Monday, October 20, 2014

Clancy Tucker ~ The writer

Last month I focused on Clancy Tucker the Photographer and this month I feature THE WRITER. Clancy one of my favorite bloggers is an AMAZING creative force.

Clancy Tucker writes young adult fiction for reluctant readers but has also achieved success as a poet and photographer. He has lived in four countries, speaks three languages, has photography accepted and published in books in the USA (Innocent Dreams, Endless Journeys & A Trip Down Memory Lane), photographic work registered with the International Library of Photography, published in literary magazines and has written more than 90 short stories.
     Clancy’s been short-listed and highly commended in writing contests: 2006 , 2007 & 2011 National Literary Awards, Raspberry & Vine (twice), Positive words, Australian Writers On-Line, Shaggy Sheep Tale, The Cancer Council (2005 & 2009) and had ten short stories published in literary magazines (Page Seventeen, Branching Out & Positive Words), newspapers (The Standard, Mountain Views & The Advocate), written articles for Kid Magazine in the USA and has won a poetry prize to name a life-size statue designed by renowned Belgian sculptor, Bruno Torfs. In 2010, Clancy was awarded a two-week NEEF (National Education & Employment Foundation)Mentorship Program conducted at Stonnington Libraries in Melbourne. Clancy is now a full time writer but has enjoyed interesting life experiences, including work as a speechwriter, public servant, fulltime union official, farmer, truck driver and small business operator. He has worked with street kids and draws on life’s experiences to write entertaining stories for young adults.
    The toughest judges of his work, other than publishers, are his fourteen readers - kids aged from 8 - 17, some of them previously reluctant readers. Most are girls, more than half of them come from broken homes and all have a diverse background -  Muslim, Aboriginal and Christian. Clancy's young readers read his manuscripts, complete a simple questionnaire and rate the story out of 10. At the very top of the questionnaire are two bold words: BE HONEST! Clancy values their opinions. Why not? They are his clients; the ones who will hopefully purchase and read his books. Below, you will see some of the comments they've made on their questionnaires.






Boo is a seven-year-old Thai girl whose father is dying. She must leave home and travel 1700 kilometres to live in an orphanage, ‘Pa Joe’s Place’, run by a foreigner (farang). With a bag of clothes, some food and a mysterious envelope addressed to ‘Pa Joe’, she endures an adventurous train trip to Songkhla. On the way, she meets influential people who know Pa Joe, and a wise monk who gives Boo a lucky amulet.

Boo has survived four life-threatening situations since she left home: a train crash, snakebite, tsunami and a fire. Suddenly she takes ill and is rushed to hospital. Will her lucky amulet help her to survive?

Outstanding Review

"Hoei, Boo! With ‘Pa Joe’s Place’, Clancy Tucker has created an extraordinary piece of writing. From the first page, I fell in love with little Boo’s unpretentious yet endearing character, as will every reader, whether young or young at heart. Wherever Boo goes, she touches people in a special way. Told from a child’s perspective, the story doesn’t have much of a plot, but what Clancy Tucker offers will tug at every reader’s heartstrings, which more than makes up for that small deficiency. The novel has superb writing with excellent narrative and dialogue; a jewel. This book can be read more than once, revealing flashes of pleasure that may have been missed before.
 ‘Pa Joe’s Place’ also plunges the reader into aspects of Thai culture and the harsh life of its people struggling to survive in an environment tourists perceive as idyllic. Given this glimpse, the reader will be tempted to visit Songkhla for himself and see that land through Boo’s eyes. The ending is sure to leave the reader tearful. This is a story no one will forget soon.
I enjoyed reading this book immensely; a pleasure to come across such a work, having reviewed some very ordinary efforts."
 Stefan Vucak


Winner of two awards in the
Australian National Literary Awards: 2007 & 2011

"Gunnedah Hero" by Clancy Tucker is a great historic read about a young fourteen year old boy discovering the family history by means of old documents, left to him by his grandfather.
Gunnedah Danson reads the diary from 1910, a time when his great-great-grandfather looked after a large herd of cattle at a time of a most serious drought.

That story is written with excellent attention to detail and it gives great insight into farming and herding of the times and is written with a great narrative and manages to hold the attention easily.
The story of the past consumes Gunnedah but the story is more complex than this. He reads all this while staying at a family cattle station where problems of their own occur.

This is a great and insightful read for all who love history. I found it particularly rewarding because it covers a place and an era I knew little about. The two heroes are both very likeable and their stories are very intriguing.

The book seems aimed at younger readers but has lots for adults like myself. A well rounded and very enjoyable read.”

Review by Christoph Fischer
“Smokey Danson was a legend in his own time. Known as the Gunnedah Hero, Smokey was given the impressive moniker as a young boy while driving a herd of cattle up the long `paddock,' in the early 1900s.

