Thursday, July 31, 2008

Interview with William P. Young, the author of the Shack

Yesterday was the blogger's phone conference with William P. Young, the author of The Shack. The way it worked was; 10 bloggers were asked to submit questions for Mr. Young, who goes by Paul, not William. Then the coordinator organized a schedule of who would ask their question when. Each of us were given a phone number where we would call and punch in a code number that would enter us into a huge conference call. We could hear each other speak. It was very well organized and so much fun to be a part of. There will be a link to hear the call yourself and when I get that I will post it.
My question was first, thanks to Jana B. for suggesting it. Where did the inspiration come from for heaven and the garden of your soul? Mr. Young responded that over the centuries garden's have been used in literature to represent the soul...he took his inspiration from past literature.
Some tidbits of info I learned yesterday. The first printing for The Shack was for 15 copies. Mr. Young's wife had suggested he write a story for his kids that shared with them his thoughts. He wrote this book for them. He has 6 children, gave a book to each child and one to his wife, then others to some close friends. When he started receiving feedback on the book from his friends, they suggested he publish the book. No one would publish it, so together they formed a publishing company and published it themselves. The total advertising budget thus far on The Shack has been $300.
2 million books have been sold.

Mr. Young said that the characters of MacKenzie and Missy were really based mostly on his life. He was abused as a child and he said that he takes Mackenzie on a journey in the Shack that lasts one weekend, but it was based on his journey in his own shack, the place of healing for him which took 11 years.

Mr. Young refers to himself as an accidental author. He would write stories as gifts to people, but never dreamed that he would ever have a published work. He gives all the credit to the Lord, and said that he is happy to follow along and just carry the bags.

The entire interview process was very interesting. Many questions were asked about the controversy of the book, how he chose the name of Sarayu, why he chose to make God a woman. Each answer was articulate and the entire time Mr. Young was speaking of his love for scripture and the love of Christ. Once I get the podcast address I will post it so you can hear the whole interview.

If you haven't read The Shack yet, it is certainly worth your time. I think that I am ready for round 2.

1 Espressos To Go!:

Robin @ Heart of Wisdom said...

I'm looking forward to the podcast. Sounds fascinating. Use my link ro read my lengthy review of The Shack.