Student writer self-publishes book
Brent Keath, a sophomore with the ambition of a young entrepreneur and the goods of a small business, is an innovator. When he’s not pursuing his degree in mathematics and entrepreneurial studies, Keath is selling his new self-published novel, “Legends of Areia: Generations.” How many full-time college students do you know that have written and self-published a novel? Keath is definitely unique, a sophomore who has the resume of a late twenty-something, an entrepreneur who runs his own enterprise, and a novelist who has actualized the fictional world of his childhood.
Keath started writing about the world of Areia in middle school, drawing inspiration from a fictional game that he and his friends had played while in third grade. In the game, Keath and his friends had unique powers, capable of manipulating various elements, other people and themselves. Areia, a reflection of Keath’s childhood game, is a kingdom in which people have special powers, which govern who they are and how they live. Specifically inspired by his friend’s choice of fire manipulation, Keath imbibes the protagonist of “Generations,” Prince Drake Vengar, with the same ability. The reader follows the thoughts of Prince Drake Vengar as he suffers the loss of his father and seeks revenge through his power over fire. When asked if he greatly identified with one of the characters, Keath was quite vehement: “There’s a little bit of me in every character.”
Though Keath wrote of snippets about Areia in middle school through the inspiration of his grade school follies, it was not until high school that the novel began to take form. Taking part in National Novel Month’s call to write a novel in one month, Keath said to himself: “Hey, I have this material, why not go through and write for National Novel Month?” By the end of the month, he had only ten pages, but these ten pages inspired a novel.
When asked if any other fictionalized work had influenced his own, Keath says, “I would see something cool from a television show, but it would inspire me to create something different, something new.” Keath acknowledges that companies like Marvel and DC Comics; television shows like Bleach and Avatar; and books such as Ranger’s Apprentice and the Bible were the root of his inspiration. But this root was transplanted: Keath was inspired to grow something different from the same root. This propensity for innovative creation is a deep part of Keath. Contrary to his literary pursuits, Keath was not an avid reader as child. Rather, he enjoyed creating things, specifically programming video games. He says, “I tend to create things with the purpose that someone will use or enjoy them.” With a child-like wish to create for others’ enjoyment, Keath thus penned “Generations.”
Rather than send such a personal creation to a large publishing company, many of which modify the writer’s original work, Keath decided to self-publish his work. While creating Keath Enterprises, a marketing company that involves a conglomeration of technological and creative services, Keath was also founding a publishing company entitled Keath Publishing. In order to properly publish his work, he outsourced the specific tasks to multiple editors, a graphic designer, and LouLou, an online company which manufactures the books themselves. About outsourcing, Keath relates, “I’m finding people who do good things, and paying them to do it. But I can then have editors that work with me, rather than dictating my writing.” When Keath released the first four chapters on Writers’ Café, he was terrified, thinking the internet would be brutal in its critique of his work, to which Keath’s step-mom provided insightful advice: “When someone gives a critique, don’t let it upset you, take it or leave it, use it to improve yourself, and then move on.”
Evidenced by the finished product of his diligent work, Keath took this advice and ran with it. He wants to continue writing about the Kingdom of Areia, penning two more novels that will complete the trilogy. For now, students can purchase “Legends of Areia: Generations” on Keath’s website: brentkeath.com, where you can also check out Brent Keath Enterprises, the apps he has created and his impressive resume.