Interview with Author Tonia Brown

Bec: Welcome to my blog, please start out by sharing a little bit about yourself –

I’m happily married southern gal who was raised in the military thanks to having a dad in the Air Force. I prefer cats to dogs, ribs to steak, and chocolate to vanilla. I’m also an identical twin. And I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue. True story.

Bec: What first got you interested in writing?

I’ve always written something, be it poetry or fan fiction. I’ve also always been an avid reader. Once upon a time, I found myself at the mercy of a long series and seven books in it dawned on me that they were all the same book, over and over. Boring! I told my husband I could write better crap than that. So he said, “Do it.” And I did.

Bec: What are the worst struggles you think writers face, writing and marketing?

Writing is the easiest part. Editing is like tearing out your heart and pouring salt into the wound. Reading some reviews are like smoking a J and relaxing on the awesome high, while others are like running a grater over your bare ass. And marketing? Geesh, marketing is the equivalent of pouring all of your money into the toilet and flushing it, hoping that some of it might float back up to the top latched onto some important shit.

Bec: Tell us about your book/s –

SKIN TRADE is a weird west horror set in an alternate late 1800’s in the US. A virus took down the Indian Nations and cause a zombie uprising that destroyed the western frontier. Now folks are crowded on the east coast and the US Army has erected a barrier to keep the zombies in the western half of the nation. The story follows fifteen-year-old Samantha Martin as she makes her way toward the border trying to escape the dangers of her own life. Once in the border zone she is thrust into the service of the skin trade: the job of trapping and skinning zombies for profit. Only trouble is, they think she’s a boy, and she’s going to have a hard time keeping that secret in the wilds of the forbidden west!

Bec: Are you working on a sequel/s?

I have a few companion novels and sequels in the long scheme of things.

Bec: What other projects are you working on or involved with?

I am finishing up another novel, this one is a backwoods southern horror. And no, it’s not what you’re thinking. Think less along the lines of Deliverance and more along the lines of Lovecraft. And as always, I’m constantly working on my web serial Railroad! which just had it’s one year anniversary. But mentioning that is kind of like saying, “Oh and I’m still breathing.”

Bec: What’s your favorite color?

I am partial to green, but only because it’s my husband’s fave. I don’t really have one, but I do like paisley. Anything paisley and I am on it. Or rather, it’s on me! Mmmmm, paisley.

Bec: Do you like to listen to music while you write or have complete silence?

I need noise. Be it a cult film, a coffee house or the radio, I can’t write in total silence. I can’t sleep in total silence either. Silence makes a noise I can’t stand.

Bec: How much skin do you show in the book?

What an odd question considering the title of the book! This one has no sex whatsoever. There are some sexual situations, but I can’t say what I mean without ruining the storyline.

Bec: What genres do you most like to read/write?

I like to read pretty much anything, but am a huge fan of scifi and humor. I love to write humor and horror, preferably together!

Bec: What’s your fav scene from the book?

I think describing the traps and the act of skinning. My friend, Drew Mellon, is a master of the art of trapping and skinning animals, and he helped me with the gritty details and necessities. Plus, he never flinched when I asked for advice on how to trap and skin a human being. In fact, he pretty much laid it all out for me.

Bec: Do you find writing a lonely profession?

Yes and no. There is such a huge community to lean on, but at the same time it’s just you and the page.

Bec: Cake or pie?

Pie. No! Cake. No! Pie! Wait… can’t I have both? Pweeeeease?

Bec: What would you share with a beginning writer?

Find a good editor and do whatever they tell you to. They know what they preach. You are not the best, and it might take awhile before you are even close.

Bec: Aliens or demons?

Demons. No! Aliens! DEMONS! I hate choices! Wait, are you asking which I’d rather have as an Overlord? Because I’ll totally go with aliens. No, demons. CRAP!

Bec: What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started your writing journey?

Find a good editor and do whatever they tell you to. They know what they preach. You are not the best, and it might take awhile before you are even close.

Bec: Do you think having other writers as friend is a good thing for your growth as a writer?

Yes, I think other writers make good sounding boards and beta readers. They are also good for shoulders to cry on, because they understand rejection slips.

Bec: What’s your favorite book? Why?

American Gods, because I love how Gaiman captured the different personalities of the Gods while allowing them some room to grow with the times.

Bec: Who’s your favorite author? Why?

Neil Gaiman, because that man could transcribe the phone book and I would read it.

Bec: Is there anything you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about?

Did you know a pig’s orgasm can last for up to thirty minutes? True story.

Bec: Thank you for stopping by and sharing! Best of luck with your book and future project!

Thanks for having me. Hope I didn’t track mud on the carpet. Have you seen my keys? Oh, there they are. Bye now!


©Rebecca Besser & Tonia Brown, 2012. All rights reserved.


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