Friday, November 09, 2012

Sundowners by Tonia Brown Blog Tour Character Interview

SUNDOWNERS is a backwoods southern horror about the importance of family, the power of gossip and the nature of the artistic muse. Fifteen years ago, siblings Coil and Cassiopeia suffered an incident in the woods behind their family home. An incident that neither of them can remember in full, that nearly killed Cass and left Coil accused as her abuser, and robbed young Coil of his artistic potential yet boosted his little sister into an almost overnight sensation in the art world. Now, fifteen years later, the self-exiled Coil has been called home to deal with his world-famous sister as she suffers from Sundowning; severe and violent personality shifts after the sun sets. In order to cure her, the pair of siblings must come to terms with their old demons, both figuratively and literally. An ancient and terrible horror has risen once more from the backwoods of the family home, and this time it threatens to not only tear their family apart, but also the entire world.

(All questions are answered from Coil Stevens’s perspective, before the events of the novel.)

• How do you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult?

I grew up hating my father for what he suspected of me, and nothing has changed. I guess I will always feel like that, all things considered. I really miss my mom though. I wished I could’ve spent more time with her before she died. My sister is a royal pain in the behind, and I don’t think that will ever change either, unless she magically grows up over night. And we all know that isn’t going to happen.

• What do you want from life?

To be at peace with myself.

• What, in the outside world, is preventing you from getting it?

The usual things, you know … bills, lack of social acceptance, stuff like that.

• What, in yourself, is preventing you from getting it?
I suppose growing up accused of raping and beating your sister nearly to death sort of leaves you in an uncomfortable place for the rest of your life.
• What must happen before you overcome this?

I don’t know. Maybe reconciling with my dad, but he’s dead so that isn’t going to happen. I could get back in touch with Cass, but I don’t think that will happen either. I’d be more likely to start painting masterpieces overnight as apposed to talking to my little sister again.

• If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

World peace, ten million dollars, and a bucket that would produce a piece of fried chicken whenever I stuck my hand inside.

• What three things would you take to a Desert Island?

My oils, my brushes and a ton of canvases.

• In your relationship with others, how are you different with family than you are with friends? Why?
My friends are my family, because my family and I no longer speak. It’s complicated. 

• How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?
My first true love was a girl I grew up with, Laura. She was the only one who stuck by me when the worst came to pass, but even she couldn’t save me from myself, so I had to leave her behind. Since then, I’ve been in and out of relationships but never in love.

• What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Emotional trust is the easiest. I always fall into fondness really easy. Physical trust is the hardest. Whenever I end up in bed with a woman, I always feel like I am taking advantage of her.

• How do you decide if you can trust someone? Experience with others? With this person? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?
On the whole I have a hard time trusting anyone. But considering my childhood, can you blame me? It takes a bit of getting to know you time for me to open up. Usually I like to watch how folks interact with others to know if I can trust them or not. 
• When you walk into a room, what do you notice first? Second?

I always notice what kind of art a person hangs on the walls. You can tell a lot about a person based on their tastes in art. Photographs or paintings? Originals or prints? There in lays all of life’s mysteries.

Second, I try not to focus on it but I always take stock of how many exits the room has. I think it stems from a slight social anxiety. I always feel the need to escape, and knowing just where the exits are helps ease that feeling a bit.

• When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?

That I exude confidence and appear pleasant. I am not saying either of those is true, but I hope that’s what people think when they see me.
• Describe yourself to me.

Physically, I am a little over six feet tall, with dark hair. (Though I am going gray at an early age.) I’m on the trim side, but not without effort. I have to watch my diet because I am diabetic. I am shy around strangers, but open up once I get to know you. I don’t watch much TV, and tend to spend far too long either painting or reading.

• Is one sense more highly developed than another? (Are you more visual, or audial, etc, or do you rely on the famous sixth sense?)

I think because I love and work with art most of the time, I would consider my vision my best sense. I can spot a framed print as apposed to an original work a mile away. That comes in handy when your students try to pull one over on you.

• Did you turn out the way you expected? The way your parents predicted?

I must admit, being a high school art teacher was not the life I planned for. My parents had mixed feelings about it too; my dad hated anything “artsy fartsy” while my mother adored the fact that I was able to at least help other pursue a dream I failed at.

• What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?

An emotional painting. I don’t mean something masterfully artistic, I mean someone who poured their very heart onto the canvas and painted around it. I have been moved to both laughter and tears by going to a gallery showing.
• What's the one thing you have always wanted to do but didn't/couldn't/wouldn't? What would happen if you did do it?

I’ve always wanted to bungee jump, but I don’t think I could handle the heights required.

• What do you consider are your strengths?

I’m a good listener and very patient.

• What do you consider are your weaknesses?

I don’t like confrontation, and will sacrifice my own wellbeing to avoid it.
• What is one physical attribute you are proud of?

I have a hell of a smile.
• What one physical attribute would you change?
I’ve never liked my nose. It isn’t too big or too small, I just don’t like the shape of it. Silly, I know, but there we are.
• What do you consider your special talent?

