Tucker Cobey
Tucker Cobey

Today we sit down with Tucker Cobey, who has published two stories in Elm Books anthologies, and who purports to be at work on a novel or two.

In one sentence, sum up your story in Undeath and the Detective.

One’s an academic vampire hunter who doesn’t mind going his own way; one’s the new vampire on the block with a mysterious past—together, They Fight Crime!

List 5 random facts about yourself.

  1. I’m a black belt in tae kwon do.
  2. I’m fully trained and qualified to operate 17th-century field artillery.
  3. I was, at one point, a professional ballroom dancer.
  4. I have been to two Magic: the Gathering GPs, and managed a winning record at one.
  5. I am a professional SAT instructor.

What in particular inspired you to write this story?

What inspired me to write? Jess had an anthology and asked me if I wanted to submit. What inspired this story? My experiences in the Los Angeles goth clubbing scene, combined with an undying (hah) love for detective fiction.

What do you most like to write? Is it the same or different from what you like to read?

It’s kind of a funny question, and the answer’s tautological: I like to write what I like to write. About the only real rule is that I don’t like literary fiction; I strongly prefer genre pieces. I also detest downer endings. There are exceptions to every rule, though.

Is this your first detective story? Your first supernatural story?

This is my second detective story, and my first supernatural story of any type. I submitted to Death and the Detective on a lark; Jess loved the first story, so I set out to write another except with vampires. It was some of the most difficult writing I’ve ever done—especially because I try to make my mysteries as solveable by the reader as I possibly can—but I think it turned out well in the end.

Do you celebrate Halloween? If so, how?

Remember how I said this story is based on my experiences in the LA goth scene? The question really is why do I not ever stop celebrating Halloween?

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Martial arts, goth clubs, really complicated board games, and the odd video game or two. Sometimes my girlfriend takes me camping.

Are there any particular authors or artists who inspire you?

Are there authors or artists who inspire me? Yes. Are there particular ones? No. Everything I’ve seen, done, read, and in general experienced is an inspiration. As artists of any kind, I feel that our creative expressions are really just amalgamations of our experiences, feelings, and beliefs put onto a page. For example, this story is really just goth clubs plus Vampire: the Requiem plus detective noir with maybe a little Jim Butcher and or Raymond Chandler thrown in. That’s not to say it’s not my own creation; it is without a doubt. It just means that, essentially, we’re chefs instead of gods: We don’t create things whole-cloth, we just turn ingredients into something new and delightful.

There’s a quote, of which I’m very fond, from one of my favorite voice actresses (Jennifer Hale) that I think sums it up perfectly: “I was chasing my horse one time, we were playing, this sounds crazy, but we were playing tag in this arena and I’m chasing him around and it was a really deep, sandy arena, and I tripped, and I just did a full-on faceplant, and was like ‘PLUAAEH,’ you know, one of those things? And as I go down and I get the wind knocked out of me, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, I gotta remember that sound…’”

Are you working on anything new? Tell us about it!

Right now I have two manuscripts that are more or less complete. One I can’t find a home for; it’s a cyberpunk detective noir story. The other is a fantasy manuscript that I probably could send somewhere but may need to be totally rewritten. I also have some dystopian sci-fi flash fiction pieces I’ve never really done anything with. Oh, and Jess issued me a writing challenge that I really need to get around to doing.

Promote your work! What is your favorite thing you’ve written, and where can readers find it?

My only other published credit is “Happy Valentine’s,” in Death and the Detective. Go read it!

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