Hi Toneye, tell us about your books, genre, stand-alone or series.
Toneye: Hi, Theresa! And hails n howls to your readers! My books range from Dark Fantasy, through to extreme horror, and bouncing around the many subgenres in between. The Dark Fantasy books are part of my ongoing ‘The Sacred Blade of Profanity’ series. Although primarily Fantasy, they do have some pretty brutal instances of horror, especially the second book, Joshua’s Folly. The others are stand alone and purely Horror. Blood Moon Big Top blends Werewolf and Clown together in a rabid romp of psychological and extreme Horror. Wolvz: Whispers of War is, as the title suggests, a Werewolf novella. My latest two releases are collections. The first is Flash of Darkness – five tales of flash fiction, dipping the brush in different subgenres of Horror. The second is Psychotic Interlude – a larger collection of more extreme short stories which delve into the realms of psychosis…Human monsters and the like.
How long have you been writing?
Toneye: Around 30 years, give or take a moon, and discounting a few several year breaks. My first published work was song lyrics submitted as poetry to the first Rejected For Content anthology with J. Ellington Ashton Press. That was back in 2014 and it got my foot in the door, publishing book 1 in The Sacred Blade of Profanity series, The Scarlett Curse. Since then my deranged scribbles have made it into all 6 RFCs. It’s been a wild ride from there, with my work appearing in over 40 anthologies and 6 of my own releases. Not to mention several anthologies run and edited by me over the past couple of years.
Are you traditionally published, or self-published?
Toneye: Up until the beginning of this year, only traditionally published, with the aforementioned JEA Press. These past couple of moons have seen my recent work released through my own imprint, Luniakk Publications, with my darker half, Mar Garcia – the owner and founder of The Bold Mom and Disturbing Drawings, creating the covers plus formatting and publishing the books.
If self-published when/why did you take that route.
Toneye: A lot of authors have been taking the self-published route in recent years and after four years with trad. publishing, eye figured it’s about time to give it a shot myself. There’s a lot of shit books on Amazon with lame ‘microsoft paint’ style covers and what seems like a complete lack of editing. Always hearing the complaint that these ‘authors’ who think they can just shart on a manuscript and upload it to CreateSpace are giving all of self publishing a bad name. Granted, from my observations, there have been way many more excellently presented works from some great self-published authors. With Mar by my side and taking care of the difficult part of publishing, eye am confident my books are being viewed in the latter category. So far, with Flash of Darkness and Psychotic Interlude landing 5 star reviews (one 4 star with Falsh, but hey, that’s keepin’ things real haha), it’s looking like Luniakk Publications is on the right path.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It depends on what it is. To be honest, Book III in The Sacred Blade of Profanity series exhausts me. Mainly because it has dragged on for 2 years now and there’s a certain pressure to get it finished. People have been waiting since Joshua’s Folly and it’s pretty shit of me to leave them hangin’ like this. It’s coming! Promise! Getting a new idea for a story is always a great boost though. Lately, however, that is tempered with the guilt of finishing said book above haha. After Rejected For Content 6, eye announced my ‘retirement’ from short stories and anthologies until eye can get my series written, so that’s the current plan. The dreaded ‘anthology addiction’ had me firmly in its clutches, keeping me from the bigger picture, so to speak hahaha. On the plus side, eye have several dozen short stories scattered throughout all these Anthos and my work/name has gotten out there a bit. That’s the role of anthologies, basically – to be discovered by new readers in the hope that they will seek out your books. After about 40 published short stories, that’s that goal achieved now.
How many hours a day do you write?
