John, Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions regarding Twelve Doors To Ecstasy and your upcoming projects.
E&I: What is your (writing) background?
JT: Not Much. I'm a 1981 High School Graduate with no college. I started writing in 2009 and found out I had much to learn about crafting a novel, developing characters and using proper grammar. Other than joining a critique group called IWW (Internet Writers Workshop) I bought a few HS/College textbooks on English and studied the from cover to cover. It's been five years and nine published books and I'm still learning new things everyday.
E&I: Who are your favorite authors, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
JT: I've devoured every novel by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Jakes. The Stand, It, Phantoms, and the American Bicentennial Series by Jakes continue to be my favorite reads. While King is my most hands-on influence, I being several things to my novels that differ from the usual norms of literature – especially my use of inner thoughts and narrative. Not because I'm a rebel --- I am --- they just complement my particular writing style.
E&I: When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
JT: In High School. I wrote short stories and I was Editor of the school newspaper. Sadly, matters in and beyond my control derailed my college plans. For the next 27 years I supported my wives (separate, not together), kids, a few pets, and, kept my dreams buried inside until I had a chance to start writing as a hobby, and eventually for a profit.
E&I: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
JT: Yes, I do. It was a first-person story about someone named Ted pining for the love of his life. A girl who outgrew him and was ignoring him so much he decided to write her a letter about his feelings. At then end, the reader found out Ted was a Teddy Bear and the little girl who used to love him had went on to bigger and better things.
E&I: Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
JT: Usually, I will outline. Go through a book chapter by chapter and write notes about what each one will include. Then I'll start a profile of each character – name, appearance, quirks, temperament, issues, etc etc. Then I'll write. My outlines usually change over the course of my novel, so I look at it as a tool to get me started and let the Muse take me from there.
E&I: What do you find easiest about writing? What's the hardest?
JT: Easiest – developing the characters, creating distinctive dialogue, and writing itself. The hard stuff is editing, formatting, and publishing.
E&I: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
JT: My readers’ comments and reviews of my work. I love it when they ask me questions about the book they've just read. What's next for the characters? And Interviews!!!
E&I: How do you think you have evolved creatively since your first novel?
JT: Light years!!!! From writing Romancing the Fox (a 300,000 word monstrosity that featured head hopping (Different POV's in a paragraph), and formatting that made an editor send me a 500 word relatively nasty rant about people who dared to write a novel without knowing how to write a novel. It was rough to read but I took everything she said to heart and gave her the manuscript a year later – she was speechless, then made a few catty remarks to keep me humble. :-)
E&I: John, please tell us a little about your Novel, Twelve Doors To Ecstasy?
JT: Originally, it started as a idea based on the old porn flick Behind The Green Door starring Marilyn Chambers. In that movie a woman subjected herself to S&M and other degrading aspects of sex. So I came up with the concept of a woman forced to enter a house with differently colored doors and submit herself to the sexual pleasures or curses inside them. As I outlined, I came up with a reasonable plot to wrap around Tristina (Tryst) Sanyon's story, and allowed her to experience the journey with a desire to broaden her sexual horizons and leave the process with a new found respect for fornication. It was very hard to write about a woman who has to screw everyone in sight without making her look like a slut, but I think I succeeded. Throughout the book, Tryst kept her sense of humor, showed her fears, and celebrated her joys in a way that my readers have positively responded to.
E&I: What makes your book special?
JT: With apologies to my fellow Erotica writers, I found most of the books I read before taking on the task of writing my own concentrated more on the sex rather than the story. They only had two to four characters, a few sex scenes, and a slim plot thread to tie the book together. Twelve Doors to Ecstasy has a unique plot, over twenty characters, and a dozen or so assorted sex scenes and scenarios. It also has a romantic sub-plot, a danger-filled sub-plot, and a light, humorous interplay between Tryst and her co-stars. Basically, it's like a Skinemax movie brought to life with better characters and uncensored scenes.
E&I: How long did it take it to write the book?
JT: From development to publishing, about five months. Not that quick considering some of my peers can write 3-5 in the same amount of time. That's just how I roll.
