Author * Speaker * Editor

Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting, and gritty, persevering characters

The Story behind Building Benjamin by Barbara Britton

I’ve had the privilege of knowing Barbara for a number of years now, and I’m so happy she’s been able to join us on the blog this week to tell us what inspired her to write her latest book, Building Benjamin. First, here’s a little bit about the book.

Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife.

As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. A reason that affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her tribe.

That sounds really interesting. So what inspired you to write?

Did you always want to be an author? I get asked that question a lot. And truthfully, being an author wasn’t on my radar screen. I grew up many, many years ago when most women were offered jobs in teaching, nursing, secretarial work, or they were stay-at-home moms. Aspiring author wasn’t on the career list, especially a Biblical fiction author. Even in high school, during the “Dress for Success” movement, I was told to buy a blue suit and matching heels and strive to be a middle manager. Creative writing was an elective, not a core subject for career advancement.

I came to be a writer through prayer and teaching chapel—not necessarily in that order. I volunteered to teach a Bible story every Friday to kindergarten through fifth grade—all at one time—at my boys’ school. With years of Sunday School teaching under my belt, this was do-able. One-hundred and fifty kids. Half an hour. No problem. Except finding curriculum for such a wide age span wasn’t easy. It was impossible. So, I had to write my own lesson plans.

Like most teachers at the end of the school year, I was taxing my brain cells and my creative ability to make the Bible fun. I didn’t want to bore my students with the Bible, and I also wanted them to have a deeper understanding of why certain stories were in the Bible. I prayed, “Lord, hit me with some creativity.” And He did! I wrote my lessons, choreographed my songs, and had a prompting to sit down and write. Write! I knew nothing about plotting a story or publishing. Maybe I should have been more specific with my prayer?

After finishing three mainstream books (two Historicals and a Young Adult novel), I decided to write about a Bible story. Why not write what I teach every week? “Providence: Hannah’s Journey” was born. My heroine was based on the Hebrew servant girl in II Kings 5. This captured girl told a leprous, enemy army commander to go see the prophet in Israel if he wanted to be healed.  It took me two years to sell that story of faith, but in the meantime I stumbled upon a crazy story at the end of Judges. How come I had never read this chaotic story in Judges 19-21? The tribe of Benjamin is almost wiped out. Girls are grabbed. Another book is written.

I feel blessed that God had a journey for me to take. One I never knew was out there for me. Long after my blue power suit was given to Goodwill, and my kids left home, I had a job to do—write stories. And not just any stories. Stories about little known Bible characters and events.

Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently 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 healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb kicked off her Tribes of Israel series in October with the release of “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” Naomi’s journey, “Building Benjamin” is out now. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America.

Book Trailer for “Providence” and “Building Benjamin”

Connect with Barb:

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“Building Benjamin” on Amazon or Barnes&Noble

Barb is giving away the winner’s choice of one of her books. Just follow the directions below to enter.

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Thanks for joining us, Barb! It’s been great to have you!

8 Comments

  1. Oh yes, what comes to mind is teaching in Vacation Bible School one year when I was so sick and weak. The following week I was admitted to the hospital to receive three pints of blood! Truly made it on God’s strength alone. Thanks for the opportunity to win…your books sound very intriguing!

  2. Hi Linda,
    Thanks for stopping by. Wow, I can’t imagine teaching VBS and being anemic. It takes a lot of energy to work with kids.
    I enjoy writing about little known characters in the Bible. I hope people read the original text too.

  3. I haven’t thought anything that I did was what God drew me to do. If God asked me to do something I really would do it.

    • Hi Tammy,
      I never thought I would be a Biblical fiction writer, but I am enjoying “my” journey.
      As long as God keeps giving me stories to write, I’ll keep writing them. Thanks for joining us.

  4. I had always wanted to be a librarian. I had given up. After teaching Sunday school for a few years I was able to start a library at my church. The ability for both came from God.

    • What a great way to use your gifts, Jan. We are blessed to have a nice library at church and yes, someone has to staff it. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  5. I’ve got to get this book. 😛