Lord Acton’s famous quote about absolute power corrupting absolutely provides the backdrop for my second novel, A Noble Cause. In it, the main character, Mark Noble, a seemingly normal guy trying to find his place in the world, is forced to confront the terrible fruits of his father’s quest.
I wanted to show the havoc that an unchecked thirst for power and glory can make, not just on the seeker, but to those around him and to the world beyond. And just as in nature, when one animal has something of value, there are always others lurking in the dark waiting to take the prize for themselves.
Despite a lifetime of pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a doctor, Mark has rejected that path to follow one of his own, even though he doesn’t know where it will lead him. The resulting estrangement has left Mark ignorant of the depths to which his father has stooped to attain glory and professional achievement.
Mark only knows that his father has developed some sort of advanced hypnotherapy that he incorporated into a lucrative practice, earning him the moniker, “Shrink to the Stars.”
Following a fragile reconciliation, Mark thinks he’s about to become engaged to his girlfriend, Vanessa, but when she disappears and events send him reeling back to a destroyed home he is forced to fight for his own survival. He only knows two things for certain: there aren’t any coincidences, and he must solve the mystery if he ever wants to find Vanessa.
I thought it would be interesting to see the effects of a quest for absolute power from some of those caught in the vortex it leaves in its wake. The reader, like Mark, is unaware of the epic struggle in the background, but the more Mark seeks the truth, the more we learn as well.
With the complicated background in place, I thought it would be fun to look at the story from the perspective of a bystander, initially pulled into the fray, but who chooses to fight back and shape his own destiny.
For me much of the fun came from dropping a character into these circumstances and asking a simple question. What would he do?
Throughout all the twists, I enjoyed watching the story evolve and hope the fun I had writing it comes through to everyone who reads it.