Alistair Moffat Talks Books…

… with his old Fringe Office associate and friend, Jenny Brown.

This week at the Book Festival, Alistair Moffat revealed how in lockdown he had gone on a feverish creativity spree. Unable to visit places for his usual researched historical books, he set himself the task of writing a novel – and ended up writing five. The first he produced after five weeks of non-stop writing has just been published.

The Night Before Morning tells a story of alternative history set in 1945 in Nazi occupied Scotland. Set in the Borders, there is a chilling horror in hearing of atrocities in quiet, familiar, rural places. The extract he read about a public hanging on St Boswell’s Green seemed unreal, far-fetched, horrific, until he reminded us that exactly such events took place in rural France.

In contrast to this, Moffat was promoting a book completed just before the pandemic “ The Secret History of Here” which tells of researched historical events around his Borders home. From Roman Legions marching up his drive, a gambling crusader with Edward the First, and a Polish wartime romance, artefacts discovered on Moffat’s land have provided evidence of so many fascinating events literally on his doorstep.

His enthusiasm for history and his new found appetite for novel writing means the rich seam of Moffat’s talent will continue to be enjoyed for quite some time to come.


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