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High Schooler Self-Publishes Fantasy Novel Over COVID Lockdowns to Distract Him From Video Games



Dylan Brennan author of Noble Betrayed – SWNS.

Trying to distract himself from his PlayStation during COVID lockdowns, a London high schooler self-published a fantasy novel that’s now selling as far away as Australia.

16-year-old Dylan Brennan started writing Noble: Betrayed in April 2020, after recognizing he was spending too much time playing video games.

The aspiring lawyer said he had long dreamt of publishing a book, and lockdown gave him the perfect opportunity to knock out the first full draft in 9 months, before the final copy was released in October 2022.

The book was inspired by Dylan’s favorite authors: George R. R. Martin, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Andrzej Sapkowski, who wrote The Witcher, the latter of which was turned into three award-winning role-playing video games.

“It’s amazing! It’s a dream I’ve always had,” said Dylan. “I’m so pleased with it but I can’t stop here, I’m already working on the next one. I love fantasy, it’s just my genre.”

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Writing and publishing a book has never been easier, but at the same time Dylan’s decision to forfeit the easy dopamine hit of video games to do it speaks volumes about his character.

Yet at the same time Dylan’s influences were obviously heavily inspired in part by his fantasy video gaming—the right balance is key.

The tale revolves around the main character Lord Simon Pargion visiting the court of close friend King Emannar Woodgairrd before uncovering a plot to kill him.

It combines the stereotypical elements of fantasy with the sense of community and atmosphere of living in London, he said, and some of the characters are named after his teachers at St. George’s Catholic School, in Maida Vale.

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Dylan says he has already bagged £150 in sales from Spain, Germany, the USA and Australia.

“I think 50 copies is the expected number of sales for a self-published first book,” he said. “There’s so much technology you can use to publish for yourself now which takes out a few steps, and publishers always have their own direction they want you to take.”

“I enjoyed exploring the big divide in London. Like the Royal Family who are a tight unit with lots of drama, alongside the less well off people struggling to get by.”

Dylan plans to study to become a lawyer but wants to keep writing as a side hustle, adding he’s aiming for a crime novel next.

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