About the Children of Light Series

Recently, I was asked about my Children of Light (COL) books, how I came to write them, my inspiration, how I figured out the characters, and did I know the whole story right away. Excellent questions that I had to think about. My process was long, but fluid. The words, characters, plot, and themes flowed out of me. But, the more I thought about it, I realized it came in waves, whenever I needed one.

Let’s start with the last question… did I know the whole story right away? For the most part, within a month of starting, I had a definite idea of where I wanted the book to go and the ending. Did I have the details? Absolutely not! There were days when I sat down to write that I truly didn’t know how it would go. I had glimpses, but until I sat and put pen to paper, it was a mystery. 

COL B1 - Purchase My Books; Reviews
Children of Light - book 2 - In the Shadows
COL B4 - Hidden Children, Series
COL B4 - Sorrow and Joy, Series

Children of Light – How did I come to write books?

I have dabbled in writing for most of my life. I didn’t make a concerted effort to write a whole book until after our first daughter was born. During maternity leave, I had a dream that refused to go away, so I wrote a book from its inspiration. That book took about four years to complete. It sits safely tucked away in a cupboard. I am afraid to read it, as I think it will be terrible, but I will do it — one day. Since then, I have written and started several others, all safely tucked away in the same cupboard. I call these books and the 40 years of dabbling my practice.

Inspiration for Children of Light (COL)

So, when the inspiration came for what has turned out to be my COL series of books, it was not a giant leap for me to write. What was unusual was that I had not written anything more than short stories for many years. I was busy with a job and working on my Master’s degree. So, for the inspiration to come and, to be honest, be so vivid, I had to start again.

What was the inspiration?

You may be surprised to learn that it was a piece of music I heard on the radio. (I was driving my husband home from Windsor after he had a medical procedure and he was not allowed to drive. By the way, I love being a passenger, as it allows my mind to roam, and often great ideas come.)

So, while I drove, I had the radio on since Brian was sleeping. As the music played, I had the strongest image… or a mini-movie playing out in my head. The image was so powerful; that I had to write it down. It became the opening scene of the Pairing Ceremony in COL Book 1 – Into the Light.

In my mind’s eye, I saw a group of fierce warriors performing an intricate series of movements, which required practice, skill, speed, precision, and dedication. These were not the beautiful movements of a dance recital or ballet. The artistry comes from the power and force exuded. Many of the moves are aggressive and harsh, but that is to be expected from warriors. But the overall picture, the overall impression, and the sensation are one of awe.

Couldn’t Stop

Once I recorded the scene, I put my notebook down – what could I do with this? Almost immediately, the story started to develop. I had an overwhelming urge to keep writing. I think I sat on the deck and wrote for about three hours. I filled so many pages of my little notebook that I was almost out of paper. But Children of Light books were born.

However, I must admit, originally, I thought it would be a single book. I had no idea what it would grow into. I think I was more surprised than anyone when it became five books, and now I’m about to finish the sixth, with at least one or two more rambling around in my head, and in notebooks.

Character Development

What about all the characters? Stories are about people, for the most part, and mine are no different. My overactive imagination took flight, and I wrote almost daily for several weeks. I couldn’t stop. As I wrote, the story began forming itself and characters arose, made their presence known, and some insisted on their piece of the action. You may think it strange, but that is how my character development takes place. They jump on the page. Some are transitory, and many were removed and filed, not making it to the final version of whatever book I was working on. But, some insist on staying. 

Character Sketch

Once I determine that a character is worth keeping, I make notes about her/him, a character sketch. The other thing I do is find a picture on the internet of what I think that character may look like. I have a stash of faces on my computer just for such a purpose. I put all of this information in my Scrivener file for the book. (For info about Scrivener, click the highlighted link. This will take you to the home page, and at the bottom is more info.)


Some characters I deleted because I didn’t like their voice, that is… how they sounded in my head. (Yes, that may be strange, but it is what it is.) Despite my best efforts, some insisted on being in the book and the series. One such character is Grayson.

Initially, I wrote Grayson as a quick stand-in. A sloth. Despite being a Light-Warrior, he was less. Less dedicated; less driven; less honor-bound; and entirely untrustworthy. He was self-absorbed; self-serving, and being a Light-Warrior was all about what his status could bring him. That was his voice, and I didn’t like him. But, not all characters are likable. He certainly was not… at least not at first.

Yet, as time went on, his true voice came out. All his bravado, unwarranted self-assurance, and so on, was nothing more than a facade. Once the facade dropped, or melted away, as it was a rather slow process, the true man stepped out of the shadows. (Yes, another pun.) In book two, Into the Shadows, we meet the true Grayson. Moreover, he gets an entire book to himself, in book four, the Hidden People.


I must admit, to my great surprise, a female turned out to be the protagonist. When I wrote the original idea… the opening ceremony, I believed it was going to be Kaiden, the Light-Warrior of the opening scene during the Pairing Ceremony. However, Emma was stronger and had much more at stake once I learned who she was. Yes, it may sound strange, but I do get to know my characters. I have rather imaginary conversations with them… and that helps me understand them. A good protagonist must have a great deal at stake… a lot to lose or gain.

The first chapter of book one, Into the Light, was written almost at the very end, when I’d finished book one, and had already written a large part of book two. Weird how that happens.

What’s in a name?

