“It’s a play on words,” said Clay, 26, about the title of the series, which was inspired by the biblical story of Daniel and the lions’ den. It focuses on the challenges faced by adult siblings whose father dies unexpectedly.
Central themes in the plot include grief, friendship and family.
“Although they are adults, they are orphans, and they are dealing with that,” said Clay, who can relate to some of the emotions the characters feel and hopes that others viewing will as well.
Clay lost his 10-year-old sister, Kimberly, in April 2009.
“Dealing with the loss of someone you see every day takes faith,” said Clay. “That was hard.”
He’s also watched his parents as they’ve dealt with the loss of their parents.
“My mother lost her mother, and my dad lost his dad,” he said.
Writing is cathartic for Clay, who wrote his first stage play in 2004, the year he graduated from John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School.
As a sophomore, Clay was diagnosed with leukemia.
“It was such a big shock,” said Clay, who has been in remission for several years. “I was scared, but I was so grounded in the Lord. I had an early foundation in Jesus, so, going through my illness, I truly believed he was with me.
“There were days of depression when I thought I would not survive, when I thought I would die at a young age.”
His first play was titled Leukemia & Me and dealt with his battle with the disease.
He has written seven plays over the past eight years, and more recently he has branched out into filmmaking and Web broadcasts.
His 2009 short film, Surrender, was part of the 2012 Poison Peach Film Festival in Augusta and has been submitted to festivals in New York and Atlanta.
“I try to keep my story lines so people walk away with a message,” he said. “I want to relate to all people.”
While The Lyons Den still has a message, it is different from other projects Clay has worked on.
“This is a little more adult; it’s grittier,” he said.
Clay said he wants to deal with real-life issues in the series. So far, eight episodes have been filmed, and Clay is writing the second season now.
He also has two additional plays he’s writing.
“As far as the Web series, in particular The Lyons Den, even though this show is not heavily rooted with a ‘come-to-Jesus’ message, the show displays real life.
“And that’s what I want with all my productions. I want people to see the show and say, ‘That’s real, and I can relate to that.’ And even in The Lyons Den, you can still walk away with some sort of message (about) better relating to your family or dealing with a death in the family.
“It just depends on how you choose to watch the show.”
Episodes of The Lyons Den will be uploaded to the Internet every two weeks. He said he doesn’t have a specific time they will be available. The Lyons Den will be available at thelyonsdentv.wordpress.com and on You Tube.