Gunnedah Hero

Gunnedah Hero

By   Publisher  Morris Publishing Australia

ISBN  9780646557335


Published in   Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Historical, History, Teen Young Adult,


Fourteen-year-old Gunnedah ‘Gunnie’ Danson is despondent because he has an assignment on the drought. As a ‘Townie’ he knows nothing about the affects of this blight on the rural industry; but that is about to change. When he returns home from school he receives a surprise gift.

His late grandfather has left him a box containing a manuscript. It was written by Gunnie’s great-great-grandfather, Smokey ‘Gun’ Danson after his journey up the long paddock as a fourteen-year-old drover; during a harsh drought in 1910. At the back of the manuscript is an envelope. It’s NOT to be opened until Gunnie has read the entire story.

Gunnie spends the weekend at Wiralee Station; a cattle station that’s been in the family since 1848. There, he reads the awesome manuscript and learns of Smokey’s adventurous journey. But while he is at Wiralee, he learns more than he bargained for. The family cattle station is under threat. Will the contents of the mysterious envelope save it?

‘Highly Commended’ in the FAW Jim Hamilton Award – 2007 National Literary Awards.

What is the Tag Line for your book? (A short description of your book in a sentence or two)

Winner of two awards in the Australian National Literary Awards. A modern-historical fiction story about life as a drover in 1910

Do you write full time or part time

I have been a full time author, poet and photographer for 17 years

How do you structure your day when you write

Mm ... All day every day. I am now busier than I was ten years ago. Every day I am conscious of utilising my time to achieve the best outcomes. Priorities are always on my mind. However, when I am writing a novel, it is 10 hours every day until finished. Usually, a 100,000 word novel will take me three months.

Why do you write? (Example; For fun, to make extra money, a personal experience you want to share with the public)

I have always had a great imagination, and I find it easy to write. I guess it's a gift.

What are you working on right now / or your most recent work

Very little, but many emails from satisfied customers.

What inspired you to create this book

I wanted city kids to learn about the Australian bush, and how tough it was to live in a drought in 1910. Also, I wanted those same kids to realise that meat and milk do not come from a supermarket.

What genre do you write in and why did you choose it

I write young adult fiction but,strangely, all of my books are enjoyed by folks from 8 to 80 years-of-age. I have had an extraordinary life, travelled the globe, lived in four countries, speak three languages and have seen many amazing things. Thus, I wanted to pass on my experiences in an entertaining way. However, I always have role models in my stories, and many young kids today do not have a good role model.

How much research did you do on your book? (If it applies)

Very little. 98% came out of my head. I have a lot of knowledge about farming. I used to be one.

How do you think you have evolved creatively from when you first started writing until now

Massively. Never enough hours in the day.

What was the hardest thing about writing this book for you

Nothing! It was an adrenalin rush.

What was the most rewarding

Producing the entire book, including the cover with my own photographs. Why not?

If you had to start over, is there anything you would do different

Not really. It has been an amazing journey.

How have you evolved from when you first started writing until now

Greatly. I have learnt so much about producing books, I could write a book about it.

Are you a planner type person, or do you prefer to dive right in when you write

I shoot from the hip. Have an idea and go! The story takes on its own journey.

Do they influence your writing


Do you recommend being a part of a support groups to help you with your writing

Maybe. I'm very motivated but I will listen to any advice offered. If a group helps, join it.

Do you work with an editor If so, how much input do they have

I have excellent editors. You must find one that is compatible. Mine always ask sensible questions and I normally agree with them.

Was there anyone in your past that you think influenced your writing

Maybe my grandfather.

Do you have any tips or useful resources on marketing

Sell your brand. It's a tough gig.

How are you publishing this book? (Indie / self-published, traditional)


What are your thoughts on book series

Yes, I have one already, and another on the go.

How long do you think a book should be? (Pages or words)

A story is a story. That's it. Do not pad out your stories. I have novels and novellas; some long and some short.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers

Network seriously and return the favour. Be nice!

What advice would you give to your younger self today

Head to Thailand immediately.

What is your favorite book or film

Any by John Grisham or Lord Jeffrey Archer.

If you don’t already have one, do you have plans to have a book trailer and what are your thoughts on them overall

I've done five but none of them seem to sell books.

What are you working on next

Another screenplay which will go to all movie houses.

When you get frustrated, how do you deal with it

I don't!

What advice would you give a writer that is just starting out

If you don't have the passion, don't bother. This is a tough business. Network, work seriously, get organised, maintain your own voice at all times, don't take yourself too seriously and be humble.

About the Author


Clancy Tucker is an award-winning author with three awards in the Australian National Literary Awards. He writes young adult fiction for reluctant readers, but has also achieved success as a poet and photographer. Clancy has lived in four countries, speaks three languages, has photography accepted and published in books in the USA (Innocent Dreams, Endless Journeys & A Trip Down Memory Lane), used as covers for magazines (‘The Australian Writer’ – 2008 and ‘Victorian Writer’ - 2008), has work registered with the International Library of Photography and been published in literary magazines. He’s written more than 146 short stories and has a sizeable collection of bush poems. Clancy’s won, been short-listed, ‘Commended’ and ‘Highly Commended’ in writing contests: 2006, 2007& 2011 Australian National Literary Awards, Raspberry & Vine (twice), Positive words, Australian Writers On-Line, Shaggy Sheep Tale, The Cancer Council Arts Awards (2005 & 2008), The Dusty Swag Awards (2010) and had twelve short stories published in literary magazines (Page Seventeen, Branching Out, Positive Words and The Australian Writer), newspapers (The Standard, Mountain Views & The Advocate), written articles for Kid Magazine in the USA, and won a poetry prize to name a life-size statue designed by renowned Belgian sculptor, Bruno Torfs. Clancy is a full-time writer but has been a speechwriter, senior public servant, farmer and small business operator. He teaches students at the University of the Third Age (U3A), mentors emerging writers, has worked with street kids, and draws on life’s experiences to write entertaining stories for kids. Clancy also writes a daily blog which includes top guests from around the world: human rights lawyers, authors, musicians, artists, illustrators, senior diplomats, young adults and many more: Check it out. He has also been a guest on dozens of blogs, writes a monthly editorial for a newspaper and contributes articles for literary magazines. Clancy has also been a contributing guest editor for the Australian Prostate Magazine. Not only, Clancy has been a human rights activist and social justice campaigner for decades.