CHASING THE DRAGON

 


CHASING THE DRAGON

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.




Enjoy an Excerpt:


“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.



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.

 

Q&A With the Author: 


What was your inspiration for writing this 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. The Reformo connection is all about the fantasy world I often escaped to. Writing this was incredibly cathartic and therapeutic.


What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 


I loved the humour in this book. As a cheeky Yorkshireman, I didn't hold back. There were so many guilty giggles as my fingers danced across the keyboard. How many times do we use humour as a shield in life? I know I have plenty, and our protagonist, Simon Dooley, AKA Reformo, is well-practised in such techniques. 


That's the same in all my stories: I use comedy as a light source to balance out the dark. Trauma can be stifling, but comedy is my medicine. It can help pull us to the other side, even in our darkest times. 


Some of my favourite parts of the book are the early interactions between Simon (Reformo) and the residents as he tries to reassure them a saviour is coming. The reception and pushback. Priceless.


Do you have any other books you are working on that you can tell us about? 


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 about what you have planned for the future? 


Once all that settles down, I plan to return to writing short stories for a while. For me, writing short stories is akin to taking a mini-vacation somewhere different every weekend—different scenery, people, smells, etc. I've written 185 to date, and it's undoubtedly my comfort zone. It also helps keep the toolset sharp, making you accountable for every word and nuance.

I've really missed submitting to calls, especially the pro-pay ones that make you buckle down and inspire your best work. Escaping from novel writing for a while will also take a little pressure off regarding obligations and time. I've been very prolific in the six years I've been writing, and the last thing I need is burn-out.


Anything more you would like to say to your readers and fans?


Without sounding too cheesy, please give Chasing The Dragon a go. I can promise a unique and extraordinary ride. I’ve written 185 short stories, 15 novellas, but this is my baby. 


Early ARC reviews are blowing me away:


'Sublime.'

'Tragic. Brutal. Hilarious.'

'Had me laughing out loud one minute and crying the next.'

'The writing is a tour de force.'

'Jaw-dropping.'

'What a debut!'



Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Mark-Towse/author/B07H8DBS31

Twitter: @MarkTowsey12

Website: https://t.co/icMAn0LFpd

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/towseywrites/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mark.towse.75


Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Dragon-Vigilante-Justice-Thriller-ebook/dp/B0CR6PNZLQ/



GIVEAWAY


Mark Towse will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner.



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Comments

  1. Thank you so much for featuring this author today.

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  2. I liked the excerpt. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. This sounds like such a fantastic read

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  4. This looks really good. Thanks for hosting this tour.

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  5. Think I'll like this read in this genre mashup

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katie. It's a unique and extraordinary ride, for sure.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Katrina. If you fancy something unique and extraordinary...

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  7. This one sounds really exciting! The plot is intriguing!

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  8. Congratulations on your book!

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  9. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the excerpt and Q&A! :)

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