Resident turns passion for politics into fiction fodder

By: Cortney Casey | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 4, 2012


For years, politics has been David Bocek’s reality; now, it’s fueling his fiction.

The Sterling Heights resident and onetime candidate for state representative recently published his first novel, “The Shadow Faction,” a thriller about a journalist who stumbles across a global political conspiracy.

After losing his job at a liberal news network, the journalist begins working independently to uncover the truth as evidence begins piling up.

“As the plot progresses, the illusions kind of fall from his eyes, like they’ve kind of fallen from the whole country’s eyes, that the government’s lied about or big business has lied about,” said Bocek.

The events occur in the midst of a presidential race and focus on such hot button issues as trade, immigration and globalization.

“I tried to write something that I think is very apropos to the time,” he said.

It’s also reflective of political philosophies Bocek’s developed over his years in politics, starting with student government at Western Michigan University, where he majored in political science and public administration.

After graduating from WMU in 1999, he earned a law degree from the University of Massachusetts School of Law at Dartmouth. In 2010, he was a Republican candidate for the District 30 Michigan State House of Representatives seat, but fell short.

Though he’s worked on multiple campaigns in addition to his own, he said none of his novel’s characters are based on people he’s met along the way. However, “I did sort of incorporate some of my general experience in politics, in theory, in the book,” he said.

Bocek — who describes his viewpoint as “fairly conservative,” but said he doesn’t consider himself “a true right-winger” — said he’s particularly dismayed by globalization, the consequences of which, he insists, the government has failed to adequately handle.

The novel, he said, “definitely deals with the perspective of anti-globalization, which is a perspective that you don’t get in the mainstream media.”

Bocek said he adhered to a strict schedule while working on “Shadow Faction.” He spent two months researching, mostly via the Internet; then, in a nod to his law school days, meticulously outlined the plot, characters and settings via lists, maps and diagrams.

He then cranked out one to two pages on the laptop in his den, Monday through Friday, for nearly six months. The draft went through 10 edits over a two-month period.

“It was a huge relief,” he said of completing the novel and finally having a hard copy in hand. “I was very proud of myself. It was a lot of work.”

State Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, is among public officials with whom Bocek has crossed paths. In fact, Bieda’s 1998 bid for the Michigan House of Representatives was the first campaign on which Bocek worked, in the days when Bocek was a self-described “Blue Dog Democrat.”

Bieda — whom Bocek called a “quasi-mentor” in the political realm — said he hadn’t had a chance to read “Shadow Faction” yet, but “heard it’s quite good” and was impressed by Bocek’s creative ambitions.

“If you’re willing to take chances, reinvent yourself — I think we all have talents we don’t often fully utilize,” he said. “I think his story, in doing a novel, is inspiring in itself. I just think it’s classic America, that people can reinvent and reassess their talents and do something like this.”

Bocek’s next goal is putting out three books over the next two years, all thrillers, though not “Shadow” sequels; they’ll be set further in the future, he said.

As for future political aspirations, Bocek vowed that it won’t be in the next five years. But, he conceded, “I’m not ruling out running again.”

“The Shadow Faction” is available on Bocek welcomes feedback at, on Twitter at and on Facebook.