Old Brentwood Matthew Clark has published his debut novel ‘2020 Vision’ - a political thriller which sees the lead characters race to save the world from a possible apocalyptic or ‘End of Days’ scenario.
Matthew, who attended Brentwood from 1988-96, launched his book last August and it has already won an award for the book cover design and enjoyed five star reviews.
“The idea for the book had been with me for over a year, but the will or need to write a novel had followed me like an unfulfilled shadow since school days,” he explained.
“I always wanted to write a novel and the stars aligned in November 2014, whereby I was faced with an opportunity to take a sabbatical from my career in marketing and advertising and write the book, which I took with open arms!”
The novel, which combines espionage and adventure with a romantic backdrop, took some 13 weeks to write and a further 13 weeks to self-edit and proofread. “The writing process was cathartic and fun. Being allowed to hole up in a public library and do what you like for two days a week should not be sniffed at,” he said.
“2020 Vision is very current, it plays to the political and apocalyptic zeitgeist, as well as ecological and nuclear fears. Growing up reading dystopian post-Cold War fiction for GCSE English at Brentwood, it was this idea of the 'End of Times' being the ultimate ending to a book that inspired the start of my own novel.
“The premise for the plot had been with me for about a year prior to my time off and so I knew the beginning, a few of the characters and had two options on the end. The rest of the narrative arc was as much a journey for me as it would be for the reader and I enjoyed the freedom.
“Having watched one too many rom coms, I was disillusioned by the ‘happy ending’ and so pondered the worst ending there could be. The end of the world. Well, on reflection, I decided that it seemed a little final and also strange for the reader to find themselves perfectly alive and well whilst a plot was painting an apocalyptic end.
“So this theme of the end of time started as a dream, or a vision and the heroine's efforts to research this profound and unnerving vision lead her to a bizarre world of conspiracy and espionage.”
‘2020Vision’, set in Kent, London and Cheltenham, is available on Amazon and Waterstones online and further information about Matthew can be found on his website www.mowenclark.wordpress.com and his Twitter account @owenclark77. The sequel is currently being written.
As for Matthew….. “Well, I'm back at work and spending time with my family within this ‘Glorified Triangle’, before someone presses the big red button and we all go BOOM anyway!”