Monday, July 18, 2011

Author Interview: T. K. Toppin

I had the wonderful privilege of interviewing author T. K. Toppin and learned more about her latest release, The Lancaster Trilogy Book Two, The Master Key.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I live in Barbados, a teeny island in the Caribbean surrounded by sea and sand. It’s a fairly laid back place to live, (if you don’t mind the heat) and I’m thoroughly Bajan, the term used for people born here or who’ve gone native. I’m the former. I’m married, no kids (phew), two geriatric dogs, and a black cat that thinks he’s human.

Initially, I started out as a graphic artist, something I’ve been doing for over twenty years. But, I’ve always wanted to write (something, anything!). So a couple years ago, I just did it. I haven’t stopped writing since.

Before we get into your specific story, tell us a little about The Lancaster Trilogy.
The Lancaster story is about a young woman who finds herself in a stasis pod and awakes 300 years into the future. From there, she has to learn how to live in this future and cope with the sudden realization that she has lost everything. She also finds love, a reason to stay in the future she’s found herself in, and also uncovers all the truths about her life and why she really ends up in the future. Each book is like a beginning, a middle, and an end – from her discovery of where she is and the foundation of the entire trilogy, to where she uncovers the truths about her past and having to deal with it, to finally, where she takes a stand and ends the madness that was her past, and makes a conscious effort to put it all behind her and really live in the future she’s been catapulted into. Does that make any sense?

Tell us a little about The Master Key
In this, the second book in the trilogy, my protagonist, Josie is settling into married life with John. Pretty soon, she discovers that a relation of hers holds the secrets of her past, and from there, the story leaps forth into action. It takes her way out into space to a space station where a battle begins to save the world from her villainous nephew. With her husband at her side, Josie fights to regain all the truths about her past.

What was your inspiration for the story?
I love reading books with adventure and action and unforgettable characters that make the story worth reading. I always seek out books of that nature. And if I ever wanted to write, that was the sort of book I’d write.

The basic outline of the Lancaster Trilogy pretty much came about along the lines of an adventure. I knew it would happen in the future, and I knew I wanted to have unforgettable characters. The general story just sort of developed in my head first, and a lot of it was the concept of “what if this where to happen” (in the future, and if someone from the past where to end up in it). And it just sort of built up on that idea.

What kind of research did you do for the book?
Mostly, I Googled stuff or Wikipedia’d things I wanted to know about, like the sciences and technology, and stasis pods, machines, weapons, fighting techniques. Quite a bit was made up…why not, right?

What do you enjoy most about writing Science Fiction Romance?
The ability to have characters that can interact and humanize the story, so it’s not so tech-oriented and gives it an even balance. While my romance bits are very mild and tame, the interaction is there, or the relationship. For me, that’s the key foundation that builds the story and takes it into the other bits of tech-stuff and action and adventure. I tried a contemporary story, but it lacked something…the SF aspect. So I trashed the story altogether. Then the idea for the Lancaster stories came about, so I dragged out the old story, mixed it up, stirred in some elements, and incorporated it into the Lancaster books. It worked. I’m not saying I’ll never write a contemporary story, but for now, I’m having too much fun creating worlds and living in the future.

Can you tell us more about your other published works?
My only other published work is The Lancaster Rule, which is the beginning of the trilogy. In this book, Josie wakes up and has to learn how to live in the future. She meets many obstacles, finds love, uncovers a plot to take over the world, and helps to stop this from happening. One reviewer called it a high-octane ride into the future.

Any upcoming projects?
I’ve just completed a work in progress, another SFR, which is in the hands of a few beta readers. I’ve two more ideas, half-completed, and set in the Lancaster world. Eventually I’ll get around to finishing them.

Where can we find you on the web?
My blogsite:
Facebook: The Lancaster Rule or Written by T.K. Toppin
Twitter: TKToppin

Buy Link for The Lancaster Trilogy Book Two: The Master Key:

1 comment: