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Jude Brown: His Dark Sun

London May 2022.

Global warming has accelerated and temperatures are reaching boiling point. With the heat continuing to rise and solar curfews and water shortages commonplace, nineteen-year-old Luke Spargo busies himself with his own research. Obsessed with the sun since childhood, Luke doesn’t believe global warming is to blame. He’s convinced the sun is overheating, because it is dying. And if he’s right, he’s got six weeks to stop it.

Told entirely from Luke’s point of view, His Dark Sun is both a coming of age story and a psychological thriller. Luke has worked out the summer solstice is the day the sun will die. That’s six weeks away. On a mission to save the world he resurrects the ancient art of sun worship with all the associated rituals and sacrifices. But time is running out and with the arrival of sixteen-year old Fee and the threat of his bully of a father making a re-appearance, things begin to spiral out of control.

Fact: A percentage of firefighters are arsonists. They start a fire, turn up and put it out and save the day! A risky and dangerous practice but the need to play the hero is so great it’s worth it. Having read more about the hero complex it prompted me to write a short story, which then became the novel. I combined this along with my experience as an art therapist, where I worked with children and young adults with behavioural problems. The psychology of bad behaviour has interested me for some time, particularly why a person might do extreme things when faced with extreme situations. Luke does some extreme things and I wanted to draw him well enough so that when he is faced with such situations the reader understands why he reacts as he does.

Jude Brown has published short stories in several anthologies, one of which won an Arts Council England Community Publishing Award. Her work has been shortlisted for the Bridport and Raymond Carver Short Story Prizes and she won a Fish Publishing prize for her micro-fiction. His Dark Sun was long-listed for the Mslexia Novel Competition. She lives in Sheffield.

Events

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Centre Square, TS1 2A

Wednesday 27 February

Houghton Library,
75 Newbottle St, Houghton le Spring, DH4 4AF
Wednesday 13 March, 1.30pm

York St. John University,
De Grey Lecture Theatre, York St. John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York YO31 7EX
(Joint event with Andrew Michael Hurley and John Challis)
Friday 22 March, 6pm – 7.30pm

Crown Street Library,
Darlington, DL1 1ND
Wednesday 10 April, 1.30pm

Saltburn Community & Arts Association Ltd
Albion Terrace, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 1JW
Sunday 2 June, 2pm

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