Today I am pleased to introduce the talented Toni Bunnell.
Hello Toni. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I started writing stories and songs at the age of ten. As a singer-songwriter I have performed on the UK folk scene since I was seventeen and continue to do so. As a wildlife biologist, with a PhD in polecat behaviour, I care for rescue ferrets and have run York Hedgehog Rescue Centre for the past 26 years. My favourite past-time is playing my fiddle in Irish music sessions.
What bought you to the world of writing?
Four years ago I lost a very close friend. In my attempt to make sense of this I started writing poems. I compiled these into a book that I am about to publish. Having started writing I found I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t stop. Hence began a new stage in my life.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
The Room Between the Floorboards was my first work of fiction. It is a tale of the supernatural and time travel, and I still enjoy reading it.
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
I write books that cover a rather diverse range. My first non-fiction book was about music therapy and people with learning difficulties, while the second looks at how to help reverse the trend of declining hedgehog numbers in the UK. Both these books have sold well and, if the reviews are anything to go by, have been well received. The fiction I write leans heavily on the supernatural.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one?
My latest book: The Nameless Children, Part 1 of The Soil Chronicles.
Tell us about it.
This is a gothic, supernatural novel, best summed up as follows:
In the beginning there was soil. In 2015, four teenagers emerged from the grave where they had been buried in the 1800s, without ceremony and without a name. They were the nameless children. They were driven by a desire to wreak revenge on those who committed them to the ground. But these people are long gone from this world. Through fair means and foul the children attempt to track down the living descendants of those responsible.
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Normally about three months.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
I never plot a storyline. An idea comes to me and I just run with it. I do, however, keep a close watch on what is happening to the different characters, so that the story has a thread running through it, and a measure of consistency.
Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or do you do both?
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
Every day, before I start to write, I edit what I have written the day before. I type up the book as I go along. As I write in longhand this can take some time. I then start to edit the whole book. My good friend Carol Arnall, my husband Paul, and others from the writing group I belong to, read my books and give me invaluable advice.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
Everyone and anyone.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Publisher
My first non-fiction book, Music makes a difference, was picked up by a publisher who had seen my self-published version and offered to publish it. All my other books have been self-published and most released as ebooks.
How do you promote your writing?
Through my website, Twitter, Amazon, and occasionally Facebook.
Where can we buy your books?
All my books are available from my website and some from Amazon.
Who are your favourite authors?
Susan Fletcher, Eowyn Ivey, Edith Pattou,
You are also a musician, I believe. Tell us more about that.
Heavily influenced by Dylan and Donovan I began writing songs and singing when I was in my early teens. I also took up the guitar and later the Appalachian dulcimer. This was followed by the bouzouki and the hurdy gurdy. I’ve recorded several albums over the years and performed at folk clubs and festivals all over the UK and Germany.
Do you have any more information you’d like to share?
Since my early twenties I have appeared many times on radio, performing my songs live. More recently I have done several radio and television broadcasts, including Love Your Garden, Countryfile and The One Show. This was mostly in connection with my knowledge of wildlife, in particular hedgehogs, but some radio broadcasts have involved interviews where I discussed my books and what inspires me to write.
Amazon author page book link