Evan Thomas, author of young adult novel Lloyd Salt. Franklin Journal photo by Nicole Carter

FARMINGTON — Evan Thomas writes fiction. He has been writing since the second grade and at the ripe old age of 14, he shows no signs of slowing down. Evan’s brainchild is Lloyd Salt, a young operative training in the CIA’s secret program, Intellectual and Military Schooling Organization (IMSO).

If you have not heard of the IMSO, don’t worry. It doesn’t really exist. It’s just something Evan thought up to launch his Lloyd Salt fiction series, a project that will eventually total 10 novels. The lead installment, named for its protagonist, was just published through Amazon. The manuscript for installment number two is complete and in editing. Book 3  is underway. So where did Lloyd Salt come from?

“I like the name,” said Evan, relaxing at Smart Fun Learning Adventures, the private school in Farmington where he just graduated from the 8th grade. “I wanted a character named Lloyd.”

Lloyd Salt exists in a dangerous world, a youngster navigating secretive plots that even his CIA-veteran parents can’t know of. We first meet Lloyd as he is tested on his IMSO education, but the adventures Evan is writing for him will take him through his teen years and into adulthood. And how does Evan know what teenage CIA operatives have to go through? He reads, of course.

“I love science fiction and fantasy,” Evan explained. “And thrillers. The CIA is a prop to take Lloyd on extreme missions. I base my own new ideas for Lloyd from books I’ve already read.”

Evan doesn’t just dabble in writing though. He was on a local robotics team, programming the machine and taking it to a world competition. He likes engineering and math. He is also an athlete, participating in recreational soccer and running. And he has taken dance classes, where his favorite moves are hip hop, ballet and jazz. But back to Evan’s first love and priority, writing.

The Lloyd Salt project has been a family affair. Evan’s dad is in charge of logistics, managing the process from manuscript to Kindle and paperback editions. Mom Sheena, owner of Smart Fun Learning Adventures, was Evan’s teacher, encouraging him to find his literary voice. She also oversees his FaceBook page publicity. His grandmothers, one also also a teacher, provide editing services.

But Evan is the driving force behind the series. Even as he tirelessly writes, Evan has been doing business research too. He took an online class in query writing and is actively pursuing an agent. His goal is to get the manuscript for Book 2 on the desks of publishing house editors.

This summer, Evan is going on a local publicity tour to introduce Lloyd Salt to a Maine audience. The book is carried locally at Devaney Doak & Garrett. He will give readings at the Wilton and West Paris libraries, and is working for distribution in Southern Maine stores. He will do a book signing at Celebrations Unlimited in Farmington on Saturday, July 20.

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