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Greg Kincaid- Christmas With Tucker ~ Book Giveaway

Welcome to Greg Kincaid, New York Times Bests Seller with his newest book, Christmas with Tucker. When not writing, he is a practicing lawyer, specializing in divorce and family law mediation. He lives on a farm in eastern Kansas with his wife, three horses, two dogs, and two cats.

Every reader likes to learn more about characters as they get further into the story. How do the secrets of your characters come to life?

As in life as in literature—conflict is the path to intimacy.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

A great deal. The human mind is really a cacophony of voices that often leaves us feeling pulled in many directions. My characters often reflect my own internal conflicts over right and wrong. Stories are where I try to work them out.

Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins, or do you have to tweeze each word out?

I have a day job as a lawyer/mediator. This forces me to take the slow and steady approach.

What led you to becoming a writer?

It’s just a lot of fun and very rewarding.

Have you had to overcome any obstacles in your writing journey?

There is a legend that when Michelangelo finished the Moses he was so impressed with his work that he commanded it to speak. When it didn’t, he threw his hammer at it. Writers have to throw a lot of hammers. Often what we write ends up lifeless and we just have to move on.

What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

Psychology tells us we need healthy self-esteem. Spiritual teachings suggest we should be rid of our “self” (not be selfish). The balancing act between self and others is a fascinating paradox. I really like the character Todd, in A Dog Named Christmas. He is intellectually challenged but overcomes his disability by having a gigantic heart. I think we sometimes let our intellect get in the way of our heart.

How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?

At a very early age, I developed a love for literature. I thought that every book was such a precious gift from its author. It seems natural to want to give that back somehow.

We’d love to hear a little about yourself and your writing journey.

Although I had been playing around with storytelling from an early age, I really got into in earnest with my three children. Every night, bedtime started with “Daddy, tell us a story.” Repetitive story telling helped me build confidence in my ability to put together a simple story.

What is the hardest part after the book is published?

Wondering if it will sell! It’s like the first day of high school, all over again, that sick feeling that no one will notice you or care!

What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?

I'm still new to this, so I am pretty terrified that I’m just a “one shot wonder.”

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on two books. One is spiritual journey book that tries to find a way to show how our religious differences are not as important as we think. The other work is the third installment of the “A Dog Named Christmas” books.

What other books of have you published?

A Dog Named Christmas was my first and now, Christmas with Tucker has just released.

How long did you work toward publication?

There is great saying that behind every overnight success there is twenty years of hard work. That’s about right.

Has being an author been everything you thought it would be? If not, what has surprised you the most?

It’s been great fun. I’m glad I stuck at it, persisted, when common sense would have suggested otherwise. Like winning the lottery or anything else that you’ve always thought would be great, the surprising thing is that it does not really change your life as much as you might expect.

What has been the hardest part of writing your latest book and how did you overcome it?

My first book, A Dog Named Christmas, had an easy quick little hook: what would happen if, over Christmas, a family tried to find a home for all the dogs in their local animal shelter?” The hook evokes lots of fun scenes that seemed to write themselves. Christmas with Tucker is less plot driven and more character driven. It’s a coming of age story, about how a young man experiences his first Christmas after his father’s death. To write this story I had to keep “diving” into the character’s emotional center. It was hard, but in many ways it ended up being a more emotionally fulfilling work than my previous effort.

What is the best writing advice you ever got? The worst?

I appreciate greatly Stephen King’s metaphor that writing is like an archeological dig. Sometimes, we get lucky and a really big bone is just beneath the surface, but most of the time, you have to perform lots of tedious digging, sifting, and sorting, to find anything of value. The only bad advice, at least for me, is anyone suggesting that they have a formula for writing a best seller. Even if there was such a thing, I like to think that all of the great stuff comes from a sacred place within us and not from a formula.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

I wish I had more professional help early on. Having an editor or a teacher of some sort is very valuable.

What book are you writing presently?

I’m working on a sequel, but I’d love to do a legal thriller someday, even though it is far from anything I’ve ever done before.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have lots of projects is various stages of completion. Some may never come out of the box, but a few are screaming at me to let them out.

