Going brogue

Beech Grove Middle School teacher publishes Celtic science fiction novels

By Sherri Coner

When Brad LaMar’s children, Evan, 22, and Paige, 20, were young, he wrote exciting, funny bedtime stories for them about traveling to Ireland to hunt for leprechauns.

A few years later, this Beech Grove Middle School science teacher dusted off his imagination and put it to use for his students.

“I gave them an assignment to write ‘A Day in the Life of an Alien,”’ Brad said with a grin. “And I wrote an example to show them.”

Each time he read the example to a different classroom of students, “the kids were asking if it was published.”

A class assignment inspires a book

Not long after that experience, this dedicated educator with 25 years of experience worked up the nerve to send some query letters to potential publishers.

Of course he was thrilled when the feedback was positive.

After authoring a series of sci-fi, fantasy novels in 2016, Brad LaMar, Beech Grove Middle School science teacher of 25 years, soon releases his newest work, “Angler Island.” (Photos by Sherri Coner)

Only one suggestion was made, Brad said.

He was encouraged to consider writing for young adults rather than young children.

Making that shift required him to truly put his nose to the grindstone and create a novel rather than a book length appropriate for children.

At first, tackling a novel felt overwhelming.

However, when Brad was also successful in securing an agent, he realized that his sci-fi, fantasy ideas were obviously solid and popular.

If that wasn’t the case, he wouldn’t already have interested publishers as well as an agent.

Trying to ignore the whispers of self-doubt, Brad wanted what naturally interested him to guide his beginning steps through this completely new realm of possibilities.

At the end of the school day, he traded the chalkboard in his classroom for his laptop at home in Franklin Township, and rarely grabbed the TV remote at all.

Brad LaMar signing copies of the books included in his first published series, “The Celtic Mythos.”

Family Ties

To dip his toes even deeper in creative waters, Brad initially thought about his family ties to Wales, Ireland and Scotland, places he had always felt drawn to knowing more about.

He then thought about how often Greek and Roman mythology are utilized as the backdrops of novels. After conducting even more research, Brad happily discovered that Celtic mythology is rarely utilized like Greek and Roman mythology.

Convinced that he found an exciting, off-the-beaten-path niche in literature to call his own, Brad got even more serious about this new endeavor.

While character ideas and plot possibilities swirled around in his head, Brad dove straight into researching all things Celtic, especially in the early 1800s.

“I did tons of research,” he said with a groan.

Meanwhile, Brad’s wife, Lori, a chemistry teacher at Beech Grove High School, rarely knew when her husband-turned-author was wildly working on that novel that seemed so distant into the future.

Brad wasn’t the type to lock himself away in an empty upstairs bedroom for the entire weekend so he could write in perfect isolation.

At home in Franklin Township, Beech Grove Middle School science teacher and published author, Brad LaMar with his wife, Lori LaMar, Beech Grove High School chemistry teacher, and the couple’s chihuahuas, Angel and Chip.

In fact, he still doesn’t have a designated place where he prefers to be when he writes.

With the same dedication he has always given to his students, Brad completed the first novel a couple of months shy of a year later.

An idea turns into a series

Overachiever that he is, Brad promptly added more books to the first one and turned the adventures in his head into a series of books, The Celtic Mythos Novels, available on Amazon.

Nearly eight years later, he is still the guy typing at the dining room table while Lori cooks dinner.

And Lori is still the wife who doesn’t know until much later that her husband was finishing the last few paragraphs of a chapter or completely revamping a scene he suddenly didn’t like anymore.

Brad is a multitasking guy, thinking about quiz questions for third period earth science class, while listening to Lori’s latest DIY project idea for the house and then topping those moments off with silently deciding in his head which characters should be introduced in the first chapter.

“I don’t even know when he’s writing,” Lori said with a smile and a shrug.

Brad’s newest book, “Angler Island: The Crystal Cavern” is due for release in the next couple of months.


Website: bradlamar.com

Twitter: bradalamar29

Book seller websites: goodreads.com/bradalamar or torchflamebooks.com/brad-lamar