Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of almost twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels. Her novel Hidden Among the Stars (Tyndale House) is a time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way. In this Q&A, Melanie shares the unique perspective of her novel, how readers might relate to the themes in the book, and the Bible verse that sums up her story…
Hidden Among the Stars features several characters whose lives intersect after 80 years. How does this perspective make your novel unique?
Not only can I invite readers on a historical journey through time-slip fiction, we can experience through story what happens as a result of the past. I love weaving together the threads of past and present storylines and ultimately having these stories collide near the end of a novel as secrets are revealed and old wounds are redeemed.
You explore fear, evil, and God’s sovereignty in Hidden Among the Stars. How do you hope readers might relate these themes to their own lives?
When we experience tragedy, many of us ask where God is in the midst of this pain. Both the past and contemporary characters in Hidden Among the Stars struggle to understand where God was during the Holocaust and where God is today when people are hurting.
As I wrote this story, I was reminded that this life we’re living is a battle, the world around us a battlefield, and as readers step into the fictional journey, I hope they are reminded that God doesn’t run away when they are suffering. He is right in the midst of their pain, and in the end, no matter what evil does in attempt to destroy this world, the peace and love and holiness of Christ will prevail.
In many of your novels, ordinary people are challenged to do extraordinary things. How did the historical characters in this novel respond differently to the same threat?
I am fascinated by how many seemingly ordinary people incredible things during World War II to rescue those being threatened. In Hidden Among the Stars, I have characters who chose to risk their lives to help others escape while others chose to ignore the plight of their neighbors or even assist the Nazis with their destruction.
Some characters in this story were able to leave Austria while others decided to collaborate with the enemy. Some chose to hide, several felt so defeated that they quit trying to fight, and one took her own life because she feared what the Nazis might do. All were reacting to the same threat but responded in very different ways.
Your main characters find God’s beauty and power in nature, music, animals, and books. Where do you find God in your life?
I love to find glimpses of God wherever I go, but He seems to demonstrate his beauty and power to me most through the intricate design of his outdoor creation and the strength and wonder of weather, particularly a good snow or thunderstorm. My process of writing is, in part, listening and learning from the Master Creator. He speaks to me through story—both the ones I write and by hearing or reading other people’s stories as well. Through story, he often reveals an answer to something I’ve been struggling with in the most unexpected way.
If you could choose one Bible verse as a key theme for Hidden Among the Stars, which would it be?
“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 (NIV). Throughout the writing of Hidden Among the Stars, God taught me once again that no matter what happens in this life, I don’t have to be afraid!
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Hidden Among the Stars
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