A Telling Story

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Click here for a video on Kevin's personal journey KENNESAW, Ga.  (March 9, 2015) - Kevin…

Georgia (Mar 9, 2015)

Click here for a video on Kevin's personal journey

KENNESAW, Ga.  (March 9, 2015) - Kevin Enners has crossed many hurdles in his 21-year old life, but writing his first novella is only the beginning for this Kennesaw State communications student who wants to spend his life writing.

Unlike his KSU classmates, Enners must use special technology to assist him in his writing since he cannot use a traditional keyboard or speech recognition software. 

Enners has cerebral palsy paired with a secondary movement disorder called dystonia. Because of impairment of his muscle control, Enners uses a computer equipped with eye-gaze driven technology to write papers and create PowerPoint presentations for his Kennesaw State classes.

Technology helped him bring his ideas to the page – one letter at a time.  The technology, calibrated to Enners’ eye movements, provides a keyboard on the screen in which he focuses on the letter that he wants and it is added to the screen.

Enners used the technology to write his recently published novella, “The Crave,” a story about a young Bostonian who is fighting against corruption in the South Boston police department and the gangs who run the city.  

Enners said while the technology is a little slow for getting his thoughts out, it provided him with the capability to share his story that he had harnessed for months.

“I have always loved writing. It serves as an unimpeded gateway through which I can express my thoughts and emotions,” said Enners, a junior. “I can be as creative and expressive as I want.”

In the novella, the main character, Mike Craven, has cerebral palsy that affects the left side of his body. Enners said, like the main character, he sometimes feels like someone overcoming the challenges that have defined him.

“Real heroes come in all sizes and overcome trials that will define them forever,” Enners said.  “Mike Craven breaks the mold. Instead of being driven by heroism, Mike is driven by his emotions, making him more human so readers connect to him better.”

The original idea for the book came to Enners while working on his high school senior project at Wheeler High School several years ago. He began writing and took two and a half years to complete the fictional work.  

Shortly after finishing, he knew he wanted to publish it.

By chance, Enners met the public relations representative for Mascot Books when he and his dad, Rich, traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Marine Corps Marathon in 2013.  Enners used an adaptive three-wheeled recumbent bike that he pedaled and steered, while his dad ran behind him, using handles attached to the bike.

It was during the Expo prior to the marathon that he had the chance meeting with the publisher, who asked Enners to email a copy of his manuscript.

“The publisher said, ‘We have to publish this. This guy can write’,” Enners recalled. He worked with Mascot Books on edits and revisions, but what intrigued the publisher, according to Enners’ mother, Claudette, was how her son was able to write the book.

“As a writer Kevin is one of those rare individuals with the innate ability to capture and hold the attention of his readers. He is very good at forming a connection with them,” said Thomas Gray, senior lecturer of communications, who teaches Enners in a newswriting course.

A HOPE Scholarship recipient, Enners was part of THRIVE, a Kennesaw State program to help HOPE recipients maintain their scholarships.  He currently writes for KSU’s student newspaper, The Sentinel.

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-- Tiffany Capuano; photo by David Caselli 

 


 

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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