Chris Towndrow – Behold: The Sci-Fi Adventure

Chris Towndrow explores various genres but often focuses on hard Sci-Fi. He is an author who wants to start challenging himself and start writing romantic comedies.

LONDON – 27 March 2023

Chris Towndrow has been a writer since 1991.

He began writing science fiction, inspired by Asimov, Iain M Banks, and numerous film and TV canons. After a few years creating screenplays, in 2004 he branched out into playwriting and has had several productions professionally performed.

His first published novel was 2012’s space opera “Sacred Ground”. He then changed focus into “hard” sci-fi books, and the Enna Dacourt pentalogy was completed in 2023.

Chris Towndrow explores various genres but often focuses on hard Sci-Fi. He is an author who wants to start challenging himself and start writing romantic comedies.

2019’s quirky romantic black comedy “Tow Away Zone” owes much to the film canon of the Coen Brothers. This well-received book spawned two sequels in what became the “Sunrise trilogy”.

His first historical fiction novel, “Signs Of Life”, was published by Valericain Press in 2023.

In 2023, Chris returns to his passion for writing accessible humour and will devote his efforts to romantic comedies. The first of these scripts is currently in development.

Chris lives on the outskirts of London with his family and works as a video editor and producer. He is a member of the UK Society of Authors.

What’s the last great book you read?

My recent reads have all been very different, but the one which stands out is “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine”. It was funny, charming, relatable, and – crucially – didn’t end on a cliché.

What’s your favourite book no one else has heard of?

I don’t think “The Rosie Project” is as well-known as it should be. It was easily my best book of 2022 – a romantic comedy which is both individual and actually funny – something I feel mainstream “romcoms” seldom achieve.

What do you read when you’re working on a book? And what kind of reading do you avoid while writing?

I seldom read while actually drafting, as the process consumes all my spare time. During preparation and outlining, I may read within the genre but I don’t make it a must-have. If I get inspiration from something I’ve read, it tends to sit with me for a long time while I build a new story around that theme/element/idea/character/scene.

What kind of reader were you as a child? 

Whilst I didn’t read voraciously throughout my childhood, I did have long spells of enjoying books, often reading for ages when a book was unputdownable. I remember devouring “The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe” more than once – though it never triggered a love of fantasy. Mostly, I read YA adventure books.

What books and authors have impacted your writing career?

Whilst my career has been more greatly influenced by movies than books, two things stand out. The first was Isaac Asimov’s work, which I read as a teenager. It catalysed a love of sci-fi (and possibly an interest in science generally) and I homaged his Laws Of Robotics in my 2018 book. The second was Iain M Banks’ “Consider Phlebas”, which was recommended by a friend in about 2004. Before then, I’d written two (in hindsight) poor and derivative time-travel books – very Star Trek in nature. I was blown away by Banks’ writing, and set out to write a space opera in his style. It transformed my writing.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading? 

I’m a real magpie – probably the reason why I’ve written in multiple genres. So long as the story is intriguing, not too bland or twee, and keeps me turning the pages, I’ll give it a go. That said, I don’t read horror, fantasy or pure romance.

Who is your favourite fictional hero or heroine? 

It’s probably Jack Reacher or Myron Bolitar. The latter has a style of humour and wit that really appeals. I like to put touches of humour in everything I write.

What book are you planning to read next?

My TBR pile – ebook and physical – has books by mainstream and indie authors. I’m looking forward to Gareth L Powell’s sci-fi, Geoff Rodkey’s “Lights Out In Lincolnwood” – which seems to have echoes of a post-apocalyptic novel I’ve drafted, and Lucy Diamond’s “Anything Could Happen” which is partly genre research for my upcoming romantic comedy books.


For “Tow Away Zone”

“A gripping yarn – quirky characters, a pacy plot and a setting like you’ve never read before. A fun ol’ read.” – Paul Kerensa, Comedian & British Comedy Award-winning TV writer

“I struggle to compare this book with others. The words ‘unique’ and ‘inventive’ come to mind. The dialogue is well-crafted and funny, the characters are wonderfully individual, and the narrative is a kaleidoscope of colourful drama. This book will stick with you.” – editor

For “Signs Of Life”

“A moving tale about friendship, prejudice, and survival. The characters are beautifully drawn and your dialogue is exceptional.” – advance reader

“This is a classic Western story, told with feeling and confidence. There is a real feeling for nature, and for male interaction, elements which make the experience of reading Westerns so satisfying.” – London Literary Agent


From “Tow Away Zone”

‘Beckman! You came back!’

He jolted. His eyes met her face, then her eyes (well, glasses). ‘Yeah. You know. I travel. So, I travelled away, and I travelled back. You know us travelling salesman, we love to….’


‘And sell. Especially sell. Not at the same time, though, always a bad idea. I don’t do car-to-car transactions on the freeway—I have a rule about that. A passing biker will take your arm off soon as look at you. Whoosh, snap. Bad idea.’

‘Beckman, you’re funny.’

‘And I can do it while travelling. Look, let’s walk, and I’ll tell you a joke.’ He turned for the door. ‘Won’t sell to you though—not at the same time. I just have a rule about that. Biker will take your punchline soon as look at you.’

From “Signs Of Life”

She moved to the nearest chair, like a priest stepping into the confessional booth.

‘You just tell him,’ she said softly.

‘And if he hates me?’

‘That’s the chance honesty takes. Or you keep it locked inside, and it rots your gut until you die. No—the moment before you die, when you regret your silence and wish you’d trusted in love and forgiveness.’

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