Interview with Thomas P Hopp

Published 2020-04-25.
How do your books about viral epidemics relate to COVID-19?
Both of my medical thriller novels have eerie parallels to today's pandemic crisis. In The Smallpox Incident, I described a deadly virus spreading rapidly by human contact, and a medical researcher, Dr. Peyton McKean, who rushes to create a vaccine that could save millions of lives. Today's coronavirus outbreak, the shutdown of society, and the urgent need for a new vaccine were anticipated in this novel published 18 years ago! The reason I could foresee this future that has come to pass is that in addition to my credentials as an author I am also a vaccine researcher, and have been for a lifetime. The other novel, The Neah Virus, examines a similar catastrophe, this time arising out of nature like COVID-19. The parallels are frighteningly familiar.

Now, I understand readers might be reluctant to pick up books so closely related to our current disaster, but I urge people to give them a try. You see, in this case we're dealing with fictional viruses and most importantly, with happy endings. Viruses vanquished. Lives saved. The world restored to normal. And all that with extreme attention to realistic detail only an actually vaccine researcher like myself could bring to bear. Be prepared for much nail-biting along the way, though.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in West Seattle. My earliest days were spent in a housing project on the banks of the Duwamish River. I remember my mother scolding me for coming inside with mud on my shoes. That was Duwamish River mud, and I have always felt a connection to the riverbanks that were home to Chief Seattle and his people. Most of my fiction includes Northwest native culture at one level or another, most often as a central element of the mystery or adventure tale.
When did you first start writing?
I have written all my life. In fact, the first draft of my recent novel Rainier Erupts was penned for an 8th grade English class assignment to write a magazine-style article about my hometown. The teacher liked my writing ability but gave me a B because she felt I overstepped the assignment when I described the beauty of Mount Rainier and then proceeded to describe the big volcano erupting and covering the reader in hot lava and ash.
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Latest books by This Author

The Great Seattle Earthquake
Series: Northwest Tales. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,740. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
A CITY SHAKEN TO ITS CORE The Seattle Fault traces a ragged line through the heart of the metropolitan area. Forces deep in the earth have built up tremendous pressure over eons. What if this subterranean fracture were to release its pent-up fury—tomorrow?
Rainier Erupts!
Series: Northwest Tales. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 71,640. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
(5.00 from 1 review)
AN EPIC TALE OF VOLCANIC CATASTROPHE Mount Rainier is one of the most dangerous volcanoes on earth because of its awe-inspiring size and close proximity to the population centers of Seattle and Tacoma. What if this primordial giant were to erupt—tomorrow? Thomas P. Hopp vividly portrays the all-too-possible day when the mountain unleashes its pent-up fury.
Dinosaur Tales
Series: Dinosaur Wars, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 70,100. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
THE NEW WILD WEST—WHERE DINOSAURS LIVE AGAIN! Ever had one of those days when you had no other option but to bullfight a charging Triceratops? Or dodge an angry Pachyrhinosaurus? Or fly on a giant Quetzalcoatlus? Then you know how Kit Daniels and Chase Armstrong feel. Action, adventure, and even a little romance are the order of the day in a world gone mad with dinosaurs!
The Smallpox Incident
Series: Northwest Tales. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 86,920. Language: English. Published: April 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Dr. Peyton McKean faces the greatest challenge of his life when he confronts a deadly new terror weapon: genetically altered smallpox!
The Neah Virus
Series: Northwest Tales. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 109,970. Language: English. Published: September 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
A DEADLY NEW PLAGUE—OR ANCIENT SHAMAN’S CURSE? A lethal virus breaks out in a remote corner of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula. It spreads toward Seattle, threatening to kill millions if it can’t be stopped. CDC virologist Peyton McKean tries to isolate the deadly organism and search for a cure, but finds himself in a desperate race against time to save humanity—and himself!
The Ghost Trees
Series: Peyton McKean Short Mysteries, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,060. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
DEADLY SECRETS OF THE TREE SPIRITS When a member of Seattle's Duwamish Tribe is accused of murder, Dr. Peyton McKean is called in to unravel a dense tangle of clues among the majestic trees of a Pacific Northwest rainforest.
Dinosaur Wars: Blood On The Moon
Series: Dinosaur Wars, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 96,700. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Adventure » Action
(5.00 from 1 review)
AS "NEAR FUTURE" AS MILITARY SPACE FICTION GETS! Dateline—tomorrow! Blood on the Moon is a taut, action filled science fiction novel featuring a strong female and male protagonist team on a military expedition to the moon.
Blood Tide
Series: Peyton McKean Short Mysteries, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,420. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
RED TIDE WARNING! Dr. Peyton McKean helps police investigate the murder of a Seattle geoduck clam digger killed by an impossibly massive dose of red tide toxin. In this taut biotechnology thriller, McKean follows a trail of clues along a twisted path of intrigues involving Native Americans of Seattle's Duwamish tribe, drug dealers, and an old shaman who knows more than he's willing to tell.
The Treasure Of Purgatory Crater
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,760. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
DEATHS AT A LUNAR ICE MINE—ACCIDENT? OR MURDER? On the moon, oxygen is the most precious commodity. Without it, death comes quickly. But there are other things of value in the vastness of Luna, and other reasons to die.
A Dangerous Breed
Series: Peyton McKean Short Mysteries, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 16,730. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
(5.00 from 1 review)
GENETIC MUTANT—OR DEMONIC ANIMAL SPIRIT? GMO tomatoes are the least of our worries! These canines, possessed of human-like intelligence, make the Hound of the Baskervilles seem like a pup.
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