KENILWORTH, NJ — Brandyn Kory Pantano of Kenilworth will be making an appearance at Kenilworth Public Library on Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. to discuss his new novel, “Forever Roman.” Teens and adults are welcome to attend the event and register by calling 908-276-2451. Kenilworth residents can begin registering on April 12, and residents from other towns can begin registering on April 16.
Pantano’s novel began in response to a writing prompt provided by reddit.com in August. During the next few months, Pantano noticed the response was gaining a lot of readership, and he continued writing over the course of 2 1/2 months. By November, he was already 14 chapters into his novel.
Many people are familiar with National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, when aspiring writers and authors try to write a novel in the course of just one month. Pantano participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote the entire novel in approximately 28 days, using the chapters he’d written two months prior as stepping stones to the first draft.
“Most of the final draft is much different than the original,” he said. “The core focus is still there though.”
The book appeals to a young adult audience, ages 14 and older, he said.
“Forever Roman” is the story of an immortal Roman who has lived since before the fall of the Roman Republic.
He’s seen the rise and fall of many civilizations, despite being imprisoned by the United States for the past 100 years. His life changes when he is asked to go on a mission that alters the course of human history.
“Overall, I had a blast writing the book,” said Pantano. “I have participated in NaNoWriMo before, but this was the first time I ever actually finished. That alone was a huge accomplishment for me.”
The novel was self-published using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace. The book’s cover was designed by Pantano’s sister, Shanon Krysti. He found Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to be extremely user-friendly, whereas CreateSpace was a bit more complicated. He used CreateSpace to publish paperback copies of the novel, which he will be signing at the meet and greet in April. He will also have a chance to interact with readers and gain some insight into their reactions to the novel. He’s also a valuable resource for anyone else who might be interested in the self-publishing process.
“Editing, as many people would say, is a pain,” Pantano said. “Tearing your own work apart is always an interesting time.” After writing the book, Pantano put it aside for another month before beginning the editing process. The entire process of self-editing took another month to complete. The book was finally ready for publication on Feb. 14.
“My subscribers at my subreddit page were a constant reminder and motivation for me to get the work done. I really had a chance to play around with a lot of ideas, from science fiction to philosophy, and I really did enjoy writing it,” he said.
Pantano is currently working on two new series online and one offline in his spare time. He encourages readers to follow him on the subreddit account, and he responds to prompts almost daily.
The link to his page is www. reddit.com/r/BlankPagesEmptyMugs, where Pantano posts many short stories, flash fiction, and other writing responses. Many of his ongoing projects can be found at this site. However, most of his time is spent studying and socializing at Rutgers University. Pantano is currently studying ancient history and classics. Since he also happens to be an aspiring writer, he always makes sure to set aside time to pursue his passion.