Hope everyone has a wonderful new year!!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Interview with T.K. Toppin

Welcome to Jagged Edge Reviews! Thank you for being with us today.

Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m from Barbados, born and raised. I didn’t start out wanting to be a writer, it just sort of morphed that way. But I’ve always been creative, mostly visually, through fine art and graphic design. I guess writing is just another outlet for my creativity. I’ve spent the better part of 25 years as a graphic artist, ten of them splitting my time writing. I’m married, two dogs, one cat and a tortoise and at a stage in my life where ambition no longer burns so bright, rather, focus, dedication and enjoying the journey are what’s key to forging ahead.

What inspired you to write?
I read a truly dull and boring book (which shall remain nameless) that had been lauded and praised but couldn’t get past chapter one for several days. I fell asleep most times. When I eventually finished the book, a couple months later, I had to ask myself how this book every got published (by a big named publishing house). Then I thought hard and decided that if this writer could publish something, why not me? So I started outlining stories and went from there. Also, I’ve always been an avid reader, diving into the written world and always in awe with what the author had created. I wanted to do that as well.

What authors influenced you as a writer?
So many. I don’t know where to start. To list a few that I’ve helped shaped me: Frank Herbert (for his intricate world-building and imagination), Stephen King (for his memorable characters that seem so real and knowing how people tick), C.S. Lewis (for transporting me into another realm of fantasy and adventure), J.K. Rowling (for, well duhh…that’s obvious). Then there’s Eoin Colfer, Jonathan Stroud, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Diana Gabaldon, Larry McMurtry, Dean Koontz, Dan Brown. Each bringing with them a wealth of different styles, genres and incredibly written characters. In later years, through my writing, I’ve connected with and read many more from indie writers, again, each bringing unique styles and worlds to fall into: Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, JC Cassels, Gayle Ramage, Ryan Attard, Cary Caffery, Patrick Stutzman, TM Hunter, KM Tolan, Lilian Oake…the list is endless. Each day I find another author I’m in awe of.

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?
A notebook. Trust me, the brain and retaining ideas to memory is a bad idea. There are so many plots and scenes I had mapped out in my head and then, poof, gone. But to be honest, the one thing a writer really needs, is a focused desire to create, no matter what. There will be critics and forces that prevent you from your goal, but once you have that desire, you will find a way and get there. It’s the one thing that you will always have.

Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?
Yes and no. I like to mix it up and borrow something from each genre, but I tend to lean more towards science fiction or speculative fiction. I haven’t done yet is fantasy, even though I love reading fantasy. I guess for me, my writing has to be believable…to a point.

What led you to writing in this genre?
With science fiction and speculative fiction, anything is possible. Plus it’s fun! While there are some constraints in the story-telling and the believability, the limit is your imagination and how best to work these elements into the story and make it believable. Like instead of a straight murder-mystery, why not set it in the future and have cool tech and gadgets and stretch the realm of the tale with a unique twist.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
When the plot works and the characters and scenes come alive.

Least favorite part of the writing process?
Editing. Slashing chunks of your work and deleting them. And marketing. Bleh.

What are you currently working on?
Finishing up the re-editing of previously published works. The Lancaster Rule trilogy, the first two are already back out, rebranded and revised, so it’s just the last one. Once that is done and back out into the world, I can focus on the pile up of WIPs.

Where readers can find you?
Lately, I’ve been hanging out on Instagram (@written.by.tktoppin). It must be the artist in me, but I find that platform to be visually pleasing. I’m not very adept at social media, nor am I chatty while using these platforms. With Instagram, it’s the right combo of social interaction and showing your work. That being said, I’m also on Twitter (@TKToppin) and Facebook (Written By T.K. Toppin).

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I’m pretty lazy when I’m not writing. Procrastination is like an occupation for me. I’m very good at it. From reading to playing stupid games on my iPad, poking about the Internet and Googling things, binge-watching Netflix shows, socializing with my small group, and or just chillaxing and conjuring new tales to tell.

1 comment:

TK Toppin said...

Thank you so much for having me.

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