The next question was how to organise them in a way that would be memorable - a list maybe? No, too obvious and rather unengaging. The inspiration arose from when I wrote English for Human Resources for Cambridge University Press. This book was divided into 10 topic areas with vocabulary, templates, tasks and dialogues. I had this crazy idea that the dialogues should be authentic and that each chapter would fit together like a mini-soap, in a company. In fact, I wanted to follow one set of characters in one company throughout the book but CUP rejected that idea. I can understand this because my HR book was part of a series and they needed it to be the same as the other titles on marketing etc, but in itself, I think the idea was sound.
Liberated by self-publishing, I could use the narrative approach for Amazingly Easy Phrasal Verbs. It would be a story, a love story or romantic comedy set in a company. The book would feature our accident prone and hapless hero, Alan, and an office romance, not without its problems.
I storyboarded the whole book and then divided it into chapters, each featuring six phrasal verbs, presented in 6 or so paragraphs. I got a big list of phrasal verbs and started to write the story. At first, it was easy because there was every phrasal verb to choose from but as the book went on, it got trickier to find the right match for the scenario. Two hundred and ten phrasal verbs later, the book was completed and published. It's been on the market for a little over two years and is still selling well. It's had great reviews and people kindly say that it really is amazing and has helped them to learn phrasal verbs easily.
I'm starting work on the next volume that tracks the progress of our characters through the use of more phrasal verbs. It won't be easy but I'm sure I'll pull through. Look out for progress reports in which I'll keep you filled in.
If you'd like to buy it, you can get it on all Amazon sites.