E&I: How do you approach cover design?
JT: I'm in a situation where I can't afford to pony up 30-50 bucks for a professionally done cover. For Twelve Doors I bought a picture of a man and woman in a seductive pose for five bucks and did a little Microsoft Paint for the wording. For most of my other covers, I've relied on the kindness of my friends, or the crappy book covers created by Amazon.
E&I: Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
JT: I hardly ever have one project going. Currently, I'm writing a romantic dramedy called eTernalMates, an erotic thriller called Vergene, and a sequel to my novels – The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight and Romancing the Fox ( The Little Girl Who Cried at Midnight, and Chasing the Fox.) eTernalMates is about an engaged couple (one an investigative reporter) who throw themselves into a dating organization that guarantees to introduce them to their soul mate. They hope the computer system matches them together, thus proving they're meant for each other. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Vergene is a revenge-based novel about a young woman getting payback on an older woman who ruined her childhood.
E&I: Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
JT: I think e-books will eventually rise to a 50% share of the market but paperbacks and hard covers will still pull in the business, especially with the more well-known writers. Right now, Independents are the red-headed step-child of literature. I really hope that bias vanishes over the next ten years, but it all depends on Amazon staying strong against the large publishing companies.
E&I: When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
JT: Watching television – Game of Thrones, Orphan Black and Big Brother are my faves. I also dabble on Facebook a little too much, and I love making playlists on Spotify. It's a good thing I don't have a main squeeze. I'm not sure if I could fit her in. :-D
E&I: What are your thoughts on social media as an author and as a way to promote your books?
JT: Facebook is a lot of work but it's a doable way to get sales. So far, Goodreads is a mass of confusion to me. I'm new on Twitter but it's proven to be a very successful alternative for me. My new blog gets my name and face out there as I use it to promote me and other authors. Tumblr and Pinterest are next on my agenda to discover.
E&I: How has blogs contributed to your success?
JT: As I said above, it gets my name and face out to the masses, gets me friends and peers that return the favor, and gets me free books sometimes.
E&I: What do your fans mean to you?
JT: They mean the world to me. They keep me writing. I have a dozen who treat me like a king, and a few that treat me like an exiled but still lovable king. They're not exactly a street team, but they'll always like, share, and tweet my posts if I ask.
E&I: How can readers connect with you?
JT: Just send me an IM or a Twitter reply and I'm yours for the next hour. I love to talk books, my books, and sports.
My Facebook page ----- http://www.facebook.com/hutt1234
My Blog ------- http://johntuckermustlive.wordpress.com
My Twitter ------ @Hutt1234John
About the Author
A life-long Georgia native, John D. Tucker has burned through three wives, raised two sons, and has persevered despite being brought up in a wonderfully dysfunctional family.
He is a multi-genre author with psychological thrillers (DIVISIVE, THE FIFTH GAME, AND SPLITS IN THE SKIN), a Romantic Dramedy Series called BEMUSED AND BEDEVILED (TERPSICHORE IN LOVE, THE MARK OF CAIN, and THE SEVENTH SEAL), a young adult Mystery (THE LITTLE GIRL YOU KISS GOODNIGHT), an Adult Contemporary novel (ROMANCING THE FOX) and the Erotica sizzler (TWELVE DOORS TO ECSTASY).
He plans to release five more books over the course of the 2014 - the final chapter in the Rask Trilogy - THE EIGHTH FAMILY, a Hostage Drama called THE WISDOM OF LUNATICS, a Contemporary Romance - eTERNALMATES, the second book in the Steph Linder Trilogy - THE LITTLE GIRL WHO CRIED AT MIDNIGHT, and a collection of short stories entitled FIVE FORKS IN THE ROAD.
He is a proud member of IWW (The Internet Writers Workshop) which he highly recommends to aspiring authors.
The Fifth Game
Splits In The Skin
Terpsichore In Love
The Mark of Cain
The Seventh Seal
The Little Girl You Kiss Goodnight
Romancing The Fox
Twelve Doors Of Ecstasy