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Tow Away Zone (Sunrise series book 1)

This offbeat comedy drama novel – with romance and a dash of urban fantasy – was originally conceived as a Coen Brothers style screenplay in around 2005.

When I was trawling old notes in about 2017, I felt this story needed to be written. That said, I was nervous about trying to novelise something which was conceived as a very visual piece. I had to find a very different ‘voice’ to try to make it jump off the page, to do justice to the very quirky nature of the characters and the story.

I think I succeeded, and readers’ comments to date have been favourable. It was self-published on Amazon on 2nd October 2019 (my wife’s birthday… awwww). The follow-up arrived in 2020.

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The Pitch…

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?

Tow Away Zone is a comedy drama novel in monochrome and colour. A tale of honesty and dishonesty. An enchantment of neon lights, punctures, killer lizards, private detectives, and the finest root beer in America.

A Teaser

Beckman tendered the handful of notes.

‘You might want to get someone to fix up your sign.’

The neanderthal looked like he’d been asked to explain recent developments in quantum theory. Beckman listened for brain activity. Finally, large metal rods engaged with vast cogs and the whole Victorian construction eased into life.

‘Harg’ll do it.’

‘Good.’

‘Harg’s who fixes the sign.’

Beckman quickly realised a few things. (1) the sign freaking out was far from an unusual occurrence, (2) Harg wasn’t the guy’s real name—there was almost certainly a story behind it, and (3) if he wasn’t careful, he’d be on the receiving end of that story.

‘Have a nice day,’ Beckman offered emptily and quickly made himself scarce.

He popped the trunk of the white ‘09 Buick, checked what he already knew—that the sea of small, plain cardboard boxes left no space for a travel case—smacked the lid closed, pulled open the rear door, and set his valise on the bench seat.

Sinking into the well-worn driver’s perch, he flicked the visor down against the morning sun. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and he sensed another roasting late June Monday of interminable disappointments.

After a beat, the engine caught, and he swung onto the blacktop.

It was the top of the hour, the hour was nine, and the radio announced that there were news headlines. They all washed over him unheard. One topic commanded his mind.

Belcher was dead.

It wasn’t great news, especially for Belcher. He’d been a decent enough guy, had never given Beckman a bad word—which couldn’t be said for everyone else on the Pegasus sales force—and had been far from shabby when it came to peddling their product. The un-shabbiness had boosted him up the rankings to Number Two.

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