Welcome to Day 6 of #NJ12DaysOfAuthors June Series! @TonyaWrites #ASecretGift @RRBC_Org #RRBC

_12 Days of Authors Tonya Penrose


At the end of this series, 1 lucky visitor will win a (12) Kindle e-book pack which will include a copy of each book featured in this series + a $10 Amazon gift card + a book trailer, courtesy of 4WillsPublishing!  Simply leave a comment below to be entered into the drawing!


On the 6th day of the June “12 Days of Authors” Series… Nonnie’s gift to you…


Author bio:

As an author, Tonya’s moved by the effect narratives have on readers. That observation illuminates why her stories often convey messages inviting personal exploration. She is enthusiastic about crafting stories with beguiling characters, adding dashes of snappy humor, and engaging dialogue that leaves her fingerprint on each page.

When Tonya relocated to the mountains, she found fresh writing ideas waiting. From her favorite porch chair gazing at a tranquil lake, the nudge to scribe her first novel came calling. From her beach chair, she got the idea for a cozy series, Shell Isle Mysteries. Tonya confesses new respect for a chair’s ability to motivate writers. She chases her writing joy from the mountains to the seashore.

NJ:  Hi, Tonya!  Let’s dive right in!  I’ve so many more interviews waiting but I have them on hold because I’m so excited about yours!  I’ll be excited about theirs, too, when it’s their turn, by the way!  So, is your author name a pen name or your birth name?

Tonya:  Tonya Penrose is a pen name.

NJ:  What made you decide to write under a pen name?

Tonya:  If my first novel turned out to flop with readers, family, and friends, the pen name provided cover. I figured I could choose another pen name for the next novel. I had one all picked out, too. Fortunately, I haven’t needed it.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Tonya:  I wrote my first book when I was six years old. I’d like to think my writing has improved over the years.

NJ:  What genre or genres do you write under?

Tonya:  I write in multi-genres. Romance, Mystery, Inspiration, Rom/Com, Magical Realism, and I added dashes of Science fiction in my 5th novel, CHARM. I’m actively seeking representation for it, so if any agents/publishers are reading this interview, don’t be shy about reaching out.

NJ:  Are you indie-published or traditionally published?

Tonya:  I am traditionally published with the last three books, and I used a hybrid publisher for the first.

NJ:  Can you give our audience a pointer or two as to how you found a publisher, in the event that someone reading this interview is attempting to go the traditionally published route?  By the way, I am a strong advocate for Indie publishing and would not have it any other way.

Tonya:  Chasing traditional publishing is full of challenges and frustrations. I researched publishers for my genres focusing on who accepted un-agented submissions. Then, I endeavored to write a query letter that would stay out of the trash cans. Warning: Nowadays, that is a daunting goal.

NJ:  How many books have you published to date?


NJ:  Which is your favorite and why?

Tonya:  Pick a favorite. Please don’t make me. They are like my children. I love each one but for different reasons. Alright, I choose A Secret Gift, but that’s only for today.

A Secret Gift by Tonya Penrose

NJ:  So glad you were able to choose just one or I would have had to throw this entire interview out.  The boss likes to live strictly by the rules and the rules want you to pick just one. Give us just a little background on that book, please. What is it about?

Tonya:  I wanted to write a rom/com and the idea for the story showed up while I was walking a trail. Here is your tease: An anonymous benefactor appears in corporate climber Halley Bowen’s life, bringing the chance to create her “dream life” in the seaside town of Port Royal and pen her first romance novel. However, Halley’s worry gene gets activated by one of the agreement’s stipulations. She must experience within a designated time something which has always alluded her, a grand romance.

NJ:  Where can readers purchase your book and how much is it?

Tonya:  You can find A Secret Gift on Amazon and with other booksellers. The eBook is $3.99, and the paperback is currently $11.65.

NJ:  I have been in this business long enough to know that quite a few readers have a purchase price point and will only spend so much on an e-book. How do you price your books and what is your logic behind the pricing?

Tonya:  Pricing is an important question. My publishers set the price, and the hybrid publisher recommends a price. Recently, I dropped Old Mountain Cassie: The Three Lessons eBook price to $3.99. Baubles to Die For is featured now at $.99. It’s the first book in the Shell Isle Mystery Series. I hope readers will jump to grab a copy and escape to the beach with my cousin sleuths.

NJ:  I got on Twitter many years ago because my social media manager at the time, told me that I needed to be on Twitter. He did not give me an actual reason as to why (I had to learn my “why” on my own), just that I needed to be there.  What was your main reason for getting on Twitter?  For support? For fun?