If time and money did not enter in the equation, what would be your dream?

This one is easy. I’d love to be able to write full time and not worry about paying the bills.

What movie most impacted you as a kid? Why?

I loved and still love “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Atticus Finch’s vision of what it means to be a man is a striking contrast from the John Wayne and James Bond type characters that I also grew up with. While I am at it, if you haven’t seen it, watch the movie Big Country. It’s another older Gregory Peck film that shows us a different kind of man, one that we could all look up to.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

It seems like various genres come and go with me. I really enjoy all spiritual books without worrying too much about what tradition they came from. Lately, I’ve read a bunch of Robert Parker’s Jesse Stone books and thought they were a lot of fun.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

For better or worse, I find myself reading things that I believe will be instructive and not just entertaining.

Other than the Bible, what is your all time favorite book?

Wow, hard question. I think my favorite read “out-louds” were The Hobbit and Huck Finn.

How do you keep your balance in today’s busy world?

It’s nice of you to think that I do! I am always working on it and never feeling like I have it quite right. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

While it would be easy to say ‘just be persistent,’ I might also say that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result this time! Try something different. For example, a lot of first time writers want their first published project to be a five hundred page novel. Why not start trying to get some easier things published first?

What would you tell an aspiring writer?

Have fun. Your joy will comes through on the pages. So does drudgery.

Is there an area in your writing that you are working on developing more?

Attention to detail is always my biggest challenge. I get excited about telling the story and forget that on page 35 some character had green eyes and now on page 68 he’s shedding a tear from his baby blues.

If you could recommend only one ‘How To Writing Book’ what would it be?

Stephen King’s book, On Writing, is excellent. For the most part, reading “How to Write Books” is a lot like reading “How to Paint” books. At some point, pick up the paint brush and just do it.

Tell us about your story.

Christmas with Tucker is about growing-up. Early on, we all make decisions that affect who we are for the rest of our lives. Refusing to take the easy way out may be the hardest and most important lesson of all.

When thirteen year-old George McCray’s father dies, his mother and sister return to Minnesota to live with George’s maternal grandparents. George opts to stay behind for the rest of semester to take over where his dad left off--working on his father and grandfather’s Kansas dairy farm. With his dog Tucker at his side, George has to overcome the bleakest winter on record. To do so, he has to find a toughness that few men know. There is only one place to find it: his love for his family, his dog, and his community.

How did you choose your characters’ names?

When I first read A Dog Named Christmas to my kids, they all started making noises about wanting a character named after them… With five kids, I had a great start on names!

What gave you the inspiration for this story?

The “younger generation” has very limited opportunity to experience what a family farm was really like fifty years ago. I wanted to write a story that would preserve that bit of our history.

Are there any themes in Christmas with Tucker that you hope the reader sees?

The book should appeal to all readers but especially to men and young male readers.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

Kansas is not front and center for much on television. I was glad I could share that part of my life in my writing.

And what kinds of things can readers expect from your books?

I really hope my books are inspirational to readers of all ages.

Introduce your story with the first page.

If you would like to see a little more of the book, you might want to visit my blog on http://www.petfinder.com/blog/greg-kincaid/

Where can we find you on the web?

Please visit my wegpage: http://www.gregkincaid.com
Blog: http://www.petfinder.com/blog/greg-kincaid/

Greg, thank you for stopping by and sharing with us. To have the possibility to receive a copy of Christmas With Tucker:

  • Leave a comment with your email (name at domain name dot com). 
  • Giveaway closes Sunday, December 5, 2010 at midnight (CST). 
  • Only US postal codes.
  • If you're reading this on Feedburner, Facebook, or Amazon please come to www.AJHawke.blogspot.com to leave your comments.


Andrea Schultz said...

I love dogs; we just picked up a Cocker Spaniel puppy 3 weeks ago. He joins our 6 year old Cocker, Shelby! Please enter me!

