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In the Spotlight   


Brian Newsome ’17 explores the hero’s journey

Since he could not read during his hour-long train commute, Newsome used the time to write and refine his fiction

It is no surprise that Brian Newsome became a law student. His mother, a lawyer who is a graduate of both Seton Hall University and Seton Hall Law, jokes that Newsome has been a lawyer for 26 years already. “Growing up, family vacations were ABA trips,” he said. “I’ve always been surrounded by lawyers, and have always set my sights on attending law school.”

What he did not expect when he was young, however, was that he would also become a published author. His novel, Cynebold and the Son of the Prophecy, was published in August of this year.

Newsome began writing the book during his sophomore year at the South Kent high school, a boys’ boarding school in Connecticut. He had just finished reading a novel, and wanted a new book to read. But the weekend shopping trip was days away, so he decided to start writing his own story. He had always loved the genre of fantasy because he was drawn to the hero’s journey, daring adventures of sacrifice and self-discovery to save people in peril. He enjoyed the process of creating his own heroic quest so much that two months later, he had written over a hundred pages. A few years later, while teaching creative writing at his alma mater, he decided to polish and publish the novel.

Now that Newsome is pursuing his lifelong goal of attending law school, he is finding his writing and law school lives intersect in unexpected and beneficial ways. He spends two hours each day on the train commuting to and from classes. “I was dismayed to discover that I cannot read on a moving train,” said Newsome, “But then I realized that I can write during that time, and so my commute allowed me to get back into creative writing.” He finished the second book in his Coelmund Prophecies series, The Trials of the Elf King, and also just finished a young adult novel, The Warriors Lily.

Newsome’s interest in the application of law is strongly informed by his interest in the hero’s journey. He ultimately wants to practice law in a way that directly benefits individual people, assisting them and making their lives better. He thinks that after graduation, he may choose to practice criminal defense, inspired by his summer internship serving the Honorable Judge Katharine Hayden ’75, who sits on the federal bench. “It was such an honor to have the chance to work for someone of her stature,” Newsome said. “I was lucky to see a big case unfold and watch the proceedings – it was fantastic. Working for Judge Hayden this summer is a huge part of why I want to do criminal defense.”

This novelist lawyer is sure to keep things exciting and help people in need, both in his fiction and in his life.