Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Author Interview: TK Toppin

I recently met an author, TK Toppin, on Twitter. She is an SFR (science fiction romance) author and fellow member of the SFR Brigade. She also participates in SFFS, a writer ring I run, where science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction authors can share snippets of their work each week.

From the snippets that I read on SFFS, I was intrigued by TK's writing and decided to buy the three books from her Lancaster Trilogy. I promptly read them, and really enjoyed devouring the products of TK's imagination. If you're interested in science fiction and anime/manga-style writing, then I think you'll really enjoy TK's stuff.

Anyways, enough about all that. I'd better allow TK to introduce herself to you.

TK, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I write Science Fiction, with a little romance (SFR), filled with action, thrills, and humour. When not writing, I'm a daydream connoisseur and sometimes graphic designer (sometimes). To date, I've three books from The Lancaster Trilogy published with Champagne Books, and its SF-dedicated imprint Burst Books. I'm currently working on a new novel (it's complete), and messing about with three other works in progress. When not designing or writing, I live in Barbados with my husband, three dogs, and a stressed cat who is not too keen on the new puppy.

Your Lancaster series is a science fiction work, as well as being part anime. What attracts you to these two genres?
Part anime? Hmm...yes, it is kind of. Or Manga, so I've been told by a few younger people who have read it. I love science fiction, from the gadgetry to the weird, mind-boggling stuff that happens in the name of science. Combine that with a cool story, action, thrills and suspense...well, that's what attracts me to it. I'm not quite big into anime, but given the right story, I may be tempted to watch it.

Why do you write, as you're also a graphic artist?
To me, writing is like an extension...another way to express yourself. It's the same with art. It's just something that needs to "come out" of me. The more I write (and for that matter, when I draw), the more it feels like a natural process of relaying what's in my head and presenting it visually.

When and how did you first meet Josie Bettencourt, heroine of the Lancaster series?
Haha... at first, Josie was a nameless, faceless person who had all number of mishaps happen to her. The more I developed the story outline, the more her personality and features appeared. And from there, she kind of took off.

What one piece of advice would you give to other writers?
Listen to whatever advice there is out there — from grammatical guidance to story building to getting published and how to deal with things when you get some lumps. There are so many resources available now, just a click of the mouse away. Take advantage of what is out there. Read, read, read…lots of books, different genres, even the boring ones. And also read and re-read your own work until you go cross-eyed. Seek out beta readers (people you know and value their opinions because of their honesty) or join forums, writer’s groups, chats. And finally, develop a very thick skin because not everyone is going to love your work. But that’s all part of growing and improving as a writer.

Any upcoming news or plans?
I'm currently tidying up a completed work in progress called Bengaria's War and getting it ready to seek out agents. I'm also in the middle of doing some research and collaborating with my brother on a new project. We're thinking something like a short story serial based on the story we cooked up. Also on the back burner, two other novels just waiting to be completed. So far, the are about a quarter way done.

What's your favourite place in the world, and why?
That's easy. Home. Because I live here. And that would be in Barbados.

Coffee or Hot Chocolate?

Summer or Winter?
Winter. And summer, if it's mild. I've discovered I love snow.

Black and White, or Colour?
Hmmm...tough one. Both since they are equally appealing to me.

Favourite Food?
One I didn't have to cook.

Car or Motorbike?
Car, since I've only been on a motorbike once, sitting at the back hanging on. That being said, it was fun...

Thank you so much for coming over to my blog for the interview, TK! It's been great to have you and to get to know you a little better. And for those curious to know a little more about me, TK's got me over on her blog today.
TK Toppin
Personal Bio: Writer of Science Fiction, with a little SFR, filled with action, thrills, and humour. When not writing, T.K. is a Daydream Connoisseur & sometimes Graphic Designer (sometimes). To date, she has three books from The Lancaster Trilogy published with Champagne Books, and its SF-dedicated imprint Burst Books.

You can find everything about me on my blog T.K. Toppin.
I have two Facebook pages: The Lancaster RuleWritten By T.K. Toppin
You can also find me on Twitter: @TKToppin