Music & ArtNews

LSUA FRESHMAN PENS NOVEL TO SHED LIGHT ON MENTAL ILLNESS

While many high school seniors were enjoying their quarantine life last spring by playing video games, eating snacks, or binge watching a favorite television show, LSUA freshman Savannah Ward was utilizing her spare time to complete her first novel.

Ward, a Lecompte native and a Rapides Parish High School graduate, decided to pen the fictional story after finding inspiration in a high school psychology class.

“I was so intrigued and fascinated by my psychology class,” Ward said. “I have always loved writing and once I completed the class, I knew that was the inspiration I needed for my story.”

The novel, I’m Not Crazy, follows the story of homeless schizophrenic Clifford Murphy as he struggles to face life’s daily struggles and his relationships.

To create the story, Savannah utilized what she learned from her class to begin researching components of schizophrenia. She wanted to create a deeper understanding and connection with what her character, Clifford, was going through.

“It took me about a year by the time I started writing. I wrote it all completely by myself and even edited it,” Ward beamed.

Despite the great accomplishment for this young 18-year-old, the thing Savannah is proudest of is that she is raising awareness for mental health.

“I want people to look at those with mental illnesses or those that are homeless in a positive light. Everyone deserves to be treated equally.”

Even though Savannah just completed her first novel, she is looking forward to writing more. The communications major hopes to use her time at LSUA to develop and hone her writing skills even more before completing her master’s degree in speech pathology.

The book, published in June, has already sold over 100 copies and is available on Amazon or at the local Southern Chic boutique.

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LSUA FRESHMAN PENS NOVEL TO SHED LIGHT ON MENTAL ILLNESS