Oh, you had to ask that, didn’t you? Well, it used to be drawing and painting, but nowadays I suppose I have a knack for teaching others how to do what I wished I could.

• What are you most proud of about your life?

Going from a runaway kid to a college graduate. I worked really hard to get where I am, and while I had a little help along the way—mostly from total strangers who became my family—I did most of it myself.
• What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why?

The worst thing I have ever done was shoplift, and I did it because I was hungry. I just ran away from home and was living on the streets of New York. Luckily, the cop that arrested me pointed me in the right direction and I found the help I needed. Of course, that isn’t the worst thing I have ever been accused of, but that is a whole different story.

• Describe your ideal mate.

Smart, quick witted, wicked sense of humor, thick in the hips and bosom, with flaming red hair.

• What are you most afraid of?

Losing my mind.

• What's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?
My friends. I left my family behind because they never understood me, but now I am surrounded by people who don’t claim to understand me, they just love me for who I am.
• How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

I feel pretty good about my life, though I wished I could make amends with my family.

• If you could be an animal, what would it be? (You can adapt this question to fit the character ie/make it what kind of car, plant, whatever.)

I have always had a fondness for cats. They are clever enough to convince people to feed and house and love them, yet they are almost expected not to reciprocate that affection. In fact, when a cat is on the loving side, folks always talk about how odd they are.
• What is your most treasured possession?

A paintbrush my mother gave me when I was thirteen.

• What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My high school sweetheart, Laura.
• When and where were you the happiest?
Years ago, miles away, before … I know I was happy once upon a time. But then something happened to my little sister in the woods behind our home, and after that, everything changed. 
• What is it that you most dislike?
Gossip. Rumors are what ran me out of my house and away from my hometown. I despise gossip.
• What is your greatest fear?

That my father was right about me, and I did hurt Cass that day in the woods.
• What is your greatest extravagance?

I spend way too much on art supplies for someone who rarely sells a piece. I can’t help it! Sometimes I don’t even need it, I just love the smell and feel of new brushes and the weight of an unopened tube of acrylic, or the promising space of an empty canvas.

• Which living person do you most despise?

My little sister. The last time we talked she told me if I was on fire she wouldn’t piss on me to put out the flames. You gotta love family, don'tcha?

• What is your greatest regret?

Never telling Laura how I really felt about her before I left.

• Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like my own talent back. I once had a gift, but now I got nothing.

• Where would you like to live?

Somewhere warm but not sweltering, like an island or the keys.

• What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

My father was always such an angry, depressed man. I never want to be like him.

• What is the quality you most like in a man?


• What is the quality you most like in a woman?

The same.
• What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
The way I always run from trouble rather than face and deal with it. 

• What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Being judgmental.

• What do you most value in your friends?


• Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Peter Pan. I wished I never had to grow up.

• Whose are your heroes in real life?

Anyone who puts their lives on the line for others. Soldiers, firefighters, police officers, I have a great respect for them.

• Which living person do you most admire?

My best friend Bernie. He had everything a man could want; a wife, kids, a successful business. I’m quite jealous of him.

• What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Forgiveness. I always hear that forgiveness is good for the soul, but as far as I’m concerned, some things are too terrible to forgive and forget.
• On what occasions do you lie?
When I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.

• Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

My friends up north teased me for years about using y’all and reckon way too much. So now I make a conscious effort to not overuse a phrase.
• If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My timidity.

• What are your favorite names?

I’ve always loved the name Picasso, and not just because he was a genius. I also enjoy how Alabaster rolls off the tongue.

• How would you like to die?

In bed doing something I really enjoy. *grin*
• If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

I’d like to come back as one of those strange blind fish you only find miles deep in the ocean.

• What is your motto?

Live and let live.

Tonia Brown’s short stories have appeared in a variety of anthologies. She has cranked out several books, including The Cold Beneath, Badass Zombie Road Trip, Skin Trade,and the erotic steampunk series Clockworks and Corsets. Tonia lives in North Carolina with her genius husband and an ever fluctuating number of cats. When not writing she raises unicorns and fights crime with her husband under the code names “Dr. Weird and his sexy sidekick Butternut.”

Tour Schedule:
November 5th – Cameo @ Cameo Renae 
November 6th – Delphina @ Delphina Reads Too Much
November 6th – Autumn @ Books, Reviews, Wine and Cheese! 
November 7th – Sabrina @ Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace 
November 8th – Flora @ From the Bootheel Cotton Patch 
November 8th – Darcia @ A Word Please 
November 9th – Brittany @ The Cover by Brittany 
November 12th – Jaidis @ Juniper Grove 
November 13th – Ladies @ My Home Away From Home 
November 14th – Daniel @ Parenting from a Child’s Point of View 
November 14th – Jennifer @ Phenomenal Reviews
November 15th – Laurie @ Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews 
November 16th – Darcia, Maria & Michael @ BestsellerBound Recommends

No comments:

Post a Comment