It is October 1962. Thunderclouds gather and the Cold War rages.
An unknown beat combo called The Beatles is about to take the planet by storm.
Telstar is hurtling around the earth’s atmosphere and teenagers’ turntables, as the world holds its breath over the Cuban missile crisis.
Meanwhile, in the sleepy mining village of Glŵm, in the South Wales valleys, The Cool, a vibrant new young rock band, is struggling against the stifling stranglehold of the older generation, to find fame and fortune.
But as all respectable, God-fearing Glŵm folk know, some things in life are certain – rock’n’roll is the spawn of Satan and no good can ever come of it; right and wrong, like television, is best seen in black and white; and the only civilised haircut for a true gentleman is a short back and sides.
This is the setting for a new novel – The Cool, Coal And Black Lightning – by Winslow resident John Rogers Prosser.
Mr Prosserspoke to the Advertiser about his first novel, described as “‘spine-chilling, yet somehow heart-warming, rock’n’roll comedy thriller set in the Welsh Valleys in 1962”.
He said: “I went to Cardiff University after spending my formative years in the South Wales valleys in a pit village.
“So that’s where I acquired my interest in and love of the valleys.
“And we were at the cusp of such cultural change.
“I set the story, which involves a group of young people trying to set up a band, immediately prior to The Beatles.
“There hadn’t been this great pop explosion.
“It was a time when everyone was testing the values that had been the values of the previous generation, which had been largely formed by the Second World War.”
Mr Prosser completed the last third of the novel after he and his wife Rhian moved to Winslow from London a year ago.
Writing fiction was an entirely new venture for Mr Prosser, who originally qualified as a barristerand then had a successful career in law publishing. He has also been a keen part-time folk musicianfor 25 years, playing guitar, fiddle and banjo.
He told the Advertiser: “I’d always wanted to write and I’ve got the time to do it now.
“I don’t find writing easy, Ifind it challenging but it’s very, very absorbing. I just pursued it doggedly. I’m trying to reinvent myself.”
After failing to interest an agent in his debut novel, Mr Prosser has self-published it as an e-book on Amazon and as a paperback with Create Space. It is available on Kindle for £2.05 and in paperback on Amazon for £7.55.
Mr Prosser is also planning to record an extract from the book as a short video on Youtube and will be promoting it through social media.
And he already has plans for a second novel.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/the coolcoalandblacklightning