When the water in Last Village dries up and its residents disappear, only Ash is left behind.
He sets off on a dangerous journey, searching for answers, hoping for a rumoured land to the north where life still thrives.
But not all rumours can be trusted ... The truth lying in wait for Ash will change his world for ever.
A spark of inspiration
Spark is set at an undisclosed point in the future, in a world ruined by climate change. Civilisation has collapsed, the weather is hot and stormy, and water is scarce. Life, where it survives, is hard. It's a terrifying premise, and yet this scenario is - quite possibly - what awaits future generations on planet Earth.
The contemplation of this future world led me to consider some uncomfortable questions:
What would it be like to live in a world without seasons – a sweltering, suffocating world where only the hardiest species survive: rats and sheep and humans?
What if the future is not a high-tech utopia as we often like to suppose, but medieval and meagre and monstrous?
What stories would the survivors of this future tell about their ancestors – us – and the world we bequeathed to them?
This last question was the one that haunted me most: the one that inspired me to write Spark.
Ash is one such survivor. When he wakes to find Last Village deserted, he sets off in search of answers. He encounters a decimated landscape, sparsely populated by dangerous, desperate people. But he also finds answers to questions that have haunted him his whole life: truths it might have been better not to know.
Writing Spark was like reaching through a heavy curtain, not knowing what unpleasantness might meet my fingertips on the other side. It is the kind of story that I hope remains just a story.