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Jeff State student puts ‘overactive imagination’ to good use

Book sale: Ezra Zydan (left) and Fellow Jefferson State Community College student Tamara Bixler sold copies of Zydan’s book, “Tales of the Firewing: Guardians of Gaea,” at the college on Feb. 12.

Book sale: Ezra Zydan (left) and Fellow Jefferson State Community College student Tamara Bixler sold copies of Zydan’s book, “Tales of the Firewing: Guardians of Gaea,” at the college on Feb. 12.

Ezra Zydan turned what could have been a brick wall into an open door.

A torn rotator cuff forced Zydan to leave his factory job at Johnson Controls in Clanton, leaving the Jemison resident with a decision to make about his future.

Zydan chose to enroll at Jefferson State Community College and publish his first book: “Tales of the Firewing: Guardians of Gaea.”

“I always wanted to write,” Zydan said.

A native of Selma, Zydan said writing a book has helped him open up to people and make friends, who often come to him with stories they’ve thought of that end up incorporated into his writing.

“It’s helped me broaden my horizons a lot,” he said. “It helps me connect to other people.”

“Guardians” introduces readers to Linx Spencer, who returns home on the heels of a family tragedy to become dragged into his late mother’s legacy—and battle a “legendary beast.”

“He can help them keep the world from spiraling out of control, or let it go,” Zydan said of the protagonist.

“Guardians” is the first book of a planned five-part series following Spencer’s exploits in a fantastical world.

“My mom always told me I had an overactive imagination, so I thought I’d put it to good use,” Zydan said.

Zydan, 26, is studying foreign languages at Jeff State and said his studies have helped him create his own language for the series.

The author said he thinks the book would appeal to “anyone who’s having an identity crisis.”

A digital version of the book (ranging in price from $7.49 to $7.99) is available online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes, while a paperback version (ranging from $10.97 to $11.07) is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

After being declined by a major publisher, Zydan said he used CreateSpace.com, a self-publishing service that requires minimal upfront costs and allows the user complete creative control, such as designing a cover (Zydan added wings to a photo of a friend to create an image of a species in the book).

Zydan said he has enjoyed publishing his own book and would like to make a career out of writing.

“It’s been an experience,” he said.