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Former Havreite publishes major children's fantasy novel


Last updated 11/24/2020 at 12:38pm

Courtesy photo

Havre native Gerrad Bohl recently published his first book with Pegasus Publishers.

"Goode Oliver Dooley and the Palace of Keepers Book 1" took Bohl three years to write. He was given a contract by the first publisher he turned the book into.

"One day I just kind of woke up and decided I'm going to write a book," Bohl said.

He has been writing as a release since he was 15, he said. Teachers have often asked to keep his academic papers for writing references and Bohl always felt he was an OK writer.

Bohl said he recalls eating ice cream with a friend in Havre's Town Square and mentioning to her that he was going to write a book. When she asked him what he was going to write about, he said he had no idea.

Bohl said he only knew that he wanted to create a place that he wanted to be because the world is not always good and kind it is often terrifying and awful. He wanted to create characters that he could love and adventures that these characters would go on.

Bohl said he has a hard time writing at home, so he writes in cafés on the weekends. He also hand writes everything before he types it up because he feels a greater connection to his work.

While visiting a friend in London, Bohl noticed that everyone had a book in their hand and he decided that if he were going to publish his book, he wanted to do it there. His friend mentioned Pegasus Publishers, and Bohl turned it in to them. He did not realize at the time that they were the largest worldwide distributor he said. They offered him a contract right away.

Bohl said he was skeptical because he had been in the entertainment industry before and people had offered him contracts that had fallen through. He sent it to a friend who is a literary agent and asked him to look at the contract.

Bohl said, "He said, and I quote, 'They offered you this, first try? You want to sign this.'"

Bohl said, with his friend's approval, he felt better about it and signed the contract. The process took about a year for the book to be ready to publish. Bohl said he worked with several teams to edit and create the cover for the book.

Pegasus Publishers handles Bohl's marketing, but he can market himself as well. They also organize book signings in the United Kingdom.

The book is officially for ages 7 through 12, but it's really for everyone, Bohl said. It is the first book in the series and, Bohl said, he has the second book finished but has not signed a contract for it.

"Goode Oliver Dooley and the Palace of Keepers Book 1" is a fiction novel that is based on Bohl's life in an imaginative way - people would never know it is based on a real life, he said.

The story follows a boy who was given a death sentence and part of that sentence was to live out his life in the care of two horrendous people.

He is mysteriously invited to a garden party, but he must find a plant in order to get into the party, which also is a competition. In the search for the plant, Goode enters a world that no one knows is around them and that he did not know was there until he started looking for the plant.

Goode is helped by a ton of wacky, goofy people to find this plant and get into this competition and win a spot as a royal gardener at the palace, Bohl said.

Gerrad Bohl

He eventually wins a spot along with nine other children. The kingdom is not what it was cracked up to be, however. The children end up being beekeepers and doing training and challenges at the palace.

Goode turns out to be the next heir to the throne and that is why he was sentenced to death when he was born by the villain Odlum.

Odlum tries to end Goode throughout the book which eventually leads to a war at the end of the book. The second book in the series is about the war.

The story also is intended to create suicide awareness among youth, Bohl said. Odlum is derived from the Indian plant odlum that is called the suicide plant in India. The character Odlum tries to infect children's minds but cannot infect Goode's mind because he has a very strong mind Bohl said.


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