Today we sit down for a chat with Ben Tucker from author George Cramer’s newest crime novel.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
I was Ben Tucker, a reasonably happy teenager working on a 1930s sharecropper farm in rural Georgia. There were a bunch of us youngsters and my Ma and Pa. We didn’t have much, but we were happy. Then George kills off my Pa. I don’t much blame George because his Grandpa Cramer died much the same time and way, only in the northern part of California.
It wasn’t long before Ma remarried, adding even more mouths to feed. My big brother Jim decided to hit the road. I went along. We didn’t know much and were soon serving time in prison, where I was sexually assaulted.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
You’ll find it hard to believe, but next to reading, I most loved dogs my whole life.
What do you like least about yourself?
Having the ability to kill another human being, even if they deserved killing or in war.
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you?
Few folks around can say they worked as a slave in a Japanese mine.
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
We didn’t differ much, but he had a couple of curious ideas about how to rob a bank. What’s he know? I forced him to do a bit more research than he wanted. Jim and I did the robbing the way we wanted.
What is your greatest fear?
Dying alone away from my brother.
What makes you happy?
I love playing cribbage, especially with Jim. My Pa began teaching me the game when I was ten years old.
What would it be if you could rewrite a part of your story? Why?
I know, George keeps reminding me there would be no story without a life of crime, but I was happy farming and wished that had been the life we led.
Which of the other characters in your book bugs you the most? Why?
The lieutenant that Detective Smith worked for was lazy and useless. Even though Smith was after me, he deserved a better leader.
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
It would be Noah. He’s not much to look at or brag about, but he is in the early days of his police career. Honest and hardworking, he could have a great career. I also liked Detective Collins. I wish her story could have been real in the 1970s.
Tell us a little something about your author.
George Cramer is an enrolled descendant of the Karuk Tribe of California. He enjoyed a forty-year investigative career in law enforcement and private and corporate investigations. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts / Creative Writing – Fiction.
As a licensed Private Investigator, George conducted thousands of successful investigations throughout the Americas and Asia. He kept his investigative skills honed by volunteering as an investigator with the San Leandro Police.
George’s short stories and poems have been published in numerous online and printed anthologies. His debut novel, The Mona Lisa Sisters, was released in 2020. This was followed recently by Robbers and Cops. Book 1 in the Hector Miguel Navarro crime series, New Liberty, is scheduled for release in late spring 2023.
When he isn’t riding the backroads of the U.S.A., George can be found working on the blog he’s devoted to the promotion of authors and their work. If you are an author, published or not, he invites you to write a guest post. Learn more about George and his books at his website.
Robbers and Cops
Robbers and Cops is the interwoven story of two criminals and detectives’ forty-year struggle to bring them to justice.
Brothers Jim and Ben Tucker embark on a life of crime that takes them from the swamps of Georgia to Oregon and beyond. Along the way, they brush against prohibition-era gangsters.
Working as a team, it isn’t long before they are on the run. Under assumed names, they enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps only to wind up on Corregidor as World War II begins. Wounded, captured, and surviving the Bataan Death March, they ended the war as forced labor in a mainland Japanese POW Camp.
Discharged and soon out of money, they return to what they know, robbing banks. Soon after, they are arrested, convicted, and sentenced to separate federal prisons for the next two decades. When released, the Tuckers having no other trade, immediately return to robbing banks. Release means nothing. Multiple police agencies join forces to bring them to justice.
Ben is an awesome character and this interview *almost* does him justice. Great q&A Lois and George! Enjoying Robbers and Cops, and wish I had more hours in a day!!!)
This is a great novel. You end up cheering on the robbers. George is a great writer.
I really enjoyed hearing from "Ben." I'm glad he set Big George straight on a few things. Read Robbers and Cops--It's a great read.
I loved the book! So fun to see an interview with one of the robbers, who were my favorite characters in the book.
Very clever interview. I enjoyed learning more about your characters.
This was so fun!! Loved hearing from George!
Enjoyed this interview! I look forward to reading Robbers and Cops soon!
I liked Ben's devotion to reading, especially his treasured First Editions.
Totally enjoyed the interview. FYI, the Upstate South Carolina Chapter of Sisters in Crime has selected Robbers and Cops as our June 14th Mystery Book Club selection. If you'd like to participate, send your email address to email@example.com and I'll add you to our MBC mailing list.
Thanks Sally, I look forward to hearing what SC SinC folks have to say about Robbers and Cops.
Hi Donnell, Thanks for the kind words about Ben. I know he appreciates having you in his corner (even a little bit)
Wow! Thank you Unknown. If you liked Robbers and Cops, I'm sure you will like the Hector Miguel Navarro series that will be coming out in the late spring. Shoot me an email and I'll shoot you an ARC.
Well, Mike those are some big words for me to try living up to. I'll give it my best shot. I heard that you and Donnell are both going to make appearances at the South Carolina SinC book club this year. I won't miss the opportunity to see you two in person (Zoom).
The brothers were my favorites as well. Noah was loosely based on Sergeant G.D. Cramer during his first detective tour. I have to admit, he bored me in the first draft, and I sliced and diced most of his character's role. LOL
Thanks for stopping by and meeting my friend Ben. Besides Ben, I recently learned that you and I share our admiration for J. A. (Judith) Jance and her work.
I'm glad you had fun with the interview. Ben told me it was great fun chatting with Lois. I must admit some of her questions, and his answers surprised me.
Thanks, Lois for letting Ben Tucker tell his story.
Great to hear from my favorite Sisters in Crime Colorado member who lives in Washington. I'm looking forward to your comments after you get a chance to read Robbers and Cops.
My Dad was an avid reader of Louis L'Amour and Zane Grey. I could almost always count on him having a worn paperback in his right rear pocket. I wish I had some of those books back.
Thanks for stopping by.
I can't thank you enough for allowing Ben to visit with you and you posting this interview.
Take Care & Stay Safe
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