Vincent Tuckwood is a story-teller working in fiction, song and verse. At any given point in time, he’s proud to be a father, husband, son, brother, cousin and friend to the people who mean the world to him.
He is the author of the novels Escalation, Family Rules, Karaoke Criminals and Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies? as well as the 2010 poetry collection, Garbled Glittering Glamours. His screenplays are Team Building and the screen adaptation of Family Rules, Inventing Kenny.
Vince regularly connects with his audience at VinceT.net, often writing poetry in response to their prompts, and encourages everyone to get in touch there.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting away from the distractions. I was in the final years of my corporate life, splitting time between home in Connecticut and New York City. With two young kids who I didn’t see for much of the year, Family Rules was often pushed to one side. I lost count of the nights when I would write into the early hours of the morning just to get it done, and because the story wouldn’t let me sleep.
Funnily enough, the episodic nature of the story and the writing works though. It allows us to grow into Kenny’s character rather than simply reading about it.
Still, having written six novels that way, I wouldn’t choose to do it that way again!
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I’ve told stories my whole life, but I started my first novel, Of The Tribe, when I was 20 or so and it was finished a year later. Following that I wrote another two novels in a four-year period before putting the pen down for five years – that’s a long story, but suffice to say when I re-emerged I was ready to write Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies? That became my first book, published in 2003.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (if any)?
I’d tried to shop my first three books but got no interest from agents or publishers – I don’t blame them, none of the books was good enough to be published. When I finished Do Sparrows Eat Butterflies?, self-publishing was becoming more easily available, and a more viable option rather than vanity money-trap, so I went that route via a self-publishing provider, iUniverse. Now, I’ve gone even further down that path, producing my books from idea to product myself, which is great.
Have you written a book that you have not been able to get published? If so, can you share a little about it with us?
I mentioned these just now. My first three novels: Of The Tribe, Jeremiah Whispers and Jumbo. None of them are strong enough to publish in their current form. I was learning my craft and, while they are cohesive, I’m a different writer now than I was then.
Of The Tribe was a vampire tale, Jeremiah Whispers a metaphysical homage to Clive Barker, and Jumbo a take on the media and its fascination with quasi-messianic characters in the midst of tragedy. The triggering event in Jumbo is a 747 crashing in Central London and, bearing in mind this was written six years before 9/11, when the planes struck the twin towers, I just gave up any idea that it would get published. With a complete rewrite to reflect 9/11, it could have current credibility – but, to be honest, I’ve not got much energy to revisit that path, not when there are new stories to tell.
How did you come up with the title?
Family Rules went through several working titles while I was writing it. But as the story coalesced around Kenny’s distorted sense of reality and the fact that this was born from his having two families, one real, one on television, it just felt right to name it after the television show on which he was raised: ‘Family Rules!’
It’s also a nice play on words, reading as either ‘The rules of the family’ or ‘My family is awesome… they rule!’ – neither of which are the case in this story!
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
That’s a dangerous question to ask me – I can rattle on for hours! I guess I haven’t mentioned my poetry here. On my Facebook story-teller page, I often ask for one word prompts for a poem which I then publish at http://VinceT.net – it’s great fun.
So, in closing, I’d like to invite everyone to come join me in this crazy journey of story, song and verse.Powered by Sidelines