Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Meet James Ray Tuck Jr...

Meet James Ray Tuck Jr. His debut novel Blood And Bullets, a dark urban fantasy, has just launched with a big bang. I was thrilled to discover that James, like myself, is not only a fiction writer, he's also tattoo artist. A rare combination it seems. He owns Family Tradtion Tattoos in Marietta, Georgia and does some pretty nice work. I hear he's also passionate about guns and Jesus.

Recently I hit James up for an interview and just as I thought, he's a real down to earth, cool guy, big teddy bear (but don't mess with him) type. It's my pleasure to bring you our Q & A ...

Your new book Blood and Bullets just came out this month. Great title by the way and the cover is killer. Can you tell us what it’s about?

BLOOD AND BULLETS is the first book in the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series. It's a DARK urban fantasy that follows the adventures of Deacon as he makes his way through the Deaconverse blasting holes in monsters.

Five years before the events in BLOOD AND BULLETS Deacon's family was horribly, ritualistically slaughtered by a monster. He decided to find this monster and kill him. In the process he rescued an Angel, yes an honest to God Angel of the Lord, who was held captive by the bad guys. They were abusing her over and over trying to create more Nephilim which are half human, half Angel monsters. Carrying on his mission he confronts the monster who killed his family. Being only human he gets killed. The Angel returned the rescue, ressurects him and makes him more than human. Just a little bit stronger, a little bit tougher, and a little bit faster with the new ability to sense all things supernatural. He then got his revenge.

Now he is a monster hunter. The most important thing to know about Deacon is that he only wants to go on and be with his family. However, he is also a devout Catholic and as such he cant take himself there. That's a mortal sin, do not pass GO do not collect $200. So he throws himself at monsters hoping and praying that one day he will find one monster enough to send him on his way.

He's a dark, fucked up character, which is how I imagine a real monster hunter would be. BLOOD AND BULLETS has him dealing with vampires, undead strippers, wannabe vampire slayers, Were-spiders, cursed immortals, and other such craziness. And the title isn't a lie. There is blood splashed on every page and more bullets flying than a John Woo flick!

(Did he just say undead strippers? I've got a story coming out in The Drunk On The Moon werewolf PI series with undead strippers. How cool is that?)

I like how you describe your writing style as “action horror”. In a world where everything has already been done and redone, you seem refreshingly unique. Is there any other authors/books out there that might compare to your style?

J.F. Lewis. He writes a wacked out, gonzo style of urban fantasy that goes pretty hand in hand with mine. Steve Niles writes the Cal Macdonald series and that's pretty similar. Also Simon R. Green's Nightside books are in a same vein. And the Sunglasses After Dark series by Nancy A. Collins. All of these I highly recommend!

Clearly your dual passions, like myself, are writing and tattooing. If you had a day free to do anything you wanted, are you more likely to spend your time writing or drawing?

Writing. I have put a life of drawing and over a decade and a half into tattooing. I do still love it, won't stop, but writing is so new and fresh it's taken top seat. Plus, I can write all day long, but because of my carpal tunnel I can only tattoo about 4 hours and draw about 2. More than that and I have to take a few days off.

What do you think of TV shows like “Ink Master” and “New York Ink”? Can you watch them without riddling the screen with bullet holes?

Ink Master isn't bad. There's some real talent there. Josh Woods is a great guy and a helluva tattooist. The hosts and judges are coming across as serious douches but the show is alright. I can live with it. NY Ink....I don't watch it. I will say that those "reality" tattoo shows have NOTHING to do with the reality of an actual tattoo shop.

Speaking of tattooing, the tattoo industry, as you know, has many phenomenal world renowned artists other than just the “celebrity” artists people see on TV. Who are some of the artists today whose work impresses you?

I have been a long time fan of Jime' Litwalk. Man I just love his stuff. I have for a decade now. I am huge fan of Derek Noble and also Shawn MacDonald. Both of those guys are just killing it with a nice new style that makes my jaw drop. Annie Frenzel usually makes my eyes cross with jealousy too.

I’m digging your black and grayscale portraits. What’s your favourite thing to tattoo?

Thanks a lot. I do like the high contrast black and grey celebrity portraits, but my favorite thing is a nice neo-traditional blended tattoo. Something with a new twist on an old favorite. Sailor Jerry on steroids. Give me a solid Coleman style traditional tattoo also and I am pretty happy to do it.

So if Jesus was a living breathing man today on this planet and he needed some guns, what would you recommend he carry?

Jesus wouldn't carry no guns. That's Peter's job. If you read the New Testament account of the Roman soldiers coming to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane his right hand man Pete pulled out a sword and WHACKED OFF ONE OF THEIR EARS! That's some gangster shit right there. lol. Pete would have carried a nice chrome Colt .45. Good, solid, reliable and it blows bigass holes in people.

What if he wanted a full sleeve, what would you suggest for Jesus?

Gotta go with some nice black and grey, probably single needle, but high contrast. Not a Tupac cross though. I don't think He would like that. lol.

What else have you got in the works with your writing?

Banging through Deacon book 3 (BLOOD AND MAGICK) and the 3rd e-novella. After that I am going to write a crime/chase novel that should be a real slice of southern-fried mayhem.

Anything else we should know about you James?

I will talk to you about books or writing anytime you want. Seriously, just hit me up in preson or online. Check to see where my social media is. I look like a thug, but I am kinda nice. Most of the time.

Check out Blood And Bullets on Amazon.

Stop by Chuck Wendig's place Terribleminds for an awesome interview where they talk about guns and writing and other interesting stuff.

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