27 March 2020

Blog Guest: Author Brendan Noble

There’s something special about having the opportunity to create a world and the characters within it. The world of my debut series, The Prism Files, has allowed me to almost become an observer more than the storyteller, as I watch the characters within the world act and react to one another. Playing with the features of this world has made me a discovery writer, and I’m as surprised by many events within the books as the reader is, if not more. The first book in series, The Fractured Prism, allows the reader to see the first bits of the extensive alternate America and world that the series takes place in. 

The main character of the series is Ivan 181375, an outcast and slave to the socialist government of Northern Mississippi. He is a Red, the lowest level on the color-coded class system created by the government’s Prism Test, which every citizen must take on their 16th birthday. The test, while initially intended to create an equal chance for anyone to succeed, has turned into a loyalty check by the government, and anyone who shows an ounce of disloyalty is quickly moved down a color. For thirteen years, Ivan has fought under the codename “Coyote” as part of the Militia, a group of anti-Prism Orange and Red Tags trying end the government’s tyranny. Every day of his life is a struggle to survive in the ghettos of St. Paul while the elite Purples and Blues look down on him from their towers in Minneapolis.

Everything changes for Ivan when he saves the life of a princess caught in the wrong part of town. Quickly, Ivan finds himself at the center of battles for power within the divided royal ranks. His allegiances will be tested as he becomes caught between the world of the Reds and that of the royals. A Red in the palace is unheard of. A Red in love with a princess is unacceptable. 

Northern Mississippi has a complicated history, one that the book begins to explain. The Fractured Prism takes place in 2020, but America’s history is very different than our own. Instead of being a republic, the country became the Kingdom of America after the revolutionary war. Divisions and corruption were rampant, though, and ninety-nine years before the book’s story, the massive Third Civil War divided the country between socialists and monarchists. In the end, America split up, and Northern Mississippi was formed out of what had been Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The monarchists were strong in the region, but they surrendered to the socialists on the terms that they and their descendants would be exempt from the Prism. This fracture in the Prism, allowing the royals to be unfiltered, is the inspiration for the book’s name.

In the writing process for the start of this series, I wanted to make the world feel alive. Too often in books, it seems that everything in the world revolves around the main characters, even if they’re very young. Part of the elements you will see if you read the book is an ever changing struggle for power within the various factions within the country and beyond. Some of these struggles occur outside Ivan’s control or even knowledge, creating a dynamic world he must operate in. Every character has their own interests in mind, whether Ivan knows it or not, and the fascinating part about the world is that it’s so extensive that I can only put tiny pieces of it in the series, let alone just the first book. The Fractured Prism has dystopian strife, royal intrigue, forbidden love, and a fight for survival, but its world is far more than that, and to me, experiencing and sharing that world and the stories within it is the best thing about being an author.

The Prism Files series is available now on Amazon.

About the Author

Brendan Noble is a Polish and German-American author who loves creating alternate histories and crafting the stories of people within those timelines. He is fascinated with history, economics, and politics in both reality and fiction.

Brendan is a recent graduate in Economics from Hillsdale College in Michigan. In 2019, he moved from his hometown of Canton, Michigan to Rockford, Illinois when he married his wife, Andrea. Brendan began his writing career in November of 2018 with a challenge from his wife to complete NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), where new authors attempt to write an at least 50,000 word book in a month. At first, he was hesitant to take the first step, but he quickly fell in love with writing, and by the end of November, the first book, The Fractured Prism, was born. In addition to writing, he is a data analyst and soccer referee.

Outside of writing, his top interests include watching both German and American soccer, analyzing political elections across the world, playing extremely nerdy strategy video games, exploring with his wife, and reading.


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