Can you smell that? That’s the smell of the nearing weekend! To celebrate it being Thursday, I’m welcoming the blog tour for The Shadowman by Mark Brownless.
Massive thank you to Zoe of Zooloo’s Blog Tours for inviting me to join the tour and to Mark for answering my questions!
What if the memories of your childhood were a lie?
One Dream was all it took and all the memories of thirty years before started to flood back.
Not the idyllic coming of age summer down by the lake that they remembered. But dreams of death and of fear and of the burnings.
Dreams of the Shadow Man.
Will they finally face what had happened to them that summer?
Can they finally confront him once and for all?
The Shadow Man is the terrifying and utterly spine tingling new horror from the author of The Hand of Angel , perfect for fans of Alex North , CJ Tudor and Stephen Chbosky.
In 10 words or less, describe your book?
Horror thriller about repressed memories and a malevolent ghost spirit
Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
I was remembering a lot of things about my home village and the kind of things we got up to when we were kids – some of which make it into the book – and I started to think about what it means to belong somewhere, to call somewhere home; how long you must live somewhere before the place becomes synonymous with you and your family. Flip’s house in the book is my house back home and so on.
And all the main characters had to be women. It started like that from day one – don’t ask me why it had to be like that originally, but almost immediately it became important, to turn ‘traditional’ gender roles in horror on their head. So that was a challenge, writing effectively as me in first person, but as a woman.
And then there came The Shadow Man, as almost a shadow hanging over the place, a disease infecting the village and stopping it from thriving and developing. It all kind of developed from there, and because it held a lot of memories, it was a lot of fun to write.
Talk us through a typical day for you?
We get up and walk the dog and then I have the day job, with my son’s sports taking up most evenings. I don’t get a lot of writing done during the day! After everyone has gone to bed is when I write or do other bookish things, so it can go on late into the night if I’m on a role. Covid has seen me have more time to create and I’ve spent time writing and writing music too, as well as doing video promo work too.
What sort of books do you read and what are you reading at the moment?
I love Stephen King, CJ Tudor – so chuffed for her and her success – and horror in general as well as some sci-fi – love Gareth L Powell – and a good psychological thriller. I also loved all of Bernard Cornwall’s Uhtred and Arthur series’ too. With my schedule I’ve no time to read at present so I’ve got an ever increasing ‘to be read’ pile of CJ’s latest ‘The Burning Girls’, Will Dean’s ‘The Last Thing to Burn’ and a whole load more.
Can you share anything about your work in progress?
My next one is almost like a natural successor to The Shadow Man. It’s not a sequel, nor is it set it in the same universe – but I may come back to that region at some point. This one also looks at a fictional horror from folklore, and is set much closer to home for me now in West Wales. I wanted to take the idea of ghosts and hauntings and put my take on it to make something as scary as I could.
Who reads your first draft?
My wife did for my first novel, and editors read them now, although sometimes a friend might get half a chapter sent to them on Messenger or WhatsApp with a message going ‘What do you think of this?’
Just for fun: what would your Mastermind subject be?
I first read this question and didn’t have a clue, and imagined my wife laughing in the background saying ‘how not to finish a DIY job’ or something, and thought I would say something about cooking. But I’ve always been interested in exploration, in people doing the extraordinary, pushing themselves to their limits and it’s something I’ve done a bit of myself. And within that broad genre, mountaineering, primarily, is a fascination. So, ‘the history of mountaineering on Everest’ would be my subject. But for goodness sake, don’t enter me!
Who Is Mark Brownless?
Mark Brownless lives and works in Carmarthen, West Wales, UK. He has been putting ideas on paper for some years now but only when the idea for The Hand Of An Angel came to him in the autumn of 2015 did he know he might be able to write a book. Mark likes to write about ordinary people being placed in extraordinary circumstances, is fascinated by unexplained phenomena, and enjoys merging thriller, science fiction and horror.
Mark’s new novel, The Shadow Man is a terrifying horror thriller imagining what would happen if you found out the memories of your childhood were untrue, and that something sinister was lurking behind the facade of your life. Could you face what had happened back then? Could you face The Shadow Man.
Mark is also fascinated by myths and legends such as those of Robin Hood and King Arthur. This has culminated in the release of his short story series, Locksley, a Robin Hood story.
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