Creating ELI - the novel
ELI means ‘My God' and is taking from the Holy Bible in the words ‘ELI, ELI lama sabathani'. ELI is a spiritual book and the second in a trilogy that begun with the book Divinity Dawns. It is partly an autobiography with the names of the characters in the book altered. It is set in Riyadh, Dublin, Bahrain, Brisbane, Sao Paolo, London, Lisbon, New York, Douala, Basel, Geneva and Shenzhen.
ELI is divided into three parts as listed below.
Part I - The Inheritance
Part one delves into the life of the hero Cephas as he discards his past and travels to the Middle East in pursuit of fulfillment and strengthening of his faith in God. He faces different tests physically, mentally and spiritually enabling him to come through better equipped with the strength and desire to fulfill his dream of writing about ELI. It is during his time in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that he learns about the Muslim culture and the difference to that of the life of Christian. He comes to terms with class and cultural segregation and the freedom that we all take for granted in the West. Cephas turns to camaraderie and the strength in friendship to understand survival in his new environment. While this is at the physical and mental level, Cephas experiences visions and an awakening that sets him on a path to go back to his past and understand his patrimony and why he was chosen to write about ELI and divulge and interpret parts of the bible that he hasn't seen interpreted anywhere else before.
Part II - The Beginning
Part two goes back to the late 18 and 19th centuries during the height of slavery in West Africa. It is about the life of Cephas's great grand father Salem and his indoctrination into Christianity. It reveals the nature of the settling of the first Basel missionary from Switzerland in Cameroon. Salem's life is espied from childhood through to adulthood and the shaping of his Christian faith up until the point at which he owns his own ministry. It is at this point that Cephas understands the meaning of his visions and the path he must follow.
Part III - ELI
Part three is the core of the novel and as absurd as this might sound was written first. It is mainly set in the streets of China and is a mystical investigation into the dialogue between man and spirit as Cephas divulges and interprets parts of the bible. Amidst a backdrop of activity Cephas manages to retain a level of communication and dialogue in spirit to reveal parts of the bible that have long been mistaken for years. He is not only aware of his surroundings, the pleasures of life, relationships and romance he is also determined to fulfill his ultimate goal of keeping his spirit in line to reveal the message that had been the course of the novel ELI.