Blessings -
andrealschultz at gmail dot com

Please visit my blog, Ponderings by Andrea - http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com - for book reviews and giveaways. Thanks!

CarlybirdK said...

I absolutely adore dogs. I still have a huge hole in my heart after losing my Molly almost six years ago, so I love to read dog stories. Please enter me to win. Thank you!


Jan Marie said...

Dog stories are always great - we have a Weimaraner that would make an excellent character for a book! Enjoyed this interview and would love to have a chance to win his book. Please add my name to the drawing.


misskallie2000 said...

I love stories about dogs and cats. I have 4 cats now but no dogs and stories about them are so moving.

Thanks for this opportunity to enter the giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Sandee61 said...

I really enjoyed the interview and would love to read Greg's book. It sounds like a great read, and I love the cover. I like reading books about dogs and cats...actually any animal. I don't have a dog, but share all my daughters. I do have a very spoiled cat, MollyBee. Thanks for the entry in your giveaway.



Molly said...

This interview was amazing! And, having two cocker spaniel puppies for my sons, I have a special place in my heart for dogs and so this book would be simply put: amazing to own!

Thanks for the chance!

Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

karenk said...

i would love to read greg's book...love the cover :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Carole said...

I'm a cat person myself, but I loved A Dog Named Christmas. I read it before the TV movie was released. In fact, the movie is still on my DVR waiting to be enjoyed this season.

I'm thrilled for your success, Greg, and wish you the best in your writing. Maybe there's even more movies in the works! I enjoyed the interview and appreciate the chance to win your new book.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

JackieW said...

I'm a dog person and have always loved dogs...my dog Sandy just turned 19 yrs old in October and has for all those years been my constant companion..I know how much a dog can be a part of your life in many ways. I would love to read your book. Please enter me in the contest.

JOYE said...

Enjoyed reading the interview on this blog. I am very fond of my dog Willie, a little Jack Russell terrier. Never been that fond of cats so guess you could call me a dog person. Would like reading your book.

Anonymous said...

It would be so hard fora kid to lose a parent when growing up. I would really love to read this book.


Rosslyn Elliott said...

Both books sound intriguing!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Thanks A.J. Very interesting to hear how Greg approached the two books differently. I'd love to be in the drawing.

Thanks for the great advice, Greg.

Linda Kish said...

Dogs/Christmas...how could it get better than that?

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

LaTawnia said...

Enter me please... sounds like a wonderful book to read.

latawniakintz at gmail dot com

Nancye said...

This sounds like a wonderful book! One that I would enjoy for sure! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Aik said...

I'd love to enter!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

apple blossom said...

please enter me thanks
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Cindy W. said...

I love dogs and love reading stories about dogs. I would love to be entered in your giveaway to win Christmas With Tucker. Thank you for the chance.

Cindy W.


Maureen said...

I am a dog person..have had up to 5 in my house..and they weren't little ones Newfoundlands.
Please include me!


Charlotte Kay said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!
I love dogs!
We have a Bichon Frise:)

chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Becky said...

I love dog stories and Christmas books. Would love the chance to read this one with my friend, Rusty, the dachshund:)

Kait said...

I'd love to win this book. I love stories about dogs and this one looks really interesting!


Atypical Girl said...

I have two dogs and love dog books! Thanks for the chance to win!

artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

Glenda said...

We have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that has won our hearts. Your book sounds wonderful and I would love to have an autographed copy to read.


Keiki Hendrix said...

Love this cover photo. I have a lab myself. The most adorable dogs I know.


Anne Payne said...

Sounds like a good book. Enter me.



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I love the wind in my face, the open sky before me, the romance and flavor of the West, but, most of all, our loving and living God, who created it all. I love how He works out His plans in the realm of human events, which is His Story. I have been blessed with a gift: a compulsion to write Historical and present-day novels set in the American West that demonstrate His power to transform ordinary people into true heroes and heroines. I am just a scribe really. I find the joy of participating in the creation of inspirational fiction indescribable. May our Lord Jesus Christ receive all of the credit and be glorified.

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