Interview and Book Giveaway – Timothy S Johnston, author of The Void

Today we welcome Timothy S Johnston, author of The Void  to Booklover Book Reviews.

The Void by Timothy Johnston The Tanner Sequence

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It would be easier to kill him than to trust him.

Transporting a serial killer might seem like a simple job for CCF Homicide Investigator Kyle Tanner. After spending years apprehending murderers, he’s ready to hang up his pistol. Babysitting a prisoner will bring him to Alpha Centauri, where he can search for a way to escape the CCF forever.

If he makes it.

When his ship breaks down in deep space and a CCF research vessel comes to his aid, Tanner realizes he’s in terrible danger: the scientists on board have blocked his distress call. And when Tanner’s prisoner escapes, he begins to suspect that the proximity of the research vessel had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with the CCF’s relentless reach.

Facing near-certain death by his own organization, Tanner must unravel a tangled skein of vengeance, duplicity and murder in deep space. But he’s being held at the will of master puppeteers, and if he can’t cut the strings, he’ll dance straight to a gruesome, excruciating death….

A Tanner Sequence Novel, Carina Press, 2015

What inspired you to write The Void?

Once again, I wanted to write a classic murder mystery as a Science Fiction thriller.  I was also inspired by medical thrillers (ala Robin Cook).  I wanted to create a mystery in a claustrophobic setting and ramp up the paranoia with this book.  The medical aspects are fascinating as well.  I conducted a lot of research on autopsies for it.

Would you say The Void is plot or character driven?

Both.  The main character, Inspector Kyle Tanner, goes on a remarkable emotional journey.  He makes some monumental decisions that also include his girlfriend, Shaheen.  It’s a real rollercoaster ride!  The plot involves a body for which there is no discernible cause of death.  It’s the most intricate plot I’ve written.  I’m extremely proud of it.

Tell us a little bit about your main character.

Tanner is a homicide investigator who is trying his best to remain good in this dystopia.  He works for a dictatorship, so civilians often view him as a villain.  He has vast powers because of the military, but knows that he should remain focused on helping rather than hurting people.  He’s really walking a tightrope, all the time.  He wants to put murderers away, but does not want to unintentionally arrest the wrong people.  In this book he is faced with a massive decision related to this.

The Furnace Timothy Johnston The Tanner SequenceWhat type of reader do you think would most enjoy The Void?

Anyone who likes mysteries and thrillers will love The Void.  Science Fiction fans will enjoy it, and also anyone who finds medical mysteries compelling.  It’s a very intense book.  It’s a page-turner.

How does this title compare to others you have written?

I’ve been told that this is the best of my three books.  Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review.  I’m extremely proud of this book.  I researched a great deal for it — visited the morgue, an anatomy lab, and I talked to a forensic pathologist.  I wanted to get the details right, to add authenticity to the murder investigation.  It’s gritty and real, and it’s a sustained and intense mystery.

The Freezer Timothy Johnston The Tanner SequenceCan you tell us a bit about your writing process?

For this book I spent a great deal of time working out the story.  I wanted a lot of twists and turns, as in my other books The Furnace and The Freezer.  My visit to the morgue and anatomy lab was life-changing.  It was an unreal experience.  I have the utmost respect for people who work in that field.   Forensic pathologists solve crimes every day.  They’re incredible people.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m a high school teacher. I work with teenagers every day.  They’re the best.  I hope to inspire them to pursue fantastic careers and to make something great of themselves.  We’re all born to be great.  To contribute to society in some positive way.  I hope that I am encouraging them to achieve that.

Do you have any other titles in the pipeline?

At the moment I’m working on new projects.  Considering my options.

timothy johnstonDo you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers?

Research, research, research.  Plot and plan.  Write.  Then edit, edit, edit!  And then edit some more!  The writing component is actually minimal in comparison.  If there is a great plan in place before writing begins, then it’s a strong foundation.  And the more you edit, the more polished the finished product.  I can’t stress that enough.  Too many people rush their work.

Congratulations on The Furnace being a finalist in the 2015 EPIC Awards.

Thanks.  The response to that book has been rewarding.

The Void, and Tim’s earlier titles are available from:
Amazon | B&N |  Kobobooks | iBookstore | Carina Press

Timothy S. Johnston is a lifelong fan of techno-thrillers and science-fiction thrillers in both print and film. His greatest desire is to contribute to the genre which has given him so much over the past four decades. He wishes he could personally thank every novelist, screenwriter, filmmaker, director and actor who has ever inspired him to tell great stories. He has been an educator for nearly twenty years and a writer for twenty-five. He lives on planet Earth, but he dreams of the stars.
Visit to register for news alerts, read reviews and learn more about his current and upcoming techno-thrillers. Follow Timothy on Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter @TSJ_Author.

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Book Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Void on 30 March 2015, Timothy S Johnston has generously offered an ebook pack of all three Tanner Sequence novels, The Furnace, The Freezer and The Void for giveaway to one lucky reader:

  • open internationally
  • extra entries for spreading the word via Twitter and Facebook/Google+/Webpage
  • entries close midnight 19 April 2015

Sorry, entries closed.