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BSC Student’s Energy & Imagination Provide Foundation for Writing a Fantasy Novel

  • Created
    Wednesday, August 29 2012
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103

Daniel Catron(Bluefield)—Perhaps there's something special in the water in Coalwood, West Virginia. Coalwood native Homer Hickham's autobiographical Rocket Boys became a best-seller and provided the substance for the hit movie, "October Sky." Now Daniel Caton, a Bluefield State College student whose experiences and active imagination provided the foundation upon which he has written a fantasy novel, Luke Brackins and the Rune to Midgard, which has been published and is available at Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Completing the book was no small feat for the 25-year old Caton, who concurrently juggled the responsibilities of husband, father, college student, and insurance sales representative while writing the 220+ page novel. In fact, Luke Brackins and the Rune to Midgard represents nine years' work that started while Daniel was a student at Big Creek High School.

"I was inspired by the 1984 movie "The NeverEnding Story," he explained during a break between fall semester classes at BSC. "The central figure in my book moves from a large city to a small West Virginia town, Galeswood, and he experiences culture shock while adjusting to life in a rural community." The novel's protagonist, Luke Brackins, is introduced to the region's strong work ethic and blue collar mindset. However, he's homesick and has difficulty making friends in Galeswood.

"Luke finds a book with a jewel embedded in its cover," Daniel continued, "and when he touches the jewel is transported to new places—some good, some bad." The dynamic of good versus evil is evident throughout the novel. "The book draws from my experiences in West Virginia as well as places I've never been but have read about," he added.

Moving the book toward its conclusion and getting it published took one final push. "After writing sporadically for several years," I had some faculty members at Bluefield State who really encouraged me to complete it," he recounted. "I submitted the manuscript to several different publishers, and AuthorHouse (a print-on-demand publisher) provided editors to work with and an illustrator for the cover. When I saw the book in print, it was like a part of my consciousness came to life. . . .someone else read it and took the time to visually depict it."

In the weeks ahead, the BSC student-author will embark on a book tour, visiting Barnes & Noble locations in Morgantown (September 23) and Christiansburg (October 20), while also participating in the "October Sky Festival" (October 6) in Beckley. "If sales go well, Tate Publishing Company (a Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing organization) will publish and distribute the book," he explained.

While walking toward his 2 p.m. Spanish class, he paused to recognize a few of the educators whose guidance and encouragement were important. "In school, I was blessed by the positive influence of my teachers and a principal. Although I got into trouble because of Attention Deficit hyperactivity, they saw that I worked hard in school. Roger Smith, the principal at Big Creek High School and Karen Crouse, an elementary school teacher, really helped. Mrs. Kraus reminded me of the Albert Einstein quote, "Your imagination is more important than your intelligence."

Preparing to graduate in December with a degree in Social Science, Daniel may revisit his passion for writing in the future. At present, he's looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Whitney, and their 21-month old son, Avan.

Additional information about Luke Brackins and the Rune to Midgard and Daniel Caton is available online at: