Name Toneye Eyenot
45 (had to think about that one for a moment there haha)
Where are you from
Blue Mountains in NSW Australia
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Eye was born in Nth Sydney, the eldest of 6 kids, and moved to the Western Suburbs when eye was 6. Growing up in a strictly Catholic household, eye started off in a Catholic school until moving out west. My parents weren’t all that well off, so the rest of my primary schooling was spent in the local public school. Those were the best years of my schooling. Eye excelled mostly in English and by the 4th grade, was the dux of my entire grade and managed to hold that, until halfway through the 6th grade. My parents wanted me to attend a Catholic high school and the one they had in their sights required that eye spent time in catholic primary school, so they pulled me out halfway through 6th grade, my friends and the best teacher eye had in my entire school experience. That’s when things went south. Gradually, throughout high school, my grades would drop more and more, as eye rebelled against my parents, their religion and the school/prison eye felt eye was being punished with, until, nearing the end of grade 10, was expelled from the school. English, however, remained my strong point, and although eye never graduated high school, eye never lost my love for words. Spent my late teens and early 20’s partying and writing myself off (rebel without a pause haha). Eye met the mother of my son at 21 and at 25, he was born, and by then, eye had settled down. We stayed together for another 4 or so years and mutually split. She has been the perfect mother to our son, who has just reached adulthood, doing much better than me when eye was his age haha. He has been playing guitar since he was 3 and is finally beginning to live his dream as a musician of rising success. He is an extremely talented and well respected guitarist here in Sydney and interstate, and eye am Hell proud of his achievements. He’s been doing the band circuit since he was ten, and his first live performance was getting up with us (Chaotic Impurity), to play our last song with us, ending the set with a shredding guitar solo. Proud moment! To this day, his mother and eye have supported his lifelong dream and she will always have my fullest respect.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Well, my debut novella, The Scarlett Curse, is at the publishers (J Ellington Ashton), and is well on its way to release! A very exciting time for me right now. Eye have poetry and short stories published in some anthologies, all flowing through the darkened vein of Horror. The Scarlett Curse is book 1 in a series named ‘The Sacred Blade Of Profanity series’, which is a mixture of Horror and Dark Fantasy. Book II has been written and is over double the size of the first and eye am nearing 9k words into book III. There are a few more antho appearances that are yet to be released, and eye am currently writing a Werewolf ‘tail’ that is still a mystery as to what form it will take…short story, novella, or full-blood novel. It is still in its early stages yet.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
The first story eye remember writing was in first grade, titled ‘Two Little Raindrops’. My teacher was blown away by it and made a really big deal. My mum has brought it up many times over the years and is always telling me still now, how much she loved that story. Eye still remember the basic outline and early this year, decided to re-write it. One paragraph in, and eye realized just how difficult, for me anyway, it is to write a children’s story. My mind is very ‘dark’, and eye have learned far too many big words, not to mention, swear words since being a 6 year old haha. That one has been put on the backburner for the time being, until eye get a bit more of an idea in that department. Eye wrote a fair bit, growing up, but lost the passion through high school. Then the period of excessive drinking and drug taking in my youth quashed that passion for several years. In 1988, eye formed a band with my then best mate. He was the guitarist, but also the songwriter, both music and lyrics. We were deeply into the occult and his lyrics were very dark and brilliantly put together. After the band split, eye decided to write my own music and lyrics but nothing eventuated from it. Eye was never much of a guitarist, but my passion for wordsmithing had been re-ignited. In 1990, eye began writing lyrics for a few years and then stopped again; disillusioned with the fact my music would probably never see the light of day. So, there they sat for another many years, until 2001. While living here in the mountains, eye met a bloke who had the demo from my band in ’88. He was reforming a band that had split several years earlier and wanted me as the vocalist, which eye instantly agreed to. From that point, eye began writing lyrics again. My lyrics are very poetic and so, eye have had a wealth of material to submit to anthologies recently in the guise of poetry. The band is still going today and so is my songwriting.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Eye would have to say 1990, when eye began to write song lyrics. Still my favourite piece, even after the countless songs eye have since written, is that first one, way back then, ‘Thou Art Named A Witch’.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A facebook friend wrote some poetry on her page and eye was greatly impressed with it and told her so. Eye shared some of my poetry with her and she asked me, “Why haven’t you written a book?” Eye began to ask myself the same question, and we discussed possible themes and such. Her fb moniker is Scarlett, and we came up with the concept of a possessed blade. Eye wrote a song about 10 years ago, The Sacred Blade Of Profanity and thought it would be a good idea to base the story around. Eye asked her if eye could name the central character after her and she agreed, and The Scarlett Curse was born.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
