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Author Theron Maynard Follows His Path in Life

Theron Maynard has experienced a series of life changing events in the first two decades of his life. At the age of 13, the dynamic Black author suffered a tragic traumatic brain injury due to a terrible car accident, which completely changed his outlook on life. 

When the accident first happened, he wondered if he was even meant to be alive. Nevertheless, no matter what he went through, this bright young man never lets anything get him down. 

“My injury is something that has taught me so many things,” he told in an exclusive interview. “If I were to pick one single life lesson out of all the ones I have learned, it would be that I need to love myself to thrive in my life. That is something that I take with me whenever I do anything.”

Maynard has considered himself to be an old soul since he was 14 years old.

“My mom first pointed it out to me. I feel like an old man trapped in a young man’s body! I say that jokingly, but with a touch of seriousness. Truthfully, I didn’t feel 15 when I was that age, and I don’t feel 20 now. It’s this way my soul has experienced the world, through a more mature point of view after my injury. These experiences I have, whether they are good or bad, have made me this person who can’t see the world through what my age suggests I should see through.” 

Maynard felt disconnected from the typical activities someone his age would do. “I love old music, movies and television shows. And the older people I was surrounded by became my point of reference for everything in my life. It was harder to connect with my peers when I was listening to music from the ‘60s and the ‘70s, like Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and they were listening to whatever was on the radio at the time.”

Even in those teen years, Maynard wanted to learn how to become an adult!

“I learned money management when I received a bank debit card, started writing at 17, self-published the book at 19 years old, and successfully promoted the novel when I just turned 20!” he enthused. 

What got him through difficult times was his love of writing. With the support and mentorship from his high school teacher, he self-published his fiction book, “Live and Let Die.”  This complicated, coming of age love story is about two young lovers who experience a journey of love, redemption, loss, heartbreak and the fragility of life. dealing with substance abuse in their relationship. 

“My love of writing came at an early age. But it really started with being in love with storytelling. My mom remembers that when I first started speaking in full sentences, I wouldn’t stop telling stories! I always found inspiration in the most unlikely things.”

As a child, Maynard vividly remembers going to the grocery store and always opting for the car-shaped shopping cart. 

“For me, as that young child being in that ‘car’ sparked my imagination. I would shoot at people with finger guns in the aisles as if I was in an action movie. I would fake beep at grown-ups in front of me as if I was really driving on the road. There was always that overactive imagination and sense of creativity. After my injury, that was dialed up even more.”

Maynard has incredible love for his writing. When he started writing post-injury, the passages were more like journals in a poetic form.

“I wrote my feelings and started to understand myself and my situation. Once I took it a step further, it grew into writing poetry. That grew into writing short stories and screenplays, which turned into a novel. It was this beautiful progression and self-teaching of who I am as a writer.”

Maynard visualized his book story as he wrote it. 

“My imagination is so vivid that at times, I felt as if I was sitting there in the middle of the physical setting of the novel while writing. That’s the beauty of creativity for me. You’re not only having an emotional reaction to the text, but all of your senses are going to be tapped into as well. I want readers to feel the pain these characters experience; to hear the music playing in the back of your head.”

For anyone interested in writing a book, Maynard offers great advice: for the author to “believe in himself,” unconditionally. 

“Any good author has this ability. Take some time for yourself and really understand why you are writing the book you are writing.”

Besides fiction, do you like writing poems, essays, nonfiction?

I try to write at least once or twice a day. Whether it’s a random poem for my fans on social media or a journal type of thing. I always like to keep my mind going. It’s a blessing and a curse because sometimes I lose an hour or so of sleep because I cannot turn off the ideas. But as any writer does, I’ll hit creative blocks from time to time. It’s like being an athlete to the point where you have to breathe because you run out of air in your lungs. Writing is a mental sport and dabbling in different genres/forms of writing improves my skills.

What was the inspiration behind to your book?

Live and Let Die came to me in a dream when I was sixteen. It was a simple dream of watching the sunset at the beach with a friend. A year later while seventeen, I was in a high school creative writing class during my senior year. The teacher assigned a short story with a five-page maximum. And truthfully I was creatively exhausted at that point in time. While in that class I was writing more than ever and when the time came to write a short story, I drew a creative blank. Then I recalled that vivid dream from a year prior and ran with the idea.

How difficult was it to write?

It was difficult to write at first. I struggled with where I was going to the story. And I also had to stick to the form of a novel which was hard for me to do. I say this because when I write, I just write my ideas down as they come out. As stated before, I started the story in high school at the tail-end of 2018. I decided to make it a novel in December of the same year. I picked it back up in September of 2019 while a freshman in college. Sticking to the form of a novel was also something I had to teach myself how to do. Though I was going at it every day while in school, the beginning of 2020 brought everything to a halting screech. The start of the pandemic picked me up out of school and placed me back home after only being back at school for a month or so. After everything in the world changed, I did not work on the story for one month. I picked up the story in April of 2020 while doing remote learning as a result of the pandemic. At this time I dove right back into the world inside of Live and Let Die. I had to conceptualize the book and keep track of my creative vision. I did this through an idealist that ended up being twelve pages. Once I had the feel of what I wanted Live and Let Die to be the ideas organically came to me. Once I was in that mindset, I wrote for ten hours a day until I completed the story. I also had to learn about copyright laws, fair use, copyright the book prior to the release, hire a copy editor, and graphic designer, and most notably write the best possible story I could write.

Do you have an idea about your next book?

Shortly after Live and Let Die came out, I made a new list of ideas. These ideas are a few or more books and a few other things that I’m not ready to put out there yet. I think the possibilities are endless for me. I’m a writer first, and an author second. I successfully published my debut novel at nineteen years old. I started writing this novel while seventeen and in high school. I’m going to continue walking that path and see where it takes me.

Any interest in journalism?

I really have no interest in journalism. Writing for me has to be creatively expressive. I can’t be put into a box that limits my creativity.

While Maynard doesn’t remember the accident at all, the stories that have stayed with him are from the recovery he underwent post-injury. 

After the near-death experience, he struggled with finding purpose and relating to his peers and even his own family in the long months of recovery. Theron eventually found solace in writing, and with the support and mentorship from his high school teacher, he self-published his fiction book, “Live and Let Die” in 2020 when he was 19 years old.  

This gripping, raw story featuring the complicated love story of Shawn and Taylor and the dynamics substance abuse plays in relationships. Theron pits the story’s protagonists against the realities of life, heartbreak and hope in this coming-of-age story.  

This is THE must-read book of the summer. The idea for the storyline came to Theron in a dream and was turned into a five-page short story in his high school creative writing class. Later, the story served as inspiration for the basis of “Live and Let Die”.  

This is not only the story of Shawn and Taylor, it’s the story of how this budding author overcame adversity to find purpose in writing and how his second chance at life propelled him to begin his writing career.  

Live and Let Die Book Summary: 

When Shawn and Taylor are together as one, there is nothing but happiness. Life finds them as two teenagers on a path of young love. On one simple night during the autumn season, everything seemed to fit just right. The sun melted into the ocean just as the moon crept into the sky. It isn’t until a misplaced sense of fear takes over and everything breaks. Taylor loses Shawn, the only boy that she has ever loved. Shawn loses Taylor, the only girl he’s ever loved. Both go on this journey of love, redemption, loss, heartbreak, and fragility of life. The path back to each other won’t be easy. 

Paperback $12.99: Live and Let Die: Maynard, Theron: 9798551036920: Books

Target Readership:

Young adults, 18+ years old