASM: Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.
AT: There’s a meme that’s been going around lately which says, “Being a writer is 5% inspiration and hard work, and 95% not being distracted by the Internet.” I find this to be true on many levels. Oh! Shiny!
ASM: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
AT: My real hope is for the common theme to be entertainment. We read fiction to escape our own lives and exist in some other place for a period of time. I have no pretentions about being a grand artist who feels the need to make social or political statements in my work. I simply want to impart some fun and write books people can enjoy.
ASM: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?
AT: I’m getting faster with practice — he can be taught! My first book, A Measure of Disorder, took about a year, start to finish. Knot in Time was about eight months. Hopefully I can continue to increase my rate of production.
ASM: Do you have to be alone to write?
AT: I definitely work best when I’m alone. Silent. I know a lot of writers who listen to music, or have a soundtrack for their books, but I find music too distracting. I like to sing along — much to the chagrin of anyone around me — and lose my train of thought.
ASM: How do you go about naming characters?
AT: Names seem to come easy for me. When I am stuck on one, or if I need one for a character who only appears in a scene or two, I pull out a phone book, close my eyes, and point to a random entry. If I don’t like it, or it doesn’t seem to fit, I rinse and repeat.
ASM: Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?
AT: I can’t think of any character that I had a picture of to start with when I wrote them. I decided to put Dare on the cover of Knot in Time since it’s written from his viewpoint only and he doesn’t ever sit down to describe himself. I had an image in mind, but it took a very long time and looking over literally thousands of photos before I found one I thought fit the bill. The facial expression was really key.
ASM: How do you pick locations for your stories?
AT: They generally grow from the story I want to tell. I have multiple universes to choose from, so I can usually find what I want somewhere in there.
ASM: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?
AT: I’m currently working on a sequel to Knot in Time. Many readers ask if I’m going to write any more of the Mother-Earth series (the fantasy books I did first). I have some ideas to continue them, so, as Jenni says at the end of book three, “Someday.”
ASM: Where can readers find out more about you and your books? (Add your web site and purchase links here)
AT: My catch all author site is: http://www.alantucker.net
From there you can access my blog, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and other fun things related to the stories. My books are available in all the major online retailers in both paperback and ebook. Knot in Time is currently only available for Kindle, but will be released in the other formats some time in March.
ASM: Thank you very much Alan!
Alan Tucker and his works can be found at these places on the web: