Over the years, many stories have built in my head. One of these stories, which will be published later in 2014, was a story that I wrote about two young journalists, a formula for changing water into fuel, and an Army veteran who got involved in protecting the secret of the formula. The central characters of that story were Stan Maceo and Austin Hart, and Breckenridge Grayson. The purpose of the story was and is to explore issues in journalism and the importance of energy to our modern economy. Once I had written the story, I decided that I should write the set-up novel before attempting to publish my first story. So, in The Warrior’s Prayer, I told the story of how the John 9 system was set up. I wanted to tell the story of the system because I think it is important for readers to understand that the technology that we use to defend ourselves is expensive and difficult to build. Sometimes it is necessary to keep these systems secret and occasionally we succeed in keeping secrets secret.
But more importantly, I feel that in the real world these systems have their shortcomings. So it was that the terrorists had figured out how to hide a nuclear device by towing it under enough water. In fiction and real life, luck plays a role. In the story, it was luck that Johnson Larue worked on the platform that was attacked and when he called his brother, Jackson, the John 9 system was able to detect the nuclear device as it was taken to the platform.
I do not wish to glorify war, but I believe that men need to be encouraged to be ready to fight against those who would do us harm. And, I think that faith is an important part of being ready for battle. Breckenridge Grayson leads a small group of soldiers that are Christians but are realistic enough to know that God does not protect us from every possible evil. They prayed together in Afghanistan and they continue to pray together before attempting anything dangerous. I am aware that there are plenty of atheists and agnostics in the armed forces – I used to be one. But I think that people of faith should not be ashamed of depending on God when facing the horrors of war. I think we are better fighters when we see ourselves as part of a purpose driven life. I don’t think atheism provides an effective way to deal with the horrors of war.
Good fiction should make the reader think. I want the reader to think about the questions that Austin Hart asked Spencer Davies regarding the operation of an oil company. Oil is the backbone of our economy and there is a lot of misunderstanding about how oil interacts with the rest of the economy. I want readers to think about journalism in general. Do you trust journalists to report objectively? Is there any such thing as objective journalism? Why do you trust some journalists but not others? I hope this story makes you think about the information you get and why you trust people to deliver information to you.