Renée Topper is a storyteller in all forms. Her debut novel PIGMENT won 2016 LYRA Award for Mystery / Suspense / Thriller and is an International Book Award Winning Finalist in the Fiction: Cross Genre category. She also garners an honorable mention in The Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships 1st Annual International Writers Award. As a writer and producer, she digs deep to find the heart and soul of a tale -- especially those exploring the human condition -- and devise the best means to convey them, then she executes. She is currently story-smithing at StoryMatter.com. You can reach the author via email at Authors@StoryMatter.com.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I wrote Pigment in the hopes of drawing more awareness around the plight of those targeted and harmed because of the lack of color in their skin in Africa; and also in an effort to understand this aspect of the human condition. How can it be in this day and age that children are believed to be ghosts and as such are hunted? What people are so desperate that they make a currency of their children?
I did much research in trying to understand how this situation came about. It is rather recent and happening in a democratic society and therefore all the more intriguing.
Pigment is an exceptionally political story due to the subject matter, location, environment, characters, actions and more. The majority of the story is intentionally set where humanity’s roots are traced. It is the source. And it is surrounded by turmoil across borders and people fleeing into the country as refugees. It is the richest land in resources and yet there is much lack of transparency and suffering for the gain of a few.
This story is an exploration of the true human condition; one point of view of who, what, where, why and how; a first world perspective of problems in a third world caused in large part by the first worlds.
What inspired Pigment?
I first read an article in BBC on the plight of albinos in Africa in 2009. I was finishing up another project at the time and so put it in my story idea box. I put a lot of story ideas in there. The ones that don’t let me go, that keep calling me back to them get taken back out of the box and start sounding out and plotting. I always work on many projects at once. The one closest to being finished gets the most attention. I was also unsure if Pigment would be a screenplay or a book at first, so I wrote both versions. The first draft of the novel was completed in 2014. But I changed it significantly since then, through to the beginning of this year.
Award-winning author, Renee Topper, sets this 2nd installment in the PIGMENT series in London. Here Fiona Dunnovan fights to bring Gunther and Drake Enterprises to justice for their many atrocities, including those against her brother Kennen and the American albino Aliya. She enlists Jalil to help slay the metaphorical dragon in this thriller that dives deep into root issues of human-trafficking.
* * * * * “This is one of those few books I’d gladly put on the shelf alongside the likes of James Patterson and Lee Child, a must-read for fans of thrillers.”–R. Oserio
In thriller detective series SUNSET BLUES: The Shadow Book 1, former undercover cop, Rick Cruz, is accused of murdering his uncle who also happens to be the District Attorney. Incited from his refuge in the San Bernardino Mountai
In this award-winning novel, young American Aliya Scott travels to Tanzania to help children with her condition. There, people without pigment in their skin are called “zeru-zeru,” it means “ghost,” and they are believed to possess magical powers. When Aliya goes missing, her father sets to find her. Will her reach her before it is too late?