He may be living at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, but with the help of a friend, Lavar Queen has published his first novel, “Maven Bloodmoon.”
It’s a science fiction and fantasy story about a special agent, Queen said. He likes to write comic book stories and would like to find an illustrator to collaborate with, he said.
The 31-year-old Atlantic City native has been creating characters and writing stories with his friends since the sixth grade, and he is still a big fan of Spider-Man, the Avengers and Batman. But it wasn’t until he met Michael Williams, of Glory Tabernacle Church in Bridgeton, that he thought seriously of creating a book.
Williams visits the mission once every three months to talk with the residents about improving their life through God. He goes with a group from his church called Victorious Living Ministry and with a national program called Iron Sharpens Iron. The latter’s name is taken from Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Williams has conquered his own demons and written about his journey. His first book was “Pushed Out the Crack House into God’s House,” about how he broke free of drug addiction and repeated incarceration by giving himself to God.
Queen had been living with his mom in Philadelphia, and after a falling out with her returned to Atlantic City in January with no job and nowhere to live. So he went to the mission, where he met Williams, an experienced self-published author who could help him make his book a reality.
“I was feeling down and God showed me he’s blessing me. God said, ‘It’s not the end,’” said Queen, a former casino security worker. “If I had not been homeless, I never would have gotten this opportunity.”
Williams said he and his wife, Lernell, who also visited the mission, both noticed Queen.
“He was so focused, I was drawn to him,” Lernell Williams said.
“He stuck out to me,” Michael Williams said. “Something said I was supposed to do something to help this man.”
The two struck up a friendship, and Williams coached Queen through the process of getting his manuscript ready for publication. In return, Michael Williams asks that Queen help someone else someday.
Queen is still trying to find a job and his own place to live, he said. But meanwhile he is spending his time writing with childhood friends Kevin Martin, Ryan Ross and Nigel Frazier, all of Atlantic City. He’s already finished a second novel and is working on a third, and is encouraging his friends to write their own books.
“We’re all in it together,” Queen said.
Williams’ four books, “Pushed Out the Crack House into God’s House,” “The Minor Adjustments Workbook,” “The 28 Sermons You Have to Hear,” and “The Journey is Too great for You,” also are available at the websites above.
Pie contest winners
Rita Kaufmann, of Somers Point, won first place in a pie-baking contest for her fresh peach pie during Sea Isle City’s Octoberfest celebration Oct. 18 at Excursion Park. The second-place winner was Peter Dougherty, 12, of Abington, Pa. and Sea Isle City, for a peanut butter pie. Chris Cowperthwait, of Vineland, won third place for a lattice apple pie.
Artist reception in A.C.
The drawings of Somers Point native Heather Mulvenna will be on display at the African American Heritage Museum in Atlantic City from Nov. 1 through Dec. 5, and there will be a reception for her 6 to 7:45 p.m. Nov. 14 at the museum in the Arts Garage, 2200 Fairmount Ave. in Atlantic City.
Volunteer, 99, honored
Cape Regional Medical Center volunteer Jennie Troxel, 99, was honored for her 33 years of service last month. She was saluted for putting in nearly 10,000 volunteer service hours as she retired from her regular volunteer schedule.
“Although Jennie won’t be in for her regular Wednesday morning South Lobby assignment, she has agreed to still serve as a substitute desk attendant when needed,” said Julie Paolella, director of volunteer services at Cape Regional Medical Center. “Jennie has been an outstanding volunteer and we will miss her presence.”
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