St. Clair resident Dan Breithaupt, 70, published his first science fiction novel in July, decades after being discouraged to write by his elementary teacher.
Breithaupt was born and raised in Canada. In third grade, he wrote a short poem for an assignment given by his teacher. It was titled: “It is the morning of the spring. All the birds and Condors sing.”
“I thought it was wonderful,” he said. “She hated it and said never write again, and so I didn’t.”
Breithaupt struggled in school with spelling, in addition to having learning disability and ADHD, which also effected his writing, according to his wife Patricia.
“He had all of these ideas inside of him that were not getting out,” she said. “The teacher kind of discouraged him instead of encouraging him.”
Breithaupt starting writing seriously in 2001, when he wrote a poem about the Sept. 11 attacks. He continued to write in his off time as an electrician, his wife said.
She said her husband would wake up her up in the middle of the night to talk about his writing. In 2011, he began to form a book with his writings.
“At 2 in the morning, I suggested ‘Go type your story.’ So he ended up writing a whole book,” Patricia Breithaupt said.
His science fiction and romance novel, “The Sword,” takes place in the future set in 3124 A.D. Breithaupt said the story is about a man who finds a time changing sword in a cave.
“While trying to test the perimeters of the sword, he meets a girl named Jane Blythwood, who used to play professional tennis. They develop a romance and he helps her with her tennis game.”
Breithaupt added that he liked writing the romance aspect of the book.
“As you build the relationships together, as things happen to them … you think ‘These are people and I like them,’ ” he said. “It gave me a bit different understanding of how God, who created us, loves us and allows all kinds of wild things into our lives to shape us into what He wants us to be.”
The idea for his book came from a movie he saw about a man who created a weapon that photographed people’s DNA.
“The Sword” debuted on Amazon Friday, July 12, published by Pen It! Publications. Last year, Rachel Hale with the publication company was a guest speaker at the St. Clair Library.
Breithaupt mentioned his book to Hale and gave a copy for her sons to read. He said they liked it and it was recommended for publication.
“I’m a little a nervous and surprised,” he said about his book being on the market.
To make it easier for readers to remember who author of the “The Sword” is, Breithaupt said he used a pen name Albert Daniels.
A sequel is already underway, he said.
Breithaupt met Patricia while on a missionary trip in Venezuela. They were married in 1978 and have been together for almost 40 years.
They have lived in several places, including in New Jersey, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Canada. They came to St. Clair in 1997.
Together they have a daughter and three grandchildren.