Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the premise of your book series (Troy’s Amazing Universe), and what inspired you to bring these stories to life?
S. Kennedy Tosten: The protagonist was inspired by my son Troy who is not only cute and fun-loving but is also an autistic savant. We discovered at a young age his incredible memory, it is called hyper-thymesia. He can say, we were at the zoo on June 4, 2009, it was a Thursday, and after that we stopped for ice-cream at Baskin Robbins. Kristen was with us, and she had cookie dough. Also, his sense of direction as a toddler was incredible, even before he could speak. If I changed the route home or elsewhere while driving, he would tap on the window and point the way we usually went. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how his brain worked. That made me realize he would be a fascinating character for any story, so, in the series, he is put in many diverse adventures, and he is able to conquer the challenges in ways that would not occur to most.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing these books, and what have been some of your creative influences?
SKT: I spend a lot of time just thinking before I write anything much down. I text myself notes. Then, when I feel ready, I just immerse myself in it and do not stop until I have a first draft. I have so many creative influences. I have been an avid reader and film fan my entire life. I also have a large family with strong personalities, so they are very inspirational in helping me find voices for various characters.
BD: Would you recommend these books to a certain age group(s)?
SKT: My biggest fan group is 4th to 6th graders, but I have had readers of all ages tell and write me about how entertaining and thought provoking they found the books to be. Two of the books, Troy’s Amazing Universe: M for Mall and T for Toy, are great holiday stories.
BD: What do you hope that readers will take away from your work?
SKT: Each book is about understanding. I hope it helps all readers see the depth in the members of our society who are often overlooked.
BD: Do you have further plans to release additional stories within Troy’s Amazing Universe or to expand the property into other entertainment mediums?
SKT: Yes, more books. I plan to complete the alphabet, and I am developing a film based on the finished script I’ve written based on the Troy’s Amazing Universe: M for Mall book.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
SKT: We are casting individuals right now for the television series, The Happy People House. It explores four young adult residents in a group home and their relationships with their caregivers.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Troy’s Amazing Universe?
SKT: You can get an amazing look at the the books on Booklocker.com.