What inspired this story Angela?
Focus on the Family wanted to do novels about contemporary social issues. Jerry Jenkins contacted writers and edited the three books, and I’m thrilled to be associated with Chris Fairy and Tamera Alexander in this endeavor.
Describe the audience that you envisioned while writing this book. Who do you think will enjoy this book?
I wrote the book as a parent and grandparent, and I think people in those roles will discover a lot to ponder and take away from the story.
What messages or themes do you focus on in this story?
One of the themes is hope, because people who take their lives have utterly lost hope. We have hope in Jesus, but many times our problems loom larger than our faith.
Who was your favorite character to write?
The grandmother, naturally—I am a grandmother who loves her grandchildren, and my heart aches when they are unhappy. In a very real sense, I am Nana.
How does faith play a role in this story?
The adult characters, including the man who takes his life, are believers. Maddie, the teenager, is not. So the adults have to deal with their own grief as they try to model Christian hope and faith for their granddaughter. Not always easy to do.
What do you hope readers take away from Maddie’s journey?
I hope parents of teenagers will understand how large problems loom for teens. Life seems so immediate when you’re young—it can seem like it will take forever before you get a driver’s license—so they don’t always understand that momentary actions can have eternal consequences.
What do you hope to communicate about the issue of suicide and the impact left in its wake?
I don’t want to give away the story’s plot points, but I can say this: People who commit suicide because they think they’re doing their loved ones a favor are absolutely wrong. Suicide causes far more grief and raises more questions than any alternative.
Do you have any other writing projects in the pipeline?
I am currently working on the last book of a series set in ancient Rome. I recently completed a series set in the intertestamental period; then I did four books set during the time of Jesus’ ministry; and now I’m moving on to the people whom Paul led to Christ. I’ve really enjoyed writing these series in chronological order. It’s almost like living through the Bible.
Angela Hunt has authored more than 165 works and sold nearly six million copies of her books worldwide. Her books have won awards such as the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards for Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword’s Book of the Year Award. Angela holds a doctorate in biblical studies and a ThD. She and her husband live in Florida.