IUPUI Student Pens CIA Thriller


Beyond taking classes and working towards a degree, college is a time to expand one’s horizons. For Nathan Brown, a public relations major here at IUPUI, that means getting his first book published.

“Burning Fields,” a CIA thriller, is on shelves now. The novel, published by Green Ivy Publishing, was all started with just one quote.

Nathan Brown in Barnes And Noble

Nathan Brown in Barnes And Noble

“I have this concept of a badass in the back of my head,” Brown said. “I thought of the line ‘sorry to disappoint,’ and I was like ‘I can’t say that, I’m too wimpy to say that. So, I’ll make up my own person to say that,’ and then I started coming up with a plot. It went from one little line to a book.”

Brown, a Marion native, started writing when he was a boy.

“I actually wrote a book when I was like six years old. It was about two kings and it was about a page long,” Brown said. “I tried writing a book in middle school, and it was terrible. I was using stuff from different stories and using names that I had heard, and I was like ‘oh, this really looks like stuff I’ve already read.’ I had to throw it out.”

Brown started writing as a way to escape from school and to eventually make a career for himself.

“I wanted to start writing because I hated school,” he explained. “I thought ‘what’s a way that I could get out of school and hopefully make a living?’”

This mindset led to Brown to use his writing as a therapeutic tool.

“It was a stress reliever for me. Whenever I would get stressed about classes or projects, I just wanted to do something that I would enjoy, so I just started typing up this book,” Brown said.

Inspired by authors such as James Patterson, Christopher Paolini, and the television show “Castle,” Brown wanted to create a novel that put an emphasis on “character development and intricate plots.”

“It’s about a guy who has come back after being declared dead. He’s been dead for two years, everybody thought. Everybody thinks he’s out for vengeance, no one knows why he’s back.” Brown explained, “There’s an agent who gets wrapped up in it, and she doesn’t know who’s on who’s side and who she can trust. It becomes a very confusing time for her character.”

While the writing process wasn’t without struggles, like developing subplots, which Brown laughingly explains are quite difficult to master. The young author found that getting published was fairly simple.

Image courtesy of Green Ivy Publishing

Image courtesy of Green Ivy Publishing

“I sent out my manuscripts everywhere, and Green Ivy called me and told me that they wanted to publish it,” Brown said. “I know a lot of people have trouble finding publishers, because they go the traditional route, which can take years. The company I’m working with is a hybrid company, so it has the pros of the traditional method with the pros of self publishing.”

Green Ivy Publishing has been in business for a little over a year. They only accept ten percent of the manuscripts they are sent. After getting published, Brown explained that his biggest goal right now is to simply “get my name out there.”

Despite getting published fairly quickly, it wasn’t something that Brown expected.

“It was probably one of the most exciting moments of my life,” he said. “I never in a million years thought I could get published, to be honest. It was exciting and thrilling. When you finish a book and get published, you feel really accomplished. It really raises you up.”

Already thinking about the future, Brown sees himself expanding out of the thriller genre to write historical fiction.

“I’m a really big history buff,” he said, “so I’d love to write about it.”

Brown is proof that hard work, dedication, and creativity can really pay off. With one novel under his belt, Brown looks forward to writing many more in the future, perhaps even expanding on “Burning Fields.”

In the meantime, he urges any aspiring authors to “write for you, not your audience. If you wouldn’t want to read something, why would anyone else?”