Untethered deals with heavy drinking, depression, PTSD, isolation and struggling writers in search of identity, meaning and purpose to go on, having already crawled stoic through life’s darkness.
‘Untethered’ is largely an auto-biographical piece on identity and alternate paths walked, after facing up to moral junctions in life. It also considers the decisions made based on right and wrong felt at the time and the outcomes of this.
It’s crime noir full of dirty realism.
John’s bored in his witness protection program in Bristol. He’s both an ex SAS soldier and former doorman of the infamous Manchester club, the Hacienda. As he searches for meaning at the bottom of many a glass, madness sets in and cryptic messages start to arrive.
One note comes with a knock on his door and a chance to find a missing girl; to start over again… as a Private Investigator.
His therapist encourages him to put his demons on paper; to write it all out. As John battles with his past, could this writing lead him to find the girl, his future and maybe even love?
He grew up on the coast in rural Northumberland, a region steeped with a history of battles, Vikings, wars and struggles. These tales and myths fascinated him as a child, and then as an adult. In the mid to late nineties he studied in Salford enjoying the bands, music, clubs and general urban industrial-ness of Greater Manchester, including the club scene and the infamous Hacienda. He was also there when the IRA bomb went off in 1996.
John’s writing is a semi-autobiographical mix of dirty realism, crime fiction and noir. Ghostly references to a heritage that includes the Vikings, Scotland, Ireland and the North, flavour the words throughout, often with a dark but humoured edge.
Although inspired partly by 50s pulp hard-boiled detective fiction and the beat generation authors and poets, John aims to celebrate his female characters from his real life through his writing, whilst retaining the hard drinking, cynical honesty and accessible writing style of these genres.
‘Untethered’, the first book in the Black Viking P.I. series, is out now with Bristol Noir.
Read Publishers Weekly’s review of Untethered – click here
John lives in Bristol with his wife and daughter, where he has been since the late nineties. He is a professional designer, artist and writer as well as a proud husband, father, brother and son.
‘John Bowie’s ’90s set Untethered is a violent and intense read. Lyrical, moody, funny and as gritty as hell, Untethered is like a British blend of Jim Thompson and Nelson Algren.’ – Paul D. Brazill, author of Guns of Brixton