Clay On Words
Local author Clay Boura is on cloud nine with the success with his first book on idioms.
By David Wesley | Photos courtesy of Clay Boura
FOR AS LONG AS HE CAN REMEMBER, Clay Boura has always been fascinated with the English language. Between all of the rules, silent letters, words with multiple spellings and meanings, and all of the colorful sayings, it can be quite a complicated fascination for anyone, especially for a young child learning to read.
As he became an adult and his first child began learning to read, it occurred to Clay how literal children can be at early ages. Thus, an idea was born!
“Leave it to Beamer” is a children’s book series about a young boy, Beamer, who dreams up wild, imaginative ideas for where he believes English idioms and other figures of speech may have come from. In the end, Beamer also learns the true meanings of these silly sayings. The series is humorous, adventurous, and educational, and appeals to all demographics of readers.
Ferndale Friends: How long have you lived in Ferndale and what’s your relationship with the city?
Clay Boura: I was born in Ferndale back in 1978. I attended grade school at Taft Elementary, middle school at Best Junior High School (which is now Kennedy Elementary where my kids go to school) and I later graduated from Ferndale High School. I lived in Ferndale up until about ten years ago when my wife (whom I met at Ferndale High School) and I moved to Oak Park. So as you can see, my entire life, and now my kids’ lives, have centered around Ferndale!
F.F. Who are your biggest influences artistically?
C.B. Ever since I was young, I have always loved to write and draw. Initially, my dream was to become a cartoonist and have my own cartoon strip in the newspaper. My biggest influences were always Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Jim Davis (Garfield) and Bill Amend (Fox Trot). Then I started having kids and realized how much enjoyment I got out of sitting and reading books to them. I decided that I wanted to write and illustrate my very own children’s books. On that front, my biggest influence is probably none other than the Doctor himself, Dr. Seuss.
F.F. What has the reaction been to your children’s book series Leave it to Beamer?
C.B. So far, everyone I have shown the book to has loved it. A handful of people even told me they want to buy the rest of my series (and this is only my first book!) I have honestly been blown away by all of the love and support that I have received. So many people have shared it through social media and sent other people to me to buy copies and offered words of encouragement. It has been tremendous so far.
F.F. Do you have any future projects in the works?
C.B. Yes, “Leave it to Beamer” is definitely going to be a long series of books. I just finished and published my first book in the series “Don’t Let the Cat Out of the Bag” and my second book is already completely written. I just have to complete my illustrations and hope to have that finished later this year. Since my series deals with English idioms, the possibilities are endless. I currently have about a dozen other ideas for future books typed out and every day I hear some sort of idiom or silly phrase that I think could be another book idea! I am also going to be donating a copy of my book to the Ferndale, Oak Park, and Berkley public libraries and I am working on setting up book signing events at a few local bookstores.
Boura’s books are now available for sale at Modern Natural Baby in Ferndale, the Book Beat in Oak Park, and Paperback Trade Inn in Clawson. Boura will be signing and selling books at this year’s Oak Park Summer Fest on August 8th and 9th.
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