Interview with Carl Tuckwell

When did you first start writing?
What's the gist of your latest book?
This is actually my first book (all previous writings were letters, articles, and song lyrics). This book attempts to set the record straight about what communism, socialism, and the working-class revolution are really about. It also attempts to set the record straight about what Lenin really wrote and said on those topics.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
There are really two parts to this question:
1. What motivated me to become an author was purely the importance I felt (and still feel) that real socialism has for the world as the only solution to save it from disaster;
2. What motivated me to become an Indie author was the lack of interest shown by the big publishing companies, along with inferior conditions for the author if one is accepted by them.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords was the best platform for launching digital books that I could find, and I researched quite a few. The main 'plus' that Smashwords had was a list of people who will prepare your doc file for ePub conversion for a reasonable fee.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Trying to communicate what I feel is the most effective solution to the considerable troubles facing the vast majority of humanity.
What do your fans mean to you?
Quite a lot. They make feel that I'm not alone, and that there is hope for humanity (and all life on this planet).
Who are your favorite authors?
1. Non-fiction: Marx; Engels; Lenin; Trotsky; Che Guevara; Tony Cliff (author of "State Capitalism In Russia", pub. 1948); Howard Zinn; Naomi Klein; Richard Cottrell; Wolfgang Leonhard; Susan George (for her "How The Other Half Dies", 1976); Arthur Koestler; Evgeny Schwartz (for his anti-Stalin political-satire play "The Dragon" in 1944); Roy Medvedev (for his "Let History Judge", Spokesman Books, 1976); Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko for his "The Time Of Stalin - portrait of a tyranny", Harper & Row, 1981; George Orwell for his "Homage To Catalonia", 1938; Henrik Ibsen for his prophetic play "An Enemy Of The People", 1887; Jack London for his "The Iron Heel", 1908; and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

2. Fiction: J. R. R. Tolkien; C. S. Lewis; Brian W. Aldiss (for his late '40's to early '70's science fiction); J. G. Ballard (for his 1960's science fiction); Silvana De Mari for her "The Last Elf" (a.k.a. "The Last Dragon"), 2004; Ivan Yefremov for his "Andromeda", 1957; Kenneth Grahame for his "The Wind In The Willow", 1908; T. H. White for his "The Sword In The Stone", 1938; and Philip K. Dick.
What are you working on next?
Original Prog Rock / Ambience music album.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Up till fairly recently it was mainly the need to get out and hike in little-travelled areas of the remnant native forests near where I live.
Now it is the fear of becoming a bed-ridden old man. ; )
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Teaching piano; working on original instrumental jazz and Prog Rock music with an old friend; working on my hobby radio shows: 'Carl's Rock History Tour' and 'Carl's Musical History Tour' (classical); walking to the shops (and back); doing crosswords on the train to my students' homes; watching too many YouTube videos at night.
Do you remember the first book you ever wrote?
Yes, an attempt to set out the basics of communism and socialism in my own words; but I did not keep the manuscript, and I forget the title now. That was back in...1979.
What is your writing process?
It depends on the book. For that first book (which I only just remembered from your previous question), it was to create major headings, then sub-headings, and sub-sub-headings (as required); which gave me a framework to write the text 'onto'.
For this book, it began with the idea of exposing so many fake "Marxist" groups by collecting together all the really important and controversial bits of Lenin's writings, speeches and interviews. I then scoured his 45-volume "Collected Works" looking for, and noting down, these bits/quotes. I then arranged them chronologically and started adding footnotes and comments to explain various persons, organisations, events, & things in general, from the late 19th Century to the early 20th Century, for modern readers. Finally, I arranged all the quotes by subject matter, using the 'headings' method as used for my first book (described above).
How do you approach cover design?
I've only done one, that's for this book (including a rear cover, in case anyone's ever interested in funding a hard copy), and it was fairly easy, because I just went looking for my intuitively-favourite public-domain photo of Lenin. Adding the title and author text was just a matter of artistic taste (and being fussy, trying all font and colour options, and persevering).
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
"Alice In Wonderland" & "Through The Looking Glass", in my first year of school. It had a massive impact on me. I was delighted, scared, paralysed-with-laughter, and astonished, by turns, and profoundly saddened (a bitter-sweet kind of sadness) by the poem at the end ("A Boat Beneath A Sunny Sky" -- the next time I got that was not until I was 20 years old when I first read Tolkien's book of poems: "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil").
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Lord Of The Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien, because it is so moving, so convincing that somehow it might be real, and because it so tastefully & cleverly puts forth the proposition that there are fundamental moral principles that we should be willing to risk our lives for.

2. Lenin's Collected Works (45 volumes -- but not every article or speech or book in every volume), because it is obviously the work of a brilliant man who was passionately and sincerely devoted to the cause of liberating humanity from war and all forms of bondage, and his few human imperfections come through without any attempt to cover them up.

3. The Cosmic Trilogy, by C. S. Lewis (comprising: Out Of The Silent Planet; Voyage To Venus; That Hideous Strength). Even though the science may no longer be accurate (the first two parts were published in 1938 and 1943 respectively), it cleverly, entertainingly, gradually, and somewhat-scarily introduces/reminds the reader of...'cosmic good and evil', for want of a better expression.

4. The works of Leon Trotsky (especially In Defense Of Marxism, 1940) -- another brilliant mind, also passionately and sincerely devoted to the cause of liberating humanity from war and all forms of bondage, tragically fighting a losing battle to remind the working people of the world of the original Bolshevism, in the face of the juggernaut of Stalin's usurpation of the world communist movement, and Stalin's falsification of Marxism and Leninism, and of history in general.

5. The four Christian Gospels. Even though I'm convinced there is too much evidence against the very existence of Jesus of Nazareth, nonetheless these stories are marvellous "accounts" of a man who transcended the world of oppression of his time through supernatural powers, courage to stand up to and denounce the corrupt leaders of his people's religion, and his profound compassion on every sorrowful 'sinner' that came his way. If only he were real, but sadly 2,000 years of 'might-makes-right' and inhuman suffering of billions of innocent children proves that he's not.
What do you read for pleasure?
In the last few years it has mainly been biographies of my favourite Rock musicians with the odd other star (like Patti Boyd Harrison, Harpo Marx and Billy Connolly) thrown in.
Also, I've taken to reading the more mainstream and interesting World War II history books.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Emails from Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Too early to tell.
Published 2017-11-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Essential Lenin - How To Create And Defend The Revolution
Price: $9.00 USD. Words: 132,220. Language: British English. Published: October 31, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » Politics & Current Affairs » Communism & socialism, Nonfiction » History » Russian
Published here for the first time, on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Carl Tuckwell's one-volume annotated selection from most of Lenin's books, articles and speeches will surprise most readers about just exactly what the founder and leader of Bolshevism stood for.