'Gunnedah Hero' - paperback and eBook

Gunnedah Hero is available as a paperback or eBook.

Paperback, with matching bookmark: $23.50 including postage and handling.

EBook: $5.20


and http://morrispublishingaustralia.com

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Prime Minister's Literary Awards - a slap in the face to self-published authors.

G'day guys.

The following is one of many letters I have sent to senior politicians and public servants regarding the ineligibility of self-published authors to enter the Prime Minister's Literary Awards. This, like many others, has been addressed to the First Assistant Secretary of the Prime Minister's Department, Sally Busser.

Should any of you agree with my thoughts, start writing to the PM. After all, it is 2012!


Thanks for your reply. I also am pleased that the PM's Award now has a poetry category - an issue I've been lobbying for ages. However, with great respect, you did not answer my question which is on every self-published author's lips. I'm sure one of your staffers prepared your email. But you are the First Assistant Secretary!
Question: would you see a time in the near, or far distant future, when tax-paying self-published authors will be permitted to enter the PM's award?

1. I have spoken to many senior people in the industry in Australia (FAW, ASA, Wheeler Centre, VWC and other writers organisations in Australia; including senior staff in the Prime Minister's office. The latter gave me some fairly poor reasons as to why self-published authors cannot enter the PM's award. Basically, their assumption is that self-published authors write and prepare poor quality books that are not worthy of entry. That is a fallacy. I, like many other serious and professional writers, have worked dilligently to produce a product that is professional in every way - paying professional editors to appraise my work prior to publication. We must be professional because writing, and being accepted as an author, is a tough gig.

2. All books entered in the PM's Award should be judged on their merits. It's that simple. So, if certain entries contain grammatical errors or typographical errors, then let them be judged accordingly - they will not cut it if they are poorly presented. As I pointed out to a very senior member of the PM's office who had a family background in publishing, "If a book looks like a fully bound book, has an ISBN number and CIP number from the National Library, then one can accept it as a book. Manuscripts and documents in plastic folders are clearly not deemed to be a book." 

3. I have recently entered my self-published book in the following major book contests; none of which discriminated against self-published authors:

WA Premier's Book Awards - 2 categories.
Miles Franklin Award - 1 category.
Commonwealth Book Prize - 1 category.
Environment Award for Children's Literature (The Wilderness Society) 1 category.
SA Premier's Award - 3 categories.
Children's Book Council of Australia, Book of The Year Awards - 2 categories.
CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature - 1 category.
2011 National Literary Awards - 2 categories.

In the coming months I will also be entering the 'Age' Book of The Year Award and Victorian, NSW and Queensland Premier's awards.
4. Sally, I would not be the least bit surprised if an author or writer's organisation soon lodges a writ against the PM and her department via the ACCC / National Competition Council and or The Human Rights Commission in the Federal Court, claiming: discrimination, denial of natural justice, restrictive trade practices, unfair practices, restriction of free competition, lack of equal opportunity etc. An inability to enter the PM's Award also infringes upon certain conventions of the Internationl Labour Organisation (ILO). I'm sure a successful OR unsuccessful claim in the Federal Court would not offer the PM's Award any kudos.

5.  I have read the BISG report and summarised the recommendations. However, one of the main issues for authors is that they receive 10% of the RRP of their book. Thus, a $30 book will make the author $3.00. Yet, the distributors and booksellers receive a larger slice of the pie - a pie they did not bake. In short, booksellers and distributors feed off and scavenge from the abilities of authors. Publishers and authors are at the bottom of the food chain. Seems terribly inequitous to me, and others -  as per the comments in recommendation 19 of the Book Industry Strategy Group (BISG) which mentioned two salient points:

a. The low level of remuneration for authors

b. Fluctuations in their remuneration

6. Sally, for a country of 22,000,000 people, we have a plethora of writers and creative people, as we have had since the 26th of January 1788. We, all of us, but especially you guys who are paid to make decisions, must ensure that all forms of creativity are encouraged in this country. In doing so, we will become a world leader in literature - not only in sports. I guess one suggestion would be to establish an Australian Institute for The Arts; similar to the Institute for Sport which pumps heaps of taxpayers dollars into sporting men and women who do very well financially - during and after their careers ... thank you very much.

The fact that self-published authors cannot enter our Prime Minister's Literary Awards is an appalling slap in the face.

I and others who made submissions to the BISG and the National Cultural Policy would be interested to know if these specific points I've raised are a high priority for your department? They certainly are for us.

Thanks for listening.

I'm Clancy Tucker




G'day guys,

Today is Australia Day, and what a great day to finish a wonderful blog tour – the day our forebears decided to camp on this extraordinary continent. How fitting, that this blog tour has related to a book about our pioneers; people like Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson. Life has changed dramatically since the 26th of January 1788. Happy Australia Day!

Wow, what a blog tour - what a journey. I'd like to thank the participants in the tour who have so freely given of their time. We have been in some great company. At all times I have been frank in my response to questions. That's me. What you see is what you get - a passionate writer.

Check this list of wonderful hosts and interviewers: Tanya McCartney, Jill Smith, Vicki Stanton, Anastasia Gonis (the ultimate questioner!), Carol Warner, Sheryl Gwyther, Kelly McLean, Deb Cullen, Helen Ross and Dee White. A special thanks to Lou Morris and Elaine Ouston of Morris Publishing Australia - www.morrispublishingaustralia.com who organised the blog tour. They are exceptional publishers who work hard for their writers.

What's next for me?

