Background/inspiration of the book by Mark Towse – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Background/inspiration of the book

To get straight into this, it’s me on the pages of this book: the same upbringing, the same claustrophobic and uncomfortable environment, all dictated by my iron-fisted mother. If I left crumbs on the counter or a cup next to the sink without washing it, my life would not be worth living. And God forbid if someone parked outside our house or started playing loud music. In those cases, the day, possibly week, would be ruined. My mother even uttered the words, “When will the chaos end?” at one point, thus the multiple references in the story. Nobody would believe how bad it was. My teachers often asked my parents if everything was okay at home. “Oh yes,” my mother would sing like butter wouldn’t melt. My dad was just a shell, much like the character in Chasing The Dragon.

So there you go, that’s really the inspiration for the Simon Dooley character.

Writing this, as you might imagine, was at once painful and cathartic. It brought back a lot of rough memories and a cocktail of emotions encompassing anger, disappointment, alienation, and loneliness. I was never allowed friends around, regardless of the number of times I spent at their houses. This invited further alienation, making me feel even more alone.

When things got really bad, I imagined myself as a superhero—pure escapism but a portal into a different world where I wasn’t meek and vulnerable. That’s where Reformo comes into the equation.

That said, it was vital that our wannabe hero was flawed throughout each chapter. I didn’t want him to become two-dimensional just because he wore the cape. I’ve seen that too many times in the movies.

Initially, the harder her tries, the harder he fails. Being more than a little naïve, he assumes people will get behind him and his message of bringing hope back to town. But people have given up hope, fearing to tread outside when the sun goes down. I think those initial interactions Reformo has with the residents are the most hilarious exchanges in the book. He’s just trying his best, but the pushback and the general reception he receives… priceless.

Life is imperfect, and so are we.

This is a traumatized man-child just doing his best. One thing is for sure: people are falling in love with Reformo.

A town on its knees, dread’s bony fingers wrapping around its throat and squeezing, death rattles soon to follow.

Drugs, filth, and a lack of human decency are starving it of hope.

Introducing Simon Dooley, our trauma-driven wannabe superhero, the relentless voice of his dead mother pleading with him to “end the chaos.” Dressed in a leotard and armed only with a dozen dog poop bags, Simon’s plight will find him falling in love and going head to head with the seediest characters walking the streets.

The town needed a hero… it got Reformo.

Enjoy an Excerpt

It’s happening. It’s finally happening.

I strip off in front of the full-length mirror, part self-admiration for my new frame and part sorrow for the shy and squeamish young boy who first walked the corridors of the youth detention centre.

Okay, not The Rectifier. What then? Captain Justice has been done, you muppet! The Shadow? Nope. Been done, too. The Silhouette? Too jazzy. Unable to wait any longer, the hairs bristling on the back of my neck, I carefully lift the costume from the bed and slip my arms through.

Oh, yes!

It’s as though electricity runs through my veins. I feel alive, reborn. I feel—

“I’m a superhero.”

About the Author:Mark Towse is an English horror writer living in Australia. He would sell his soul to the devil or anyone buying if it meant he could write full-time. Alas, he left it very late to begin this journey, penning his first story since primary school at the ripe old age of forty-five. Since then, he’s been published in over two hundred journals and anthologies, had his work made into full theatrical productions for shows such as The No Sleep Podcast and Tales to Terrify, and has penned fourteen novellas, including Nana, Gone to the Dogs, 3:33, and Crows. Chasing The Dragon is his debut novel.

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  1. Thanks for hosting today!

  2. Mark Towse says

    Thank you for hosting me today!
    I’m an open book. Please fire any questions about the writing life or my debut novel, Chasing The Dragon. Writing this was the most cathartic and therapeutic experience of my life. It’s me on those pages, and I hope we can share the journey.

  3. Nice cover and this looks like a good read

    • Mark Towse (Towseywrites) says

      Thank you, Sherry. It’s my best work, and a wild read. So much fun. I’d love to write a sequel 🙂

  4. cool

  5. Michele Soyer says

    Great cover art!

  6. MICHAEL A LAW says

    This looks outstanding. Thanks for hosting and sharing!

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