Giveaway copy. Enter by Sept. 20th!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Swimming the Echo by Brian L. Tucker

Swimming the Echo

by Brian L. Tucker

Giveaway ends September 20, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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19th of September

Chattanooga Book Signing, Thursday!


Book Signing with Brian L. Tucker

Star Line Books loves to have local writers in the shop, and Brian Tucker is no exception. A great friend of Star Line, Brian will be joining us in the shop for a reading and signing of his most recent novel, Swimming the Echo.  Born in Monticello, KY, Brian is an immense talent, who has lived in the foothills of the Appalachians, Houston, and eastern North Carolina. His fiction has appeared in more than twenty publications. He is an alumnus of the Eastern Kentucky University Bluegrass Writers Studio and was a finalist for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature Award for his collection, Baptisms & Dogs. He currently lives in Chattanooga, TN with his wife, LeahSWIMMING THE ECHO, was released May 30th by eLectio Publishing.

 

About the Book:

It’s an adventure of a lifetime. When a summer job to explore Mammoth Cave lands in Cade Rainy’s lap, he doesn’t think twice. The teen from Southern Kentucky makes a break for it. But when he finds his dad is connected to a man working at Mammoth, Cade discovers there’s more to this trip than meets the eye. AND THE CAVE IS JUST THE START. Cade sets out to map the real route of twisted lies through fissures and stalactites, battling claustrophobia and bats.

EXPLORE. ADVENTURE. DON’T DIE.

 

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18th of September

2 Days Left to Enter to Win


2 Days Left to Enter to Win a Copy of my book, SWIMMING THE ECHO, at:

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/252610-swimming-the-echo

Also, select date – Reading/Signing at Star Line Books this Thursday, 9/21 @ Star Line Books – Chattanooga, TN. Time – 6pm.

See you there!

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22nd of August

If One Person could design your Book Cover, who would it be?


 

One artist to design your book.

For me, that’s a loaded question, because some of the best covers (EVER) have been released in just the past 3-5 years!

What’s your favorite cover of all-time?

And I’m not exaggerating. To the point where I lose focus of content and forget about the story itself.

I mean, I know we’ve gone gaga over visual images. Instagram is just one culprit. (Thank you 85 filters through which to view the same photo.)

Example #1: Here’s a cover I love from the terrific Seraphina series by Robert Beatty:

Set on the Biltmore Estate grounds, this novel has extreme beauty in its design and Disney Hyperion gets credit for that one.

#2, there’s Sara Pennypacker’s children’s book, Pax, with a beautiful illustration of the book’s main character by none other than Jon Klassen.

#3, To take it a step further, Klassen does another amazing job on Kenneth Oppel’s The Nest, with this amazing image:

 

#4, And finally, I love the cover design of this one by artist, Júlia Sardà. Absolutely breathtaking and spooky:

 

We love images so much that graphic novels are now outselling books. Yes. The graphic novel is outselling larger, fictional works.

Even better, the novel is being condensed and turned into the graphic novel form almost as soon as it’s released.

I’m happy people are reading. Even if the content is getting condensed year-to-year.

 

If one person could design your book, who would it be?

 

 

 

 

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9th of August

The Time Given


Last weekend offered something all of us pray for, whether it’s an audible, breathed prayer or not:

Time with people we love and care for and MISS as the clock pulls us forward

My hometown library hosted a book signing, and Lindsey S. Frantz (a childhood best friend) and I were able to attend, and sign, our newest works. That in itself was a great blessing. To be able to write and share our stories with others. But the best was still yet to come that day.

We had friends and family in attendance, when so many other things were happening in the lake community of Monticello. It meant so much that people chose to stop by and say, “Hello!”

We saw people we hadn’t seen since the days Monticello High School stood three stories high on Cave Street. And that in itself was also like walking into the wonderful past.

I saw teachers I respected and still talk to this day. Vicki York Davis. Carolyn Harris. Betty Hyden. Allyson Upchurch Tucker. Beth Brewerton. And family was there. And best friends. The library gave us a solid 2 hour window. And the reunion saw people staying well beyond that.

Then, the night held more reunions with best friends opening up their home in Somerset and allowing all of us to eat dinner together. And Sunday permitted my wife and I to see my grandparents, for the first time in many years. My brother, sister, and their families were also in town. I was able to see nine-month-old, Henry, for the first time.

Before we left, Mom packed up yellow and green tomatoes from her garden and put them in our car.

We were exhausted arriving in Chattanooga. But the time permitted us to see a microcosm of what I imagine heaven to be. It was worth it.

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29th of June

2017 Writerly Happenings


Hi, folks!

Here are 3 more exciting “writerly” events happening this summer:

 

“If everybody read Wendell Berry, I believe we’d have a shot at being more decent.”

 

 

Hope to see you at one, or all of these times!

 

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6th of June

Q&A: Brian L. Tucker


Questions

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

  • In 3 years I’ve seen 3 distinct stories. I’m never sure where the next one will go. Young adult tone has remained from Wheelman (2016) to Swimming the Echo  (2017).

 

What is the first book that made you cry?

  • Honestly. A Walk to Remember. Please don’t tell anyone. I read it one evening and woke up sick as a dog. I mean, how sad is that.

 

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

  • I wouldn’t say practice. I don’t want to get into that. But, nepotism probably.