My stories and poetry are very dark. Sometimes with occult themes, sometimes bordering on the psychotic to even diving headfirst over that line. Eye like to explore the realms of insanity in all its forms when eye write. The Scarlett Curse is very dark, with psychotic interludes and some surprising and brutal scenes, but it is very character driven, and the violent horror and gore is spread out evenly and quite thinly; in comparison to some of my more ‘full on’ writing. It has been my intention to form a bond, or connection between the reader and the characters. There’s a real sense of loneliness and isolation in the characters, even between the mute child, Dera, and her mother, Phenoluh. A lot of their time spent was in silence, except when Phenoluh would speak for both of them, just to break the silence. Book II sees the proper introduction of a new character, who gets a passing mention near the end of book I. He is the personification of evil, and the violence is much more graphic and brutal as well as the profanities that spit from his mouth. The Scarlett Curse has one swear word in the whole book, but Book II (Joshua’s Folly) is a lot looser, considering a new group of characters that join the story. Eye try not to make profanity a big thing in writing. Sure, eye use it; not always, but when eye do eye always try to keep it in context. Eye have a foul enough mouth in real life haha. Eye want everyone who reads it to hate this new character, and eye think they will.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The person who inspired me to write it, Scarlett. My muse for the journey, and it was a long one! It took me 3 years to write T.S.C., and it is only the introductory novella, at 15,000 words. Joshua’s Folly, Book II only took me a little over four months, and is around 40,000 words. It is named after the main villain from T.S.C., as his fate is still yet to be sealed. The third installment, at this point is just titled T.S.C. III. Joshua’s Folly came to me at around 10k, and eye am nearing 9k in Book III, so hopefully eye think of a title by then. The series is called The Sacred Blade Of Profanity series, and is named after the song eye wrote.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Your thoughts create your reality, so be careful what you think. Then, there’s a quote from a Carlos Castaneda book (eye don’t remember which one), which has always stuck with me, and pulled me out of the holes eye have put myself in over the years every time… “We make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same”. It is such a true statement. We use the same amount of energy either way, so why the Hell do ya wanna be miserable? There’s a lot of misery, and not much hope in the story, but the potential for Power is always there, lurking. Eye tried to make it feel like you can see it, but some of the characters are oblivious, which kind of puts you through the eyes of the players who do see. Like watching a horror movie and screaming at the idiot who just has to open that door.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
It’s a Dark Fantasy, with made up names for places and people, bar one. So eye guess the most realistic thing about it is the lead character being named after the nom de plume of a real person. Another friend, an old mate since our teens, asked me to write him into the story, so eye did. His name, anyway. He gets to play a character, but eye am pulling the strings, haha. The violence is visceral and graphic, yet still mostly within the darkest possible realms of human capability, and feels quite realistic, because you know it could happen to you or someone you love, like family. It could happen to anyone, even though this is set in an imaginary place in my mind, and that’s what eye try to tap into. That’s when Eyenot takes over and things get real ugly.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The trials and tribulations of the players in the story aren’t based on anyone in particular, but a few of the characters began to remind me of certain people in my life, as they developed. Maybe a subconscious connection there, eye don’t know. The events that occur have a bit of a Castaneda feel, in regards to sorcery and Power, when those occasions arise throughout the series. Book III so far, is very occult based, as it starts to go deeper into the history of The Sacred Blade Of Profanity and the two warring lineages of sorcerers, who have been at it for the last 8,000 years.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The Teachings of Don Juan – A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda. Then all of his books that came after. Eye studied many forms of magical practices for many years, but none had the impact that Castanedas books did. Eye met a friend when eye first moved to the mountains and joined a small kung fu school that was just starting out. My first night, it was just me, the teacher, and this guy. We got to talking and eye found he was into Castaneda too. What’s more, he had videos of the magical passes, so eye went to his place all the time, and we would do the passes for hours. Eye used to run from his house afterwards, for 15 minutes up steep hills to get to the train. When eye would get there, eye felt eye could just keep running, two stops away on the train, back to my house. A natural high that was better than any drug that eye used to take in my early years. Eye always had an abundance of energy, and eye have been a chronic fatigue sufferer for the last 20 years. Life getting in the way of living and some toxic relationships etc., eye stopped practicing a few years ago, but eye have kept what eye learned, and taken it with me, so yeah, they would be my most influential books.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
