(note from Peter)
The writing of my debut novel, The Experiment, was, indeed, very much an experiment. Having written various books on scientific subjects, I was intrigued by whether I was capable of writing a novel. I decided to develop a storyline and a theme which, to me, would be interesting to read if another author had used it for his/her book. I started to write, and I was surprised when page after page appeared on my laptop. The manuscript was completed in some 14 weeks. The feeling I experienced during those weeks surpassed all of my expectations. This was mainly due to the excitement of developing the characters portrayed and their interaction, and in the development of the underlying storyline – all so very different from writing a book on a scientific subject.
The inspiration for the storyline that unfolds in The Experiment stems from wanting to investigate the possibilities of a person assisting the police in fighting crime if he were to possess the ability to become invisible and travel in an aircraft from one location to another at very high speed. While this sounds absurd, it is, in fact, closer to reality than what most people suspect. I have commented on the research currently being carried out on invisibility elsewhere on this site, while the design and build of an aircraft for very high speeds, based on a propulsion system as described in the book, is also closer to reality than what we in general were to suspect. Having a firm belief that we are not alone in this universe, I decided that the person with these capabilities should be an extraterrestrial that was left on the doorstep of a man and a woman on a farm in the Salinas Valley, near King City in California, when he was two weeks old. This couple decides to keep him, and he grows up as any boy would. When he is 18 years old, his biological father visits him to inform him who he is, and that he is the subject of an experiment that requires him, after extending his knowledge of engineering and medicine, to fight crime because of the worry that the race of extraterrestrials that he represents has about the future of a city such as Los Angeles, because of the way crime is affecting the lives of its inhabitants.
I decided to portray the hero of the book as a sensitive, compassionate man, always positioning others ahead of himself. I also decided that he should possess a character that causes him to be attracted to women with charm and a captivating smile (a trait possessed by most men). The conflict that he experiences with having developed feelings for such a woman (and she for him), while needing to keep his identity and origin a secret, is a major theme of the book.
The book is yet to find a home with a publisher