I’m writing a series of posts describing the process that led to the publication of my first novel, a suspense thriller called Pura Vida. So in my last post, I emphasized the importance of reading. I remember back when I was in third grade, our teacher would take us to the library and tell us to pick out a book. Naturally, I looked to the book shelves that were just my height. There, I spotted a big, fat book called Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, which by the way, was first published in 1868. So there I was in 1969, a little Catholic, Latina girl falling in love with the March sisters who lived such fun and interesting lives in New England during the American Civil War. Now, I’m not all that good at math, but I think that book was 101 years old when I picked it up and enjoyed it so much. The story was 101 years old, not the actual book. I mean if it were the actual book, it would be worth a lot of money and wouldn’t be on the lowest shelf of Windsor Park Elementary in Corpus Christi, Texas. Anyway, you get my point. Or maybe you don’t because I went off on a tangent, but my point is that themes are universal and timeless. What is the theme of Little Women? One theme is: girls can create their own futures; they don’t have to stick to cultural stereotypes. Another theme of the book is: genuine love, kindness and compassion, not wealth, leads to true happiness.
So here you are now, wanting to write a book. What book are you reading at the moment? Can you identify the themes? Can you take one of those themes and think of a different story that would illustrate that theme? Write down your ideas! Now you’re beginning to write!