During a phone conversation with a friend yesterday, I asked as casually as I could, “Did I ever tell you I’m a writer?”

Now, this is a friend, mind you. Someone I’ve known for decades and I’m now telling her that I’m a writer. Better late than never, I guess. Anyway, just as I expected, my friend told me she’s not a reader, but she did ask a few questions, which I was hoping for.

After asking me what my book was about–I told her it was actually a series of three books–and gave her a brief synopsis of the books. Then she wanted to know how I was able to sit down and write three books.

I explained it was not difficult because the first book was based on a true situation I knew of when I was a teacher back in Trinidad. For those of you who never heard the background to Coming Out of Egypt, here it is in brief:

It was rumored that two sisters attending the elementary school where I taught were being abused by their father. Their mother had died, and the girls lived in a secluded home with their father. They appeared very shabby, were isolative and did not do well in school. We, the teachers, had no legal authority to do anything in that society during that time period, and I transferred from that school without knowing what became of those girls.

So much for the background. How did I write the book?

1. The idea. It was easy for me to get started because I had the basic idea, the above synopsis, but I had to change the last sentence. Instead of transferring from that school to another, I had to stay there and try to help those girls out.

2. The characters. I already had the protagonist, the older sister. Her younger sister June would be the second most important character. Then I added another character– the teacher–and I gave her a name. If there’s a protagonist there will be an antagonist. Guess what? The teacher’s boyfriend was a detective and he became the antagonist.

3. The setting. I already had that too. A rural village in Trinidad.

4. The plot. That is what happens in the story. How do these characters act on this idea in this setting? The pieces began to fall into place. The girls would go to school, the teacher would teach, and the detective would … He would have to find something to detect. Right? More ideas.

In order to make the book interesting, I had to throw in a few more elements. So I threw in some romance–the teacher and the detective, Marva and her boyfriend and even June has a boyfriend or rather, boyfriends. Then I included some police work –our detective is a hard-working guy–so we give him a crime to solve.

By this time I had an idea what I wanted the title to be. The real village where the girls lived is called Egypt Village. Egypt in the Bible represents a place of bondage. Since the book was being written from a Christian perspective, I used the story of the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt as a metaphor for the story of these girls’ journey out of their bondage, and thus came the title Coming Out of Egypt.

This whole process may sound easy or complicated depending on how you look at it. However, if you are going to write a book, I would suggest you become familiar with the craft by doing the foll.:
1)Begin reading, if you are like my friend –not a reader.
2)Take a few courses–online or at a community college or some such place
3) Join a writer’s group and
4) Start writing

If you enjoyed this blog post, I will suggest two things:
1. Buy the Book
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