Lust, Violence, Religion Author Profile: Andrea Turner

19 Mar

Like her husband, Bradley T. Turner, who wrote and compiled essays for TSTC Publishing’s forthcoming book, Lust, Violence, Religion: Life in Historic Waco, Andrea Turner is a Waco native with a penchant for the town’s rich history and colorful past. She co-wrote and researched “Lord Have Mercy: The Horrific Tornado of 1953” in the book.

Turner said people often have the misperception nothing exciting and noteworthy occurs in Waco. “That’s not true: Seeing how major historical events we all learn about in history class unfolded in my hometown is fascinating to me,” she said.

A Baylor University Bachelor of Business Administration graduate in Business Journalism and Accounting, Turner works at Baylor’s Moody Memorial Library as the Acquisitions Unit Leader for the libraries.

The idea to include a section about the 1953 tornado in Lust, Violence, Religion: Life in Historic Waco came from publisher Mark Long of TSTC Publishing. “The topic sounded interesting to me, and I haven’t really had the opportunity to exercise my journalistic skills since college, so I volunteered to help out,” Turner said.

Turner and her husband searched the Waco-Tribune Herald, Waco Times-Herald and the Waco News-Tribune archives for articles published during the month of the tornado as well as following month. “We started with the days before the tornado and continued on, reading each day’s events as if we were in that time period,” Turner said. The Turners also researched articles published about the tornado in larger state and national publications.

After reading all the articles, both Andrea and Brad wrote about their findings, combined them and edited the chapter. The section took two weeks to write.

Turner said the personal accounts of people affected by the tornado were the most fascinating to her. Stories about individuals like Beatrice Ramirez who lost her arm in the tornado and Max Halve who walked away unscathed even though he rode the tornado out on the top floor of a building that collapsed were especially interesting. “These stories and many others made the horror of the tornado so real to me,” Turner said. “The severity of the destruction caused by the tornado definitely surprised me.”

The Turners found copious amounts of information about the tornado. They were unable to include all their findings in Lust, Violence, Religion: Life in Historic Waco and are contemplating writing a book solely about the tornado. “Brad is also interested in writing a book about Camp MacArthur, Waco’s World War I training grounds, which I would love to work on, as well,” Turner said.

Lust, Violence, Religion: Life in Historic Waco is a project Bradley T. Turner has wanted to compile for a long time. He wanted to incorporate his many papers about Waco history along with his colleagues’ work into a book because he “felt all the hours of research and writing should be made available to others,” Turner said.

Turner is glad she was able to contribute to her husband’s book and is proud of his hard work.

“It has been quite a journey to experience with him, “Turner said. “I am thrilled we are now able to enjoy the finished product.”

The book’s official release date is September 1, and will be available through all major book sellers and retail stores. Books are available now for pre-ordering through Amazon.

For more information about the book, go to our Facebook Fan Page or listen to an audio book version of the first chapter of Lust, Violence, Religion: Life in Historic Waco, “The Circuit Rider” as narrated by Mike Jones.


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