Author Ken Toppell wanted to write when he went to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was there during a tumultuous time, the start of the sit-in campaigns, the onset of the civil rights movement. He graduated with a degree in History and Political Science before he went on to Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, and postgraduate training in Houston, Texas, and in the army.

Over the next forty-eight years, Ken did his writing on medical wards and in intensive care units. Ken saw organ transplants go from rare procedures only done by celebrity doctors to a new surgical specialty. Passionate physicians implemented new forms of medical research and brought HIV/AIDS from an epidemic with a 100 percent mortality rate to an outpatient disease. There were new tools and new drugs, and Ken learned why medicine is called practice.

As the years passed by, Ken began to give lectures in American History, and he had some time to do a new kind of writing. He now lives in Plano, Texas, where he reads, writes, and enjoys life with his wife of fifty-four years.


What inspired you to write your book from several characters’ points of view rather than the more traditional third-person omniscient perspective?
"I wrote the first chapter from both perspectives and preferred the personal POV version. I could show Henry’s eccentricities better this way."

What do you believe is the key to writing surprising and shocking twists and turns within a thriller?
"I write without an outline. Therefore, if I think the story works better in a new direction while I’m writing, I simply go there. I try it out to see what would catch my reader unaware or surprised."

Was there a scene that was your favorite to write?
"I think it was the rescue. Henry’s response when he needed to act to save someone’s life, and Carolyn’s ability to hold her ground in such a uniquely challenging situation. The surprise the characters experience mirrors my own, because what made this my favorite scene was that I didn’t think I could write it!"

© Kenneth L. Toppell 2022