Today WerewolfBook.com interviews Toneye Eyenot, author of Blood Moon Big Top & Editor of Full Moon Slaughter. ISBN 978-1539092698 and Kindle ASIN: B01LYYA64F, ISBN 978-1539794011 and ASIN: B01M2CUWHT respectively.
About Blood Moon Big Top:
When Kendrick the drifter joins a circus and becomes Marbles the Clown, he discovers the art of transformation; an escape from the woes of his everyday life. An unfortunate encounter with a feral child in the woods, as the Full Moon prepares to meet the approaching dawn, sets off a gradual transformation beyond anything Marbles could imagine. His deterioration over the following two weeks leads to his apparent death and the circus moves on. Waking up in the morgue a few days later, the slow transformation of Marbles the Clown begins.
In a desperate bid to catch up with the circus as it travels from town to town, city to city, Marbles embarks on a two week journey of nightmare carnage and unconquerable insanity, finally reaching his destination in time for the real and terrifying transformation to take hold.
“Even a man who is pure at heart and who says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn Moon is bright.”
This quote, made famous from the 1941 werewolf film classic, The Wolf Man, is the embodiment of the terror within man of that which can’t be controlled – The beast which resides within us all. The curse (or blessing, depending on one’s perception) of the werewolf has inspired many films and many books, which now brings us to Full Moon Slaughter. Within this tome, you will find a large and diverse collection of tales; stories which are dark, brutal and haunting. Tales true to the wolf or other shifter within. Accounts of Lycanthropy, of curses, lunatic carnage and full moon mayhem. Welcome to the slaughter. It’s time to unleash the beast within!
About Toneye Eyenot:
Toneye Eyenot hails from The Blue Mountains in Australia. Although writing horrible tales for the better part of 25 years, 2014 has seen his first published work in REJECTED For Content – Splattergore, through J. Ellington Ashton Press, an anthology showcasing alongside many other esteemed authors of the bloodsoaked word.
Now the Interview Questions:
Question: Please give us your overview of the two books.
Toneye: Blood Moon Big Top is a novella which sits around 23k words, a quick and pretty gruesome read released by J. Ellington Ashton Press. It follows the story of Kendrick; a drifter who has little time for people and is a pretty miserable fellow. He joins a circus as a clown, where he first discovers the art of transformation when he dons the suit and greasepaint. He is given the name Marbles, which suits him fine. He hates his name ‘Kendrick’. An encounter with a feral child he stumbles across in the woods on a pre-dawn stroll while the Moon is reaching the end of its Full phase changes everything. The kid bites him before running off and so begins a month long nightmare journey for Marbles. The following two weeks sees Marbles deteriorate gradually until he appears to die as the Moon turns to dark. Waking up in the morgue a few days later, Marbles escapes and that’s when the carnage begins. For the next two weeks, Marbles endeavours to catch up to the circus which left him behind. His bloodlust grows more out of control with the Moon’s progression and along with it his sanity diminishes, each killing becoming more savage and frenzied until finally, Marbles finds the circus just in time for the next Full Moon. That’s when the real transformation takes hold in an extremely bloody climax.
Full Moon Slaughter is an anthology, also through JEA Press and was my editorial debut as far as running an antho is concerned. A massive 400 pages of Werewolf mayhem and carnage containing 35 ‘tails’ by 37 different authors. Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, dubbed ‘The Sisters of Slaughter’ are our feature authors in this tome, with their story ‘Mean Puppy’. They are a rising force in the world of indie Horror; a twin sister writing team who are a pair of rabid Werewolf afficianados and outside of their brutal style of writing, are two of the nicest people in the business (quick plug: Check out their debut novel, Mayan Blue on Amazon, easily my fave read of 2016!)
Question: Right away I have to ask, is Toneye Eyenot your given Christian name?
Toneye: Not from birth, no hahaha. It was given to me back in ’88 though by my friends while living in a crazy joint called ‘The House of Eternal Parties’. The name stuck and has kinda become my brand over the years. It got me in the habit of substituting ‘I’ with ‘Eye’ when referring to myself, which has the mixed reaction of either endearment or annoyance, depending who is subject to my unorthodox way of writing stuff. Only on social media though. You won’t find such spelling atrocities in any of my published work hahaha. Eye just like to be different. A bit of a weirdo like that. Eye also on occasion like to swap ‘C’ with ‘K’ in my social media interactions, another quirk picked up from my somewhat strange youth. The K is so much more vicious looking, with its sharp, pointy bits. Much kooler than the wimpy, rounded lookin’ C haha.
Question: Tell us a little about your journey to becoming a published author.
