KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Hardin Valley Academy student Brandon Dowty can add published author to his resume.

An excerpt from his novel titled “Adriel’s Tomb” was included in the 2023 YoungArts Anthology as a sophomore.

“I had gotten a cash prize, and they were going to send me a medal and I was going to have part of my work published in something people could read,” Dowty said. “It was just incredible.”

The book follows two brothers who live on an isolated island as the world deals with the impacts of a plague that turns people into monsters.

“There’s a lot of prejudice, anger, hate and fear that goes into what most common people that aren’t infected with it think about the people who are. So, when Adrian ends up getting an infliction it sparks a journey to figure out the truth about the plague and where it came from, what it’s actually doing to people and the mysteries of the world as a whole,” said Dowty.

Dowty said he draws inspiration for his writing from his favorite sci-fi and fantasy novels. It’s a passion he’s been pursuing since he was in elementary school.

“I think the first time I really sat down and tried to write something meaningful I was about 7 years old, and I was just kind of frustrated that the things I was watching and reading at the time weren’t really the stories I wanted to be told,” said Dowty.

Dowty said despite his novel’s recent national recognition he continues to make revisions and edits to his manuscript.

He eventually hopes to find a literary agent to represent him before submitting his full manuscript to a publisher.