Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Author Spotlight - Tonia Brown

Posted by LD Keach on Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tonia Brown is a writer of horror and dark humor.  She's been published by the likes of Permuted Press, Books of the Dead Press, Cutting Block Press, and Blood Bound Books.  Her most recent novels, released over the summer, include Lucky Stiff: Zombie Gigolo and Sundowners.

DM: Tell us a little more about your style and your newest book Sundowners. (And I'm also super interested in hearing about Zombie Gigolo.)

Ah! My Peter? Sure I can talk about both. I love talking about my Peter. He pleases everyone and that pleases me. Nothing like a hard working man to bring a smile to the masses.

But first, my style? Oh, geesh, I don’t know. I just write what I would want to read. I love lots of different genres as well as a mix of them, so I write the same.

Sundowners centers on a young woman that begins to sundown, which is unusual because it’s associated with older folks and dementia. A lot of people think I have made up the medical syndrome, but nope, it’s a real thing. Sundowning is when someone suffers from dramatic personality shifts after the sun sets. Sometimes it’s just simple forgetfulness or confusion, but it can be as extreme as outburst of violence. Again, it’s usually associated with older folks that already suffer from other forms of dementia. In the book, Cass is in her twenties and she begins to sundown so violently they have to keep her sedated after dark. Her brother, Coil, has to come back to the small town of Ellenville to take care of her. Trouble is, the siblings haven’t spoken in years. Yeah, bad blood there, in more ways than one. As the book unfolds, you learn she isn’t the only one in Ellenville that is sundowning, or the only one committing acts of extreme violence.

Lucky Stiff, Zombie Gigolo, is very different from Sundowners. First of all, it’s a zombie novel, and it’s erotic. Yes. It’s an erotic zombie novel. I’ll explain while you finish your gagging and wincing. Peter Lyles dies just after his eighteenth birthday by means of an accidental overdose while on spring break in New Orleans. He never took drugs a day in his life, but now the super naive and innocent Peter is as dead as a can of ham. His friends freak out and drag his corpse to a voodoo queen for help. She resurrects the poor kid through her tantric magic, which makes a zombie out of him, but something goes awry during her spell. Peter was so innocent, her sex magic brings him back aware. He is a zombie, but also knows who he is. She teaches him how to curb his taste for flesh by consuming the power of the orgasm. She also teaches him how to keep from rotting so his important (and not to mention permanently hard!) bits don’t fall off. Peter ends up traveling the world as a Zombie Gigolo, and hilarity ensues. Essentially he is a female wet dream; a lover that never tires, never loses his hard on, and survives purely on your pleasure alone.

I love my Peter. You will too.

DM: You’ve had quite a bit of experience in publishing, with a ton of anthology and novel credits to your name from Horror to Steampunk to Erotica. How are you so prolific?

I just write. I mean all of the time. My hobby, my second job, my spare time… this is all spent writing. I’ve given up a lot of hobbies and crafts in favor of writing. I used to crochet, play video games, watch a fair bit of TV, but now I write. And I write because I enjoy it.

DM: Is there any one genre you like writing in the most?

As much as I love horror, and I do love horror, I prefer to write humor. I love making folks laugh, especially after a novel long set up. The kind of joke that when you laugh out loud at it, and folks around you are asking what is so funny, you can’t explain it because it would take a novel’s worth of setup to get to the funny bit. Everything I write I try to inject a bit of humor into. Devouring Milo might be the only thing I have penned with the least humor in it.

DM: What markets have you enjoyed working with?

Permuted Press is an awesome place to call home. Becoming a Permuted author was a long time goal of mine, and now that I am a part of them, I can’t stop grinning about it. They are very easy to work with and a great bunch of folks in general.
Books of The Dead is another place I am super proud to call home. Roy from BOTD took a chance on me years ago and I can never thank him enough. He recently signed on both my Peter and my steampunk horror The Cold Beneath. Roy rocks!
Cutting Block Press was fantastic to work with. Great edits and great feedback.
The folks at Blood Bound Books are all awesome as well.
I’m lucky to have worked with so many cool people.

DM: What advice do you have for writers just starting out?

Learn to take criticism. I still get super embarrassed when folks point out my simple errors and mistakes and bad writing habits. I also take it to heart and learn what I can from it. It takes a while to get the nerve to put yourself out there, and even more nerve to keep doing it after you get torn down the first few times. Keep at it. Folks aren’t judging you as a person, they are judging you as a writer. While those two facets are often the same, you must learn to separate them when dealing with such things.

Follow Tonia

Twitter: @ToniaBrown1
Amazon author page: