Today I’m pleased to welcome Clancy Tucker who has dropped in as part of a blog tour to talk about his new book, Gunnedah Hero.

This intriguing book for kids brings together the lives of two characters who lived 100 years apart, and introduces the reader to the life of pioneering Australians.

Today, Clancy will chat to us about how he became a writer and the fun of writing Gunnedah Hero.

How did you become a writer?

Reading great Enid Blyton books as a kid inspired me to write my own stories. Having a vivid imagination helps.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

  • The ease with which it comes. I’ll never live long enough to write what’s in my head.
  • Inventing and spending time with my characters – good, naughty, happy and sad ones.
  • Being so absorbed in a story I can smell the gum leaves.
  • When my 17 critique readers return my questionnaire, having read a manuscript. Their comments are so honest.
  • When a young reader shyly asks you to sign a copy of your book. That’s a real buzz!

What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

Dealing with publishers can be challenging. However, rejections slips make you a better writer. Writing teaches you patience, perseverance and discipline.

What were you in a past life (if anything) before you became a writer?

Where do I start? Senior public servant, truck driver, farmer, business person, speech writer, union official etc. I’m well-travelled and have lived in four countries.

What is your greatest writing achievement?

Winning two awards in the National Literary Awards was pleasing.

What are you working on at the moment?

Two books. One is a book of anecdotes from my interesting life – ‘A Free Spirit’. The other is book three in the ‘Gunnedah Hero’ series. It will be called ‘Magic Billie’.

Do you have any tips for new writers?

  • Find something you are passionate about and write passionately about it … and never give up.
  • Always retain your own voice – always.
  • Write for your reader, not for yourself.
  • Be passionate, but don’t waffle.

Anything else of interest you might like to tell our blog readers?

I have 17 young readers who read my manuscripts and complete a simple questionnaire – that’s the deal. The kids are between 8 – 16, Aboriginal, Muslim, Indian, Christian and Jewish and most come from broken homes. They are my biggest asset because they cut to the chase. They love being my readers because: I am the only author they know, the only adult who asks them to rate them out of 10 and the only person who sends them mail and seeks their opinion. You will see their names in the front of ‘Gunnedah Hero’ under ‘Acknowledgements’. Love ya work!


What inspired you to write this book?

I wrote ‘Gunnedah Hero’ because most people have no idea about the ‘long paddock’ (the road edge – in drought, many cattle breeders had to resort to taking their cattle on a long trek along the public roads to find food to keep them alive). Also, I have a great appreciation for our pioneers, and there is a serious lack of Australian history taught in our schools.

What’s it about?

A modern teen reads a manuscript written in 1910 by his great-great-grandfather, Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson, when he drove cattle up the ‘long paddock’ during a drought.

The teen, Gunnedah Swenson Danson, was named after his great-great-grandparents, Molly Swenson and Smokey Danson. Smokey’s story is exciting and adventurous, but there are devious things happening at Wiralee Station as Gunnie is reading the awesome manuscript.

What age groups is it for?

It was written for teenagers but is suitable for anyone from 8 to 80 years-of-age.

Why will kids like it?

This book contains two stories in one – modern (2011) & historical fiction (1910). They will relate to the modern story and be enthralled by the harsh life and adventures depicted in the 1910 story. Both stories have a wonderful connection. Gunnie reads an awesome manuscript written by his great-great-grandfather. Both of them, Gunnie and Smokey, are the same age, fourteen, yet they are 100 years apart.

Can you tell me about the main character and what you like/dislike about him/her?

There are two main characters that are equally important: Gunnie in 2011 and Smokey in 1910. I love them both. As you read the story, you will see how people refer to young Gunnie as ‘Gun’, a nickname given to his great-great-grandfather, Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson. Although they live 100 years apart, you can see how similar Gunnie is to Smokey in temperament, courage and spirit.

Is there something that sets this book apart from others?

Yes, many things. It is two stories in one. The characters are so real, you can feel them. Besides the adventurous story, it has a glossary of terms, a family tree and six bush poems. It will make you laugh and cry. Trust me. You will smell the gum leaves.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Creating the characters and deviously developing ‘connections’ within the story to seduce my readers to keep reading. Example: there is an envelope mentioned in the story, but you only find out what it contains in the last three pages.

Developing credible characters that readers will fall in love with – believable people and situations.

What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

Nothing! It was an absolute pleasure. Ninety-eight per cent came from my head; based on real life experiences. It took three solid months.

GIVE-AWAY: As a part of this blog tour, Morris Publishing Australia and Clancy Tucker are giving three eBooks to readers of the blogs. Go to and use the form on the Contact Page. Fill in your first name, email address, and put Blog Competition and your preferred eBook format in the message. You and your children will love this heart-warming story. (Choose from ePub, PDF, Kindle) The winners will be drawn on January 31st, 2012. All winners will be notified by email and their eBook will be attached.


January 14th – Author Interview

January 15th – Book Review

January 16th: – Article – Writing Historical Fiction

January 17th: – Author Interview

January 18th: – Review

January 19th: – Review

January 20th: – Author interview

January 22nd: – Review

January 23rd:

January 24th: – Review

January 25th: – Author Interview

January 25th: – Author interview

January 26th: Grand finale – – What’s next for Clancy





Published by

Dee White

Dee White lives with her husband and two sons in a small rural country town which has more kangaroos than people. She has worked as an advertising copywriter and journalist and has had numerous career changes because until recently, writing wasn’t considered to be a proper job. Letters to Leonardo, her first novel with Walker Books Australia, was published in 2009 to great critical acclaim.


  1. Hi Dee
    Thanks for posting Clancy’s interview. You do such a valuable service to all writers on all of your various blogs – we are all grateful for the time you put in promoting writers and writing.


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