Erynn Newman’s manuscript Out of Darkness, was a semi-finalist in the Genesis contest this
year and the winner of the Novel Rocket Launch Pad Contest in the suspense/crime/mystery category. The story has two Thanksgiving holiday scenes, as its hero CIA operative Andrew Marek is captured by international arms dealers on his wedding day. He has a Thanksgiving scene in captivity, and his new wife Elisabeth has a Thanksgiving scene in the states with her family and husband’s best friend.
Now on to the interview…
Nike: Elisabeth, to say the least, this story starts with a bang. Tell us about your wedding day to Andrew Marek.
Elisabeth: Drew is my best friend. I’ve known that I wanted to marry him since I knew what marriage was. That day was everything I hoped it would be and more, surrounded by our friends and family, promising each other forever. I could really feel it, you know . . . dancing in his arms, I felt like I could touch forever.
And then it was just . . . gone. Lost in fire and smoke. *wipes at her eyes* I’m sorry. It feels like a cliché, but I promised myself I wouldn’t do this.
Nike: This month we’re celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday on CFF. That first Thanksgiving Day without Drew you thought he was dead, killed in the explosion. Were you able to find anything to be thankful for?
Elisabeth: Absolutely. Thanksgiving came six months after losing Drew. My friends and family were amazing during that time. Supporting me, loving me, grieving alongside me. I don’t know what I would have done without them. But even more importantly, my relationship with God grew during that time. I was so tempted to shut Him out for taking my husband away from me, but I couldn’t do that, because I needed Him. I couldn’t bear to lose Him too. Even when I was hurt and angry and railing at Him, I knew He was there, holding me up, counting every tear I cried. And there were a lot.
Nike: The reader finds out that Drew is alive, merely captured in some elaborate ruse. But you don’t know this. During that time did your faith ever waver?
Elisabeth: One of my (and Drew’s) favorite passages is 2 Corinthians 4:7-9. Paul talks about being afflicted but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, struck down, but not destroyed. That was me in every way. I felt all of that. I seriously considered just crawling into the grave with Drew. There were times that I didn’t want to leave my house. I didn’t understand why God would ask me to suffer this way, or how it could possibly be for my good, but I trusted Him. I actually tried to view it as an opportunity prove to the world that He is infinitely better—than anything I’ve lost, or could ever have, or think, or ask, or imagine. Sometimes I failed at that. Sometimes I just felt sorry for myself and missed my husband. So, yes and no. My faith was shaken to its core. But it held. And that’s God’s grace to me.
Nike: Elisabeth, what would you like potential readers to know about this story?
Elisabeth: I guess I would want them to know it’s more than a sobfest, although there are certainly quite a few of those moments. But there’s also plenty of laughter, and some good old-fashioned CIA intrigue (which I try desperately to leave to the boys but somehow keep getting dragged into). Most of all, it’s a story of hope and finding satisfaction in Christ in the good times and the bad times.
Nike: I always like to throw in a question that gets a bit mischievous. During the time it took to write this story, you must have gotten to know author Erynn Newman just about as well as she knew you. Do you have any complaints about her?
Elisabeth: *laughs* Are you kidding me? She’s the one that ripped my whole world apart—more than once. And sometimes she’d leave me in the worst places and just go on vacation. But she’s also responsible for some really great moments, so I guess I have to forgive her (also because if I don’t say nice things about her, she might do more evil things to me).
You can reach Erynn Newman at
And you can read the first two chapters of Out of Darkness here: