Idyllic memories. A perfect childhood. A secret buried for thirty years.
None of us could remember why we drifted apart – we were always so close at school but then… you know. That was thirty years ago, and I hadn’t thought of my school friends in all that time – it was like I’d been made to forget.
And then the dreams started. Dreams that I knew I’d had before. Horrific dreams of fear and fire and death. Dreams of the Shadow Man, a ghostly urban legend who seemed to hang over my home village like an evil spirit. I’d begun to remember, my memories of back then becoming two-dimensional – a lie to mask what really happened – and I knew we’d have to go back. Back to Janey, because she never left.
What did happen to us back then, and do we really want to know? And what about the supernatural horror lurking in the shadows – could we face the Shadow Man again?
Ten things about me
1. I’m kind of obsessed with unexplained phenomena – and this comes from a weekly magazine in the 80s called, spookily enough, The Unexplained https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unexplained_(magazine). Each week there were tales of UFOs, Bigfoot, Nessie, etc. It’s probably no surprise that this has crept through into my writing, with my first two novels having themes involving near-death experience and spontaneous human combustion (which The Unexplained devoted quite a lot of magazine time to as I recall). To complete my unofficial unexplained trilogy, an upcoming book has a theme of alien abduction.
2. One of the first books I ever remember reading was Guy N Smith’s Night of the Crabs in the early 80s, and I quickly progressed onto James Herberts’ The Rats, landing at Stephen Kings door with Salem’s Lot, Cujo, Christine and then It. Not saying they had any influence or anything…
3. I am the third fastest man on the planet… So for a little context, eight years ago I organised an event where six strangers (it was meant to be seven but someone pulled out), only linked by our day jobs, ran seven marathons in seven days, from the base of Snowdon to Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Wales. It had never been done before and as there were three boys and three girls, I am the third fastest man on the planet. By coming last, however, I am also the slowest person in history, but I don’t like to talk about it…
4. I love to cook. If there’s anyone doing any cooking in my house it’s me. On a regular basis my wife will come in to ‘my’ kitchen and witness what looks like an explosion in a pan factory before disappearing off in despair. When cooking the other day I started dictating some of the things I was doing and now I’m putting together recipes and material for my first cook book, due some time over the winter.
5. I like doing everything for my books – designing the covers and also writing and recording the music for the book trailers. I’ve already written hook music for my next trailer and a song for a future one. My first ever trailer was professionally produced for me, and it was great but I felt I had to compromise the mood slightly with the music, now writing it myself, I don’t have to do that anymore.
6. I have a slight obsession with Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar. I write everything to it, it sets my mood and creates a frame. Zimmer himself said he likes to frame his music with high and low pitched tones between which the melody can play, and that is how I write both my fiction and my music now.
7. I’ve just commissioned audiobooks for my first two novels, which are coming soon, by the way, but I’ve also just recorded my first audiobook. It was for part one of my Robin Hood short story series – Locksley. It was a little nerve-wracking at first but became great fun when I realised that I got to be Robin Hood, and to act and create voices for all the characters I know and love. Boys-own stuff.
8. As well as Robin Hood, the other legendary character I am close to is King Arthur and would dearly love to write something around him as my take on the legend. As there is a huge amount written about Arthur, with more weighty tomes being released all the time it seems, I think the research needed to write such a book, no matter how fictional, would be PhD-worthy!
9. My wife said the other day that ‘there was no point planning anything during the summer because of cricket.’ We are a one-trick pony between May and August. My son playing, me coaching, ferrying around, being a porter and my wife and daughter never knowing when
they might see us again. Still makes for plenty of time to write when I’m sat at a match all day.
10. We’re a very… fishy household. One good sized pond, a mini-sized one we’ve just dug, an outdoor freshwater tank, and inside, a larger tropical tank and a smaller marine nano. They are supposed to be a project that my son and I do together. No surprises who ends up hoovering up all the fish poo though…
Thank you, Mark Brownless and Random Things Tours.
About the author
Mark Brownless lives and works in Carmarthen, West Wales.
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.
Website : http://www.markbrownless.com/
Twitter : @MarkBrownless