Rather than be stereotyped as a historical fiction writer, I plan to publish a very different book in March / April. It's called 'Pa Joe's Place' and is based on a true story of a beautiful seven-year-old Thai girl named Boo. I met her many years ago in Thailand - where the story is set. It’s probably the most powerful manuscript I've written so far, and I am currently organising to have the book translated into Thai so it will also be available to Thai readers. Why Thailand? Simple: I've lived and worked in South East Asia and I speak Thai. Wait till you see the cover of the book. It is eye-catching, and the photograph is very relevant to the story. I took the photograph some years back, the morning after a famous festival in Thailand - Loy Krathong.

Several Thai people have read the story already. A well-educated and articulate seventeen-year-old Thai student made these comments when he’d finished. His mother, a former senior diplomat with Thai Foreign Affairs, will most probably translate the story into the Thai language:

“I would like to call your story a masterpiece, because it has inspired me very much.”

“In conclusion, I am glad that I have read a wonderful story that deeply touched me”

“Yes, I liked the plot very much because it was quite adventurous and full of surprises.”

“I would give the story a 9.5/10 because rarely has any stories touched me this much, and rarely has any story made me want to keep reading on and on.”

“I would love to read other stories like this one because the message is very powerful and influential.”

“I do not have any dislikes in the story because the story is too inspiring for me to dislike it!”

“This is the first time I’ve read a story which deeply touched me.”

Veerabhatr (Jug)

Bangkok, Thailand
23rd January 2012.

After 'Pa Joe's Place' hits the streets, I will publish the sequel to 'Gunnedah Hero' which I finished three years ago - 'A Drover's Blanket'. I am now working on book three of the ‘Gunnedah Hero’ series, called 'Magic Billie' - story about Smokey 'Gun' Danson's best mate, an Aboriginal drover with a wicked sense of humour and a bucket of integrity. This story will be a powerful tale of life as an Aboriginal in the early 1900's.

Then, hopefully, I will publish one of my favourite manuscripts - 'Ky' – story of a young Muslim refugee who is bullied by two Aussie girls because she wears glasses, a hijab, and loves to read. Like 'Gunnedah Hero', this story won an award in the National Literary Awards in 2006. I did heaps of research on bullying for this story. Here is an interesting tale in that regard.

Whilst visiting our mobile library, I spotted a teen magazine that featured bullying and took it home. I hopped onto a website set up by the magazine and was gob smacked by what I read - heart-wrenching stories written by Aussie kids who were being bullied. I cut and pasted about 30 pages of the comments and placed them in two categories: what happened, and what the bullied kids did about it. It was very moving research. Trust me. I have no doubt it was the first time many of the kids had told anyone about their personal grief. So, stay tuned and read 'Ky' when it is published. It has a great finish and the story line is very different to any other you've read. This is a great story for kids who are bullied.

Not only but also ...

Gunnedah Hero has been entered in eight major book awards, including the Miles Franklin, Commonwealth Book Prize and Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. It will also be entered in another six prizes in the weeks ahead. Fingers crossed, eh? Other than writing, I am involved in social justice issues, here and overseas - always have been. One of my current projects, other than human rights issues, is to try to change the Prime Minister's Literary Awards categories so that self-published authors can enter. Previously, the award did not have a poetry category but we got that one up. Hooray for all you poets. Seemed odd to me, and disturbing, that a prestigious award like the PM's, did not include a poetry category when one of our most celebrated poets, Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson, is depicted on our ten-dollar note and is the author of Waltzing Matilda.

Finally ... henceforth, hitherto and therefore thereafter ...

If you missed the blog tour, go back and check it out. Here is the schedule. Some of my answers might make you chuckle or, if you’re a writer, make you grin. Don’t forget our special offer and contest. Three blog readers will win a free eBook copy of ‘Gunnedah Hero’.

Clancy Tucker - Gunnedah Hero - Blog Tour Schedule
January 14th http://www.kids-bookreview.com - Author Interview
January 15th http://authorjillsmith.wordpress.com - Book Review
January 16th: www.buzzwordsmagazine.blogspot.com - Article - Writing Historical Fiction
January 17th: http://carolwarner.wordpress.com/ - Author Interview
January 18th: http://elaineoustonauthor.com/ - Review
January 19th: www.buzzwordsmagazine.blogspot.com - Review
January 20th: http://sherylgwyther.wordpress.com - Author interview
January 22nd: https://www.facebook.com/aussiebookreviews - Review
January 23rd: http://www.morrispublishingaustralia.com/news-update-blog.html
January 24th: www.sherfordbear.co.uk - Review
January 25th: http://misshelenwrites.wordpress.com - Author Interview
January 25th: http://content.boomerangbooks.com.au/kids-book-capers-blog/
January 26th: Grand finale - http://www.blogbud.com/clancytucker - What's next for Clancy
GIVE-AWAY: As a part of this blog tour, Morris Publishing Australia and I are giving three eBooks to readers of the blogs. Go to http://morrispublishingaustralia.com 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.
Paperback Price Slashed: From 14th to 31st January, the price of the Gunnedah Hero paperback will be slashed to $25. Go to the website http://morrispublishingaustralia.com and choose the Buy Now button under Discount copy text. The usual postage charge will apply. Or from http://clancytucker.com.au.
Gunnedah Hero eBook is available for immediate download from:
Google eBooks, Apple iBookstores, Barnes and Noble, Sony and Kobo.

That's it for now. Again, many thanks to the blog hosts and to my wonderful eBook publishers, Morris Publishing Australia. Love ya work!

Thanks for listening. Don’t be shy. Leave a message in my guestbook.


I'm Clancy Tucker
26th January 2012