Friday, June 15, 2012

Meet Tonia Brown!

Hello everyone! Today I have the distinct pleasure to share an interview I did with the extremely talented author, Tonia Brown! I’m sure after reading the interview you will come to love her like I have and want to read her latest book.

Interview with Tonia Brown
Currently residing:
Shelby, NC, USA
Savannah: Hello Tonia and thank you so much for stopping by today!
Tonia: My pleasure. Thanks for having me. I brought brownies. They are sugar free, I hope that's not a problem.
Savannah: You brought BROWNIES?! Oh hellz no, sugar free or not, it’s not a problem!

**whispers to Tonia** We aren’t gonna share these are we? They’re pretty damn good!

Savannah: First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Tonia: Me? Well, there isn't much to tell. I grew up as a military B.R.A.T. and as a result I spent some time abroad and all around the states. I have an identical twin sister, Tonie, who shares the same name as my father, my nephew, my oldest sister's first husband, my maiden name and my husband. Speaking of husbands, I've been married to the bestsest man in the world for about 15 years now. Oh, and I have cats. I would like to say brats, but technically they are cats.
Savannah: A little birdie told me that you have recently had a book released titled Skin Trade Can you tell us more about it?

The Great Undead Uprising of 1870 devastated the western frontier and destroyed the Indian Nations. Though the Army was able to contain the menace before it could devour the entire country, the United States lost claim to her western territories as the survivors fled to the relative safety of the east coast.
Samantha Martin is among the rare folks traveling west, seeking asylum within the infected territories. Running from a past that threatens to consume her, the young Sam dons the mantle of a male and hides in an all boys’ workhouse that borders these Badlands. From there she is thrust into the service of the skin trade; the terrible deed of trapping and skinning zombies for profit. The work is grueling and perilous, but along the way she finds out what it takes to be a man, why she misses being a woman, but most of all she learns what it means to be human.
Can Sam keep her masquerade up long enough to flee the Badlands, or will the outlaws that rule the western frontier find out she’s female before she can escape?

"Tonia Brown has crafted a chilling tale with Skin Trade. In a way, it's like True Grit with zombies. But don't let that fool you. This is no pastiche. In the span of just 150 pages, Tonia Brown has managed to do some richly compelling world building, told a harrowing coming of age story, and given us a complex and multifaceted exploration of the question of loyalty that reminded me of Steinbeck and Harper Lee at their best. Skin Trade belongs on the top shelf of zombie fiction. Pay attention folks. This is how it's done."- Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Dead City

Savannah: How did you come up with the title and the story?
Tonia: The title was a natural progression of the storyline. The story itself came about from some discussions with a friend of mine about trapping and skinning. I really enjoy writing weird westerns, and I've been in western mode thanks to my webserial, so I decided to make it a westernish book.
Savannah: What genre do you write? What made you choose that genre?
Tonia: I write a variety of genres, but humor, horror, erotica and steampunk are my faves. I tend to lean on those choices because they are the kinds of things I like to read. And if I don't want to read it, I can't write it.
Savannah: What made you want to become a writer?
Tonia: My instinctual answer is insanity! I've always written something, be it poetry or what have you. I've always been a voracious reader. Combining the two just seemed to make sense.
Savannah: Do you have any sort of ritual when it comes to writing? For me it’s a good, strong cup of coffee within reach, okay, really it’s more like a couple of pots! LOL Also having some quiet time helps a lot!
Tonia: Actually I am a fan of commotion. Be it music or the TV running in the background, I need noise. I find if it is absolutely silent, or if I am left on my own in the quiet for too long, my muse shuts down and that's that. But give me a houseful of folks and my fingers itch to get to work.
Savannah: Do you struggle with anything in particular when it comes to writing?
Tonia: Technical stuff. I worry all of the time that I don't know enough about what I am writing to fake it. I don't mean just writing from a male pov or a child's. I mean talking about guns or electronics or something like that. I research as much as I can before I start and all during the writing process, but I'm never sure if it sounds believable. 
Savannah: Do you have any contests, a give-away or blog hops going on right now or planned for the near future?
Tonia: I am giving away a print copy of Skin Trade and five e-books on my blog right now.

