Walking Doctor Tonnan uses his legal name Dominic Francis for his debut novel:
'God's Pretty Game of Grotesque Puppets' is an erotic love story about the traversing of the multiverse. Click here for a free downloadable PDF! Click here for the Kindle version & paperback versions available on Amazon. The book is 48,000 words long and – perhaps unsurprisingly – is narrated by someone named Tonnan. "There are probably only 2 typos in this mind-bending version of the text, and 1 was probably intentional", Dominic Francis boasts.
Born February 13th, 1993, Dominic Francis (Walking Doctor Tonnan) is a poet, musician and novelist specialising in New-Wave-Folk art. A decade ago, during a particularly turbulent era of young Walking Doctor Tonnan’s life, it became a personal necessity for him to begin to translate his feelings into art. Throughout this period of grief & unrequited love, he found it cathartic to express himself through words. “Before I picked up a guitar, I wrote about 100 poems. It was the precursor to my musical endeavours”.
Inspired by the music of a range of figures (such as Bob Dylan, David Bowie, David Byrne, Nico, Soko, The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Kanye West, Pavement and Billie Eilish), Walking Doctor Tonnan tends to write his lyrics pretty quickly, then spend a long (long) time revising them to fit into meter. “I like to think of my writing style as a blend of the pedantic perfection of Leonard Cohen/F. Scott Fitzgerald & the spontaneous bebop style of Allen Ginsberg/Bob Dylan.” Despite having written over 50 songs of varying quality, Tonnan still doesn’t feel he is a ‘musician’. “Once my debut EP sells over 50 copies or I learn to play more than six guitar chords, that title may befit what I do, but until then I am just another unemployed writer.”
Like the music and writing of most of his idols, Tonnan’s music deals with the “bigger quandaries of adulthood: love (the ephemeral beauty of a few moments spent with someone wonderful), lust (the desire to touch and be touched, or to hold someone in your arms (even if it’s impossible) [especially if it’s impossible]), and God (God is everywhere in everything…did God give birth to the universe or did the Universe give birth to God”.
When ‘totally disillusioned’, Walking Doctor Tonnan says he listens to a favourite artist – either a song that he knows he loves or a song that he doesn’t know at all. “…Art,” he says, “is a beautiful refuge for someone such as me, who thinks/feels that they are lost… or, similarly, it’s a great place for someone to find expression for feelings that they didn’t think they had.”
Walking Doctor Tonnan’s first EP is Angel Made of Acid, a half-acoustic-half-electric ruckus primarily recorded in 2015. ‘Flu Blues’ & ‘Angel Made of Acid’ are odes to a party that he can’t remember very well, which (he thinks) he spent trying not to fall in love with a German woman who (he thinks) had the flu [‘Flu Blues’ was featured on a BBC World-Service Programme about mental health & music].
The artist, who has spent most of his life living in London and six years living in New Orleans, Louisiana, is delighted to release an EP entitled Bird Volcano Event, working with Key Changes. It is a perhaps more electrifying affair than his first EP as all the tracks feature the fantastic Johan Ohlstrom on guitar. It is primarily about trying to achieve transcendence. ‘Sheep in a Lorry’ is an exploration of the senses and coming to terms with oneself, while ‘Bird Volcano Event’ (the song) is about rhyming crosswords & singing cats & the nature of crossroads & a fantastical vision that Tonnan had while stoned.
While the musician-novelist refutes the claim that he is insane but realises that his behaviour has been challenging for others. He has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. He won the Reuel Internal Prize for Upcoming Poet in 2018.