Success Stories

Alumnus writes, publishes book

Jonathan Bradley holds the book he wrote.

After seven years, Jonathan Bradley, a 2010 graduate of the College of Education, saw his dream come to reality when a children’s book he wrote was published.

He came up with an idea for “The Egg and The Flame,” a book about dragons, during his senior year in high school and worked steadily on it until fall 2012, when the book was published by Lakeshore eCommerce Group.

Bradley’s inspiration for writing began long before he came up with the idea for the book.

“Since I was five years old I’ve wanted to write a book,” said Bradley. “I would go to the library and check out a lot of books at one time. Everyone I talked to encouraged me to become a writer because of my love for books.”

After the initial idea came to him in high school, Bradley had postponed working on the story until he started his education at Grand Valley. He attended a National Science Teachers Association conference, and there Bradley talked to a woman who had published a children’s book. She offered advice and inspired him to continue developing his book.

“Unfortunately, I got into a terrible car accident that set me back,” said Bradley. “I had to relearn how to live. I had to learn how to walk and handle simple tasks like cooking, but my biggest struggle was relearning to speak.”

After his recovery, Bradley finished the book and found an illustrator, Eydís Ósk Eyþórsdóttir, a native of Iceland, through an art social network.

Bradley decided to use a pseudonym, Dr. Agon, partly because the book became a collaboration among his family, friends and colleagues. The pseudonym was made to embody the spirit of the book and acknowledge that the process had been a group effort.

“I used the pen name Dr. Agon,” said Bradley. “If you take out the space between ‘Dr’ and ‘Agon,’ it becomes the word ‘dragon.’ The children I teach get very excited when they realize it. It is a great teaching moment!”

In 2010, Bradley found a publisher and worked the next two years with his illustrator to make the book available for online purchase. He is currently collaborating with his illustrator on another book, a story about dinosaurs written in the style of Dr. Seuss.

Bradley lives in Jenison and works as a substitute teacher.

by DeLain Bomer III

This story was filed with the tags: Books