Tonya:  That’s a Twitter question after my own heart. Like you, I was told to join Twitter without any solid reasoning or what to expect from spending time and energy on social media. My goal hasn’t changed since I joined Twitter. It’s to build a following as an author for my books and drive sales. My Twitter time has surprised me with some super connections like you. The writing community is fantastic. Yep, surprise on me about the doors opening with Twitter.

NJ:  What other social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) do you use to market your book(s), and have you found them to be beneficial?

Tonya:  Other social media? I have a Facebook page that my editor in London created for me since I’m tech challenged. Truthfully, social media and I aren’t great friends. I’m still learning the nuances. ASIDE: One of my publisher’s marketing people gave me some sound advice. He told me to choose 1-2 places to hang out and be consistent and not try and do them all, or I’d never have time to pen another book. Smart him.

NJ:  Do you actually take the time to read tweets from others before you retweet them, or do you just hit “retweet” without ever engaging in the tweet?

Tonya:  I try to read the tweets. I feel it’s important to be authentic and offer something of value/meaningful when I write a response. 

NJ:  Tonya, if you could map out the perfect way that you would want others to support you on social media, how would you ask your followers to support you? Just imagine that everyone who reads this interview will run out and follow you.  How could they best support you?  What would you have them do?

Tonya:  I would invite others to see me and the books as a kind of chain letter. What role would they play in the chain? I’d ask that they tell five people about my novels and ask those five to tell five people. In no time, the numbers would skyrocket and all by sharing my books. Of course, if they read the books and love the stories, that would be the cherry on top.

NJ:  What is the one bit of writing advice you would give to any author, experienced or newbie?

Tonya:  The best piece of advice I can offer a writer is to show up for your writing session. If the muses aren’t there and all you have is a blank screen staring back, take the day off. And, if you’re open to this suggestion, uninvite your mind to your writing chair. Write from a higher place.

NJ:  Is your reputation as a writer important to you, OR might we look up one day and find that you are in a Twitter brawl with someone?

Tonya:  The foundation for an author is built on reputation. I am most intentional about how I conduct myself. I feel respect must be earned. Writing a romp for readers to enjoy is but one piece of what I endeavor to do as an author. My books and I are a package deal. I strive to deliver on the worth.

NJ:  In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between the writers you see today around social media, versus the writers of old? (Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, even Stephen King)

Tonya:  Social media exacts an emotional and physical cost that writers of yore didn’t encounter. I am sure Jane Austen had her trials as a woman writing. The times they lived had hardships, but they weren’t based on AI and ever-changing social platforms asking your brain to keep shapeshifting to accommodate. I experience angst following many of my writing friends as they try to navigate social media. To end this on an up note, writers today have unlimited opportunities to publish their work. They can choose to self-publish and savor the fruits of that labor. No writer should feel stymied when it comes to getting their stories or poems out to hungry readers. That is a huge leap from the past right into success your way.

NJ:  Do you value professionalism in the literary arena and worry that the lack thereof makes it harder for those of us who wish to be taken seriously in this business? Or, does the unprofessional behavior of some around social media not bother you at all?

Tonya:  Hmm, I subscribe to the philosophy where I take what I like and leave the rest. I believe that like attracts like. I find judging others to be a waste of precious time. They’re on a path, and so am I. Being of service and helping to bring a smile, a sigh, or even an insight to someone wakes me each morning. My joy resides there.

NJ:  If you have ever received any, how do you handle not-so-flattering reviews of your book(s)?

Tonya:  If I got an unflattering review, I’d feel disappointed, but I would also ask myself, is there a lesson for improving my writing? I overheard a writer say to a reader, “If you liked my book, tell others. If you didn’t like it, tell me.” I agree.

NJ:  It would be wonderful if we lived in that world of readers, telling us about the issues they found in our books before posting reviews, but, that isn’t real life.  I come from a place of we’re all much too busy to stop and try to locate the contact info of an author, then send an email or DM, only to find that your kindness is met with an “How dare you say that there is something wrong with my book” attitude.  No thank you!  Nonnie is just going to post a review – whatever that review is, which in turn, will be whatever that book deserves.  I expect the same for my work. Time is a precious commodity and it’s so limited in my world – in many of our worlds, I would imagine.  I’m only looking to do easy at this point. Now, do you appreciate honesty regarding your writing because you know that only honest feedback allows you to grow as a writer, or are you one of those who would prefer that others lie to you and tell you only what they know you want to hear?