Clancy Tucker deftly tells the tale of the Gunnedah Hero through the eyes of another young boy living in the present day. Gunnedah `Gunnie' Danson is the 14 yr old great great grandson of Smokey Danson. Gunnie has been given a school assignment to write about drought and its effect on farmers and local economy. Returning home from school one day, he is given a gift from his Grandfather. The gift is a manuscript and an envelope, which cannot be opened until Gunnie reads the adventure that his great-great-grandfather had back in 1911 during the Australian drought.

Join Gunnie as reads the story and travels with his great-great-Grandfather up the long paddock with his herd of cattle. You will learn how Smokey managed to survive the wilderness while taking care of the cattle with only the help of three dedicated dogs. Finally, you will learn how Smokey became known as the Gunnedah Hero, and how an envelope from the past, delivered to a young boy in the present, will change the future of the Gunnedah Hero's descendents.

Clancy Tucker weaves a wonderful story that will introduce young boys here in the US to a life lived in Australia at the turn of the last century. Clancy includes a glossary of Aussie terms which many here in the states will not be familiar with, but what fun to be introduced to something so very new and different.
This book should not be missed. I highly recommend it.”

Review by J E Rogers USA
“Gunnedah Hero was an enjoyable read, could read the whole book in one sitting as there was a desire to know what happened each day in the life of Gunnie. Shame the story didn't go further, would have like to read more of the great-grandfather's life and also into the current period but I guess that is a sign of a good book, I wanted more.”
Review by VJP

Manuscripts completed:

'Gunnedah Hero' (c) - Smokey Danson's journey up the 'long paddock' - drought in 1910.
* 'Highly Commended' as an unpublished manuscript in the FAW Jim Hamilton Award - 2007 National Literary Awards.
* 'Commended' in the FAW Christina Stead Award - 2011 National Literary Awards.
Comment by reader 'COCT' : "Your stories are always great because they have great
beginnings, excellent middles and the best endings." Rating: 10
Comment by reader 'M': "The start captured me. The end made me cry and the middle amazed me." Rating: 8
Comment by reader 'GP': "Bloody sensational. Started reading at 8.30am and finished it
at 11.25 pm. I could smell the gumleaves." Rating: 10
'A Drover's Blanket' (c) - sequel to 'Gunnedah Hero' (c).
Comment by reader 'R': "Love ya work!!" Rating: 10
'Bold Journey' (c) - an Italian migrant's journey to Australia.
Comment by reader 'S': "I loved the awesome ending - didn't expect it." Rating: 8
'Irish Gold' (c) - a story about bushrangers & Irish immigrants.
Comment by reader 'B': "I've enjoyed all your stories so far. Most of them are different.
Clancy, please try to use double-sided paper to save trees. (smile)" Rating: 10
'Sam 'Kick Ass' Tucker' (c) - Sam Tucker's kidnapping.
Comment by reader 'P': "When she escaped it was fantastic. I liked everything. Hated nothing.
It would make an awesome movie." Rating: 10
'That Sucks' (c) - Sam Tucker's exploits at university.
Comment by reader 'R': "The story moves too quickly to get bored -
plenty of twists and turns." Rating: 10
'Streetwise' (c) - Sam Tucker as a barrister.
Comment by reader 'R': "Yeeeeees!" Rating: 12
'The Master Drover' (c) - Smokey 'Gun' Danson's story.
Comment by reader 'T': 'Smokey is an awesome guy - just like my Pop." Rating: 50 plus! 
'Queen of Wiralee' (c) - Molly Jane Swenson's story - wife of Smokey.
Comment by reader 'J': "Molly's father was a mean mongrel. I cried and cried sometimes.
But, Molly was fantastic and deserved to have a great guy like Smokey. Love him." Rating: 15
'Mister Rainbow' (c) - a fishing / environmental story.
Comment by reader 'B': "I couldn't put it down. Great book!" Rating: 9.5
'Just Lucky' (c) - a story about disabilities. If you're not born with one,
you'll probably pick one up along the way ... but how will you cope?
Comment by reader 'COCT': "A lot of people would like this story. It would teach people that
even if you have a disability, it doesn't mean you're not as good or capable of doing things as anyone else is. 
Your stories always end with the title as the very last words and I think that's really cool." Rating: 10 
'Ky!' (c) - Rida, a Muslim girl who is bullied.
* Highly Commended' in the FAW Jim Hamilton Award -
2006 National Literary Awards.
Comment by reader 'M': "I absolutely love your stories. They're very interesting." Rating: 11
 'Sheeza' (c) - a courageous Australian sheep dog.
Comment by reader 'MM': "This is the best story I have read so far. It has so much suspense and
excitement in it I could hardly put it down. I felt I was in the actual story nearly the whole time." Rating: 10
'A Free Spirit' (c) - Anecdotes from Clancy's life on the run.
Clancy's comment: "This will make you laugh and cry. It is full of true anecdotes about my friends
and my experiences with the great unwashed - the poorest, humblest people I've ever met."

'Pa Joe's Place' (c) - Based on a true story of a seven-year-old girl I met in Thailand in 1973.This is the story of extraordinary bravery during a natural disaster - a tsunami.

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