Toneye: Flash back to the aforementioned ’88 and it began with my first band, Nomenclature Diablerie; an extreme Death Metal Band in which eye was the vokiller. Eye didn’t write any of the songs though. That was my guitarist and band founder, but his lyrical genius was what inspired me to begin writing my own lyrics after the band split. Eye wrote quite a few songs in the few years which followed but the band eye wanted to create never happened and my songwriting ceased for many years after. Fast forward to 2001 and eye had been living in the Blue Mountains in NSW Australia the past 6 or 7 years. Eye met a Metalhead who actually had a copy of the Nomenclature Diablerie demo. Turns out he was in the process of reviving his own band, Chaotic Impurity, and asked me if eye would be the vokiller. Of korpse eye emphatically agreed! That’s when my lyric writing returned with a vengeance. Eye penned dozens of lyrics, all dark and horrific and poetic in nature. 16 years later, the band is still going. In 2011, a FB friend named Scarlett read my lyrics in my FB notes and asked me if eye had ever written a book. When eye said, “No” she said, “Why the hells not?!” A few people over the years had asked me the same and told me “You should write a book.” Eye gave it little thought but this time, Scarlett was insistent and we began tossing ideas around in FB messages. Eye decided to write a story based on one of the Chaotic Impurity songs, ‘The Sacred Blade Of Profanity’. Scarlett was kinda my muse at the time and the first book became the beginning of a series – The Sacred Blade Of Profanity series. Eye gave the main character her name and The Scarlett Curse was born. It took me 3 years to write and when it was done, eye went straight to my old Metal Brother, Jim Goforth. He and his wife Elle used to run a promotion company called Black Belle Music and gave Chaotic Impurity a lot of support over the years. Eye knew he had a book about to be released and had appeared in a bunch of anthologies. Eye asked where eye could send my book. Jim was/is still with JEA Press and so that’s where eye decided to send it. First though, he was running an anthology called Rejected For Content and told me eye should sub some of my lyrics to it as poetry. The CEO, catt dahman, saw my submission and that’s how eye got my foot in the door. The Scarlett Curse was published with J. Ellington Ashton Press (JEA) in 2014 after my lyrics and a few short stories had appeared in several anthologies. Haven’t looked back since.
Question: What are some of the more noteable tales in the collection of Full Moon Slaughter and how did you go about assembling them?
Toneye: Wow! There are so many aaaarrroooooooosome stories in this beast, it is hard to single out, but some of my faves would be: Of Gods and Beasts by Kevin Candela, Perspective by Roma Gray, Strangers in a Hall by Mark Leney, and of korpse Mean Puppy by the Sisters of Slaughter. Although, there really isn’t a story or poem in the book eye don’t like. They are all very strong entries and Full Moon Slaughter has been quite popular since its release. When the open call went out, it was met with a flood of interest and the group grew to over 100 authors, though not all of them submitted a story in the end. Still, the amount who did, all brilliant stuff, warranted such a huge volume. Eye think there was only one submission which ended up being rejected. It was an exciting project and its popularity gave me the drive to put the call out for FMS2: Altered Beasts which is already half full. This one will be exploring the theme of Therianthropy. While Werewolf stories are welcomed and encouraged, eye have broadened it to include all kinds of Werebeasts. There’s everything from a Wereoctopus to a Werehedgehog in there so far haha. Demented stuff!
Question: Which one was your favorite and why?
Toneye: Again, this is insanely hard to decide, but if eye really must choose only one, eye would have to go with Candela’s ‘Of Gods and Beasts’. He has brought the Greek mythos into the story, centred around the debauched festival of Lupercalia and includes such notable figures as Pan, Bacchus, Apollo Lykaios and Zeus Lykaios. It’s a fangtastic piece of work.
Question: What challenges face an author in the current industry?
Toneye: Challenges abound! Hahaha. There’s the eternal struggle to have your work noticed in a sea churning with authors, many absolutely brilliant and some just starting out who still have a ways to go. Writing the story is the easy part. Submitting, waiting to hear if you’ve been accepted or rejected, they’re the first hurdles to get over. If your book gets picked up by a press, Yaaay! The real journey begins. Once published, that’s when the arduous task of getting your book noticed is underway. You need to get your name out there, create a brand for yourself. Anthologies are a great way to get noticed. A lot of people complain about the “for the love” anthologies which don’t pay but eye attribute my own growth in the industry to the dozens of anthologies out there which have my short stories in them. The wider your reach with anthologies, the more readers are drawn to seek out your other work. It’s also important to maintain a high visibility in the community. Most important is to remain gracious, approachable and friendly with your peers and the readers/fans. There is an amazing network of support in the indie writing community and one must never forget that the way you present yourself is crucial in determining whether you succeed or fail. Social media can be a fickle beast.
Question: What about from the point of view of a self-publishing author?
