Author Interview: Joe Ducie


My Book Corner is excited and honoured to have been selected to open Joe’s virtual book tour for his highly anticipated first novel, The Rig.

It is with much excitement that we welcome award winning children’s author Joe Ducie to My Book Corner just as The Rig hits the shelves.

Joe Ducie is the deserving recipient of the inaugural Guardian Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize – scooping a cool £10,000 book deal for The Rig.

The prize was launched, by both The Guardian and Hot Key Books, with the aim of bringing forth the next exciting generation of talented authors. Judges on the 2012 panel included The Guardian’s Julia Eccleshare, author Elen Caldecott and Hot Key Books publisher Emily Thomas.

British born Joe Ducie, who now resides in Perth, Australia, blew away the judges with his fantastically managed sci-fi, The Rig.

It focuses on 15 year old William Drake who has made a career out of escaping from high security prisons. The Rig however is different, very different.

Joe Ducie talks to My Book Corner about his unusual experiences in Dubai and quite possibly the most relaxing writing retreat we have ever heard of …

Tell us about you in 25 words or less.

Well, at 25 I’m a bit of a writer, bit of a counterterrorism consultant. Spend most of my days in and around Perth, Australia!

What makes you happy?

Good books, good people, good scotch, good food. Not necessarily in that order.

I get an absurd sense of satisfaction from doing something well, which is a detailed kind of happiness, I suppose.

Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet?

I want to visit the glowworm caves in New Zealand! A system of caves with bioluminescent creatures dangling from the ceiling, accessible only by rowboat. One day!

Where is your favourite place to write?

Banff, Alberta. I spent nine months living in that national park and had a commanding view of the valley and the Bow River from my kitchen/dining area. Snow-capped mountains on all sides, swaths of green forest, curling bands of sparkling river, and a whole lot of deer, elk, and woodland critters.

I’d set up shop on the old wooden table in the kitchen, smells of bacon/coffee/toast/fresh fruit still on the air from breakfast. I was there over winter, and when it started to snow and blanket the valley in white, I wrote 7,000+ words a day, and moreover I enjoyed it.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Oh, far too many to list and competing for the top spot – I recently got stuck in a revolving door in Dubai, heading against the flow of foot traffic. But that was okay, as only about 200 people saw it happen.

What’s the best thing about being a published author?

Being able to tell people and point them toward my book. Purely in it for the bragging rights!

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

I was once asked as part of a Professional Communication course at university to give a two minute presentation, impromptu, on a subject to be decided by the lecturer immediately prior. He asked me to spend two minutes describing the mating habits of ping-pong balls and how that impacted the growth of seaweed in the southern ocean.

In response, I stood up in front of the class and sang an awesome rendition of Meatloaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love. Points for creativity, but I scraped through on a pass for that assessment as there was very little content related to the question. Have to say, I think he set me up to fail.

Who or what inspires you?

Great writing inspires me, which is probably why I’ve been trying my hand at the writing game. On the fiction side of the fence, authors such as Stephen King or Patrick Rothfuss for their remarkable prose.

Away from the writing, I’m inspired by anyone that doesn’t run from trouble when they really should. Sacrifice is, perhaps, the most inspiring thing in the world.

What is your worst habit?

Not so much procrastination, but not allowing myself time to relax/unwind after a busy week. Some days I write 2,000 words before lunch (my daily target) and then feel guilty for not spending the rest of the day writing, as well. It’s a bad habit that can lead to burnout fairly quickly, so I’m trying to teach myself to be happy with 2,000 a day, as well as my other work. Slowly but surely!

Your favourite word(s)?

I’ve always been a fan of the word ‘evanescence’ and its many meanings.

‘Rumour’ is also another favourite. As is ‘distant’. Words with a sense of time to them.

What is on your TBR pile?

Heh. What isn’t? Currently, though, near the top of the pile is The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo, Vivian Versus the Apocalypse by Katie Coyle, My Vision by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, and about a thousand more!

Did we forget anything?

I often do!

Just for fun

Tea or coffee?    Oh, neither. If pushed, a cup of tea.The Rig - Joe Ducie

Paper books or e-books?    Paper, but nothing against the e-book!

Vegemite or Marmite?    Marmite!

Write or type?    Ah, type.

Poetry or prose?    Prose!

Beach or bush?    Beach!

Hot or cold?    Cold. Too much heat can’t be managed!

Joe Ducie won the 2012 Guardian Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize for The Rig alongside Katie Coyle for Vivian Versus the Apocalypse. Both are published by Hot Key Books.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a comment