This week I again welcome Bobbie Cole for part two of the series answering the question: Why do I care if anyone reads what I write? Thank you Bobbie, for sharing your thoughts with us! It’s been a pleasure to have you on the blog.
As a journalist, I used to write to enlighten.
I was a little surprised by the realization that my latest, as yet unpublished, work of fiction is also intended partly to enlighten. My topics for ‘Being Lena Levi’ are twofold — the Kindertransport and Israel, immediately after its formation as a state.
The Kindertransport was a UK government initiative in 1938/39, when German anti-Semitism was escalating. At that time, just ahead of World War 2, the UK welcomed 10,000 Jewish children from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia to its shores.
This was intended to be a temporary fostering. However, when the War was over, tragically only a very few of the children could be reunited with their parents, most of whom had perished in the concentration camps.
Such is the real-life background for my fictional character, Lena Levi’s, ignorance of another mother than the British one she thinks is her Mum.
In 1948, the Arab nations surrounding Israel, and many Palestinians within it, went to War with the newly-formed Jewish State. By 1950, there was an uneasy peace. Life on Israel’s communistic kibbutzes, however, continued to be tough and dangerous.
This is the context in which Lena gets to know her German Jewish mother.
In order to be a work of fiction worthy of the name, a strong emotional struggle was imperative. This is grounded in my heroine’s need to choose between her birth mother and her adoptive mother.
My story pitches nature against nurture.
I have loved both the background research this book required and the bringing to life of the scents, smells and landscape of Israel, where I recently lived for 2 years.
Having created something that can move others as well as enlightening them, I don’t want to keep that to myself, any more than I did for the wonderful story God had me live through, which I tell in ‘She Does Not Fear the Snow’.
So much of my past work has been put away, half-finished, not good enough for publication. With ‘She Does Not Fear the Snow’, it was a different story. I had no choice. I had to share, step by step, how Jesus claimed and blessed me.
He told me to.
Its readership is in His hands. If only one person had got something out of it, it would have been worthwhile. But maybe He choose me for this because I’m an avid marketer.
It has reached a far wider audience than one.
‘She Does Not Fear the Snow’ is intended to enlighten, hearten and inspire.
I’m a little surprised to find just how delighted I am to receive positive feedback. People are calling it a page turner. They’re writing reviews. They love what God did to turn my broken life around.
I never thought about this happening.
A year ago, I heard in prayer that ‘Being Lena Levi’ was what I needed to write next. I now know and love my heroine and envisage several sequels for her, which I will also love to write.
In the first of these, she’ll be off to Bremen, in Germany, where her birth mother came from. I lived there, too, about a hundred years ago. I’ll enjoy revisiting it in my imagination and — who knows? — perhaps in reality, too.
That would be enlightening, for sure.