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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Ontario instructor has new book published

August 28, 2014

Many share the dream of writing and having published a book, but few have the discipline and fortitude it takes to make that dream a reality. Retired architect and Construction Management instructor, Serge Laraque, made it happen – twice.

Laraque’s first venture into the realm of ‘published author’ was with Self Determi-Nation, a self-help book about “the power within” that took him about two years to write and “sold fairly well,” he says.

His newly released Covenant Games (Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble) is a sharp turn to fiction and centers on protagonist, Jean Luc Duvignon, an architect who stumbles across evidence that his architecture firm is corrupt and willing to murder to conceal its depth of crime and deceit. Jean Luc becomes an FBI informant and risks his life, as well as the lives of close colleagues, in his attempt to help bring this powerful firm to justice.

“This one has a lot more potential than the first book,” says Serge. “So far it is getting a very positive response; all these people are following me (Twitter/Facebook), so the word is a little bit out.”

The writing process is grueling, as one might expect; and it took Serge four years to complete his second literary offering. “Writing demands a lot of attention and patience,” he says. “There should be blood and sweat gushing out of the pages of this book,” he laughs.

Serge makes it clear that what you write is a manuscript, not a book. “Your editor will decide if it’s a book or not,” he emphasizes. If your work is published there is another, equally important, level of acceptance.

“Somebody is going to read what you produce, and they’re the ones who make it or break it,” he cautions.

Serge feels that he is very fortunate to have the kind of position at SJVC Ontario, teaching evening Construction Management classes, that allows him to devote morning hours to writing. Aside from Serge’s wife, Linda, their son, Christopher and their granddaughter Maia, few people even knew he was working on another book.

“Without SJVC I really could not have the freedom to do this kind of thing,” says Serge. “I am very thankful to have this kind of position to have the morning to put my thoughts on paper.”

Serge shared plot lines with a SJVC colleague. “He had me captivated with his ability to talk about the chapters so passionately,” says Angelia Crenshaw, CJC Program Director at SJVC. “He would add to the chapters while talking to me. Amazing.”

Serge works diligently from the corner of a room. “When I was writing this book, I would come home real tired but vowed to myself that I would write one line today – and that’s what I would do.”

There were enough lines and enough interest in Serge’s story to launch this 450-page suspense thriller. Now he waits to measure its impact and popularity. “This game is all about numbers,” says Laraque, who tracks book sales.

Actually…he is not waiting. Serge’s next novel of fiction, this time about political dysfunction and human strife in Haiti, is at the ready. He is also laying out the plot lines for a sequel to Covenant Games. “Something is germinating from that original idea, and I’m going to try to maintain that momentum, if possible,” says Serge.

Serge’s efforts are rewarded in many ways. “I just want the public to read something that is a good product and really engage them in the material,” he says. “If it comes true that in the end it might produce a financial reward, it is most welcome.”

Serge Laraque has a bit of advice for those who might harbor a desire to put fingers to keyboard in hopes of connecting with other minds through the written word.

“Organize your thoughts, step up to the plate, create something, bring it to the forefront,” he says. “Have a story and want to put it together.”

Serge Laraque has clearly taken his own good advice.

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