The Bible is full of wonderful characters, or should we say, Wonder Women. Ruth and Esther have their own books. Deborah, the Judge, has a few chapters devoted to her bravery. Rachel and Leah have a sisterly battle for years over Jacob. But numerous novels have been written about these women of the faith. Do readers want the same familiar story over and over again? My mission is to find characters the world has overlooked.
How do I find my Bible stories? I scour lists of names in the Old Testament. Lists that are easy to ignore and that fill you with dread if you have to read them. As I went through the listing of people who rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem with Nehemiah, I saw the word—daughters. Were women construction workers in the Bible? One of my stories was born out of an obscure mention of pioneering stone masons.
I also look for events in the Bible that aren’t taught at Vacation Bible School. The men and women of the Bible are just like men and women today. Sin happens. And sin can complicate a life. Complicated lives make for excellent novels. Writers use conflict and tension to keep readers up at night. What better conflict than a girl being kidnapped by a mortal enemy. One she has to marry or a tribe of Israel will cease to exist. My latest novel follows a young woman abducted by Benjamites in the chaos of Judges 19-21. My story rises out of a few sentences at the end of the book. Now, I hope, no one will forget that story.
Secondary characters are in need of their own day in the sun too. My debut novel was inspired by a captured servant girl who tells an enemy army commander to go see the prophet in Israel if he wants his leprosy cured. Many people know of the powerful commander, Naaman, but the story of his bold servant doesn’t even get mentioned on a Bible test.
There is a whole supporting cast of characters in the Bible who are waiting for their day in the publishing sun. What characters are you curious about?
Barbara M. Britton lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip strawberries in chocolate. Barb kicked off her Tribes of Israel series in October with the release of “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” You can find out more about Barb’s books on her website, http://www.barbarambritton.com