By Valerie Milano
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/4/21 – It’s hard to believe Theron Maynard is just 20 years old–he has such an innate sense of people and humanity. Reading his first book, “Live and Let Die,” a fascinating look at love, happiness and loss, readers of The Hollywood Times will see that the young author has a bright future ahead of him as a writer.
“Live and Let Die’ was something I had to publish,” acknowledged Maynard, who went through a life changing car accident when he was in the eighth grade. “Writing saved me; I had this passion for storytelling in my heart, and I saw my book as my purpose. Words were such a comfort to me; I sincerely don’t know where I would be if I never finished it.”
Maynard feels very connected to the book’s characters–which is exactly how readers will feel as they read the poignant story.
“Shawn and Taylor are parts of me; I hold them incredibly close to my chest,” he acknowledged. “Writing is reflective and intimate. I had to create these characters out of my pain, happiness, joy, fears, and the world I know. Shawn is the me that I never was, and Taylor is the me that I never want to be.”
The initial idea of Maynard’s love story came from a nocturnal dream he had. “I created a small world out of that–the worst and best of my life influenced everything in my writing.”
Reading Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” also gave Maynard provocative food for thought. “I read the book when I was 12 years old. I believe this concept of love in that story impacted me as a writer for all of my future projects. It had me see that writing is like music without instruments, because there is a voice in every sentence, a human in every story, and music in every word.”
Maynard sought to express his own feelings about relationships and feelings about love through his debut novel. “I chased love to fill a void,” he noted.
“During my high school years where I experienced the worst of my social anxiety, I felt lost and without a home. I needed love from others because I didn’t have any for myself. This led me down a dark and stress-filled path. I wanted to feel that warmth and affection from people who left me time and time again. Through all the moments I had to endure, I realized that I should stop chasing something that I knew I wasn’t going to get. I drove myself crazy in the repetitive pursuit with the wrong kind of people. Yet, I wouldn’t ask for it any other way.”
Maynard continued: “That pursuit of love that I was in for four years gave me so much value. Being heartbroken gave me things that I take with me as a person and as a writer/author. Those deep feelings I felt are always going to be a part of me. I channeled that through my debut novel, and I’ll continue doing that whenever I write.”
For anyone reading the book who may be looking for love in all the wrong places, Maynard has sage advice.
“I think there is a multitude of reasons why we pick the ‘wrong’ people. I’ve seen others be with the absolute worst person, all the while knowing that person isn’t good for them. But they stay, and I think that is because it gives them something, a feeling of belonging, validation, confidence.”
He added: “Love yourself first. It may sound repetitive or redundant to some. However, I think it is instrumental to not only young people but for adults too. Though I have never been in love with someone per se, I had to cherish myself first to have good friendships or the chance at a good relationship.”