Sunday, February 8, 2015

20 Questions with 80sMusicGirl-Jamie "Tucker" Dougan

Well Hello All! I am back again with another great interview. This time we have a gentleman who decided he was going to become a writer and you will be surprised where he got his inspiration for his books! But there is always more than meets the eye as you shall soon find out.

So without further ado....:)

First of all thank you again Jamie Dougan for allowing me this opportunity to interview you for my blog! I'm looking forward to a great interview so with that, let's begin!

Thanks for having me Rosemarie, and please call me Tucker.

1.  Where are you from originally Tucker?

I've lived all my life in south-west Scotland, East Ayrshire to be more precise. I was born, like most babies at the time, in Irvine where the maternity hospital was. I spent my early years in a small village called Muirkirk before moving to nearby Cumnock. I lived there until my early teens before the family moved to New Cumnock, five miles down the road. I've been back living in Cumnock for almost the last 20 years now, having moved back here when me and my soon-to-be wife at the time bought our home here.

2.  Do you have any brothers or sisters?

I have a younger brother and sister here in Scotland and two step-sisters in Canada.

3.   What kind of student were you in school?

I guess I was a bit of a geek. Star Wars was all the rage during my primary school years and I was, and still am, a big Star Wars nut. At secondary school, I was just the quiet wee guy who got on with my work. I had a mischievous side though and was always up for a practical joke or two. 

It was at secondary school where one of my hobbies came to light. It was quickly established that I was good at cross-country running and went on to represent my school at regional and national level. That sporting ability became a hobby after leaving school when I took up running 10k and half-marathon road races.

4.  What were some of your other hobbies?

Football was my main hobby, watching and playing. I also liked running, as mentioned in the last question. And  something else I was quite good at in my school days became a hobby in later life, story writing. 

The last few years, that hobby led me to writing and publishing three short stories and two novels.

5.  What is your first memory of what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a fire fighter when I was young, because my uncle was one. Then I wanted to be a footballer, like most boys. But I guess it was inevitable that I'd have a career in the motor trade because I loved cars. My toy cars went everywhere with me, even to bed. One early memory is having my most favourite toys cars under my pillow each night when I went to bed. 

6.   Scotland is an awesome back drop for many a great story, where else have you traveled in Scotland?

The great thing about living in Scotland and it not being a very big country is that we are never too far away from great beaches, countryside, architecture, history.  I've traveled as far north as Aberdeen. Spent many weekends in Fife as a youngster when I had family living there. Glasgow is only a 45 minute drive away, so I'm there often. I've spent many summers on the Solway coast since my mid-teens, beautiful part of the world. And here in Ayrshire, we have contrasting scenery from the beaches to the hills further inland. I love living here.

7.  How did you know you had an aptitude for writing?

I guess it was at school and getting good marks for essay and short story writing. One short story I'd written in 3rd year at secondary school was chosen to be displayed at a local art gallery as part of a writing competition. Having a vivid imagination and a need to escape reality led me to writing some short stories after leaving school. Nothing ever came of them though, real life and having a job took over. I didn't totally give up writing though because a few years ago, I was inspired and encouraged by an old friend to pick up the pen... well, keyboard, again.

8.  Do you know of anyone else in your family that writes as a hobby or professionally?

Not that I know of or that any of them has said.

9.   What types of stories do you write?

I write mainly adult romance, or soccer romance as i like to call it. The first story I published was the tale of a young footballer falling in love with a French girl while he was loaned out to a French football team. That kinda set the theme for the two novels I wrote. I'm an old romantic at heart and I love football. Seemed sense to somehow combine the two.

10.  Who was your favorite author growing up?

Well the thing is, I wasn't really a reader of books when growing up. I didn't really start reading books until my early 20's. My favourite author now is Tom Clancy. Quite a difference in what I like to read to what I like to write.

11.  I understand you are a blogger, can you tell us more about that?

I first started blogging on MySpace (remember that lol?) after reading and being inspired by someone I befriended on there. I didn't have a theme to my blog back then but did have a regular feature called "Top Gear Tucker" where I gave my opinion on whatever company car I had the pleasure or displeasure of driving at the time. 

I then moved from MySpace to Blogger and began blogging random stuff but it soon became that the theme of my blog was about becoming a dad for the second time and life with a new addition to our family. The last 18-24 months, the blog has mainly been plugging the two novels in my Shane Henderson Diary Series.

12.  Where can we read your blogs?

My blog now resides on it own domain at

13.  Are there any more novels in the works at the moment?

I'm actually sort of retired from story writing now. Being a dad, husband and having a full time job meant that most of my writing was done late at night. That took its toll. I also became very disillusioned of the whole process and quite frustrated at the amount of time spent trying to promote my writing and getting very little return on that and seeing other do less and get more. I guess you've either got it or you don't. It may sound like sour grapes from me but far from it. I'm applaud every single independent author out there and I'm very chuffed for those who've done or are doing well from it.

14.  How did your family feel about you being a writer?

My wife has been a big support. My mum was quite surprised. But being quite shy and quiet about it all, I didn't tell anyone beyond those closest to me that I'd published anything at all, not until my third short story was available. 

15.  Tell me what it takes to be a Master Lego Builder :)?

Ha ha, you read my Twitter bio... It takes having two young boys who love Lego as much as their dad does. 

16.  You spoke about your blog "Top Gear Tucker" I've watched the show Top Gear on BBC America with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May with my husband.  Were you shooting for the same effect when you wrote your blog?

I honestly don't know what effect I was trying to achieve at the time other than being a ordinary guy fortunate to have access to different cars through my job. I just thought it'd be good for an ordinary driver's opinion of the different cars I drove. 

17.  Having made such an investment with writing and publishing your own novels would you do it again?

At the moment I haven't the slightest inclination to even write a blog. I'm drained of inspiration and have have no desire to write even the shortest of stories. But, never say never. Keep watching...

18.  Would you encourage your children to become writers?

My oldest son has a good imagination and expresses it through drawing. But having seen his essays at school, he has imagination in writing too. So yes, I'd encourage him in writing, drawing or indeed anything he wants to do.

19.  You mentioned that you felt that the effort and rewards with writing and promoting your own work felt unbalanced, do you think social media is a cure or the disease in that aspect?

A bit of both. If you connect with the right people on social media then it can work great for you and whatever you want to promote. But you can also be seen as just a spammer trying to sell something all the time. It's hard to get the balance right. Some indie-authors I know have found the balance. They can talk about their everyday life and promote what they want to sell quite normally. Whereas I couldn't get the right balance because I don't put my everyday life online anymore. personal stuff stays personal unless I think it's worth sharing or there is a topic I feel I need to express my opinion on. 

20.  And finally, just because I can ask, what is your favorite 80s song :)

How can I pick a favourite 80's song from a decade of so many great songs and albums from so many great artists?

Picking my favourite album from that era is easy - Sea Of Love by The Adventures. I guess if I did have a favourite song, it would be my personal theme which is Talk Talk's It's My Life.

Thank you very much Tucker for a view into your fascinating world of cars, novels, family and Lego's!  I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.  

Thanks for having me Rosemarie. It's been a pleasure.