Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Tonya Brooks. I’m 39 + shipping & handling (lol)
Fiona: Where are you from?
Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a teller of tales, a dreamer of dreams, and a weaver of words. I’m a coffee addict, dark chocolate connoisseur, and lover of all things romance. I love to read, loathe cooking, have extremely eclectic taste in music, and a wicked sense of humor. My soul mate and I are still on our honeymoon after 37 years of marriage and raising two rambunctious sons.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Hurricane Florence devastated North and South Carolina with catastrophic flooding and left thousands without homes. In an effort to assist with the relief effort, my fellow author C.E. Black and I created Head Above Water: A Paranormal Romance Charitable Anthology To Benefit Hurricane Florence Victims.
The anthology is only available during the month of November and one hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to charitable organizations focusing on the rebuilding process.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I had been a voracious reader since the age of 3 (yes, three!). When I was 16 a friend loaned me her favorite romance novel and I told her I didn’t like the ending. When I explained how I would have ended it, she said, “I like that better. You should write a book.” So I did and that’s how my passion for writing began.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When the words poured out of me faster than I could write, type or dictate, I realized that writing was as necessary as breathing. That was when I knew I was meant to be a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The inspiration for the first book I published happened in 1993 while I was listening to a song, ‘The Night I Called The Old Man Out’. I was intrigued by the thought of a badass father with a tender heart and the Bad Baker Boys were born soon after. I chose the pen name Tonya Brooks as a tribute to the artist whose song inspired me, Garth Brooks.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I try to use a single word or a line from the book that describes the story in a nutshell.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m a pantser which is challenging since I’m all about schedules and organization in every other area of my life. I write contemporary, historical regency, paranormal, military suspense and romantic comedy. Every genre I write has its own particular voice or writing style and they differ so greatly that it’s almost like a different person wrote them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I do pull from real life experiences on the odd occasion, and I’ve even given a couple of characters mannerisms similar to people I know, but my books are pure fiction.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I haven’t yet, though it is an option for the future. So far I’ve only based my characters in locations that I know well.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I make a (really bad) mock-up of the image in my head and my graphic design artist, Crystal Cuffley creates the perfect cover. I’ve also used Envy Designs and both are a joy to work with.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. I hope they realize that no matter what they have to go through to get there, the happily ever after is always worth it. I’m living proof of that!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Sadly, I haven’t read any new authors lately. I read a variety of genres and have favorite authors in each. I want a story that grabs my attention from the beginning and keeps it till the last page. I want to feel as if I know the characters personally and have a vested interest in what happens to them. If an author can convey that, I’m hooked for life.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
One of my oldest friends was my biggest cheerleader and fan. She never stopped encouraging me to write, mainly because she wanted to read them! lol
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I’ve been a full-time author since March 2017. I can’t imagine doing anything else now.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change one word. My readers loved it just like it is. Thankfully!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I did, actually. Since the plotline loosely touched on the topic, I researched genetic modifications through biotechnology and how genetic engineering changes the genetic makeup of cells, including the transfer of genes within and across species boundaries to produce improved organisms. At one point I think my eyes bled from brain overload!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh, wow. The last one was a paranormal romance about a muscular blonde lion shifter so, it would have to be Chris Hemsworth.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Listen to your characters. It’s their story, let them tell it the way they want to. You’ll produce a better story and its much less stressful than trying to make them do something that you want them to do.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I have the absolute best readers in the world. They stood by me during a personal tragedy and encouraged me to take the time I need to heal. I couldn’t appreciate them more. Love y’all!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m about to start Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t remember the name of the first romance novel I read, but it was by Barbara Cartland way back in the day.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have an irreverent sense of humor and it doesn’t take much to make me laugh. I rarely cry, but animals and children can get the waterworks flowing.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Lucille Ball. She was a gracious, glamorous, and hilarious lady, and one of my idols as a child. Hence my irreverent sense of humor!
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Other than reading? Hubby and I take walks on the beach to collect seashells and enjoy trying new restaurants.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love action films with humor. Red, Red 2, and all of the Expendables top my list.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Seafood. The blues and aquas of the ocean. My taste in music is eclectic. I’ll listen to pretty much anything except rap, bluegrass and Southern gospel.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Nothing. My soul would shrivel and die.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Sitting on the beach with my soul mate and our son.
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone?
My tagline. It’s all smoke & mirrors till… The End.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events, and special offers?
Amazon Author page USA https://www.amazon.com/Tonya-Brooks/e/B00KHVYRTW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1