Award-winning television writer, producer, director & author
David L. Tucker is an award-winning television writer, producer and director. He holds a terminal degree in Fine Arts and is a professor of media at Ryerson University in Toronto. A former chair and associate dean at Toronto’s Ryerson University and Oakville’s Sheridan College respectively, Tucker was a recent Writer-in-Residence with Open Book Toronto and is a frequent guest speaker at international arts and media conferences. He has been published in scholarly journals including MEI at the Sorbonne.
Best known for his work on CBC-TV’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, Tucker has garnered dozens of international television awards including a Gemini for Best Direction, multiple Gemini nominations, a Gracie, a Chris, a Prix Italia and a Freddie, and presented at Hot Docs. As a television producer, writer and director, he has created arts, drama, science, children’s and current affairs programming and contributed as an associate producer to the feature documentary Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Story. Tucker is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada and the Documentary Organization of Canada.
You are an award-winning television writer, producer and director. Why did you decide to go in the direction of writing a collection of short stories?
DT: Douglas Coupland is quoted as saying, “finding a balance between fiction and non-fiction is the key to maxing out your brain”. As a filmmaker who has written both drama and documentary that comment really resonates with me. Writing prose is simply another medium for me to explore and, hopefully, grow and learn from.
Like the female author in One Way Ticket, have you ever experienced “writer’s block?’ If so, what did you do to overcome it?
DT: I get writer’s block every time I try to push my characters too hard, rather than let them show me the way. If I’m having an especially non-productive day, I go back and edit previous material or play music until I find my story (and characters) again.
Do you believe that life’s circumstances can force someone to rewrite their life? Do you believe that that person will still end up on the right path to fulfill their destiny?
DT: This is an interesting question. It would depend on whether the individual believes in their life narrative enough to forge their own path, right or wrong. In the case of the characters in One Way Ticket their emotional isolation leads them ironically toward their destiny. In a sense, they are all penitents in search of enlightenment.
What is it about story telling that best excites you, if you will?
DT: The thoughts of an original mind excite me. I like to be challenged when I am being entertained. Great writing is all about that.
What made you decide to write a collection of short stories as oppose to a novel?
DT: I wanted to learn to walk before I took up running. Short stories and novellas allow me to experiment, like doing a sketch before a painting.
Are you currently working on any book projects?
DT: I am adapting one of my stories into a screenplay and blocking out some ideas for a first novel. Wish me luck!
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
DT: Potentially doing exactly what I am doing now, except more of it.