Better than Fiction

Young author’s dreams come true

Sixteen-year-old Brandon Bauer of Elkhorn may have been born with a cleft palate that has caused some difficulties in his life, but his creativity and determination as a young author speak volumes. Brandon released his first novel, “Heroes of Light: The Hidden Myth” in October 2014, and he is contracted for six more with Tate Publishing out of Oklahoma, which is the third largest publisher in the United States. The first book has already sold more than 500 copies, and book two will be released this spring.

Brandon started the series at age 11. His dad and uncle had both given him several books on Greek mythology, and he instantly developed an affinity for the characters and their stories. He took his favorites and made up new adventures for them. “I wanted to give these characters personalities based on what they did and why they were in these stories,” Brandon said. “And as I worked on it, there was too much for just one book, so I decided to make it a whole series.”

Influenced by favorites such as Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings, Brandon’s stories are fictional fantasies filled with action, adventure, and plenty of humor. Throughout the series three dark prophesies are revealed and fulfilled. The first book focuses on the first prophesy and its three chosen who are brought together: Athen, Perseus, and Hercules. “Some of the books will be about different characters, but everything is connected by the end of the series,” Brandon said.

He keeps a writing notebook at school where he jots down plot ideas. From there he outlines every chapter, and then starts writing. “I’ll write every single day for a month or two, then take a couple months off,” he explained. After spending five years to complete the first book, his mother, Cathy, researched publishers and submitted it to just a few. Tate responded within a few weeks, and then they spent the next six months editing it and working on designing the cover, which Brandon was able to collaborate on and is extremely pleased with how it turned out. They are now working with Tate on marketing and promoting the first book.

Cody Crawford, a Marketing Consultant with Tate, said “Heroes of Light” is the type of story that appeals to all genre of readers and to all ages. “Brandon’s style of writing is great, and the way he cast his vision of the characters and story is impressive,” Crawford said. “We have a few young authors, but not many are able to write a full length novel. Brandon is an incredible, impressive young man.”

Every author who publishes with Tate has a dedicated marketing consultant for the life of the book. Crawford is currently helping Brandon schedule book signings, radio interviews, and niche events such as school visits where he can interact with his audience. “Brandon is one of my better authors who can just be himself and engage people,” Crawford said. “My job is to help guide him in finding his audience. Both he and Cathy really understand what that’s about.”

Brandon said his mom is his biggest supporter and has helped him with every step of the publishing process. Since he’s a minor, legally he can’t interact directly with the publisher, so Cathy has served as his liaison. “I’ve learned a lot about publishing, especially from other authors we meet at book signings,” Cathy said. “But I’m so proud of Brandon and happy to help him promote his work any way I can.” This has been through the support of friends and family to start. “Word of mouth and getting reviews is the best form of marketing,” Crawford added.

“Heroes of Light” is marketed toward kids ages nine and up, but both Crawford and Brandon said anyone who likes high adventure will enjoy it. Brandon is currently writing the third book in the series, but he has all seven books outlined. He hopes to have a career in storytelling, whether it’s as an author or perhaps venturing into film as a director. As for giving advice to other aspiring authors, Brandon has a simple but important message: “You can do it. All you need is a good story.”

Find a copy

“Heroes of Light” is available at local Barnes and Noble bookstores, on Amazon, and on Follow on Facebook at Heroes_of_Light

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