That always varies. Especially at the moment, being across the world in Spain. Eye don’t have a routine, plus my laptop shat itself on the flight over so eye have to share the computer with my insanely busy darker half. Then there’s my editing work. Finding time to actually write these days is a challenge in itself, and then when there is time, it’s a matter of inspiration and word flow. The timing has to be right. (At this point, your readers are probably thinking…”and this guy is an editor?! He can’t even spell ‘I’!!”) Hahaha 😀 Rest assured, ‘I’ am not illiterate in the slightest and I can edit with the best of ‘em. ‘Eye’ am just a weirdo who likes to write to my own ‘tune’ when not working. You’ll either get used to it, or go prematurely bald from tearing out your hair. 😉
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Of korpse eye do! Hahaha! It’s always good to hear what readers think. The good reviews, eye smile and bask for a moment before carrying on haha. My skin is fairly thick, so dealing with bad reviews is nothing really. Most of my Amazon reviews have been pretty great. Mostly 5, a few 4 and eye think one or two 3 stars and a couple of shitty 2 stars that made their way to Amazon from Goodreads. If eye get a less than favourable review, as long as it’s constructive, then eye take it as a lesson and learn from it. But then there’s ‘Goodreads’… That place seems to be teeming with arseholes who like to just shit on people’s work. Had a few ummm… ‘reviews’ over on GR from pompous wankers who’ve probably not written a story in their lives. Not sure what it is about that joint, but when you get a ‘bad’ review on Goodreads, you get a BAD review. Those are best ignored. Getting all cut up over someone’s shitty opinion is counterproductive. Just gotta keep in mind, that’s all it is…someone’s opinion.
What was your hardest scene to write?
Toneye: There’s been a few that have really made me cringe – several, in fact – but some have stood out a bit more than the rest. Young Dera Harke killing her mother in The Scarlett Curse was a disturbing scene. A rape scene in Joshua’s Folly was very difficult to write and eye basically tried to get through that as quickly as possible without making it seem ‘rushed’ but at the same time not glorifying it or giving it too much spotlight. It was integral to the plot and the development of two main characters, and so it had to come about. A story eye wrote in the ‘How to Cook a Baby: And Other Cannibal Cuisine’ antho was an understandably disturbing tale to tell (the antho title says it all). It’s difficult to choose just one because they all disturbed me on different levels. Contrary to what my tales may tell, eye don’t eat babies, rape or commit matricide. It’s just a matter of reminding oneself, both reader and author, that it’s a work of fiction. Eye do strive though, to add as much realism to my horror as possible. Getting a strong emotional response from the readers is the ultimate goal of a good writer.
What is your favorite childhood book?
Toneye: OK, from baby eating, mother killing rapists to kids books hahaha a nice change of pace 😀 A Bridge to Terabithia comes to mind straight away. Eye remember loving that book as a kid and read the hells out of it.
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Letting go of the story. Editing as eye go, writing is a slow and methodical journey; constantly reading back over a manuscript as it takes form. Then, once it’s finished, there’s the obsessively meticulous process of proof reading it several times and finding something new to fix or adjust each time. And that just makes me wanna go over it ‘one last time’ before sending it out into the big, bad world.
Who is your favorite author and have you ever tried to emulate them?
Toneye: My favourite author is arguably Carlos Castaneda, and eye have more tried to emulate his characters and incorporate some of the ‘teachings’ into my own life. Although his books are a work of fiction, there is a wisdom in his words that is hard to deny and a way of looking at the nature of reality and our place in the universe that is quite practical but at the same time, completely mind blowing. Great stuff! There is a character in my Sacred Blade books: a sorcerer named Tummel who is influenced somewhat, albeit on a more sinister level, by the Nagual Don Juan Matus in Castaneda’s books. So eye guess there’s a bit of emulation going on there haha.
What book changed your life?
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Eye really identified with the ‘Greasers’ in that book. Growing up in Mt. Druitt in Sydney’s western suburbs, being a Metalhead was a dangerous life choice. The shit that we went through as Metal kids back in the 80s was like a mirror image of the Greasers and their mortal enemies, the Socs. We had the trendy night club shitheads to contend with and violence was a regular occurrence where eye grew up. That book nailed it for me.
Is there anything you want us to know about you or your books?
Yes! The Sacred Blade of Profanity – Book III WILL be completed and released this year through JEA Press. In the meantime, eye am building Luniakk Publications with my dark goddess, Mar Garcia. We have several dark, disturbing and deadly projects brewing, and will be unleashing all the hells on the writing world as the year progresses!
Thanks for the grand interview Toneye! Everyone please check out his links below, and don’t forget to share with your fiends – opps, friends.
Fangs for havin’ me, Theresa! Always fun havin’ a yarn 😊 Here’s a few places you can find me and my work, as well as my partner in crime 😉
Luniakk Publications: https://luniakkpublications.wordpress.com/
Disturbing Drawings: https://art.tt/3gfx
The Bold Mom: http://www.theboldmom.com/