Friday, November 18, 2011

Author Interview - Dax Tucker

Welcome Dax! Here's Dax's author interview, I can't wait to read his exciting new trilogy of epic poetry!

1.) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? As early as nine years old I enjoyed writing; I would make my own homemade books and volunteer to read them in front of the class. Later, during the tumultuous adolescent years, writing saw me through times of depression and frustration. But it wasn’t until about a year ago that I decided to take this lifelong interest and turn it into a professional endeavor.
2.) What type of genre do you write in? The genre I have chosen to write in is the seemingly lost art of epic poetry. Epic poetry is an entire story written in verse form. Some famous examples are Dante’s Inferno, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, and Virgil’s Aeneid.
3.) What inspires you to write in this genre? The challenge or writing in this style is what inspired me. When you write an epic poem, not only do you have to write a compelling story, but you also have to stay true to the verse form. In the case of my epic poem trilogy, I write in terza rima style which means every other line ending must rhyme, and I also chose to make every line perfectly ten syllables! Additionally, you will note that I have placed a question in every 4th stanza. So as you can see there are quite a lot of requirements to remain true to the form as I also remain true to telling the story. On average I would just be able to craft 14 lines a day. But many times, a challenging as it was, writing in this style would also guide me to find a unique way of telling the story that I may not have considered if I wrote in prose style.
4.) Where to you get your ideas for your writing? Ideas come to me in epiphanies throughout the day at any time, and so I always make sure to keep a pen and paper with me wherever I go. Too many times I have had a great idea for the story I was writing and I would think, this is such a good idea there is no way I will forget that before I can get home and write it down …wrong! If I could only give one helpful suggestion to aspiring writers, it would be to always have a pen with you, even by your bedside at night. Great ideas have a way of hitting you out of the blue, and you want to be prepared to capture them when they do.
5.) Who are your favorite authors and why? Like many authors I have read hundreds of books and I have such an eclectic interest that there are too many favorite authors of mine to name. But just off of the top of my head I would say Douglas Adam’s for his ingenious humor in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series; Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games was a captivating dystopia read and I hope the upcoming movie will do it justice; I have tremendous respect for J.K. Rowling, an inspiration to all authors who are struggling, and her Harry Potter series which sparked a whole new generation of readers; Markus Zusak is a master of poetic prose as evidenced in his novel, The Book Thief; I love the down to earth story telling of both Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees. I know I am leaving many more out but I think that that is a testament to the wonderful world of books as there are so many one could never run out of good reading material in their lifetime.
6.) In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great? The thing I most admire in a story is the ability of a writer to tie seemingly random events and people together into a final climactic whole. And the icing on the cake is if they can convey these people and events with skillful metaphors and witty humor. A great story does not have to be long in word count, but it needs to make every word count. I like the anonymous quote about how long a paragraph should be, “A paragraph is like a woman’s skirt, it should be long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep your interest.”
7.) What activities do you undertake for inspiration? I really enjoy weightlifting and playing chess, both of these activities I find generate great blood flow to the brain and I get some of my best ideas during these times.
8.) Do you belong to any writing communities, or critique groups? I have an extensive writing community I interact with on Twitter and Facebook. Social media is a great blessing for authors in that there are so many helpful people and resources available right at your fingertips 24/7. Sometimes I wonder if the great authors of the past could have been even better if they had the same resources available to them then as we do now.
9.) Do you have a day job? Yes, and thankful to have one in these economically troubled times, but I would love to make writing my day job!
10.) If you could do it over again, what aspects of the writing/submission process would you change before becoming published? I don’t think I would change much in the way of the writing/submission process, but I am learning more everyday about the promotion process. Effective promotions seems to be the most important aspect as you could write the best book in the world, but if you can’t get the word out about it and get people to read it, then it won’t matter.
11.) What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it? The Leaf Catcher is the first volume in the Traveling Box Trilogy and is available at and in both paperback and e-book formats. This first book takes place in a late 16th century European village. The second book will take place in a near future prison system, and the final book takes place in the distant future when the world is dominated by viruses and AI. There is something for everyone in this trilogy, a timeless tale that explores the human condition and our will to survive.
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  1. Really enjoy Dax's work. We recently featured "The Leaf Catcher" on 10 Day Book Club. We look forward to his future books in the series. Nice to know more about him through your blog.

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