I was an English Language Acquisition teacher for almost twenty-five years. During this time, I worked with students from many different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. How these students communicated with me and each other, and when and why bilingual people chose to code switch, or alternate between two or more languages in a single conversation, have been sources of on-going interest and fascination for me.
Randy Pausch said, “The most difficult part of writing a book is not devising a plot which will captivate the reader. It’s not developing characters the reader will have strong feelings for or against. It is not finding a setting which will take the reader to a place he or she has never been. It is not the research, whether in fiction or non-fiction. The most difficult task facing a writer is to find the voice in which to tell the story.” The richness of the experiences I’ve had with second-language learners has lent flavor and voice to my stories.
As a teacher, I’ve had to read many different kinds of texts in order to find information that would allow me to compare and contrast methodologies and programs, solve problems, design creative lesson plans to reach students, and to research a variety of topics. Because of this, I’ve discovered a real enjoyment and appreciation for historical research. This has given me the necessary tools and mindset to research and write historical novels, and I find that I enjoy the research almost as much as crafting the novels and short stories.
As a Christian, I prefer entertaining novels and short stories that are centered on biblical truths. I want them to encourage me, to cause me to think, and to help me understand how to apply these truths in my daily walk. Most of the stories I write are told from the Christian world view and are meant to encourage and entertain.
What is the most important thing you look for in the stories you read?