What were the challenges of building a story out of real events?

The challenges were actually the enjoyable part for me. I adore research and lists and timelines, so mapping out their lives was thrilling.

Re-reading their work and finding the connections and threads made writing this book all the more interesting. The biggest challenge was making sure I honored their truth even if I didn’t have the facts.

Were there points where you had to choose between historical accuracy and making the reading experience work? (Which gets precedence?)

I stuck so very close to the historical accuracy that there wasn’t really a point where I had to choose. I kept to the timeline and I kept to the facts. The places where “imagination” filled the gap were places where I didn’t have solid proof of conversation or emotion. Those were the spots where historical accuracy didn’t so much suffer as inspiration filled the empty places.

You created a podcast series to accompany the book, Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis. How did that come about?

When we (Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson publishing) realized that so very much of my research was on the cutting floor but it was so interesting! How could we share it with our readers?

We considered a non-fiction book, but I am a podcast junkie and so that is where our minds first went. It has been an absolute thrill. I have loved sharing the deep and wide research and interesting facts of Joy and Jack’s life.

What’s the podcast like?

It is an eight-part series where I interview experts on everything from Joy’s poetry to why Jack might have fallen in love with her. I interview her son, Douglas Gresham, about what it was like in those days as he grew up under their wings.

Click thru to discover what surprised her most when writing the book…

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