Bio: Lynn Austin has sold more than one and a half
million copies of her books worldwide. A former teacher who now writes and
speaks full-time, she has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction
and was one of the first inductees into the Christy Award Hall of Fame. One of
her novels, Hidden Places, was made
into a Hallmark Channel Original Movie. Lynn and her husband have three grown
children and make their home in western
Books have been part of my life for as long as I can remember, beginning with bedtime stories when I was a child. My mother was the town librarian in the village where I grew up, so it’s not an exaggeration to say I was raised in a library. Over the years, I helped with everything from processing books to reading aloud for story hour, and I developed a deep appreciation for all sorts of books. In addition, my grandmother was a natural-born storyteller whose tales kept my sisters and me spellbound for hours on warm summer evenings.
How did you become a writer? I loved to read, but after a while it seemed like so many well-written books offered very little hope. Too many themes seemed to be “Life is hard and then you die.” I agree that life is hard—but God is good! So I sat down one day thirty-five years ago (I was a stay-at-home mom with a new baby at the time) and decided to write the kind of book I enjoyed reading—one that makes me laugh, makes me cry, and helps me learn something about myself and my life. I knew nothing about getting published (that would come later), but I quickly discovered how much I enjoyed writing. Eventually God brought a wonderful Christian author into my life who asked me to join her writers’ critique group, where I learned the basics of writing and publishing. As the years passed, I struggled to figure out if God was calling me to be a writer. I decided to persevere, and eleven years after I first sat down to write, my first novel was published.
My first book took eight years to publication. What made you want to write historical fiction? What about that genre do you enjoy? I write historical fiction because I love history, especially the little-known stories of ordinary people. For me, reading about the past and how people like me lived lives of courage in difficult times helps me live a life of faith and grace with God’s help. When we travel back in history through novels, I think it’s easier to see how God used tragic events as part of His redemption story. And that gives us faith to believe that He is still working now and that our lives can play a part in His story today.
What motivated you to write a story line about
three women in the
Please tell us a bit about the setting of your
novel. What prompted you to write about the
Lena de Vries is a wife and mother who loves her life on a farm in the country outside of
I knew I had to read the book with a heroine
What lessons can be learned from your main characters? All three women found themselves plunged into impossible circumstances that they never could have foreseen. Not only were their lives turned upside down overnight, they lived in daily suspense, never knowing what would happen next, how long the war would last, or if their lives would ever return to normal. One lesson I learned while writing this book was not to take my life for granted in the good years. And not to take my relationship with God for granted when things are going well, either. We never know when or how life could change, so the faith that gets us through the hard times must be cultivated and nourished in the good times. We’ll never know how strong we are, how strong our faith is, or how faithful God is until we endure hardship.
How much research did you have to do on the WWII
period in the
What is your hope for Chasing Shadows? How do you hope this story resonates with your readers? We’ve all been “at war” with the COVID-19 virus this past year, and the fear and uncertainty and isolation we’ve experienced has many parallels with an enemy invasion like the one my characters endure in this novel. It’s my hope that Chasing Shadows will lead readers to take a closer look at their own faith, just as I did after first reading The Hiding Place years ago. I remember wanting a faith like Corrie ten Boom and her family had, one that would sustain me through unforeseen trials and hardships. I pray that this novel will inspire readers to pursue a closer walk with God and a commitment to serve in His Kingdom with whatever gifts He has given them.
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