Thursday, May 10, 2012

It’s Never Too Late to Become a Writer

I want to tell you about a late-blooming author, Behcet Kaya. Like many authors, he has dreams of a literary agent selling his novel to a major publishing house, seeing his screen-play adaptation produced as a major film, and selling an Everest-sized pile of books.  However, his becoming-a-writer journey is a spellbinding tale.

Behcet was born in northeastern Turkey. Growing up in a very small village with long-held traditions, his rebellious nature emerged at an early age. By the time he was ten, he had read, in secret, all of the Turkish translated stories of Mike Hammer. In addition, he read several of Dale Carnegie’s works, and all of Yashar Kemal’s novels. His world burst out beyond that of his small village, and he yearned for a more western way of life.

Defying his father, who wanted him to remain in the village to work and support his large family, Behcet left home at fourteen and travelled first to Istanbul and soon, on to London. In London his obsession was to complete his high school education and then a college degree in engineering. He supported himself by working full-time and earning scholarships from Inner London Education Authority. His creative side, however, began emerging when his drama and literature teacher cast him in a play in which his performance awed the audience. His insatiable appetite for literature widened to include the classics of Dickens, D.H. Lawrence, and the Russian masters.

While at Hatfield Polytechnic, Behcet made his first visit to the US as an exchange student with the British Universities North American Club (BUNAC). He made the move to the US in 1976 and became a US citizen in 1985. While living in Atlanta, Georgia, he followed his creative yearnings, attending the Alliance Theater School and studying at the SAG Conservatory of Georgia, which earned him his Screen Actors Guild card. In 1994, Kaya and his wife moved to Los Angeles, where he continued his studies at the Roby Theater Company and the Shakespeare, A Noise Within Theater Workshop.

Along with acting, writing also became a natural outlet for his creative yearnings. He has published several short stories, two novels, Voice of Conscience (2009) and Murder on the Naval Base (2011), and is currently working on his next book, Erin's Story.

Murder on the Navel Base is getting positive reviews from influential and objective sources. Richard Blake, a Top 500 Amazon reviewer, says, “Kaya is destined to be recognized for his outstanding ability to incorporate word pictures that breathe life into his characters, and drama into his plot, bringing suspense and tension to the cockpit of a F18 flying in formation, in courtroom dialog, or in the privacy and intimacy behind closed doors. Kaya provides all the elements of legal maneuvering, psychological twists, and page turning action that leads to an unexpected crescendo for a spectacular finish.” Joanna W. Simm, another Amazon reviewer, says, “The tightly plotted storyline has more than a shade of Top Gun about it, but the style of writing is infinitely more literary. There is excitement in spades, with twists and turns of plot and high flying action adventure to keep you on the edge of your seat, but where the author really excels is in his understanding and portrayal of human relationships.”

The book has three main characters. Lieutenant Anderson Garrett Belguzar—an ambitious young man from a humble background who has reached the height of success, yet luck has him connected to the wrong types of people. He is betrayed by the most important people in his life—his wife and his best friend. When the two are found murdered, he is the only suspect. Bevin O’Hara Belguzar—wife of Lt. Belguzar—is a beautiful, fiery, ambitious, unscrupulous, greedy, clever attention seeker. Charles McPhearson, III is the former best friend of Lt. Belguzar and comes from a powerful background, is both charming and sexy, but he lacks the skills and motivations of his friend, Anderson.

Beginning with a blurry account of a cold-blooded shooting of a couple, singled out while having dinner at an officer’s club, the prime suspect is apprehended hours later while apparently attempting to flee the state. With over a dozen eye-witnesses collaborating the incident, little was left in the puzzle for the military investigators to piece together; especially once it was determined that the two victims were in fact the perpetrator’s wife and the man with whom she was having an on-going affair. After the shocking beginning of the novel, the reader is taken on a journey throughout the life and career of the characters while interlacing the technical jargon and vernacular of naval flight training and the nuances of the military lifestyle. Combined with a steamy undercurrent of lust, love, sexual fulfillment, jealousy, and primordial desires of the cast of characters, the human condition of married life versus the structure and demands of military careers are juxtaposed against the strength and will of personal upbringing and ethical behavior.

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