Monday, May 28, 2012

Author Interview: Si Tucker

by Sylvia Ney

Si Tucker is a graduate of Northwestern State University with a degree in journalism. Along with writing, he is also interested in economics, art and history. He lives in Lake Charles. You can contact him at

1. How did you develop an interest in writing? The answer to that is a combination of 1) reading so much and enjoying most of it, 2) a premature obsession with art, film and literature that has, somewhat to my chagrin, continued into my twenties, and 3) a fascination with characters, themes and stories. Plus I was terrible at sports.

2. What authors do you admire? My favorite writers are Don DeLillo, Richard Ford and David Foster Wallace. I probably would never have wanted to be a writer without reading their work, along with some of F. Scott Fitzgerald, most of Hemingway, Joyce, Dostoevsky, Bukowski and pretty much all of the Nabokov I can get my hands on. I don’t think I could do without Salinger or Raymond Carver either. That said, I think I’m in some way influenced by every writer or book that I read, including the ones I don’t particularly enjoy.

3. What music, places, people inspire you? I think everything is a safe answer. Late nights in strange towns, late nights in familiar towns, and walking around anywhere. Tall buildings, city lights from across water, cabins and mountains. Aside from authors I’m inspired by a few filmmakers; a good part of me wants to be one. Controversial people, events that draw large crowds. One particular experience: I pulled something close to an all-nighter writing a lab report. I think it was about enzymes or something. The window in front of my laptop was open, it had just rained and you could hear cars making that shushing sound they make when they drive over wet roads, and I had some Tom Waits playing. And I thought: this is the best writing experience I’ve ever had, it’s all I’ve thought and wanted the writing experience to be. It just so happened the report I was writing was completely uninteresting.

4. When working on your current MS did you complete an outline first or did you just start writing? I wrote two paragraphs, just some thoughts. Since it wasn’t related to anything else—any other project I was working on at the time—I put it on the backburner and just about forgot about it. Then I got some direction someplace and wrote an outline. So far those first two paragraphs haven’t made it word for word into the manuscript but part of what this particular project is about was touched on in those two paragraphs and the general feeling I want to have for the book is there.

5. What are you reading now? A biography of Vincent van Gogh called Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. It’s really good.

6. Classic you’ve been meaning to read? There are so many. I haven’t read much “classic” German literature and always wondered why it’s so rarely brought up in school. So, out of the many old bricks I’ve wanted to tackle, The Magic Mountain and Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann are two.

7. Book you borrowed and never returned? A collection of just about all of Raymond Carver’s stuff. I mean, would you have returned it?

8. Favorite book from childhood? William Joyce’s A Day with Wilbur Robinson, plus basically everything by Shel Silverstein and Chris van Allsburg (especially The Giving Tree and Just a Dream, respectively).

9. Strangest dream involving a book, writer, or literary character? I had a dream that I was laughing at something with Charles Bukowski. I don’t remember what we were laughing at. All I remember from the dream is that one of us had just said something very funny (probably Bukowski), or we were laughing at something happening off-screen. I think Bukowski commented on it, still laughing, sort of rubbing the joke in, and we were both very happy that each of us had gotten the joke and no one else seemed to get it (although no one else seemed to be around). It’s one of my favorite dreams. I don’t think there is a lot of footage of Charles Bukowski in a happy mood, let alone laughing, but I have that image. I’ve seen Charles Bukowski laughing.

10. Most anticipated upcoming release? An essay collection by David Foster Wallace called Both Flesh and Not. There’s also a biography of him coming out in a few months that I’d like to read.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the group, Si. I enjoyed learning more about you through the interview.