 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

  • New ideas energize me. But, the editing makes me want to stay away from new projects altogether.

 

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

  • Thinking the MFA (like any degree) is instant success. It prepares you. But, that is the starting point.

 

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

  • Unless you’re John Cheever, a big ego should be left alone.

 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

  • Seinfeld re-runs

 

Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

  • Sometimes. Reading a string of 3 or 4 great (or awful) works will make me hit the pause button on reading.

 

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

  • With a common name like mine, I thought about Jumping Jack Flash a few times.

 

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

  • Melville said originality was everything (my paraphrase). I think a mighty theme is the way we should all try to write.

 

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

  • Not a satisfied one. Writers who try to sell are never digging as deep as the blood pouring from a poet’s arm.

 

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

  • The Bluegrass Writers Studio at EKU was where I learned to share the load. It’s a community. It works best that way.

 

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

  • I’d like for them to. Seton, Kentucky is a nice slice of home for me, but I like travel stories and taking that adventure with each set of characters each time.

 

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

  • Write outside with a cold drink while overlooking the water. Forget that coffeehouse business.

 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

  • Story collections hardly ever sell. I learned to publish first. Ask questions second.

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

  • Buying a Macbook to do more writing for the next next and next works.

 

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

  • I really don’t have any that come to mind.

 

What did you do with your first advance?

  • If I wrote non-fiction and this happened (an advance), I’d buy a bunch of obscure candy bars and share them with people. Cracker Barrel has a bunch of stuff like Zero bars, Zagnut bars, and Goo Goo Clusters. It’d be fun to do that and watch peoples’ expressions.

 

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

  • My third grade teacher, Mrs. Carolyn Harris let us type stories. She sent mine to me just last year. I remember that experience favorably.

 

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

  • Poets & Writers and Newpages.com are good ones

 

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

  • The Dollmaker. How that one isn’t required reading is beyond me.

 

How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

  • Show don’t tell. Everyone benefits from stories like that.

 

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

  • Huh?

 

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

  • 3 currently.

 

What does literary success look like to you?

  • Thanking God for the chance to do it again tomorrow. Not being a weirdo.

 

What’s the best way to market your books?

  • Be yourself.

 

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

  • Research isn’t my thing, but I learn a lot when I give topics the attention they deserve. For example, I learned that the Dark Star cave beneath Uzbekistan might be the world’s deepest cave (after doing research for Swimming the Echo).

 

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

  • It can be. Especially if the topic is one of passion and love.

 

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

  • Getting inside their head and staying put for months on end.

 

How many hours a day do you write?

  • <1. I’m a slow writer. I often don’t write unless the premise is there. Then, I just go with it.

 

What did you edit out of this book?

  • Swimming the Echo saw some large cuts. Getting the story focused on the cave systems in Mammoth. And it still took almost half the novel to get the characters all settled there.

 

Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

  • Anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Magical surrealistic fiction is astounding.

 

What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

  • Don’t slander them. Don’t let them take over. They work best for me as tertiary influences like Lincoln in Doctorow’s Ragtime.

 

How do you select the names of your characters?

  • Not sure. I like names that roll off the tongue. Monk McHorning in The Natural Man is one of my favorites.

 

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

  • Haha

 

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

  • As long as their honest, what can I say.

 

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

  • Sure. Hometown references. Childhood nostalgia is there. Friends have called me on it and said Thanks.

 

What was your hardest scene to write?

  • In Swimming the Echo, it was one of betrayal. That is always one of the hardest.

 

Do you Google yourself?

  • Do people do that?

 

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

  • Nothing. I think each person is on a journey (life-long) when they write.

 

What is your favorite childhood book?

  • Holes is special.

 

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

  • Sitting down in isolation. I’m a space cadet. Being alone in a room, or even outside by myself can be torture.

 

Does your family support your career as a writer?

  • Definitely. And read mushy first, second, and third drafts.

 

If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

  • Not listen to so much metal.

 

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

  • If the creative juices are flowing, one month to two.

 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

  • For me – no. I’d call it writer’s laziness. Not wanting to sit in the chair and delve into new ideas is where I reside mostly. Writing makes me feel like a misfit.
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31st of May

New Book – Swimming the Echo


The new book came in a wave of anticipation from my publisher yesterday. Blasting comparisons to summer reads for teens, young adults, and beyond! I was ecstatic to see it go up on their site first yesterday at: ELectioPublishing.

Swimming the Echo is near and dear as it encompasses parts of southern Kentucky, including caves like Mammoth. It makes me appreciate the memories of exploring at a younger age. I hope it does the same for you.

  • With ELectio’s site you get a FREE ebook of Swimming the Echo*

*with every paperback copy ordered

  • Today, Amazon has only the ebook listed for sale. You can find it here. (Reviews are possible to write by scrolling and selecting ‘Write a customer review’ on their page.)
  • Barnes & Noble also has the ebook (Nook book) available online at: B&N.

Other retailers will add the book to their databases in the coming days!

I’m thrilled for those already sharing the book and reading it! Feel free to post pictures online of your travels with this one. Thank you.

-Brian

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9th of May

NEW Book, New Cover Design


As promised earlier on social media, my new book cover for Swimming the Echo is available for viewing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and right here. The actual book will go live on Amazon, eLectio Publishing, and in brick and mortar stores on May 30th. I’m thrilled to share this update.

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