Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Today I am very happy to share with you the answers Chris Towndrow gave to my questions! Read on to discover more about him, his inspiration, writing process, characters, books and ‘Tow Away Zone’. Keep reading and you’ll also find the opportunity to enter the rafflecopter giveaway associated with this tour, giving you a chance to win a hardback copy of this book – good luck!
Where did you get the inspiration for the book/series?
The idea was conceived in about 2004, when I was writing screenplays. The influences were the black comedies – and the quirky writing, character names and visuals – of the Coen Brothers.
The story owes something to Doc Hollywood, but the trigger for the use of the main character’s struggle between black & white and colour vision was brilliant crazy inventiveness of the 1989 Italian comedy “The Icicle Thief”.
What is your writing process?
I’m a plotter, so after the initial idea, I’ll make notes as and when I get time and inspiration, and then collate these when they’ve reached ‘critical mass’. Then I’ll formalise an outline and flesh this out to between 5 and 10k words.
Usually this happens directly before the first draft, but sometimes I’ll outline a book that’s not supposed to be the ‘next’ project. If it is the next WIP, I’ll keep outlining, fleshing out and jotting down specific dialogue/scene ideas until it gets to the point I’m ready to do actual writing. This way, I’ve built up a head of creative steam and passion for the project. Then, I open Scrivener and get cracking. First drafts tend to take 6-10 weeks, then I let the ms rest, then come back after a few weeks to edit.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
Computer. I use pen and paper as part of the outlining process, repeatedly printing out the outline from Word and then annotating it with ideas. It means I can work on the outline when I’m out and about, and it allows me to see the whole picture faster than scrolling around a document on screen.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
It’s definitely Beckman from the Tow Away Zone series. He’s an everyman with just enough quirks to be interesting and likeable – which subconsciously reflects some of my own traits. He’s not weighed down by huge emotional baggage which gives him a dark heart or pathos, yet you want to root for him to succeed.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
As the story was conceived so long ago, I don’t specifically know where the names came from. The key was that they had to be unusual – like the names the Coens use in their films. The only one with any ‘science’ behind it is Mr Malvolio, because it sounds dark and menacing.
Thank you for answering my questions and allowing me to share your fascinating responses!
When a travelling salesman finds a town that’s not on the map, he must choose between romance and a long-held promise of untold riches.
Beckman Spiers is a grey man in a grey world—and he’s happy with that.
After 12 years of routine and grind, he’s again fighting to become Number One Salesman of the Year. Legend has it, Number Ones get so rich, they never work again. With a week to go, Beckman is gaining on his nemesis, smooth-talking Tyler Quittle.
When a chance blowout on a deserted Arizona highway leaves Beckman stranded, the mysterious Saul arrives, and tows him to the strange neon-lit town of Sunrise. Here, he meets the glamorous Lolita Milan and his fortunes change.
Yet, Sunrise’s small-town charms conceal secrets, and his world becomes one of private investigators and backstabbing business deals.
What will he have to do to reach Number One? And what will he do if he wins the race?
In this comedic, stylistic, and mysterious story, meet the most unique characters and get pulled into the colourful world of Sunrise.
My sci-fi journey started with space opera “Scared Ground” being available on Kindle in 2012.
In 2018 I published my 2nd sci-fi novel – Imperfect Isolation – which embraces robotics, asteroid mining and a snowy drive in an 80-year-old Porsche 911.
The sequel, Reprisals, followed in 2019. In early 2021 I released the 3rd instalment, Trip Hazard.
I’m currently editing a reflective Western. It explores prejudice against the deaf community and the Native Americans, as a man struggles to reconnect with his lost son and come to terms with his own failings.
I’ve written a collection of offbeat humorous stories and vignettes in the style of early Woody Allen prose. The Real Jamie Oliver and Other Stories is basically a window into my nonsensical side.
I also write pantomime & stage drama scripts. I’ve had 8 works performed and reached a total audience of over 5000 to date.
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