Like any good fairy tale, Kyle Nathan Buller’s recently published book, “A Horse Named Yo-Yo” has a life lesson to teach.
The story, set during the Great Depression, sends a message of hope and purpose the Inman-based author wishes to convey to his audience, especially young adults.
The story is about a middle-age farmer who owns very little, aside from a little land and a horse that has become his best friend. One fateful day, during the stock market crash, the bank takes away his horse and he becomes heartbroken, which fuels him on a search to find and rescue his friend. Along the way, long buried secrets are unearthed, and timeless truths are rediscovered, Buller said.
It is set in the 1930s, which symbolizes the journey of the main character.
“When people don’t find a hope or purpose, it’s almost like they’re in a depression when they don’t find it,” Buller said. “So I figured the Great Depression would not only be a place, but an emotional and mental state.”
Buller said he has heard many stories of individuals at this place, and wanted to communicate an answer.
“That’s what these main characters are looking for too,” he said. “I wanted to portray the fact that it's possible to find your purpose if you look in the right place, and that everybody has a purpose. I wanted to evoke in people that if you look at life from a broader perspective, life isn’t all bad. There’s more important things in life than what we’re exposed to.”
Buller’s writing of the book was his own journey, starting about eight years ago, beginning with the death of his grandmother. He abandoned the project, but picked it up again in the last year as he was encouraged by elementary students and inspired by themes of hope during his church's Sunday sermons.
“I got to the point where I had to convey the message to people,” he said, referring to the feeling as a release. “I do feel like this was definitely something that God set on my heart, and I needed to convey to other people. I hope it provides a lot of inspiration and comfort for people.”
That message of hope is the theme weaved throughout the fairytale-like story, which opens with “Once upon a time” and concludes with “happily ever after.” Just like many main characters, this one finds himself down on his luck and eventually gets his wish.
Christian parallels can be drawn, such as believers being given a calling or purpose, becoming warriors and fighting enemies. Also included is the likening of a man and a woman's romance to that of Jesus Christ and the church.
Some of the characters themselves are inspired by Christian people. The main character and his wife are based on the attitude of Buller’s faith-based grandparents.
In fact, it is a fateful rendezvous involving these characters that is Buller’s favorite part of the book. The main character and his wife find refuge from a dust storm in a farm house, which they soon discover is owned by the very man who is responsible for much of their hardship. Their reunion was particularly enjoyable for the author to write.
Buller's 176-page book, which includes mystery, romance, drama and suspense, is his first full-length work and can be found at the Inman Public Library and online at amazon.com.
Although he has no set plans, Buller said he left the plot open for a sequel.
“I’ve got a very good response,” he said. “It’s exciting. I really am blessed with this.”