Toneye: Self-publishing is on the rise, which is both good and bad. If you do decide to take the self-pub route, it’s important to have your work professionally edited, your cover to be impeccably made. There are a helluva lot of self-published books out there with atrocious editing and really shitty covers. If you’re not going to take the time and care to make your book the best it can be, you really have no business muddying the waters with sub-standard rubbish. It makes it a lot harder for those who are serious about their craft. That said, eye have read some incredible self-published books and some absolutely embarrassing ones published through a press. Either way, quality is the key ingredient you want in your published work.
Question: What inspired the idea of a werewolf circus clown in Blood Moon Big Top?
Toneye: While eye vehemently disagree, there are a lot of people out there who feel the Werewolf theme has been done to death, along with others such as Zombies and Vampires. In my opinion, you can never have too many Werewolf books haha. There does seem to be a rise though in the number of Werewolf books which go down the Paranormal Romance route, which is sad. Bring back the gore! Bring back the savagery! Anyway, eye wanted to present a fresh approach to the Werewolf theme and Horror mashups have been pretty popular of late. Coulrophobia (the fear of Clowns) is a pretty rampant phobia and eye figured, what better creature of people’s nightmares to pair with than the dreaded Clown?
Question: What are your top three must-visit places in Australia and why?
Toneye: Eye am pretty reclusive myself and rarely venture out of the Blue Mountains. Moved here at the end of ’94 and lived here ever since. This is my fave place in NSW, Australia, maybe even the world haha. Eye am not a fan at all of the ocean and this is the furthest, highest escape from the coast. Eye love the quiet, to be surrounded by trees and nature. Eye only really ever leave the mountains and venture into the city to see my son’s band whenever they play (another shameless plug: Check out Kvlts Of Vice; kick arse dark rock n roll! You won’t be disappointed) https://kvltsofvice.bandcamp.com/ It’s always good to come home though. As for the rest of Australia, eye will leave that up to the tourism industry to advertise hahaha.
Question: This might be one of the longest duration werewolf transformations in history. Please give us some more details on the reason and inspiration for the transformation pace?
Toneye: The intimate details were important to me. Eye wanted to draw the reader in to the mind of Marbles and make it a personal journey. Most of the other characters in the book are secondary and don’t get a lot of attention. Giuseppe – or Gus, the circus strongman is the only other character who gets a bit more attention. He plays a pretty key role in the story. Since Marbles was bitten just before dawn at the end of the Full Moon cycle, there is an entire month before the transformation culminates. As the Moon wanes to dark, eye wanted to show the accompanying deterioration of Marbles. Waking up in the morgue with the New Moon, and the change which had come over him while lying in stasis for those few days was the impetus for the rest of the book. As the Moon waxes and grows, so does Marbles’ hunger, and his spiral into madness had to be given its full dues in the lead up to the climax.
Question: Why the name Marbles for the clown?
Toneye: Funnily enough, before eye even began to write, one line played in my head which appears during the book…”I’m losing my marbles,” the clown said out loud. “Haha! I’m losing my fucking Marbles!” …Marbles is such a clowny name hahaha
Question: What is the back story of the feral child in the woods?
Toneye: There is none. He was put there simply as the catalyst to turn a Clown story into something much more terrifying.
Question: What are you working on next?
Toneye: Right now, eye am working on Full Moon Slaughter 2 which so far has gathered around 65k of stories and the subs are coming in steadily. Also, another Werewolf novella which should be out sometime in the first half of this year. Eye have developed a hopeless addiction to anthologies, thanks to John Ledger at JEA Press hahaha. The evil bastard just keeps on starting up the most irresistible open calls for anthos and eye am helpless to resist. Eye think there are 9 open at the moment which eye have committed to, so expect to see a lot more Toneye Eyenot splattered across the indie Horror realm this year. Then there’s my Sacred Blade Of Profanity series. The prequel to The Scarlett Curse is called Joshua’s Folly and was released last year. Eye am currently at the halfway point in writing book 3 which is as yet untitled. Starting in Feb., eye am planning to put myself to a routine, where eye write short stories in weeks one and three of each month, and Book 3 in weeks two and four. That way eye can feed my anthology addiction still, but hopefully not to the detriment of my poor novel hahahaha. Aside from the writing, eye am also an editor at JEA Press and do several other duties with them. It’s busy and hectic, but eye love it and wouldn’t have it any other way J
Fangs muchly for taking the time to listen to me ramble! This has been a lot of fun sharing! If you’re interested in checking out my work, you can take a stroll through the mind(s) of this luniak on my website. Most of my published shorts and poetry are there for you to read, and Amazon links to the anthologies they appear in are provided for any who wish to purchase and discover the many brilliant albeit deranged and twisted authors eye have had the honour to share pages with.