Behind the Lies is my third novel, a suspenseful story about a guy, Will Franklin, who thinks he is on top of the world, as that world suddenly seems to be at risk of falling apart. My last blog “Good Guy or Bad Guy” addresses the conundrum of how readers find him….This blog will focus on one of the female characters in the book who is equally as provocative a character.

To fill you in, readers meet Will Franklin—former academic geek, recognized as a rare talent in the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ biotech industry—when he is in the wings for his dream job as next CEO of a global powerhouse. But after his boss, Chet, angrily tells him he is going to be fired and then falls ill, Will finds himself in the position of supporting Chet’s family through the hell of a dire illness. Just as suddenly, he finds his leadership ability tested by a crippling cyberattack that threatens the entire industry and leaves him with little time to untangle the mystery of whatever it is that Chet uncovered before he got sick. 

With Chet comatose and the company under attack, Will admirably pulls things together, but worries that his lapse of judgment with Bella could be the impropriety that Chet alluded to which could cause his own marital collapse.

Bella is a puzzle—a Stanford PhD and Oxford scholar with specialties in biochemistry and immunology, she is the star founder of a start-up biotech company currently in product design, searching for angel investors to capitalize her big plans for changing the world. She is beautiful, young and possibly a schemer. Will meets her at a conference and she spins a web around him, enticing him to mentor her and tempting him into a fling. But what are her intentions, and why is Will so gullible?

Somehow, the combination of flattery and clear sex appeal worked quickly on Will. Happily married to his lovely wife Charlotte, but never popular with girls in his youth, his limbo status waiting in the wings for Chet to turn over leadership of the company leaves him vulnerable to the attentions from this up-and-coming star of biotech.

I wrote the character of Bella to capsulize the ‘fake it till you make it’ culture that can be found in business— especially in those areas we don’t understand well. Biotechnology—just the word itself leaves many confused. In our fast-paced world sometimes over-reliance on the brilliance of inventive minds leaves many in a quandary about even the questions to ask. A good example is the confusion about the use of artificial intelligence and how few of us are equipped to ward off the potential for bad behavior.

Good stewardship of the talents and treasures we are capable of producing cannot always be found. Sometimes we are blind to those who would take advantage of opportunities to swindle or influence for their own self-interest. Is that Bella?

Is she evil or just an opportunist? Is she motivated to use ‘smoke and mirrors’ to confound or just to quicken her pace to develop a product she truly believes will change the world? Some will find her use of her feminine charms despicable, but not unique to her. Her success with Will may be her modus operandi, or did she have genuine feelings for him? And what of Chet?

I thoroughly enjoyed developing Bella as a character—an opportunist driven by avarice who lacks the patience to take the conventional road to success. I hope you find her entertaining, a head-scratcher. But I wonder if her short-cuts will compromise her in the long term?

Next time, I’ll tackle a new character from Behind the Lies. Thanks for reading!


Photo by Samantha Green, Unsplash