Conversations & Guests

A Chat with Fantasy Writer K. M. Tolan

Happy Friday Everyone! Please welcome my fellow Champagne Books author, K. M. Tolan, to the Paranormal Unbound blog. KM writes kickass fantasy. I had the pleasure of reading his recent release TRACKS. Feel free to check out my review later. For now, say hello to KM! –>

Hi, KM! Glad you could join us today for a chat! Tell our readers a little about yourself. Something not in your bio, perhaps?image
Lemme see. Not in the bio, eh? Well, I’ve been chasing the writing dream since eighth grade when the English teacher let me read my humorous essays on Fridays as a reward for class good behavior. Decades and six novels later I’m still chasing (grin). Writing isn’t something I feel you can accomplish as much as keep after. I’m happily married and have been for over thirty years, and the wife and two kids (now grown up) continue to be an inspiration for putting down that next sentence.

What do you love about writing science fiction and fantasy?
Got to be the characters. Seriously, what happens to both a person and those around them they love when the cosmic doo-doo hits the fan? Anybody can save the world, but what if they lose themselves and family in the process? Those questions are my meat and potatoes.

I recently read–and loved–your March 2014 YA fantasy release, Tracks. What inspired you to write this story?
No surprise that the whole idea started when I was on a train heading through Ontario, Canada. Saw this doe pausing above a misty stream. The scene whisked passed like a vision, making me wonder if I was looking out at another world. Maybe I was. The seed was planted from which Tracks grew. I also wanted to write a fantasy in the very old school sense – showing that you can dispense with wizards and dragons while staying true to the genre. Too much of the same old European-based tropes has gotten the genre rather spinning its wheels a tad, me-thinks.

What do you love about writing science fiction and fantasy? image
Where else can you stretch out your imagination to its fullest? Come up with vistas and situations to better explore the human condition (even when your characters aren’t human)? That’s the unbridled fun of SF and Fantasy for me.

What sci fi and fantasy authors do you read (aka what’s on your bookshelf?)
Remember what I said about old school? Julian May and Orson Scott Card stand out for their wonderful characters. Zenna Henderson’s another one. Anne McCaffrey, of course. For dead characters walking, there’s always RR Martin, heh. Clive Barker for the most realistic blend of fantasy and reality (Weave World). You’ll notice few contemporary authors because right now I’m too busy writing to read, sigh.

Favorite sci-fi or fantasy book series:
The first three or so books from the Gorean series for incredible world building before Norman completely lost it. Foundation by Asimov. Lord of the Rings (of course). The Many Colored Land by Julian May for really major world building and deep characterization.

Favorite sci-fi or fantasy TV series:image
Babylon 5. Firefly after I finally acquired a taste for it.

If you could have a paranormal power, what would you wish for?
Flying! Secondary power would be to avoid getting bugs in my teeth.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Probably some place like Hawaii. Or Tahiti. Magical place.

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, because there’s nothing like a conflicted Sith and the sound of light sabers.

Deep Space Nine or Babylon 5?
Babylon 5 ftw. Better writing and characters, though DS9 did give it a run for its money at times.

Battlestar Gallactica, original or remake? Remake hands-down. BSG was re-imagined with better everything, and was more about the characters than its predecessor. The vipers could also turn left.

Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis or Stargate Universe? SG1. Richard Dean Anderson was superb.

Thanks for visiting KM! Now, tell us about your book, TRACKS, please:
image, Tracks Book cover, Amber BelldeneVincent’s sister is swept away by a steam locomotive riding rails that vanish along with her. Ten years later he rediscovers those tracks, and heads down them to bring her back.
Ever look out a train car’s window and think the world rushing by isn’t yours? Welcome to Hobohemia, where hobo kings vie with rail barons over the value of the human spirit, and steam engines still ply the living rails. Vincent arrives searching for his long lost sister, but quickly finds himself immersed in a battle to stop the Erie Railroad from unleashing a horror that will see the end of hobo jungles and craftsmen alike.


About K. M. Tolan:
I’m a software engineer working here in Austin, Texas. I was born and raised near Port Huron Michigan, and entered the US Air Force first as a soldier (Security Police) where I saw combat first hand. After that, I moved on to airborne electronics and finally out into the private world again where a string of events saw me with a lovely wife, two kids, and a career in programming that I continue to enjoy. So what made me a writer? As a kid, I consumed libraries of any SF or Fantasy I could find. This continued on with paperbacks, and I finally decided that I could channel a rampant case of day dreaming into something constructive. I learned the basics (it’s not all art, you know) and began the long journey toward publication.

Connect with K. M. Tolan
Website | Facebook

Readers: Sci-Fi/Fantasy Chat!
KM is off on a vacation cruise, right now, the lucky writer! He’ll stop by when he’s back on land, but in the meantime, let’s talk all things Fantasy and Sci-Fi! Do you have favorite reads or TV/movies in these genres? We love reading and viewing recs around here! ☺ — cheers, Celia.

3 thoughts on “A Chat with Fantasy Writer K. M. Tolan

  1. Hi KM,

    Hope you’re enjoying your cruise! Thanks for visiting with us today.

    I’m with you on Babylon 5 – loved that series. So well done. I confess I never watched SG1 but I did catch the later two series and enjoyed them. I, too, liked the BSG remake and how it focused on the characters. As for Firefly — well, I adore all things Joss Whedon, so Firefly is top of my list!

  2. Pingback: Oh Death, Where Are Thy Tracks? | Paranormal Unbound

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