Southsdier Voice correspondent
Author/educator Brad LaMar of Beech Grove looks forward to the weeks of summer for a couple of reasons.
First, the days away from Beech Grove Middle School, where he is a master teacher, provide him with more time for his children, Evan, 12, and Paige, 11, and wife Lori, who teaches science at Beech Grove High School.
Summertime also allows him to devote more successive hours daily to his writing passion as an author of an award-winning Celtic Mythos series for his target audience of middle and high schoolers.
LaMar’s first novel, “The Obsidian Dagger,” was published in February 2013, and his second, “The Megalith Union,” was published in October 2013. His novels reached No. 1 on Amazon.com, and “The Megalith Union” earned an International Book Award in the young adult fiction category.
Each novel can be downloaded from Amazon.com. “The Obsidian Dagger” can be downloaded throughout June for Kindle e-book readers for $2.99.
His third novel, “The Dominion Pulse,” is due out in February 2015.
LaMar’s creativity began simply as a storyteller of imaginary tales at bedtime to his children.
“I wrote a story around St. Patrick’s Day for the kids, wrote them into it and read it to them,” he said. “This could be a story that teenagers would enjoy, so I started researching Celtic mythology and folklore.”
LaMar, who began turning those tales into his first novel, admitted that writing was the easy part; finding a publisher turned out to be a six-year ordeal. He started by finding an agent, but that was nonproductive, so he searched on his own for a publisher.
“I never gave up,” he said of his search.
He eventually heard rom Light Messages Publishing, which suggested that he write a series of novels. The company also brought in Russian artist Igor Adasokov as the illustrator.
“That (series) meant even more research,” LaMar said. “Now I have all sorts of myths and weird creatures.”
He tries to write a little each day during the academic year. He was able to write for several consecutive weeks last summer, and he looks forward to doing the same this year. It took him only eight months to complete his second novel.
“When I first started writing after the kids were put to bed, I would stay up for two to three hours to develop story ideas; I’m a night owl,” LaMar says. “If I’m not writing, I am researching or going back and rereading what I’ve written.
“Originally, when they (publisher) suggested a novel and then a series of novels, I thought there was no way I could do that.”
The Celtic Mythos series tells about teenage heroes who enter the mythical world of witches, leprechauns and clans in the Celtic Isles and the conflict that ensues. Each book expands several previous characters and their universe while introducing new characters for interaction.
LaMar’s vivid imagination takes the reader to a different world, an existence that brings the reader into the story. His leprechauns and wizards are not stereotyped, which adds a new dimension to the adventures of the novel’s teenage heroes.
Although LaMar has been with Beech Grove Schools for 15 years as an educator, he readily admits, “I want to be known as a writer.”
LaMar, a 1995 graduate of Decatur Central, said he would like to tackle science fiction, historical fiction and nonfiction in the future.
He would also like to take his family to Ireland, the home country of his original bedtime stories and of his four series of books on Celtic Mythos. He has never been to there except in his imagination.
Meanwhile, Brad and Lori, who have made suggestions for future books, continue to enjoy their family life. The children enjoy acting, reading, sports and listening to and reading their dad’s stories.