Tonya:  Open and honest feedback represents real value to me as a writer, but there is a hitch. The feedback’s source is critical to its value.

NJ:  Tonya, it’s been a pleasure to have you join me today!  Chat soon! (This is a private inside comment, guys)



  • {Regarding supporting others} “I get more happy energy from giving than receiving.”
  • Relies on publishers for formatting
  • Not fluent in social media
  • “At the moment, I’m fortunate that I’m not juggling a career and writing. My writing takes first place.”
  • Blogs randomly



Twitter:  @TonyaWrites



Guests, thank you so much for dropping by to support Tonya on Day 6 of the June “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” Series!  It would be awesome if you would pick up a copy of her book above, and after reading, share your review to Amazon.  Ensure that you leave her a comment below, and also LIKE her feature before you leave, for your chance to win the grand prize package listed above!  We’d both appreciate it if you would share this feature to Twitter and Facebook, as well.

To follow along with the rest of the features in this series, visit the “12 DAYS OF AUTHORS” home page!  There will be a new series beginning in July!  I’d also love it if you would #follow my site, as well as following me on Twitter @NonnieJulesas my truest joy is in service to others.  I’d love to support you, too!

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED IN MY #NJ12DaysOfAuthors Series?  Click HERE to sign up!


DISCLAIMER:  Any guest material appearing at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! is not edited, proofed or changed in any manner by the the owner of this blog. Material is posted as it is written and submitted.  It is not my place to make changes to someone else’s writing, as what I view as needing correcting, just might be the way the author intended the material to read.


  1. Reblogged this on Wanda Adams Fischer and commented:
    I have just discovered Tonya’s writing! It’s fabulous. Hope you’ll check it out as well.


  2. Its very nice to see Tonia featured here and learn about her books. It seems that many writers only discovered social media when they started publishing and it became a necessary thing.


  3. Randy Overbeck

    I really liked your philosophical response to the question about professionalism. I’m right there with you.


  4. Randy Overbeck

    I’m certainly impressed with your range of writing genres. Best of luck and keep writing!


  5. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    Hello Tonya Penrose. Your name sounds like someone famous. Maybe it’s a sign — a good one. Congratulations and good luck on your writing journey.


  6. Nonnie–Thanks so much for bringing Tonya into our living rooms! Or at least onto our computer screens. Her responses give us great insight into her process and her commitment as a writer. Tonya, I enjoyed your comments. Looking forward to reading your books!


  7. Hi, Tonya! I’ve enjoyed getting to know you! I also agree that people are on their own paths and that judging is a waste of time and energy. You made a great point about the source of feedback being critical to its value. Nonnie, you have a gift for drawing people out and getting to their hearts. Thank you for interviewing Tonya today!


  8. Hi, Tonya. It is nice to see you featured on Nonnie’s 12 Days of Authors. I always enjoy getting to know a bit about RRBC members. Nonnie, thank you for introducing Tonya.


  9. So nice to meet you, Tonya! It is exciting to know you began writing at an early age, it gives hope to others who are finding themselves discovering their latent talents.


  10. Thank you for sharing the interview with TONYA PENROSE. I particularly like Tonya’s philosophy about likes attracting likes on social media and judging others as a waste of precious time. We’re each on a unique path that we should embrace. It sounds like her novels reflect her philosophy of finding joy every day by impacting others. it was such a joy to read the interview.


  11. A great interview, Tonya. Thank you for sharing some of your innermost thoughts. I’m glad to know you. Enjoy your special day. Nonnie, thank you for doing all that you do.


  12. Tonya, it’s great to see you featured here today! I love your idea to market your books as “beach reads – such a great idea! As for social media, I agree that it does take away from writing time, and can be a problem. You are a great addition to RRBC and I notice that you support other authors, too. A Secret Gift is now on my kindle, and I look forward to becoming familiar with your work. Nonnie, thanks for helping us get to know Tonya.


  13. I love your mindset of accepting others on the journey they are on, Tonya. I resonate with that as well. I look forward to reading your stories. 😊


  14. roxburkey

    Hi Nonnie, quite a different interview from Collin, but, as always, delightful. (Last time I checked you were the boss, did something change?). Tonya, I like learning about another one of your books and insights into you. Thank you for taking the time to share all this insight.


  15. Hi Tonya, Hi Nonnie,
    Tonya, I love what you said about judging others. It is a waste of time and ti robs you of energy that you could use for something else. All the best with your writing career.

    Nonnie, I thank you for presenting Tonya. I feel like I have gotten to know her a little bit better.

    Shalom aleichem


  16. Tonya, enjoy your day!


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