Young author publishes first novel
Clay F. Turner of Leachville can add "published author" to his list of accomplishments. Clay is a 2013 high school graduate of Buffalo Island Central High School and is a second year student at Arkansas State University majoring in political science. He is the son of Frankie and Lisa Turner of Leachville.
The 20-year old college student recently had his first novel published. The publication completes a six year project. Clay started the book during his junior high years as a way to fill time.
His finished novel, "Lodesyia," is a fantasy book targeted towards teenagers and young adults. Lodesyia is about a young girl with a dark spirit she has to learn to control and ultimately saves what turns out to be her own people. Clay said he was inspired by his friends in junior and senior high.
Clay's mother tutored after school at Buffalo Island Central. Clay was an eighth grade student and would wait for his mother to finish work. While she was working, he started the book never thinking he would eventually see it in print.
"My friends inspired me to write a book while I was in junior high school," he said. "Actually some of the characters in the book convey the personalities of my friends. I assigned super powers to each by their individual personalities."
Clay has always enjoyed reading and writing and if he had to pick one author who inspired him it would be J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
Even though writing seemed to come naturally to Clay, he did his research. He read books such as "How to Write Novels," "Idiots Guide to Writing a Novel," and "Spunk and Bite," which helps develop a unique style and voice for a writer.
The project has been worth it, he said, and he is very pleased with the finished product.
The book is available at Amazon/Kindle Direct Publishing for $9.99 and in paperback on Createspace, for $16.99 on Amazon.com and Createspace.com. He is also taking orders by email at email@example.com. Clay's website is clayfturner.com and for more information check out the Facebook page and Twitter @lodesyia
Clay is working on getting his novel into stores.
He will be speaking at the Harrisburg and Buffalo Island Central Schools. He will be sharing with the students the importance of reading and writing in everyday life. He wants the young people to know the communication skills they develop will help them throughout life.
Lodesyia is the first in a series Clay has planned. He has started on the second book of the series. He doesn't expect it to take as long as the first one. He hopes to have it ready for publication by the end of 2015 or early 2016. He is also working on a help book, "How to Be an Author before 20." It will be geared toward younger people who think they do not have a voice.
"I want young people to know they can do anything they want to do at any age," Clay said.
In addition to writing and his studies, Clay has loved and been part of the theater through the Foundation of Arts in Jonesboro for 11 years. His roles include Sandy, the Dog in Annie; and he played the lead role in Pinocchio. Other productions he has been cast in include Camp Rocks, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and others.
Clay had always been part of the acting and singing productions but two years ago he got involved in ballet. He knew guys were needed in the production of the Nutcracker. He took classes during the summer and was cast in the role of the Arabian Prince his senior year and took a lead role his college freshman year.
"It gave me a new appreciation of ballet," he said. "It looks easy but they work so hard."
Clay will be appearing as a fireman in this year's production of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at the Foundation of Arts scheduled for Dec. 19-21.
His ultimate goal is to be a professional actor. He has been to New York and after college would like to return to pursue a career.
"New York has fashion, publishing and performing," Clay said. "I am interested in all three. Broadway is the foundation for the movies and I would like to someday perform on a Broadway stage."