YONKERS, N.Y. -- There's a lot of soul in "The Soul of the Matter," a debut novel by Yonkers Author Bruce Buff.
Buff, who moved to Westchester four and a half years ago from Brooklyn, said it took five years and change to write the book which weaves suspense and faith into a story so real readers may find it difficult to discern where fiction ends and reality begins.
The thriller, published by Howard Books, came out in September and follows Dan Lawson, a former cyber-intelligence analyst who's involved in a plot so dangerous he may not survive. The plot includes information from a renowned geneticist, who claims to have discovered information that will reveal all the mysteries of life, including proof of God’s existence, all hidden within DNA.
Buff said he was inspired to write the story after reading how all people have a certain portion of DNA in common. "I thought that a story based around something potentially being deliberately encoded in everyone’s DNA would be interesting," he said. That led to an exploration of consciousness and the human soul."
And while he wants readers to be entertained -- the book is a thriller, after all -- he also hopes the story might shift how some people view the world including what it means to be human.
"We’re either a temporary collection of atoms or something much more," he said. "The answer matters and I hope any readers thinks so as they see what transpires in the book."
He's already hard at work on his second book in what he calls "The Soul Series," possibly out later this year. "While 'The Soul of the Matter' dealt with human origin, the next book explores the basis of human consciousness and what that may mean about our spiritual existence, " he said. This would the second chapter in what is essentially Buff'shis planned three-part fictional series.
To clear his head between writing -- he works fulltime in finance -- he likes riding his bike on Westchester's many trails as a way to resolve plot points and let his thoughts wander. Said Buff: "I’m sure that in the same manner that places I’ve enjoyed earlier in my life wound up in 'The Soul of the Matter,' aspects of living in Westchester will wind up in my future books."