[Interview: Part 1 of 2] Tonia Brown

Speculative fiction author, Tonia Brown writes fantasy, science fiction and horror stories.

Her books include Epiphany (Sugar and Spice Press, 2009) and White Elephant (Sugar and Spice Press, 2009).

Her work has also been featured in anthologies that include Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes; Zany Zombie Poetry for the Undead Head (Coscom Entertainment, 2009) and Tooth Decay: Vampires and Zombies stories (Sonar4 Publications, 2009).

In this interview, Tonia Brown talks about her writing:

Do you write everyday?

I try to write at least an hour a day, with Saturdays as a break, although I usually end up in front of the laptop editing some piece.

Depending on where I am in a story, I might work just an hour or so, or go for days writing hours at a time. I tend to get obsessive near the end of a tale, and all other aspects of my life suffer because of it. I like to call writing my second job. My poor husband has spent many a weekend completely ignored because of the second job.

How many books have you written so far?

Four full-length books, two of which are published, and three novellas all of which have been accepted for publication.

My first novel to be published was Epiphany and came out May 2009 with Sugar and Spice Press. The tale is full of sex, intrigue, violence, vampires, shape shifters, and nymphs. It’s a torrid tale of a woman named Chloe Bright who learns on her twenty-ninth birthday that she is part fairy with the remarkable power of the Epiphany. Anyone she sleeps with and brings to orgasm is granted a live changing flash of insight, but this comes at the cost of their interest in her. Can Chloe handle her new found talent while it wreaks havoc on her real world life, all while saving her only source of income?

My second book out is White Elephant and will be out late 2009 with Sugar and Spice Press. It’s the story of a teenage girl that can talk to house cats, and hates herself for it. Her world is turned on its ear when she finds a young man hiding in her broom closet and fate conspires to toss the two of them together. There’s murder, mayhem and a whole lot of teenage angst and flirting.

I have also penned two other books and am seeking representation for each of them.

My first novella was Flirting with Death and will be available with Phaze late 2009. Five years after the death of her husband, Anna is still in mourning. Her friend Trish takes her out on the town, where Anna meets and has a one night stand with a dashing man named Todd. It turns out to be the best night of her life, but he is long gone by the next day. Two weeks later, she sees Todd again and events lead her to suspect he is responsible for a woman’s death. When he comes to her to explain himself, Anna learns the truth is much worse than anything she could have possibly imagined.

Clockworks and Corsets was my next novella, accepted for publication with Lyrical Press. There is no publishing date set yet. This one is an erotic steam punk adventure that takes place aboard the airship The Merry Widow. Rose Maddigan and her girls sail the skies in search of adventure and pay, both of which are few and far between for the all female crew. A well paying opportunity takes them into the thick of an island jungle in search of abandoned treasure. What, or rather, who they find, forever alters the course of the Widow and the hearts of her crew.

My third published novella is The Blooming and is due out with Sonar4 Publications March 2010. This one is a bit different because it combines my love of erotica with my love of horror: When a documentary film crew is hired by an award winning botanist to film the wild life of a remote tropical island, they end up with more than just footage of trees and samples of bugs. The doctor is in hot pursuit of a rare and powerful flower, while the rest of the crew is overwhelmed with sudden desire and find themselves in hot pursuit of each other. But things take a turn for the deadly when they learn the flower they are seeking is not only a powerful aphrodisiac, it also causes a unique infection that changes its victims hunger for flesh from sexual, to literal.

How do you balance running for your life from flesh eating zombies, with the overwhelming need to screw the brains out of anything still alive?

How long did it take you to write The Blooming?

My latest project, The Blooming is an erotic zombie novella. It took an amazingly short three weeks to pen. I really don’t feel like I wrote it, so much as it wrote me.

How did you choose a publisher for the book?

I had worked with Sonar4 in the past with some short stories, and am proud to be part of their expanding family of authors. The owner, Shells Walter, asked me to write the novella, and I have enjoyed working with her on the project.

With The Blooming, the hardest challenge was working the sex into the story on a believable level, while staying away from the dreaded idea of necrophilia.

When Shells first suggested an erotic zombie story, I worried that she wanted the zombies to be the ones having the sex. I wasn’t sure I could pull that one off. But after a few emails, and assurances that she wasn’t looking for zombie love, we worked out a great plot line that really married the sex to the death and violence, without making it seem like the folks involved are just stopping in mid flee for a little poorly timed nookie.

I really enjoyed writing about the sudden and terrible acts of violence. I have no idea why I liked it so much. Maybe it’s the inner psycho coming out in me. All I know is the sexuality tied into the gruesome nature of some of the character’s deaths really got my creative juices flowing!

What sets The Blooming apart from other things you've written

The mix of eroticism and horror.

I usually limit my horror works to short stories, because maintaining a level of darkness required for me to pen a terrible tale for that length of time would drain me dry. So this is the longest horror piece I’ve done, and I do believe I shall do another novella length piece in the future.

The Blooming is similar to other things I have written in that the main couple carries that aching need to be made whole by one another person. I tend to write about that a lot.

What will your next book be on?

Not sure, but I’m thinking I might explore some overlooked mythology or fairy tale. I love the idea of re-working tales to modern times. With loads of either gruesome deaths or sexy sex, or both!

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