A Time of Grace – by Catt Dahman. She owns J.E.A., and is a part of the damn fine bunch of folks who are publishing The Scarlett Curse. She is also an incredible author. You can easily find her several books on Amazon, by typing her name in the search. Highly recommended reading!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Wow. Tons! As eye have only been a part of the writers community here on the net since July last year, eye have been inundated with incredible authors, and met some awesome people. A lot of writers are into Metal as well, which eye love. Eye love Metal. One that stands out lately is Jasper Bark. A British author of extreme Horror, eye recently read his short story, Stuck on You. Eye was blown away. He writes extreme, splatter, no holds barred Horror. Sick and depraved. Eye loved it! And yesterday, eye read a piece of flash by Jasper, called ‘Taking The Piss’, which appears in a collection titled “Stuck on You and other Prime Cuts, so eye am purchasing the book tomorrow at my earliest convenience.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
My Works In Progress are; The Scarlett Curse – Book III, Night of the Luniaks – a Werewolf story that’s only a few hundred words in so far, and eye also need to come up with a Sword and Sorcery themed story by the end of the month for an anthology.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Eye have had great support and encouragement from my friends. It was my very good friend and Metal Brother, Jim Goforth who introduced me to the J.E.A. family, who are always there whenever this newblood has a question, no matter how dumb or obvious hahaha! Jim is another amazing author and an all-round awesome bloke.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
If anything, yes. Eye don’t see me making a successful career with the style of Death and Black Metal eye play, and eye have been on a pension for the chronic fatigue for years, so yeah, it would be nice to make a modest living out of it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yeah. Stay away from toxic relationships haha. That’s what got in the way and took me 3 years to write Book I. Two and a half terrible, wasted years.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It originated from memory, with Two Little Raindrops. Eye wrote a lot after the encouragement eye got from that but Two Little Raindrops is the only one eye remember.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! This is an excerpt from Night of the Luniaks. 1st draft of the Werewolf ‘tail’ eye am writing…
Night of the Luniaks
By Toneye Eyenot
Terrified, agonised screams echo throughout darkened lanes, and blood-soaked streets are littered with the mangled human debris. Survivors scramble for the presumed safety of indoors. There is no hiding, no escaping. This is our night. Our glorious night, awash with the radiance of the Moon at her fullest. A night I share with my lupine sisters and brothers, in a bloody orgy of murderous lunacy. Claude is our Alpha. A charismatic leader, both in human skin and in his true form. He saunters casually through the chaos, swatting nonchalantly at the frantic and pissweak prey like annoying insects, as the pack rampages through the insultingly named, town of Wolfhaven.
Wolfhaven…pffft. This place isn’t, and hasn’t been for a long time, a haven for our kind. The surrounding forest, our home for hundreds of years, has gradually been decimated and reduced in its splendour to nearly half by these parasitic humans. They have hunted and killed many of our brethren; in their quest for domination of a land that never belonged to them… so now they pay in blood and eviscerated gore.
I am Shona. A fourth generation, pureblood Lycan bitch. Tonight is an especially personal one for me. In fact, this raid is executed in honour of my fallen mother, Pharo. She is the latest casualty and the unforgiving spark that has ignited this hellish war on the human population encroached upon our territory. It won’t end here, either. Claude has shared his vision with the pack. It is a plan that will see the demise of the human race, and a welcome end to the raping of this wondrous planet. It begins here; right now, in Wolfhaven, and will spread like a plague such as never before seen.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Motivation, inspiration some days. Eye rarely go out so can’t say it’s a time thing. Eye can get a bit agoraphobic and misanthropic (in times eye forget eye could be making myself strong), and prefer mainly to stay in my little den and write. Sometimes however, the darkness rolls in and drops a blanket over my creative fire, putting me back in the hole. My socializing is done mostly on facebook, and very occasionally go out and see people in the flesh. When eye get like that, it gives fuel to my writing later, after eye stop indulging. Like good make up sex haha. Still, that is a challenge for me.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There’s quite a few, both old and new. Eye am a poet, did ya know it? Haha! In high school, eye got hooked on SE Hinton’s books. ‘The Outsiders’, ‘Rumble Fish’, ‘Tex’ and ‘That Was Then, This Is Now’ were my favourite books for years. Steven Donaldson, who wrote the Thomas Covenant series is one of my favourites. Carlos Castaneda has an extraordinary way of blending a real magical system into a massive series of books that read like fiction; spanning his entire apprenticeship with don Juan Matus and his party of sorcerers, and beyond into his own journey as the new Nagual. He would have to be my favourite.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
So far, no. Australia is pretty far from where the world eye have fallen into is. Eye haven’t explored the ‘scene’ here and don’t even know if there is one. Only online. That’s mainly in the U.K. and the U.S. Eye don’t have anything stand-alone released and on sale yet, either. Only what is in anthologies so far. So the need hasn’t arisen as yet. If something were to happen here, eye would be happy to travel to promote my work. So far, all eye really know about the industry, is how to write scary stories haha.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
