Novel path to a new career
WHEN Phillip Tucker made a bet with his wife, he didn’t know it would turn into a career move.
Mr Tucker’s immense dislike for a book he received as a Christmas present from his wife, Michelle, prompted her to jokingly bet her husband he couldn’t write his own book.
Three years later, Mr Tucker, 55, has one book published and will release his second this year.
“It started off as a joke actually because I was complaining to my wife about a book she bought me,” he said.
“And she said, well go write your own then, so I did.
“I met a lady on the bus when I was 13 years old and she gave me the book, The Day of the Triffids, and I was hooked. She told me there is a book in everyone – you just have to find out what it is.”
Mr Tucker’s first book, The Path to Betrayal, is an action story about a soldier in an American special forces unit and his transition from a ‘naive youth to a ruthless killer’.
The idea for the novel could have stemmed from Mr Tucker’s ownexperiences in the Army Reserves, but the Alstonville resident and former macadamia farmer is adamant the storyline eventuatedin his sleep.
“I was in the Army Reserves, but I don’t know if you can really call going to Hawaii being in the Army,” he said.
“I usually go to bed and think about things overnight to come up with an idea. I actually dreamt about the storyline for this book.”
Even a lightning strike couldn’t stop Mr Tucker writing.
“I had lightning strike my house when I had written half my book and I lost everything on the computer,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter if you sell your books or not, you still keep writing. It’s like a compulsive habit.”
Admitting that English was not his favourite subject at school, Mr Tucker has always been a compulsive book reader, but switched to writing and joined the Byron Bay Writers Centre.
Before becoming a novelist, Mr Tucker and his wife had a macadamia farm at Tregeagle, but sold up after getting the travel bug.
Now that the couple has settled on the Northern Rivers for the time being, Mr Tucker, with the help of his computer-savvy daughters, who help design and format his word documents into 500-plus page books, is getting there – slowly but surely.
“You have to have perseverance,” he said.
“If you don’t like writing you would be silly to try it. It becomes an obsession and it’s great fun, but if you don’t actually enjoy it, don’t do it.
“Writing the book is the easy part. It’s getting the story into book format that is hard.
“The three years it took me to write The Path to Betrayal, eight months of that was getting the book into shape.”
WE ASKED, PAGE 20