~ Now let’s get personal!
Savannah: Who is your favorite author?
Tonia: Neil Gaiman
Savannah: All-time favorite book?
Tonia: American Gods (see above for author)
Savannah: If you could ask any author a question, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Tonia: Neil Gaiman. The question would be: Will you marry me?
Seriously though, I would like to ask him what he finds harder to do, writing the book or letting it go?
Savannah: What kind of music do you like?
Tonia: Anything I can wiggle to.
Savannah: Any hobbies?
Tonia: I love to crochet and sew, but I don't have time for either now that I have this second job.
Savannah: Craziest thing you’ve ever done? Don’t worry, no one will find this out, it’s just between you and me, and the hundreds of people who will read it here
Tonia: Oh, I don't know. I'm pretty boring. Probably the stupidest thing I ever did was walk the streets of Miami late night by myself. I was down there for a job when I was about 19 or so, and I used to go to the store and other places by myself. Just walking around downtown Miami, unprotected, totally alone. What can I say? I was young and naive. But I never got bothered or mugged or anything like that. I always thank my chunky stature for that one, because as we all know, fat girls are hard to kidnap.
To this day I picture two kidnappers driving down the road in an unmarked van.
One catches sight of me and asks the other one, "What do you think about her?"
The other one slows the van down to evaluate me and says, "Nah. My back is hurting tonight and I have that hernia. I can't lift anything over 150."
And they drive away, leaving me safe to walk the streets alone another day.
Savannah: Favorite food?
Tonia: Fried chicken. The gods themselves created fried chicken for our pleasure. And then they made it terribly unhealthy for us, so we wouldn't OD on it. (I would also like to thank fried chicken for my fat butt not getting kidnapped in Miami!)
Savannah: The food you dislike the most?
Tonia: I don't care for green peppers. Anything that is made with green peppers will put me right off. I also am not fond of German food in general. Which is a real shame because my husband loves it!
Savannah: What are you afraid of?
Tonia: Spontaneous combustion. Who ain't afraid of bursting into flames for no apparent reason?
Savannah: I said I was getting personal, LOL.
Tonia: Not a problem. If you have ever listened to Lori Titus and me on the Flashes in the Dark radio show (which airs on every Tuesday night) then you would know that I have no shame left. I traded my shame for a pack of Twinkies about five years ago. And you know what? Totally worth it!
Savannah: Now I’m giving you the opportunity to turn the tables and ask me anything you’d like…anything at all!
Tonia: Oh boy! *rubs hands together* Do you pee in the shower? I find you can tell a lot about a person by this question. What it tells me about you, I have no intention of sharing. But I will laugh maniacally at any answer you give.
Really? **looks around** Well, uhmmm…*cough*…*wiggles uncomfortably*
I really try not to J I'm not sure you can tell much by that answer, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

** Mental note to self—stop letting writers ask me questions
*laughs maniacally*
*tries to laugh again*
*coughs more*
Sorry, I have a frog in my throat. That is a weird expression. Why do people say that? No matter how you try to spin it, a cough doesn't sound like a frog. It should be, "I have a dog in my throat," because a cough is more of a bark. Maybe it's because a dog is too big. Unless it was a Chihuahua. But then again, it would sound pretty silly to say, "I have a Chihuahua in my throat."
Oh, I'm sorry. I got off track there. Where were we?
Savannah: Well Tonia you certainly have shared quite a bit of yourself with us. I wish you much success with your book Skin Trade. Any final words for us?
Tonia: Life has its ups and downs, but keep in mind that as long as you have your loved ones, your health and your dreams, then you are doing far better than most folks around you.
And remember if life gives you lemons, kick him in the balls, squirt the lemon in his eyes and run like hell.
You can find Tonia Brown at

Look for future visits from Tonia Brown right here on Hugs & Nightmares, she’s awesome and I will be inviting her back to hang out again!

Are you itching to read Tonia Brown’s ebook Skin Trade?
Well today is your lucky day!
Leave a comment for a chance to win a ebook copy of Skin Trade
2 Lucky winners will be chosen!
Winners will be announced right here on Hugs & Nightmares on Monday June 18th!

Tell Tonia if you pee in the shower and your name will go in the drawing twice! J
Good Luck!


  1. I can't believe that no one has commented on this yet, I am laughing my ass off, lol :)

    Peeing in the shower is not my cup of tea, but that is a damn good thing, since I usually take a bath. How yucky would that be :I

    Tonia, your interview was awesome. If I wasn't already friends with you on FB I would be after this :)

    Jen well done on the interview. Now can you get back to work please? Tonia is fun, even though she brought “sugar free” brownies and made it apparent that she isn’t going to share her fried chicken, doesn’t she know that we only do fattening foods around these here parts? Hmmmm But that is enough playing around *strikes ruler on desk* back to work everyone, HeeHee

  2. Who doesn't?! LOL great interview ladies :)

  3. I pee in the shower now add my name twice.....This is one of the best interviews I have ever read!!!!

    Loved it ladies!!!

  4. I heart Tonia and consider myself very fortunate to have her as a friend in real life! I'm not entering the giveaway though because I've already read Skin Trade (and LOVED it!). While you are checking out her books, you should check out The Cold Beneath, which she just released. I'm telling you, this woman is on fire with writing books!

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  6. Thanks peeps. I try to keep it light wherever I go, because life is already too heavy as it is. Glad to hear I am not the only one that pees in the shower. I also super heart Jaidis. She's one of my fave ladies in the world. Thanks so much Savannah for a great and fun interview. WOOP! (and yeah I had to take that down and write it again.. that's how much I need an editor! haha!)

  7. " Great interview and I wanna read the book"

  8. I am hungry after seeing those brownies! Can't wait to read this! And no, I don't pee in the shower! lol