Chichester playwright Greg Mosse offers future thriller as debut novel

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Chichester playwright Greg Mosse publishes his debut novel The Coming Darkness (Moonflower Books) on November 10, a future thriller set in dark times just 15 years from now.

Greg, who is married to bestselling author Kate Mosse, set up the University of Sussex MA in creative writing at West Dean College which he taught for four years as well as the Southbank Centre Creative Writing School, an open access programme of evening classes delivering MA level workshops.

But lockdown forced him in a different direction: “Producing plays became illegal. Our son Felix was on the stage doing the warm-up for Les Mis when the stage manager said ‘We're not on tonight.’ The government decided that theatre was now an illegal pursuit. I had just produced three different shows in the previous summer into autumn and I was looking forward to a new cycle. But the last thing I did before the lockdown was that I was in Dubai with my agent where we had been discussing writing crime novels and he and I outlined the first one. But then actually during the first lockdown the experience was that we were both unemployed and extremely busy at the same time, trying to convert our professional activities online and so the crime novels got put on the back burner.

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“But then in November it is National Novel Writing Month, a national organisation that encourages people to write 50,000 words in a month. The idea is that it galvanises people to get that novel started that they had always been intending to write and had never got round to. I ended up writing the first 65,000 words of what became The Coming Darkness in November and I continued writing afterwards. I carried on until I had reached 170,000 words and I began editing it. I sent it to another agent because future thriller fiction was not really the area my agent had experience of. So I spoke to another agent and we found a publisher and between us we made it into a much more dynamic pacey thriller. It was very easy to take out about 25,000 words of subplot which is now being used in the sequel.”

Set in an alternative near future in which global warming and pathogenic viruses have torn through the fabric of society, The Coming Darkness follows French secret operative Alexandre Lamarque on the trail of global eco-terrorists. Lamarque’s target is set on destabilising the controls placed on global governments that protect human life from climate change. One wrong move and the world could be plunged into darkness.

From Paris to North Africa, Lamarque is drawn into an ominous sequence of events: a theft from a Norwegian genetics lab; a string of violent child murders; his mother’s desperate illness; a chaotic coup in North Africa, and the extraction under fire of its charismatic leader. Experience has taught Alex there is no one he can trust – not his secretive lover Mariam, not even his mentor, Professor Fayard – the man at the centre of a deadly web of government control. Lamarque rapidly finds himself in a heart-thumping race against time, the one man with the ability to prevent chaos and destruction taking over.

“It is set 15 years in the future. It is not even a generation away from us now which means that it is like today but even more so. The things that we all worry about now are the things that we will be even more worried about in 15 years’ time but because it is a thriller it means that there are some people working for good. Our hero wants to prevent enormous environmental degradation. Alexandre discovered that the work he's doing for the French security service puts him not on the side of the angels but on the side of the bad guys. He tries to resign his post but he is obliged by those in power above him to keep going so he has to try to swim with the sharks in order to prevent them.”

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