1- Hello Tonyia, can you please tell us a bit about you?

My pen name is Tonyia Bailey. I was born in London, England but lived most of my life in Nigeria to learn the culture. I am the first in a family of four. Most of my education was in Nigeria. I graduated from the University of Jos in 2001 with a BA in English Linguistics. I studied LLB (Law) at South Bank University, London and graduated with an LLB (Hons) Law in 2005. My hobbies are writing articles, poems, and acting.

2- What are your focus areas and why?

My focus areas are issues with domestic violence, issues with women empowering each other and self-love. These are some of the issues affecting modern day person. So many people who experience domestic violence remain silent without voicing out their fears due to low self-esteem, fear of the aggressor, and believe that they will never find anyone that will want them. Also, note that domestic violence can affect both men and women these days. These days, people put each other down rather than lift each other up. Self-love is loving yourself first before you can love another person. Where there is no self-love, there is low self-esteem. This was one of the issues Armah faced in “Scars of a Woman”.

3- How would you describe “Scars of a Woman” in a few words?

SOAW, It is a novel about a young character from an Impoverished environment who must face her challenges against all odds. It is about domestic violence where she must face different people who were meant to love her. The violence is so severe that she almost loses her unborn baby. It is a story of a woman ‘s survival against all odds whilst being bruised and battered. She is too naive to understand how the world works yet the one thing she must embrace is survival at least for the sake of her unborn child. It is also filled with deceit, jealousy, and betrayals.

4- Where do you think it’s making an impact?

It is making an impact in the area of creating exposure about social ills in the society. There are organisations providing support to domestic violence victims. We also need to be aware of our surroundings and the people we make contact with. It’s hard to take people on face value atimes. There may be more to them than meets the eye. You will understand this more when you read about the Kora couple in my book.

5- Do you think Authors’ Integrity is an essential part of the game?

Yes an Author ‘s integrity plays a huge part in the game. It is about not losing your moral values and about doing the right thing free of corruption and hypocrisy where there is no one watching. As an author, you can’t be a role model and engage in corruption. It is about being able to inspire others and allowing people to learn positive things from you.

6- What can you tell young creative women who are pursuing their dreams?

Young creative women should not relent in pursuing their dreams. I do spend time encouraging a lot of men and women to push themselves in pursuing their dreams. Every second in life matters a great deal. I find that a lot of people are too inundated with life’s challenges, their day jobs, lack of enthusiasm, family life and lack of trust in themselves. What people tend to forget is that there are millions of people out there that will benefit from their creativity. Some people have stories that will inspire and touch lives. Can you imagine how many talents worth a fortune have been buried in the sand that have now turned to dust?

7- How do you see the future of women empowerment in the next 10 years?

The future of women empowerment in the next 10 years is a bright one. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all-in which case, you fail by default “-J .K Rowling.

Women authors like Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and J. K Rowling who are some of my favourite authors are hitting the top charts while Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama are some of the top most influential women in the world doing a lot of empowering other young girls and women in the aspects of education of the girl child, having positive influence on some political decisions, getting involved in charitable activities, being a voice for the voiceless and role models.

8- If you could turn the time, what would you love to change in regards to your career?

I wish Scars of a Woman was released long before now.

9- What are you most excited about at the moment?

I am excited about starting Death Trap, which is the third in the Trilogy series. It is going to require a whole lot of research which I am so excited about. I also have a long list of titles waiting to be transformed into novels.

10- The last word or final thoughts?

This is what I always tell people: Always follow your heart. You will come across a lot of people who are not happy about your success and who will do everything to discourage you from achieving your dreams. Some people even suffer low self esteem. People ask themselves if they will ever get appreciation from what they are doing. Never lose that focus. You will even find out you have almost no one around you showing you encouragement about what you are doing. People need to stop looking for social acceptance and keep their eye on the price.