The Story Behind the Prince Martin Epic Series

Brandon Hale was deployed overseas with the military in 2015. 

As the days and weeks passed, he began to feel like he was losing his bond with his young son, Thomas, because the boy had lost interest in talking to his overseas dad on the phone. 

Until the deployment, Thomas had been Brandon’s trusty sidekick. It made Brandon sad to think their bond was slipping away. Then one day, Brandon had an idea. This time, when he called home, he asked if Thomas wanted to hear a story.

A story about a “Prince Martin,” who was Brave, Loyal, and True.

And Thomas was enchanted.

From then on, when Brandon could call home, Thomas would beg him to tell a Prince Martin story. Throughout the deployment, Brandon told Thomas many Prince Martin tales, and the boy even named some of the main characters like Sir Ray and John the timberwolf.

Upon returning home from deployment, Brandon's wife encouraged him to turn his Prince Martin tales into children's books. 

So he started to write. At first, he tried writing in prose. But prose seemed so dull. Then he remembered how much fun it is to read aloud stories that rhyme. So he started experimenting. He finally decided to write the books in a poetic style called anapestic tetrameter, hoping that parents and children would enjoy reading the stories aloud.

And the rest is history.

Brandon's books in the Prince Martin Epic series - which can be read in order or as stand-alones - are

  1. Prince Martin Wins His Sword,
  2. Prince Martin and the Thieves,
  3. Prince Martin and the Dragons,
  4. Prince Martin and the Cave Bear
  5. Prince Martin and the Last Centaur,
  6. Prince Martin and the Pirates and
  7. Prince Martin and the Quest for the Bloodstone

Most recently, he wrote Honesty Pays: A Little Prince Martin Picture book for younger kids. 

Brandon believes boys today don't have enough good role models. And he thinks boys are capable of heroism - but don't often get the opportunity to prove it. With the Prince Martin Epic, Brandon hopes to present boys with inspiring characters who model virtues like grit, perseverance, modesty, loyalty, honesty, and physical and moral courage. In so doing, he hopes to help boys along on their path to becoming virtuous men!

About the Author

Brandon Hale

When Brandon Hale was a young boy, he lived in South America. It was a great place to be a kid, and his mom let him play outside as much as he wanted. He had a dog named Okie, a slingshot, and an awesome treehouse his dad built. The tree was full of pink mangoes and home to chattering parrots, slow-moving sloths, and fat iguanas. Sometimes, he would encounter a lanky boa constrictor coiled on a branch! When he was older, his family moved home to Oklahoma, and he began second grade. His favorite classes were Reading and History. He still got to spend a lot of time outdoors. His parents took him and his little sister to the lake a lot, and sometimes his uncles would take him hunting—with their falcons! He loved Dr. Seuss, Treasure Island, The Swiss Family Robinson, Old Yeller, and The Hobbit

Brandon went to school for 19 years, including college at Baylor University and law school at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. In 2001, a lovely lady agreed to marry Brandon. Now they have five great kids and live on the Oklahoma plains. He has 20 years of combined active and reserve Navy service and holds the rank of Captain. For his day job, he works in law enforcement. When he’s not writing in his free time, Brandon enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, reading, hiking, biking, lifting weights, and visiting his parents’ 160-acre “Lazy H” ranch in northeastern Oklahoma to hunt, fish, shoot, and ride four-wheelers.

Brandon’s favorite authors are Patrick O’Brian, Walker Percy, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. His favorite books are:

  • The Lord of the Rings,
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz,
  • Lonesome Dove,
  • The Road,
  • The Stand,
  • The Reverse of the Medal,
  • A Christmas Carol,
  • Love in the Ruins, and
  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage.

His favorite movies are:

  • The Passion,
  • The Shawshank Redemption,
  • Master and Commander,
  • It’s a Wonderful Life,
  • A Few Good Men,
  • High Noon,
  • A Man for All Seasons,
  • The Searchers
  • True Grit, and 
  • Braveheart

His favorite children’s books are: 

  • The Clown of God,
  • Horton Hatches an Egg,
  • Horton Hears a Who,
  • Saint George and the Dragon, and
  • The Black Falcon

About the Illustrator

Jason Zimdars portraitJason Zimdars is an artist and designer best know as the Illustrator of It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work and the Prince Martin Epic series.

Jason has always loved to draw and grew up immersed in stories of heroes and magic like "The Lord of the Rings", "Star Wars", "The Dark Crystal", and "E.T". He always came home from the movies or the library to draw all the amazing characters and places he saw in his imagination.

When his friend, Brandon, told him about Prince Martin he knew he had to draw him and all his friends, too. He can't wait to share more of Prince Martin's adventures with you!

Mr. Zimdars lives in Oklahoma with his family and three dogs, who aren't nearly as brave as Sir Ray.