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Colby native hints at hometown in book

By ABBY BELDEN

abelden@dailynews.net

Writing isn't anything new to David Piper.

Piper, who grew up in Colby, has been writing his entire life. He has written short stories and tacked on creative writing pieces to his oil paintings.

When the career world called Piper to Texas to work for Grande Communications, he jumped into technical and business writing for 10 years.

"I've been a writer all my life, but that's a different type of writing than what I am doing now," he said. "When I started writing this novel, I had to make a real adjustment in my style of writing."

After leaving the company in 2010, Piper set out to complete and publish his first novel, "Church of the God Particle," which became available in October after he financed the publishing.

The story revolves around landscape painter Alex Colvin, the Rev. Lucas Ruthlier, a meteorite, and modern physics and cosmology.

The characters clash when a meteorite lands on Colvin's property. The reverend's journey to acquire the meteorite for the final portion of an experiment hurtle the two characters together.

Piper said a majority of the story is based in present day and takes readers to Texas, Romania and Kansas.

When the novel location takes place in Colby, Piper said it was based in a time frame between the '60s and early '80s.

He said he had to make up some history to support the story while in Kansas, but he wanted to pay homage to Colby.

"The basic flavor of the town in northwest Kansas is intact," he said. "That hasn't changed."

Piper said it took him a few years to write the novel before it entered the editing process.

The novel falls into the "lab lit fiction" genre.

"Lab lit fiction really uses that scientific knowledge to weave in and out of the story to give the story a realistic feel to whatever is happening in the story," Piper said.

Piper's novel is based on the race to discover and the actual discovery of the Higgs boson subatomic particle, which was discovered in July.

"Like all lab lit fiction, I take that real scientific information and stretch it out a little bit to kind of take it a little bit over the edge of what can really be done with science, what is really true," he said.

He said the Higgs boson was nicknamed the "God Particle," and had been the subject of searches for five decades.

Piper, who received a degree in economics from the University of Kansas, said physics and physics news is something he finds interesting and also tries to keep up to date on.

The novel is available at amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, as an e-book on iTunes and all major outlets.

The "Church of God Particle" will not be Piper's only novel.

"I'm going to write another novel," he said. "In fact, I've got one brewing. I haven't put pen to paper yet, but I've got one going."