eSpec Books interviews Tonia Brown, contributor to The Weird Wild West edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret McGraw. Check out our Kickstarter campaign at

medieval wood sign board isolated

What is your favorite western movie and why? Blazing Saddles, because no matter how silly it is, it’s still a western at heart. Under all the jokes and jabs there lays a genuine western plot with all the bells and whistles tradition dictates. A good-hearted sheriff standing up against insurmountable odds, a black-hearted villain focused on greed and land grabbing, innocent townsfolk caught in the crossfire, a retired gunslinger pulled back into the game, and a beautiful whore with an awesome song to sing. Plus, it contains authentic frontier gibberish! I just love it. (In fact, I am watching it as I fill this out!)

What does the wild frontier mean to you? Wide open untamed spaces, brimming with adventure and danger. The kind of place a person could get lost, or just as easily get themselves found.

Who would you say is your wild west role model and why? Clint Eastwood as Blondie in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Blondie represents the quintessential western badass; cool, calculating, and dangerous. The kind of guy that walks that fine line between lawful and illicit. Things need doin’, and he does them.

What is your favorite spec fic/western mash-up? Stephen King’s Gunslinger series. King captures the classic feel of the old west through many timelines and realities. No matter where Roland of Gilead goes, he takes the honor and attitude of an old western hero with him. The Gunslinger series has been a huge influence on my ideas of what makes a great weird western story.

What would you say is required reading for fans of Weird Wild West fiction? Aside from The Gunslinger series, I think anyone interested in the weird west should look into the Deadlands Role Playing system and books. The background information and storyline of the RPG is so well done. It provides a broad notion of what weird west means, as well as giving the reader a chance to experience it through a role playing game.

Can you tell us anything about your story/artwork for The Weird Wild West? I am thinking my tale will be drawn from my weird western webserial Railroad.  I haven’t decided where in the timeline of the story arc it will fit, so we shall see.

What interested you in working on this project? I was asked to be a part of it by Misty Massy, and couldn’t say no! I just love all things weird west, and to have a chance to work with such awesome folks was too hard to pass up.  This anthology is going to rock socks!

How do you research to capture that western feel? I watch a lot of western movies. My husband always knows when I am working on a western because the house is filled with the sounds of gunfire, hoof beats, and the music of Ennio Morricone.

Have you had any weird western experiences of your own? Please tell us about it.

Describe your idea of a weird western chuck wagon meal. Beans. Beans. More beans. Did I mention the beans?

Which Wild West archetype (Gambler, Outlaw, Saloon Girl, School Marm, Railroad Man, Pioneer, Cowboy, Lawman or Indian) would you chose to be and why?

Have you written/created anything else in a weird western vein? Please tell us about it.  I have written a lot of short stories set in the weird west, and have also ran a weird western web serial for four years. Railroad is about an ex-gunslinger who is drawn into a strange world of mad science and weird happenstance.  You can find the story online at

What are some of your own works readers can look for? The aforementioned Railroad is available in both ebook and print formats at Amazon. I’ve also begun the task of turning the individual volumes into audio books. JoBe Cerny and Julia Farmer from Cerny American Creative are doing a bang up job with Dodger and the crew’s adventures. You can find them on Audible.  In addition, I have a number of horror novels available as well as humor and romance. I write a lot of different things. Some of my titles are Badass Zombie Road Trip, Clockworks and Corsets, The Cold Beneath and Sundowners.

What projects of your own do you have coming up? I have two novels releasing in January. One is a haunted comedy of errors called Hauling Ash. It’s about a lonely mortician, the ghost of his dead uncle, a nervous schnauzer, and a quarter million dollars of the mob’s money. The other is a weird western horror called Skin Trade, and is a coming of age tale surrounded by zombies in the old west.  Later in the year I have a paranormal romance coming called Love at Second Sight.  I am also working on a new secret webserial, so keep an eye out for that one.

How can readers find out more about you? You can find me online at the following locations. I will warn you, I am a Facebook attention whore. I give GREAT Facebook. Follow me and you will get almost all dirty jokes and cat memes.

 Tonia Brown_KS

Tonia Brown is a Southern author with a penchant for Victorian dead things. Her work ranges from steampunk to romance to humor to horror, and a healthy mix of these genres. She is the author of Badass Zombie Roadtrip and Lucky Stiff from Books of the Dead Press, Sundownersand Skin Trade from Permuted Press, Hauling Ash from Post Hill Press, and the Clockworks and Corsets series from Kinsington Press, as well as the weird western web serial, Railroad! She lives in the backwoods of North Carolina with her genius husband and an ever fluctuating number of cats.



Twitter: @ToniaBrown1


Amazon Author Page:

Blog Address:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s