J.E.A.’s David Mc.Glumphy did the awesome cover for The Scarlett Curse. Eye was blown away when he sent me the picture. She is very much in my head, how Scarlett would look. And the forest makes me feel the forest of Mellowood, in the story. He did a brilliant job on it!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Going over it a hundred times and changing, adding, rarely scrapping anything…generally obsessing. This is my baby and it’s my first, so eye really want it to be perfect. Eye have relaxed into the story, now that eye am on to book III, but still get stuck from time to time. Hence the beginning of my Werewolf ‘tail’.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Eye have learned a lot along the way, such as learning to use word and type slightly faster than a one handed retarded seal. Plus structuring a book and making it presentable for a publisher.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be open to criticism. Learn to accept rejection and write for yourself, from the heart. Not everybody likes everything, but if you never give up on your dream and just write, every day if possible, there will be people who like what you have to offer. Run with what works for you and learn from the criticisms instead of getting offended or disheartened, and you will only improve and maybe one day succeed.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Hails and Howls, to everyone reading this! Eye hope you are enjoying the ride so far. If you like your Horror delivered with a twist of Darkened Fantasy, a stabbing of gore, and dark, psychologically disturbing occult themes weaved throughout, eye think you are going to love The Scarlett Curse. Well, eye hope you do! Eye will provide links at the end of this interview to the various anthologies my other works appear in if you want to read more, alongside some of the best authors getting around today in the vastly diverse genre of Horror. Cheers for all your support and for your patience with The Scarlett Curse. It’s been a long time coming but eye promise you, it’ll be worth the wait!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book eye remember reading is The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Eye have a warped and pretty sick sense of humour. Eye laugh at a lot of things people might think stupid, or even offensive. Eye laugh at myself a lot and take the piss. Eye like laughing. Sometimes, eye get a lump in my throat, or my eyes get a bit blurred when eye am writing something tragic with a character in my story, or reading back over it. There’s a few parts in it that get to me. Eye really connect with them and feel their pain. They are creations of my own mind though. Eye am hoping that the readers will be affected and touched by the characters in the same way.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Tell ya what. There’s one person eye wouldn’t mind meeting in a dark alley…nah haha. If eye could, and one day eye will, eye would meet Goatess Of Torment. We’ve known each other since 1986 and haven’t seen eachother since 1987, eye think. Plus, he is the old mate eye mentioned earlier, who eye wrote into Joshua’s Folly.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
It depends on how eye die. If eye was dying and eye knew it was my final days, eye would prefer to wander out into the deepest mountains and keep walking ‘til eye drop dead, to be eaten by ants and maggots and whatever other carnivorous critters may happen by my corpse. But if eye were to get hit by, say a falling donkey or something random like that, while walking down a busy street, eye guess eye would have “EYE SEE YOU” on my grave stone.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Eye have re’kindled’ my love for reading, with a stack of e-books to get through. Eye also love kung fu, although eye practice only very sporadically these days. My other love is my Metal. Eye scream bloody murder in 2 bands. A Death Metal (Chaotic Impurity) and a Black Metal band (Infinite Black), plus eye play bass in a punk band called Rock n Roll Detectives. Find us on Facebook if you’re into that kind of thing. Infinite Black has 2 recordings available for download on Bandcamp, and RnRD have a couple of songs up on Triple J Unearthed. Chaotic Impurity plan to break the curse this year and record our 1st ever release after 13 years of underground mayhem. Every attempt so far has failed and we are determined to smash something out this time.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Eye hate TV. It’s a mind numbing experience that eye don’t do. My TV is my computer monitor. Eye do love Horror movies though, especially Werewolf movies. Eye also love martial arts movies. Especially Tony Jaa movies. That bloke’s incredible! But regular TV, not this wolf haha
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favourite food is a bloody ‘blue’ steak (30 seconds each side in a frying pan), my favourite colour is black, and my favourite music is Metal in all its forms.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Eye will continue playing in my bands until eye am too old and feeble to partake in such shenanigans, so if eye wasn’t a writer eye would still be doing what eye love to do. Eye will always love to write though.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
T.S.C. Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/TheScarlettCurse
My website- http://toneyeeyenot.weebly.com
You will find the links to my work on my Amazon page, Goodreads and on my website. You’ll find everything you need to know regarding my work in these links above. Thank you, Fiona, for giving me the opportunity to speak with you and whoever is reading this. My very first interview and eye appreciate it very much. Cheers! And cheers to all of you out there! Eye hope you had a good ride through the mind(s) of a luniak \m/