Brandon Nelson of Palmerton might only be 14 years old, but he had a dream of being a published author and did everything he could to make it happen.
His story is now an ebook on Amazon Kindle and he visited the Palmerton Area Library recently to promote it.
"Denver Downunder" is written in a screenplay format. The story opens in Moscow, Russia in January 2013 when KGB agent Vleska Ynski walks toward Moscow's Presidential Palace and later awakens 16 floors underground in handcuffs in Denver, Colo. Why was she there? Could this be the day that everything changes? Can Ynski avoid a strategic plan that might cause World War III?
How does a Palmerton Area High School ninth grader write an espionage thriller at the age of 14?
"A classmate of mine did a presentation on the Denver airport. I thought, hmmm. Denver. Underground missile silos. If I'd throw in a Russian KGB agent, I might have a story of espionage. I call it 'realistic fiction,'" he says.
He is an admirer of author James Patterson and likes his Alex Cross series.
Nelson credits his Nana (Beverly Loftus) with helping him draft the storyline and he asked his eighth grade Language Arts teacher, Patti Jo Boyd, often for her input.
Nelson had one of his poem's published in the "Anthology of Poetry for Young Americans," 2013 edition while a student of Boyd's.
Boyd says she was elated to be at the library for the "Meet the Author" event and to share the day with Brandon.
"I knew he had what it takes to be a writer. He has the characters to keep a reader's attention through his gift of tone and expression. I encouraged Brandon to 'shoot for the stars' and he took me up on it."
When he thought his story was ready, he looked into self-publishing and found Amazon Kindle to be the easiest way to go.
The first time he saw his book online, he was excited.
"Seeing your work out there for others to read makes you want to jump up and down for joy. It's an amazing thing to do," he says.
He's gotten some positive feedback from his friends who have read it.
"Do I think there are changes that should be made? Absolutely. I'm going to work on that," he says.
He's also going to be working on a sequel.
"I left the ending as a cliff hanger for a second book," says the already savvy author. "I have the title for it."
When Brandon is not writing, he is an active member of the Civil Air Patrol, currently holding the rank of Cadet Technical Sergeant, specializing in Search & Rescue. He is also an avid hunter and is a sharpshooter 8th class with the Palmerton Rifle team.
The son of Rebecca and Trevor Gruber and Ron Nelson, he has two brothers, Parker and Zander.