Home of authors Holly Hunt & Jophrael L. Avario

Talking to TK Toppin, Author (2/2)

As those of you who tuned in yesterday would know, the fabulous T.K. Toppin, author of the stunning The Lancaster Rule, is returning to our bookshelves (or Kindle stores) with the second book in the series, The Master Key. Through massive amounts of digital technology (the best kind), T.K. and I had a little chat about her upcoming book.

Straight into a couple of questions…

HH: Now, for all those people out there, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself? What’s your favourite genre to write in?

TKT: I can safely say, I like to write science fiction.  Some may even say that it’s more Science Fiction Romance (SFR). I think I feel most comfortable in this genre — the possibilities are endless.   However, I am tempted to cross-pollinate.

HH: I think cross-polinating adds the variable flavours of all great books. Now, who do you think are your favourite or most influential authors?

TKT: Hmm, there are many — even the ones I don’t like have influenced me because I fear being like them and putting people to sleep.  That being said, those among my favourites would have to be Frank Herbert, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Diana Gabaldon, Jonathan Stroud, Eoin Colfer, and J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts writing as a mystery-writer), and Dean Koontz.  But the list grows because there’s so many talented and exciting new authors out there.

HH: Absolutely. So, that in mind, what makes a good story for you?

TKT: Let’s see… If I’m going to get a book, for one, it would probably be from an author I have read before, so I know what to expect.  But even if it isn’t, if it has adventure, humour, great characters…then I’m all for it.  I love series, so that’s another thing I go for.  After all, it’s nice to meet old friends again.

If it’s a good story that I’ve written, well, I won’t go so far as to be presumptuous and immodest. I hope what would make my stories good will be because there’s everything in there that I’d like in a book.  Adventure and thrills, action, twisty plots, unforgettable characters, evil villains you just want to jump into the book and beat the crap out of…you get the picture, right?

HH: Do you have any signature elements (eg, always having a blonde hero, a god somewhere in every story, futuristic settings, a shape-shifter in every story…)?

TKT: Good question. Uhm, not sure.  For me, it would have to have some form of humour, a bit of quirkiness.  It makes the characters more realistic, down-to-earth, believable.  Like normal people. Oh, and if they were flawed, even better.  After all, no one’s perfect, right?

HH: Absolutely. Perfection usually equals boredom. So how you coax yourself to write (once a week, once a day, bully yourself, bribe yourself, stare out a window for the first two hours, spend hours on Wikipedia searching for the elusive facts…)? 

TKT: A foot up the bum usually helps…kidding. To be honest, I have to have the right sort of motivation.  I like quiet and order, so if there’s too much happening around me, then I get distracted and lose interest.  Playing video games helps to clear my mind, reading other books helps, but generally, if I’m writing, I prefer not to read other books since some of the writing style somehow infiltrates into my own writing.  Not good!  I only read if I’m editing stuff or need a break.  If I am writing, I try to do it at least a few hours each day, mostly the afternoon where I’m assured of some peace and quiet.  Before, I’d write in the morning or late at night.  But since the publication of the first book, morning hours are split between my day job and catching up with emails and marketing plots for the book. Groan, who knew the hard work came after you wrote the book!

HH: I definately agree on that point. Speaking of writing (as I love to do), what does your writing space look like?

TKT: A mess.  We won’t go there.

HH: That sounds oddly familiar (*grin*). What does the view outside the window look like? 

TKT: Boring.  A golden palm tree behind me, a Lady-of the-Night bush next to me and beyond that, a mango tree.  Sometimes my cat sits on the window to keep my company.

HH: Yum, Mangos!  So who’s allowed to read the story before it’s published?

TKT: My husband since I appreciate his non-sci-fi mind and reading approach.  His bluntness is invaluable as well, because if he doesn’t like it, he’ll say so and not sugar-coat it.  He’s also my gauge.  If he falls asleep while reading it, I’m in trouble — rewrite time!  I’ve another person who reads it as well and I usually bounce off ideas with her.  She also sees stuff I don’t, so it works well.

HH: Test readers are always wonderful things. Do you have a writing mascot/something that has to be there for you to write? 

TKT: Yeh, my cat.  He’s like a patient, persistent presence.  Immobile, actually.  If he sleeps soundly, I write fairly well.  But honestly, I don’t really have a mascot…my cat Dobby was just handy to use since he’s always near me.  Haha!!

HH: Reminds me of another Dobby I know. Well, thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat to the readers, T.

TKT: I’d also just like to say, thank you so much for having me Holly.  It’s been fun doing this.

HH: You’re welcome, and thanks for volunteering for my blog. It’s been real entertainment chatting with you, T.

The Master Key can be found at Champagne books from July 01, 2011.

(And I will definatley be there with bells on, waiting to buy it!)


June 17, 2011 - Posted by | Interviews with Awesome Authors


  1. Hey TK, loved the interview and getting to know you a bit better. You’re so lucky to have a husband that reads your work. My DH doesn’t like to read, mainly because he’s so busy doing other stuff, but still….

    Comment by Ciara Gold | June 18, 2011

  2. I just want to say again, Holly, thanks again. It’s been great fun!!

    Comment by T.K. Toppin | June 17, 2011

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