Douglas R. McAllister is the Mayor Pro-tem of Murrieta, California, but he’s also the author of a novel with cold fusion technology at the center of the plot.
The suspense story is described on the official author website:
“In a world desperately in need of new energy sources, this fascinating scientific thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. In 1989, two scientists announce they have created a cold fusion reaction. The public is thrilled at the prospect of a better option than oil. Mysteriously, the success could not be duplicated. A disappointed world deemed the project a failure. But was it?”
We may know the answer to that question, but we contacted the author to find out more about this elected official who’s explored a vision of the future where cold fusion is a reality.Q&A with Douglas R.McAllister
CFN What prompted you to start writing this novel?
DM I have always loved to write. Twenty years ago I decided to ‘just do it’ if only for the fun of it. Though I published 20 years later, it took only approximately a couple of years of actual working on the manuscript.
CFN Without giving it all away, can you tell us a little about the story? How does cold fusion fit in?
DM If there was a sub-title, it would be “The Consequence of Compromise.” The book is centered on domestic terrorism. In this case, a billionaire with a score to settle with America infiltrates a top secret effort to create a commercially viable form of cold fusion. Once he has control, he intends to use that technology as leverage to have his way with the world in general, and America in particular. The sub plots center around the complicated Dr. James Sovereign, his personal and professional life…not to mention hints of a life very few know about…and the mistake the billionaire makes when he attacks Sovereign’s family. Jim has learned first hand the consequence of compromise and has two children that hate him for it. In the end, it is that relationship that is the billionaire’s undoing…
CFN How did your idea of the story develop?
DM I like to start with real historical events and then ‘fill in the blanks,’ fictionalizing them under the category of ‘what if.’ In this case, it was all the hooplah over the claim in Utah in 1989 that a room temperature reaction of fusion had been achieved. It was reported to be false…but what if it really wasn’t….? From there I pulled upon areas of personal interest and created the plot that would highlight how the world would be changed with such an energy source…and why that was important. It was important to me to keep it authentic without getting so far down into the weeds to muddy the pace of the story. For this work, the plot seemed to develop as I wrote. It has multiple story lines that seem unrelated but all prove to be interrelated…so pay attention :0).
CFN Who did you write this book for? Who is your audience?
DM Originally I wrote it for me. I have always enjoyed writing and about 20 years ago I found myself in Australia with some time on my hands after a very nasty divorce. I guess you could say the project started out as therapy, but in the process it developed into a work of its own completely divorced (pardon the pun) from its original inspiration. Over the years it has taken on various iterations. It wasn’t until about two years ago, though, that I decided to see if I could get a publisher.
CFN What does the title of the book mean to you?
DM It is a bit of a play on words. The main character’s name is Jim Sovereign. The principles are those that his father, Richard Sovereign, taught him before he died. However, the principles themselves, in real life, are fairly ‘sovereign’ in that they apply pretty much universally.
CFN What is the significance of the gold sovereign on the front of the book?
DM The Gold Sovereign on the cover is meant to represent several things. The most obvious is the name of the main character. However, the ‘value’ of the coin speaks to the financial impact Cold Fusion could have on the world. It sits in a sea of oil representing the ‘context’ out of which successful Cold Fusion technology would proceed to change the world. Using the coin to represent both the financial side and the main character is indicative of how the two issues cross paths in the process of the story.
CFN It was reported that you are currently writing a sequel. How is that progressing?
DM Yes, I am. It is called The Sovereign Politic. It is a sequel, picking up where Principles lets off. Principles was set primarily in Australia, but Politic will be set in the States, specifically Murrieta, CA. The sub-title is “All Politics is Local.” In this work I will wrap around the main plot authentic discussions of issues that government on ‘the Hill’ deal with theoretically that we on the local level deal with in real time. The primary plot will center around North Korea and a terrorist attack. I have the story mapped out in detail and while I am still doing research, I have started writing. This one is going to be a lot of fun, but I hope will also be important.
CFN Do you actively talk with people about cold fusion? How do people react when you talk to them about cold fusion?
DM Yes, I do…for the most part they don’t know the difference between fusion and fission. I try to educate and hope that my book will be an entertaining enough read that it will once again get folks focused in the direction of cold fusion for the future.
CFN What are some of the biggest impacts that you see coming from this technology?
DM Other than change the world as we know it, including the balance of economic power…you’ll need to read my book… :0)
CFN Are you aware of the new upcoming documentary The Believers? Do you feel that the public is becoming more aware of this despite the mainstream media’s lack of coverage?
DM No, I’m not, but now that I know about it, I look forward to it. I am investigating a plot line that would continue the discussion of cold fusion in the sequel, so any information I can find would be helpful.
CFN What is your opinion of the investment made in this technology so far? What are your thoughts on the recent developments involving the first commercial device invented by Andrea A. Rossi?
DM Any investment is money well spent, given the potential and positive impacts of success. I am not aware of this device, but I will ‘study up’ as per my answer to the previous question. I will definitely look into the recent developments as that will play into the next installment.
CFN How does being an author and an elected official for a city like Murrieta combine together in your life? When do you find time to write?
DM The combination makes for a very interesting calendar. I actually have two very compatible but separate full time jobs on top of my writing: Elected official and an executive with a multi-national telecommunications company. Finding the time to write is a challenge. Early mornings. Late at night. On planes… wherever and whenever I can find a chunk of time long enough to get into the mode. Working on the second installment, The Sovereign Politic that picks up where Principles leaves off, may take a while, but I am confident it will be a very satisfying sequel. I know I’m having a blast writing it! And as for the elected office and writing, for this second book I am able to do research 24/7 as I go about my day. And believe me, I see the best and the worst of politics. So there are intriguing plot lines to be explored…
I think one of the most enjoyable parts of creating new worlds and vision through writing is the research. I learn so much in the process of my efforts to make sure the story is authentic. To that end, I am looking forward to taking advantage of the resources I’ve discovered from your site to further expand on the future of Cold Fusion in a way that will get the attention of the reader. Perhaps through your work and my books we can get Cold Fusion back on the front page again…
CFN As Mayor Pro-tem, do you think Murrieta, California will be one of the first cities in the US to purchase a cold fusion device?
DM If I have my way, yes!
The Sovereign Principles by Douglas R. McAllister.
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