Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Chasing the Dragon by Mark Towse @MarkTowsey12 @GoddessFish


Mark Towse

GENRE: Vigilante Crime Thriller/Horror


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.

Purchase CHASING THE DRAGON on Amazon


This doesn’t have to happen.” I hold my hands out, declaring myself weapon-free. “You could turn your life around. We could unite, start teaching kids about the harmful effects of drugs and clean up these streets. What do you say?”

Look, I don’t know who the fuck you are, Mister, but I see you ain’t right in the head. But mental or not, you can’t come on my patch and expect not to get shanked.”

Moonlight falls across his face, picking up the few hairs across his lip. Jesus Christ, how old is he? “It’s not too late,” I say. “This town can be good again. We could start a youth centre. Get funding from the council and buy a table tennis table.”

You’re off your rocker, mate.” He tosses the knife between his hands, finishing with an impressive spin. “That might keep you happy down at the local funny farm, but folks can see angels with the stuff I sell.”

I just want some order.”

Well, you’re in the wrong place, mate.” He stares me down, flexing his jaw muscles. “Now, you have two options here: run like the wind, or have that lovely leotard cut to shreds.”

It’s not a leotard.”

This time, I move first, feigning to the left but attacking from the right. Bum Fluff tries to alter course, but it’s too late, the knife cutting through the air, the blade missing my side by nothing more than an inch. We come together, the flurry of hairs on his lip dancing on the breeze.

Interview with Mark Towse

    Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

    The first book that dramatically impacted me was The Talisman, the collaboration between King and Straub. I read it in my younger teens, and it blew me away. I didn’t realise words on a page could so quickly suck you into another universe. That was the game changer for me. I reread it in my twenties, and it made me feel like that young kid again, reigniting that childhood awe and wonder that smoulders within all of us.

    How do you select the names of your characters?

    Haha. Just by the feel of them, if that makes sense. For example, Alf and Janice, two elderly characters from Chasing The Dragon, are based on neighbours from my childhood. I didn’t start out with that intention, but we are a product of our influences and the good (and bad) stuff sticks. That happens a lot: characters growing into people lingering in my subconscious.

    Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

    Oh yes, there are plenty. Dropping Easter eggs gives me a guilty giggle while my fingers dance across the keyboard. Readers should pick up a few in my debut novel, Chasing The Dragon, which includes many references to my novellas and short stories.

    What was your hardest scene to write?

    There was one particular character that took a bad turn. It was always on the cards, but I’d grown fond of them. Saying goodbye is always hard.

    Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

    I want each book to stand on its own, offering something different and exciting to the readers. The biggest compliment a reader can pay me is that my writing is unique. That’s huge for me, my MO. When I’m browsing Amazon and Goodreads reviews, if I come across the word ‘unique,’ I’m over the moon. In a saturated market, that’s tough, but I firmly believe my writing style does bring something new to the table.

    That said, depending on how 'Chasing The Dragon' does, I'd love to pen a sequel. Reformo is a flawed but brilliant character, and I'd love to go on more adventures with him.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    My goal was to bleed onto the pages. That might sound cheesy, but I wanted readers to understand Simon’s plight and his need to escape his mother’s voice, which has tormented him for as long as he can remember. “End the chaos,” she used to cry on her bad days. It offers the question, can we genuinely escape from trauma, or like a shadow, is it part of us, following us around wherever we go? Simon’s transformation into Reformo was part of his escape into fantasy land and his desperate need to “End the chaos.” Does he finally put an end to his mother’s voice? You’ll have to read to find out. There are some fantastic plot twists in here that people won’t see coming, particularly the sucker punch of an ending that has left readers to date reeling.

    What inspired you to write Chasing The Dragon?

    The first ever book I got with my library card was Cujo. Mainly because of the taboo cover, but it was a fun read. Since then, the pot has always been simmering. It just took a while to boil over.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in Chasing The Dragon or what you have planned for the future?

    I have a book coming out from Wicked House Publishing in January 2025 called 'The Sound of Suffering." It's a much more serious piece of work. Once again, as a lifelong tinnitus sufferer, it's loosely based on my own experiences. Only there are more sinister undertones at play with our protagonist. Every reader on the submission board confirmed the book as the best manuscript they'd seen to date. I'm a little excited about that one.

    I'm currently working on two projects: a collaboration with Daemon Manx called 'Try Not to Die in Arcranium,' a spin-off from our very successful novella, 'Arcranium,' and a solo horror novel set in a small British seaside town. Both should do well.

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Chasing The Dragon?

    Life is imperfect, and so are we. Every one of these characters is traumatized and flawed in some way. They’ve lost hope and faith in humanity. Can Reformo restore that?

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    This book was a breeze to write—a free therapy session if you like. As a cheeky Yorkshireman who always uses humour as a shield, it allowed me to express that on the pages. I had so many guilty giggles during the writing process. Some of the early scenes are hysterical, those where Reformo is trying to convince residents that a saviour is coming. The reception and pushback are priceless.

    This was a really fun ride. It makes my heart sing that people are falling in love with Reformo. Please pick it up so I can write the sequel :)

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Connect with Mark Towse

Amazon ~ Twitter ~ Website ~ Instagram ~ Facebook



$25 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Mark Towse said...

Thanks for having me today! Much appreciated :)

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Marcy Meyer said...

The cover looks great. Sounds like an interesting read.

Michael Law said...

Great interview. This looks really good. Thanks for hosting this tour.

Damaris Maidana said...

I would ask the author: Have you changed any ending after writing it?

Towseywrites said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sherry said...

Looks like a good read.