HEBRON — Trem Waterhound, a sometimes surly half-elf, has been with Trevor Paul since a high school writing assignment his freshman year.

Trem never quite went away.

In the past two years, Paul, 32, a literature teacher and coach at Hebron Academy, has self-published two fantasy novels about 500 pages each starring Trem. He’s at work on the third now.

He envisions it as a series of six or seven books, and if he’s this far in, he’s reasoned that he can’t stop now.

“It was the one story I wanted to tell,” Paul said. “The passion for it at this point is I came up with this idea to present a very typical fantasy novel that slowly becomes less typical, and now it’s like, ‘OK, can I actually pull that off?'”

That original assignment in Ross Markonish’s freshman English class at North Yarmouth Academy: Write a serial story with chapters that end in a cliffhanger.

“So you had to do five pieces and I wrote a short story,” Paul said. “He kind of told me, ‘Not terrible. Is there more to it?'”

There was.

“The original story was very self-contained, a siege in a fortress, a handful of characters, and sort of making it feel like what was happening was the end of the world, all concentrated in this little place,” he said. “I started branching out and reading more and thinking about, ‘OK, there’s this one castle. What are all these places around it like?'”

Paul wrote through high school and college, eventually putting the story away after an unsuccessful stretch of pitches and meetings with book agents.

“I had somebody actually say it would be better if you had a lot of vampires, because it was when ‘Twilight’ was big — that was a fun one,” he said, laughing.

Eventually his wife, Molly, encouraged him to pick it back up, take another pass and self-publish. He dedicated the first book in the series, “The Legacy Chronicle: The Sword,” to Markonish.

It came out in May 2016. “The Legacy Chronicle: The Shield” followed in October 2017.

In the worlds Paul has created, there are mortals and immortals, a God of Death and Goddess of Life, and the reluctant hero Trem, who doesn’t age.

“Mostly other characters around him want to stop this invading army from taking over their home,” Paul said. “He’s OK with doing that, but he’s much more fixated on his personal issues. It’s this big conflict happening and there’s all these big moving pieces, but really it boils down to all these characters having these much smaller things they’re trying to figure out about themselves.”

Growing up, Paul read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s “Dragonlance Chronicles” and Brian Jacques’ “Redwall” series and points to them as writing influences. 

He’s taught at Hebron Academy for five years and finds the most time to write in the summer, for a few hours a day. He’s hoping to finish the third book in “The Legacy Chronicle” series within the next two years.

The first two are available at Quiet City Books in Lewiston. Paul will also be at the Great Falls Comic Expo Spring Edition in Auburn on May 19.

He’s been happy with sales and the response to his work so far.

“One of my friends said, ‘Is Trem supposed to be you?’ I don’t think so, but I think there is a relationship, maybe,” Paul said. “Every character is maybe a little bit part of who you are. I can be surly, for sure.”

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Hebron Academy literature teacher Trevor Paul holds the first two novels in his fantasy series, “The Legacy Chronicle.” Paul, 32, publishes under the name T.H. Paul and he’s at work on the third novel in his series. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

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