As I wrote and studied, I found out that naming a character is extremely important. The name has to fit. Emma was originally called Sarai, but the name didn’t fit. It was too unusual for her character. She is a young woman who only wanted to be ordinary… anonymous. Why? Because of a lie she was told and taught to be that way. Emma was a more natural name, and it stuck. Once her name changed, her character blossomed. I wrote so many pages about her background. Her story filled several chapters, all of which were cut out, and instead, little drips and drabs that reveal her character are sprinkled throughout the series. 

Who is Emma?

I’m not sure I knew the entire complexity of Emma’s character until the series was done. Although Emma appears to be mild and meek, she has an inner core of steel. She needs to understand who she is and what her purpose is. Once she figures that out, she can get going and get it done. By book three, almost all of her is out there, but who knows, she may still have a few surprises.

Several other important characters have grown and developed over time, but I won’t go into them now. Maybe later.

Theme of the Children of Light Series

Every book needs a theme, or at least it is what I have learned over the last four years, as I’ve studied the art of writing. Yes, I’ve had to study it, as I had no idea how to structure a book, or what makes it good and great I have yet to learn, but practice makes perfect. I just wrote. Which means I had the passion, but not the knowledge.

The theme is a crucial piece of every book. It is what holds it together – the ties that bind. If it is lost, the book has nothing to hang onto and fails. That is not to say if a book has a theme, it will be a success. But without a theme, it is bound to fail. Since I am not a plotter but a pantser in my writing style (Jerry Jenkins words), I rarely plan anything out, but I do have some idea of where stories need to go. But, the theme is crucial. What is the story all about? What is the takeaway?

Basically for COL, which was originally going to be one, stand-alone book, the theme was serving God, in whatever capacity He leads us. However, the struggle is to figure out what our purpose is. Emma has that struggle. She wants to serve God, but on her terms.

So, I broke out her struggle into four sections.

  1. Recognize that her gifts are from God, and not a curse.
  2. Accept those gifts and begin to use them, as God had intended.
  3. Surrender to God’s will in her life, and forgo her plans and desires.
  4. Respond and do whatever God has called her for and prepared her to do.

These were essentially going to be the sub-themes for the four sections (three acts, with act two being in two parts). It all seemed too simple, but it all fit with what I had written. By the way, I learned about the theme approximately two years into the writing process. Thank the Lord, it all fits together. I know it is only through God’s daily guidance that these books have been written at all. I could not do this on my own.

The Series

So, now that the one book has become a series, each book is based on the overarching theme of serving God but has one of the above-mentioned sub-themes. Book one, Into the Light, is all about recognizing that our gifts are from God. Emma had to do that. She has lived believing a lie, and now she has to face the truth.

Book two, In the Shadows, is all about accepting the gifts and using them as God had intended. For Emma, once she sees the lie she has believed for what it is, she must accept the truth and change.

Surrender is Hard

Books three and four have the same theme, which is surrender. Surrendering to God’s will in our lives. Both Emma and Grayson have that journey but in separate books. Emma’s surrender journey is captured in book three, Orphan Lights, and Grayson’s journey is in book four, Hidden People.

Book five, Sorrow and Joy, is all about responding to and doing God’s will. That is fulfilling one’s purpose. We have come full circle, where Emma needs to decide what she will do. But this time, her decision-making process comes from obedience to God’s word, and his will, rather than her desires and wants.

Parallel Story Lines

At this time, I must explain the parallel storylines of books three and four. Earlier I said, book three (Orphan Lights) is about Emma, and book four (Hidden People) is about Grayson. Originally, I wrote these as one story… one book. However, I realized it was too much information, new characters were coming out of the woodwork and it would be a very long book. Their personal stories fit the theme and both had important roles. Therefore, I couldn’t cut them out. Lastly, I split the story into two books after wrangling with the problem for a long time.

This means that books 3 and 4 happen on the same timeline. Talk about complicating everything! But, I could do nothing else. While Book 4, Hidden People, focuses on Grayson’s story, Emma’s story continues in the last book of the series, Sorrow and Joy. As always, I trust God will guide me, as he has all along.

A Long and Winding Road

If I can borrow that term from the Beatles song, this writing journey has been a long and winding road. I started writing in June 2017. A year and a half later, I stopped. In came doubt. Thoughts like…

Who am I to think I can write a book?

What am I doing wasting all my time writing nonsense?

What good will this serve the Kingdom of God?

Shouldn’t I be serving God in some other way?

You know nothing about writing, so stop.

Finally, I stopped writing and began to earnestly seek God and what He would want me to do. I had a massive amount of material, but I was willing to forgo all of it. Laying it at Christ’s feet was all I could do. I needed God’s wisdom and guidance. In my heart, I knew the story was God-focused and honoring, plus I believed from God. However, the seeds of doubt that were planted grew and grew and grew.

Writing in Isolation

When one writes in isolation, the devil can easily get his foothold, and I let him. But God, in his mercy, set me free. It took some months, but I eventually got the message. God speaks to us in many ways, and for me, it came from Dr. Jeremiah’s book and preaching series called Forward. I could hardly believe the timing and the message. It was as if God was doing this just for me. By the end of the book and the series, I was free of my doubt and knew I had to step out in faith.

God Blesses the Faithful

So, I did and by December 2020; I published (independent publishing through Amazon) the first book, Children of Light, Into the Light. Book 2, In the Shadows, came out in June 2021, and Book 3, Orphan Lights in November 2021. Sorrow and Joy, Book 5, in January 2023.

I thought the Children of Light series was done. But, another story is begging to be told. It’s Granny’s story. It is a prequel and hopefully will be done by the summer of 2024.

Thank you to all my readers! If you are so inclined, please let me know what you think about my books. I love to hear from you and your feedback.



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