EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TONEYE EYENOT
After I wrote a review for Toneye Eyenot, I became engrossed by the author’s peculiar use of words and his odd, yet extremely charming personality. I was enchanted by his stories and his completely aberrant attitude towards the mainstream horror market. He went from being a reviewed author to someone I'm glad to call my friend.
Bloody Good Horror Books’ first exclusive author interview led to a surprising and pleasant discovery of Toneye’s true nature.
1. Toneye, you write under the pseudonym Toneye Eyenot, which looks like a palindrome at first glance, yet it isn't. Why do you use this alias? Is your real name Toneye Blakk or is that also an alias?
Toneye: Indeed, 'eye' do 😀 It actually isn't a palindrome, as you point out, but it is something that suits my personality and love for the 'play on words'. A funny little sidetrack before we get back to the question, my favourite palindrome is actually 'aibohphobia' - which is a fear of palindromes 😜 so, unintentionally, it merely 'appears' to be palindromic. Anyways, my name. My name has been Toneye since 1988 and Eyenot is the one you can blame for the more depraved elements of my psyche; my muse, eye guess you could say, or maybe even my demons personified and given a name.
Sadly, the day my debut novella, The Scarlett Curse, was released back in 2015, some pair of sad sacks reported my original account to Farcebook and they shut me down because 'Toneye Eyenot' wasn't my real name. It was a conniving pair of jealous fools who will remain unnamed. So, our Faecesbook Overlords forced me to make a new account and use my name Blakk in order to start from scratch on release day. Lost access to my author page with over 700 people onboard and if not for being able to retain at least 'Toneye', nobody would've known who the flesh eye was. Not a great introduction to the indie Horror world, but eye am resilient if nothing else. Can't get rid of me that easily haha. So, to actually answer your question...what fun would this interview be without just a splash of bloody mystery, yeah? 😉
2. I have stated before that I am a huge fan of yours. You write with an extreme veracity, yet sometimes I lose you in translation for a bit. You also come up with extreme horror shorts, sometimes so extreme that I gasp for breath. It's difficult to separate your wild imagination from who you are as a person - an extremely nice guy. Tell me why you prefer extreme horror over more subtle horror? And if your mind is so dark, why is there such a huge contrast between your personality and your writing style?
Toneye: That's very kind of you to say! Veracity, eye like that 😊 Maybe it's in the loss of translation where eye like to take the readers and play with their heads for a while, before plonking them back into the plot, dizzy and a little disoriented...or maybe, eye just need to tighten up my writing chops 😁 This is open to interpretation, eye guess.
To answer why eye prefer the extreme over the subtle, that's not entirely the case. Horror, in all it's glorious forms, has always held me in awe. There are a lot of my stories which do tip to the extreme, but there are a few tales which have delved deeply into more chilling, creepy territory. In a lot of ways, those stories are among some of my favourites. Then, there are those few which are intended to tickle the funny bone of those with a darker sense of humour, although they quite often hit some extreme themes, leaving you feeling perhaps a little disgusted in yourself for letting a bit of a chuckle escape. Maybe those ones are closer to my 'everyday' personality - my sense of humour is quite depraved.
Being a life-long fan of Extreme Metal, and actually being in some extremely heavy and dark bands most of my adult life, darkness and extremity are kinda second nature to me. If not for the release of my demons through music and in more recent years, writing, eye shudder to think what kind of person eye may have turned out to be. Someone eye wouldn't want to meet, eye imagine 😈
3. I've noticed before that you use different words to communicate, e.g. "Eye am." instead of "I am". Why is this?
Toneye: This question pops up on a regular basis, which isn't surprising, of korpse 😜 Eye have a thing for eyes, eye do haha. There's that and a few other little idiosyncrasies eye like to indulge, such as a preference to 'k' over 'c' in certain words (eye mean, look at that k! Pointy, vicious, more violent than that curled up, subservient looking c). It is by no means an indication of illiteracy on my part, just a habit eye developed over the decades by hangin' out with some pretty ummm 'unorthodox' friends. 'I' am perfectly capable of watching my 'Ks' and 'Eyes' when necessary, such as in my published work, or when editing other authors' work. 'Eye' just choose to be different in my social interactions with humans.
4. Where do you draw inspiration from for your horror shorts?
Toneye: All the negative, damaging, hateful and hurtful emotions that dwell within the souls of all who draw breath. If suppressed, or left unchecked - ignored - denied, these aspects of the self will ultimately overwhelm and destroy from the inside out. Eye know you are familiar with Jung, and most likely have a good grasp of the 'shadow self' concept. That's where eye draw from. Eyenot is my shadow. Eye prefer to embrace the evil within rather than fight it. Y'know, keep your enemies close.
6. Who's your favourite author and why?
Toneye: Carlos Castaneda. His books are pure genius in my opinion. A perfect blend of fantastical fiction, and some very practical tools which have you question the nature of 'agreed upon' reality. His creation of the Nagual, Don Juan Matus is so believable, although eye know he is a fictional character, his wisdom seems to be genuinely otherworldly. Castaneda brought to life a whole party of enigmatic and powerful sorcerers who have effectively changed the way eye perceive reality. Eye have been drawn to the occult since my early teens and his books have made more sense to me than any other.
7. What's the best novel you've ever read and why?
Toneye: Eye don't think it's possible to narrow it down to one, or two...or several even. When eye was a teenager, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton had the biggest impact on me. My late teens/early 20's eye was more interested in books on the occult, which eventually led me to Castaneda and his series of novels. Eye think my favourite of those would be either Journey to Ixtlan or Tales of Power, but eye loved them all. Then, we come to the present, and the multitude of authors in the indie world of Horror. Authors like Jim Goforth, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason: The Sisters of Slaughter, Dona Fox, Lucretia Stanhope, to name just a few of my faves. These are some authors whose work you really should check out.
8. Why should people read your work? What makes it stand out?
Toneye: Eye will get under your skin and into your mind. My words will seep into your subconscious to sit and fester, and you won't realise it until eye am in there, making myself at home. To quote some of my lyrics..."Lurk within my mind(s) and see the terrors which await thee. Just keep in mind, once in my mind, you cannot flee."
9. How do you define your writing persona?
Toneye: Deep, dark, and flirting with insanity.
10. What's your favourite story you've ever written and why?
Toneye: Man, this is a very hard question. Eye love many of my stories for many different reasons. Gonna say maybe, Blood Moon Big Top. Of all the Horror characters/themes/beasts, whatever, werewolves have always been my fave. Eye had written a few werewolf short stories but nothing of any significant length. Never been one of these prolific authors who can belt out 100k word novels. Novellas have always seemed to be my 'sweet spot' and eye wanted to write a werewolf novella, but with a unique and disturbing twist.
Plenty of werewolf books out there, to the point where people are starting to use the old 'done to death' analogy. There are also quite a few clown horrors getting around the traps. What hasn't been done (at least to my limited knowledge) is a blend the two. Coulrophobia is a very rampant fear, eye have found, and werewolves are just fukking brutal. Eye couldn't think of a nastier match, and Marbles the Clown is ten hells of a mean bastard.
This book has many different elements to it. Eye wanted to place the main focus on the psychological and mental breakdown as Marbles gradually loses his humanity over a month-long period. There are some terrifying moments of insanity, along with some purely savage instances when his humanity slips from sight and the beast inside takes over, getting worse and more desperate as time passes. This book was very much fun to write.
Website - https://luniakkpublications.com/
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Twitter - https://twitter.com/ToneyeEyenot
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/toneye-eyenot-965a67164/
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00NVVMHVA/
Blog - https://toneyeeyenot.weebly.com/