AUTHOR BIO: Lynn Austin, a former teacher who now writes and speaks full time, has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home near ChicagoIllinois.
What inspired you to write this novel, Return to Me?
My readers have been asking me to write more biblical fiction for quite a while now, so this book is for them! I have always had a fascination with this time period in the Bible, and I wanted to capture the incredible faith and determination that these exiles must have had as they returned to God and to their land. I see so many parallels to our contemporary time period as we struggle to walk in faith and avoid the temptation to adapt to our culture. I was also very inspired by a trip I took to Israel where I was able to visit ancient archaeological sites in the City of David and see the structures that were built during Ezra and Nehemiah’s time period.
What do you hope readers take away from Return to Me?
I'm standing at Nehemeh's Wall Jerusalem

Another view of Nehemeh's Wall Jerusalem

It’s my hope that this will help the Bible become more real and alive for my readers and that they will be inspired to go back and read the scriptures for themselves. I also hope that they will be able to relate to the struggles that my characters faced and see the hope we can have through faith in God.
Can you tell me of two “Wow” moments you've had in your writing career? What made it a wow for you?
I'm standing at Jaffa's Gate 

The biggest WOW will always be the day the first copy of my first book arrived in the mail. What an incredible thrill to see all my hard work in print after years of struggles and discouragement. I carried that book around—with my name on the cover!—for days and put it on my bedside table at night when I went to sleep. I was afraid I would wake up and discover it had all been a dream.
Winning a Christy Award

A close second for WOW was winning a Christy Award—for the first time and every time. I felt God smiling down on me, and each award was just as wonderful for me as the first. They never lost their WOW factor.  When I was inducted into the Christy Hall of Fame last summer the WOW was over the top!

Books Translated into Dutch

If I can add a third WOW (because it’s also very close to my heart) I have to say it’s the joy I feel each time I hear that my books are being translated into another foreign language. It’s thrilling to think that my stories are being read in places as diverse as Germany and Indonesia, the Netherlands and South Africa, Korea and Sweden and Romania…WOW!

Can you give us a peek at what you are working on now? What inspired this new book?

I’m currently writing Book Two of the “Restoration Chronicles” entitled, Keepers of the Covenant. It continues the stories from the biblical books of Ezra and Nehemiah and features Ezra as the main character this time. After that will be Book Three, On This Foundation, with Nehemiah as the main character. Each book in this three book series will be a separate novel, complete on its own, and not “continued.” These biblical characters inspire me with their great stories of faith and perseverance. I hope I can bring them to life for my readers, too.
What fascinates you about writing biblical fiction?  What are the challenges of writing biblical fiction?
Temple Mnt in Jerusalem w/daughter

What fascinates me about writing biblical fiction is that I have the opportunity to paint a picture of what the lives of these famous biblical figures were like. I also love doing the research, and for this series I traveled to Israel and had an amazing time soaking in the land and the people (and the food!). It is really thrilling for me to see the ruins of the homes and buildings constructed thousands of years ago by these men and women.

Temple Mnt in Jerusalem w/Mom & Daughter

Temple Mnt Jerusalem
Writing biblical fiction poses a number of challenges. First, it is a formidable job to retell a Bible story that is holy and unchangeable. It’s especially hard for me because I've become so accustomed to writing fiction that isn't based on the Bible where I have the freedom to take the story anywhere I want to. Second, it can be hard to try and capture the Biblical characters because I want to show them respect but also show that they were people just like us.  Finally, people are sometimes extra-critical of biblical fiction because I am taking a familiar Bible story and “fictionalizing” it, adding characters and story-lines  Many people object to this, but I try to be true to the biblical accounts while making the true story interesting and relatable. It’s quite a challenge!  
What was your favorite show on T.V. when you were growing up? Why is it your favorite? If you didn't watch TV what were your favorite books?
The first TV series that comes to mind is “Bonanza.” My sisters and I never missed a show. Of course the story-lines were always very dramatic and suspenseful with plenty of dangerous situations and blazing guns, but what appealed to me the most were the family dynamics between the father, Ben Cartwright, and his three very different sons, Adam, Hoss and Little Joe. (I came from a family of three girls.) The brothers had numerous conflicts but love and loyalty to each other always won out. (And Little Joe was really cute!)
What three things would you rather not live without (besides your family)?

1- The Bible 2- Nature (especially TREES!)3- Mexican food
If money weren't an issue what would you like to go and do? Try something you've always wanted to try?
Biking in Michigan
I would take a bicycle trip through Europe with my husband and our friends. The four of us love to bicycle together and have long dreamed of riding along the Rhine River in Germany or through France or the Netherlands and stopping along the way to visit exciting places.
Also, if money wasn't an issue I’d love to plan, design, build and decorate a house from the ground up. (Of course I’d never get any writing done then—which would be bad.)

Out of all the sounds in the world which sounds do you enjoy hearing?
Lynn Austin and her husband Ken

My husband is a professional trumpet player and I love to hear him perform in the symphony orchestra. I also love the sound of my family’s laughter when we’re all gathered together for a meal or a celebration or to play games together.  
Lynn Relaxing in garden

I have been so blessed to have such a wonderful following of committed readers (you know who you are!). You never fail to encourage to me with your letters and emails and to remember me and my writing in your prayers. I feel like I have an entire team behind me, rooting for me and asking God to bless my stories. I’m praying that God will give each one of you a special blessing in return.


THANKS for stopping by Lynn! It's great to know you and your books better. I'm thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity Revell has at TBCN Starting October 20th. There will be a 10 book giveaway and discussion. You've come up with three fun questions to ask readers. I'll be interested in that discussion.

Stop by The Book Club Network (TBCN) October 20th Check out the Front page CLICK the Link that will take you to the entry author page. 


Nora :o)



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