A few days ago I read the obituary of a man who was rather like one of my characters - but a couple of generations older. The real life Nicholas Sand was a chemist and a campaigner for LSD. Ed Joye, my character, was a chemist and a creator of a best-selling recreational drug. Sand believed he'd heard a voice when on his first LSD trip. It told him that his job on this planet was to make psychedelics and turn on the world. Ed just wanted to make Joyes and turn himself into a millionaire. Oh, and a Nobel Prize winner. Aim high, right?
Sand's creation was known as Orange Sunshine and was claimed to be the purest LSD on the market. The creation and distribution of this drug was part of his mission to 'build a new world of peace and love'. It sounds like Ed's sales pitch, but Ed wasn't so altruistic. Sand spent years on the run from the government and to avoid capture, he lived under an assumed name for twenty years in Canada. Eventually he was caught and served six years in prison - a fate which still haunts Ed Joye. I knew nothing about this man until I read his obituary but it's true that there's not much genuine fiction. Most of it (sci-fi and fantasy apart) has happened somewhere, to someone.
Ed Joye also wanted to 'bring a new level of consciousness to the human race' but only insofar as it would enrich himself. I like to think he came good eventually.
(Photo from Wikipedia)
Ed's journey to riches and to a better understanding of himself is available here.
His medication was endorsed by The Fellowship of the Enlightened Path. Sand's orange pills were distributed by The Brotherhood of Eternal Love. It's amazing how close they sound!
If you want to read about the creator of Orange Sunshine, Nicholas Sand, there's a quick overview here on Wikipedia and there's an obituary in the Los Angeles Times which is more than Ed Joye will get!