DEMAREST, NJ -- A first-time borough novelist is drawing on his experience in information technology to craft a love story.
Mark R. Anderson's "Pepper's Ghost" tells of a man living one day of his life over again -- and how he built a machine to do it.
His protagonist, a Wall Street lawyer named David, receives a cryptic message from his estranged late father who died as a military contractor in Iraq. The note unlocks secrets about controversial intelligence-gathering technology that replays events from the past. David uncovers the meaning behind the project, which is to replay the day his father lost the love of his life Ginevra.
"We want to go back and do what needed to be done, say what needed to be said, and let the wounds that we cannot close begin to close," Anderson said. "That is an instinct that many people have."
Anderson drew from his experience with information technology as well as an encounter with the "Ghost Hunters" TV crew, which was filming an episode while he was working at Lakehurst.
Originally a literature major at Yale University, Anderson spent 20 years working for federal government and intelligence agencies, traveling the world for projects, before returning to North Jersey, where he lived with his wife and two sons. In between jobs in 2009, the Long Island native began weaving together a story that spans three continents, wars, and decades.
After a bout of writer's block, Anderson turned his manuscript into a novel that he sold on Amazon in August. He's now considering film options.
"Many of us need that regret space in life," he said. "That hole exists in your heart and you need to turn that into greatness," he said. "You can use regret space to do amazing things."
MORE INFORMATION: peppersghoststory.com