SWEETWATER COUNTY– Tyrel Bramwell’s novel has been in the works since 1999 when he became inspired by a creative writing assignment from Dr. Gigi Jasper at Rock Springs High School, and now he is making a return visit to the area that holds so much influence over his writing with the first published book of a series.
Bramwell will be participating at a book signing for his fantasy adventure, “Gift and the Defender,” Book 1 of the Lumen Legends series, at Stellar Coffee in Green River on Tuesday, November 21, from 10 am to noon.
Novel Has Been in the Works Since 1999
The novel was published in 2016 by the indie publisher, Grail Quest Books, but it has been in the works for several years.
“If you consider that it developed from a paper I wrote in 1999, then it took seventeen years until it was published,” Bramwell said of his book. “A few years after high school I got serious about turning my assignment into a book. I wrote the first draft in about a year, while I was working in the oilfield. Most of it was pounded out during my down time at the well sites.”
The Story Came from a Mythology Writing Assignment
Although Bramwell doesn’t remember the exact details of the creative writing paper assigned by Dr. Jasper back in 1999, he recalls it was related to the study of mythology.
“The story I wrote was a loose attempt to capture the super hero like aspects of the Greek gods in a contemporary setting,” Bramwell said. “It was a two and a half page creative writing assignment, and the original mental image—a guy who can change the world with his mind—is the basis for the entire novel.”
Dr. Jasper and RSHS English Dept. Inspired Bramwell
Bramwell said he has Dr. Jasper and the Rock Springs High School English department to thank for his aspirations of becoming a writer.
“Dr. Jasper’s assignment stirred my imagination. I held on to that mental picture for years. In high school I wanted to be a visual artist. My experience with Dr. Jasper in particular, and the RSHS English department in general, opened me up to the art of story. I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since.”
Novel Was in Editing Process for 10 Years
After Bramwell wrote the novel in his downtime while working in the oilfields, he said the process slowed down because “life happened.” He went to college and started a family, and the editing process took place over the course of ten years, on and off.
“I was busy working, being a husband and dad, and pursuing my bachelors and masters degrees. After that, it sat dormant for a while until an indie publisher discovered it and agreed to publish it and the forthcoming series.”
Feelings of Wanting to Escape Hometown
Bramwell’s upbringing in Wyoming and Sweetwater County surfaces throughout the novel as well as his experience in the oil field.
One of the novel’s characters, Adam Malloy, is a high school student who is desperate to escape his hometown and the oilfield, which is something Bramwell felt growing up. He believes kids everywhere can relate to these feelings of wanting to escape in some way.
“Two Coming of Age Stories”
The novel follows Adam Malloy, a young man from a small town much like Rock Springs or Green River, and it also follows Michaelis, who is a young Lumen villager.
“It’s really two coming of age stories that parallel one another. Adam Malloy, a young man from a small town, moves to New York City where he discovers he has the ability to change the world with his mind. Superhero stuff!” Bramwell said.
“Then there’s Michaelis (a character named in honor of a Rock Springs man who died while I was writing the story). This young man is a Lumen villager caught in a losing war against the Malum. His adventure deals with power and responsibility as he and his countrymen try to find courage to fight and survive.
“Like Adam, he’s at the center of a changing world. As the narrative unfolds the reader is intentionally carried along wondering what the two have to do with each other, and of course, by the end of the novel they find out,” Bramwell said.
Wyoming and Sweetwater County’s Influence on Bramwell
Bramwell grew up in Wyoming and Sweetwater County, so it was all he knew growing up. Therefore, Wyoming’s influence appears intentionally and unintentionally in Bramwell’s writing.
“My Wyoming and Sweetwater County upbringing is everywhere in the novel, from the characters to the plot, to the enviroments, to who I am as a person and how that makes its way onto every page of the story,” Bramwell said.
“I wrote the novel before I moved away from Wyoming, so the entire book is informed by who I was as a young man who had only ever known life in Wyoming.
“Sweetwater County is in the book by necessity. Life there is all I knew. Some details intentionally draw from Wyoming, while other aspects surfaced unintentionally. When I re-read the story, it’s the unintentional allusions that are most telling of Wyoming’s unfading influence on me, both as a person and as a writer.”
The Future of the Lumen Legends Series
The Lumen Legends series has been in the works for seventeen years, and it will continue for many more. Bramwell’s book deal includes the entire series.
“Right now I have five Lumen Legends books in mind, from vague ideas, to already outlined, to my current writing projects,” Bramwell said.