Children have always been Ezra Turner’s inspiration. The bartender would tell them stories as they sat around at Coral Beach Club waiting for their parents’ tennis lessons to finish.
Encouraged by their response, he decided to write the tales down and have them published.
Rock Lessons appeared in 2000 as a collection of short stories. Mr Turner recently completed his eighth book, The Adventure of Ki.
“I am dyslexic, which makes it more challenging,” he said.
“But when you have a gift, you don’t control it, the gift controls you. When I was in school they didn’t understand what [dyslexia] was but I had to deal with it. I had to take pictures in my head to teach myself how to read. Fortunately, I have a photographic memory, which helped me study.”
Mr Turner’s latest book tells the story of Ki and his fascination with the pictures on the backpack he receives for his eighth birthday.
“Rivers, lakes and mountains, most of all it was the white horse with wings that caught his imagination,” the book’s synopsis reads.
“Ki dreams all day that he was riding the white horse and that they flew off in the pursuit of many adventures.”
In 2002, Mr Turner received The Golden Loquat Award from Dale Butler’s Writers’ Machine for his “valuable contribution to Bermuda’s literature”.
He has presented some of his books to primary schools and donated several to Westgate Correctional Facility for prisoners to give to their children as gifts.
“If you’re talking about children’s books, I’ve written as much or more than any other Bermudian,” he said.
“My books are about what’s good for kids; morals and lessons for kids. That’s my mission. I’ve got many ideas and I observe people. I observe everything around me and try to make the world a better place. I may not make a lot of money from [my writing] but the lessons and morals will last for ever.”
There’s a “magic” to his writing, the author said.
“When you have a gift, an idea can hit you; it can come one time. I see the beginning, the middle and the end. I’ve just got to fill in the rest of the story. Some take longer than others. Some come just like that. It’s magic.”
Mr Turner, who now works at Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa, hopes his stories highlight the positives the younger generation has to offer.
“Children are the future. They’re what makes the next Bermuda,” he said.
“[As a community], we’ve lost a lot of the respect and principles we had before. If you see children today, they don’t speak, they use a certain language with no care who they hurt.
“It’s not just in Bermuda, it’s worldwide; something that’s fed from the internet and part of our civilisation. But with a few tools and lessons on the way, the books are something for them to lean on.
“[They teach that] it’s OK to be nice. You don’t have to be that tough person to achieve your goals. Sometimes if you just dream, it helps. It means that you believe in yourself and that you can accomplish something as long as you try. You can fail, but as long as you try, that’s what matters.”
They are lessons he taught his own children when they were growing up.
“We get so many write-ups about the bads and wrongs people do but there are a lot of gifted Bermudians doing great things,” he said. “What we lack is unity. We lack people working together.
“Through my stories I prepare children mentally so when they [are faced with a bad choice], they won’t do it.
With my children, I gave them an invisible scale to weigh out things before they made decisions. I told them to consider the good and the bad, and make a decision then.
“Don’t make it based on emotions. Sometimes if you sleep on things you wake up the next day and feel differently about them.”
• Look for Ezra Turner’s book, The Adventure of Ki, in the gift shop at Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa, Robertson’s Drugstore, Collector’s Hill Apothecary, the Bermuda Book Store and The Bookmart at Brown & Co. The book is dedicated to the late Dejon Simmons, who illustrated its back cover