Influence of a King
I would be a fine artist-oil on canvass. Growing up, I was writing poetry and painting. In later years, I pursued writing with more intent.
Creative writing is a painstaking process; a 90,000 word novel may take over a year to materialize. Finding the time and creative space-mentally and physically requires deliberate effort. As at now, I cannot take off to a writers’ retreat or residency. The best I can do is to allocate my time appropriately, and be disciplined about it.
I also take notes along with me, every day and anywhere… You can never tell where inspiration would come from.
My mother is the first person I send my scripts to. She reads through, makes her comments before I submit to my publisher. My husband reads and encourages me through the process. My children want everyone to know that Mom writes beautiful novels. They are all excited.
At this point, I am not certain. There are so many stories bubbling in my mind…
It’s purely a passionate desire to do what I am best suited to do. When I go into that space of creative writing, even in my sleep, scenes for the novel keep developing. At such a moment, I would reach for my iPad to take notes and release those scenes from my thought process, else sleep would remain elusive.
I am thankful to God for the grace He has given, and dedicate myself to His steer.
I grew up as a girl child that was fully empowered. I enjoy a fantastic relationship with my father and this entrenched a deep and unflinching confidence in me. As I grew up, I needed no one to validate me. I was totally committed to God and purpose driven.
When we were much younger, my family and I would spend our Christmas holidays in our riverine village in the Niger Delta. We basked in nature and delighted in the sea food! I brought certain elements into this novel.
At the heart of the story is God’s faithfulness through generations. Considering that the story deals with a wide range of issues, I would highlight its key points:
- Faith, fate and choices.
- Love, overcoming & resisting temptation.
- Good would prevail over evil.
- Global events can align for an individual’s benefit.
- Though life may be complex and overwhelming, the turmoil could be for a purpose.
Everyone; irrespective of gender, race, nationality or social identity can benefit from this story. It should cause us to reflect on who we are and our interactions with those around us, to foster peace, love and an identity which stresses that we are all created equal under God.
I specifically believe that lovers of good literature, as well as those who have an appetite for history would enjoy reading this novel.
Disparate events occurring in different parts of the world may appear unique to those places, but the reality is, we are all connected in one way or the other, and the effects of such disparate events, could be far reaching.
Predestination is confirmed when individual destinies and hopes are fulfilled by virtue of the alignment of such events; which may be positive or negative, on a large or small scale, particularly when prior individual growth and choices made, inadvertently fits into the present realities.
Influence of a King spans the globe during a time of harrowing worldwide events-the Great Depression, the droughts of America’s Dust Bowl years, World War II, and post-war developments – and captures the essence of faith, fate, and the power of choices.
From an Orphan to a Queen: Esther
I would recommend this novel to anyone who seeks to understand the higher purpose for their lives. Our personal gains spur us to fulfill our desires and make the world better – for us. When our desires have been met and our world is what we dreamt of, there is still a persisting gaping void and restlessness which permeates our lives and cause us to ask the question, is this all that life is about?
No, it is not! Our existence should be driven by goals that are higher than our personal goals. Esther went to the palace because she believed that there was a higher goal. Her service and love for others over personal fulfillment was tested when she had to go to the king despite the damning consequences on her life. For this, her name is forever remembered and treasured.
From an Orphan to a Queen; Esther has had a great impact on my life. From the Mordecais – the helpers of destiny that I have asked God to bring my way; the realization that the spouse I have, is who I have prayed for; teaching my children the word of God, so that the word remains in their hearts long after they are not within my direct influence; the inner strength to go through tough times, and an overwhelming surrender to the will of God.
Let God who made us the way we are, do what He wants to do with us, to fulfill His own purpose. Interestingly, His own purpose is always the best for us. We may choose to berate God for the circumstances which we have no control over but these circumstances do not limit God.
Let us spend quality time before God to seek His purpose for our lives. It is not the absence of difficulties that brings peace and fulfillment, but the knowledge of who we are.
I set limits to the character plot. I did not to give significant quotes or actions to characters that did not have bearing within the biblical context.
I also did not want to be held back by common opinions. If the facts are there, that is the direction I would move. For instance, regarding the disparity between Darius in the book of Daniel, and Ahasuerus in the book of Esther; Ahasuerus meaning the mighty or venerable king, was a title of certain Persian kings. The name Darius is therefore regarded as a given name.
While secular history postulates, that the Hebrew name Ahasuerus is equivalent to the Greek name Xerxes, and the Old Persian name, Khshayarsha. The Dake’s Annotated argues that the Ahasuerus in the book of Esther could not be the same as Xerxes, as the events of the book of Esther had to take place, much earlier than Xerxes’s reign.
From an Orphan to a Queen: Esther is written in a language that is rich in texture; it is literary and almost poetic in style. Would you be concerned that some readers may find this too scholarly?
It is true that my writing is influenced by my love for poetry. It has texture and descriptive emphasis that provides visual enhancement of the written text. It is my desire to give my readers full interaction with the characters on display. I am pleased to state that those who have read From an Orphan to a Queen: Esther, find it attention grabbing and easy to read.
Most books on the story of Esther focus on the deliverance of the Israelites from the law of the Persian king - masterminded by the evil Haman. Your novel however, stretches the story of deliverance to the eventual release of the Israelites from their 70 years bondage. Give us some insight on how you arrived at this.
It had to do with the timing of Esther’s story. She lived in a period that God had earmarked for a purpose. Taking Esther’s story out of that timeline, and the prophesied 70 years bondage of the Israelites was just not possible.
She got married to the king as a young maiden and at a time when Israel had already borne half of the prophesied bondage years.
The Bible confidently states that during the third year reign of King Darius he took over Babylon and three years after, he searched for a queen. There were twelve months of purification for the young virgins. By the seventh year, Esther was married to Darius. (Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible).
While recorded Persian history is eclectic, recorded Babylonian history is somewhat stable. I began the story plot from the Babylonian angle, with emphasis on the chronological facts. It is a fact that Nabopolassar ruled Babylon till 605BC. I therefore, did the extrapolation of the seventy years servitude from the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Jerusalem (Dan. 1:1-2).
The fact is that Esther was the young and beautiful wife of Darius the Mede of Dan 5; and the mother of Cyrus, the commander of the Persian Armies which took Babylon at the end of the 70 years servitude. This Darius (the father of Cyrus) reigned 35 years, 33 of which were during the later part of the 70 years of servitude of Israel to Babylon. This fits into all the historical facts about Mordecai being carried away captive with Jehoiachin as a very young man. It was possible that he lived through the entire captivity. He could easily have been the Mordecai of Ezra 2:2, Neh 7:7. Some of the Jews did live through the servitude and returned to see the foundation of the temple laid. (Ezra 3:12)- Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible (Page 851 c2, 1999 Large Print Ed).
That Cyrus is Esther’s son is a revelation of great enormity, particularly, as his name is splattered in prophesies, as the one who would bring an end to the years of bondage.
About 200 years before the birth of Cyrus, Isaiah the Prophet spoke out of Palestine saying: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, thy foundation shall be laid.- The Prophet Isaiah and Jerusalem (8th – 7th Centuries BCE);
The inspiration to write the Biblical story of Esther came when I was very young. I had watched the movie; The Ten Commandments and then searched the Bible to compare the scriptures with the facts in the movie. Someone had reenacted the story of Moses, and given us a treasure of enlightenment. From this point, I wondered what the everyday life and times of other bible characters would have been like. I had a stirring to write on the story of Esther- I read up the facts as contained in secular history and compared this with Bible data. Satisfied, I began writing.