Author Wil Tustin is giving a fresh take on the Apostle Paul in his new book, “Ambushed,” which gives a first-person account of Paul’s life.
Tustin said the Bible picks up Paul at age 35, but “Ambushed” tells his life starting at age 10.
“Paul was very influential and very polarizing,” he said. “In his story he changes from antagonist to protagonist, but in either case, he is a man of conviction.”
Author of a previous novel, Tustin’s journey in penning “Ambushed” began with a life-threatening disease several years ago. Under the depressing side effects of his medication, he needed something to strive for. He has always been a reader, and when he came across Paul, he wanted to know more.
“I read as much as I could on Paul and what life was like in the first century,” Tustin said. “Usually, the hardest part of the story is the outline – what happens – but I had my outline from the book of Acts. The hardest part was not slipping back into language and culture of right now.”
From his reading, Tustin said Bible sticklers should find the book very accurate. The fun part was filling in the holes left by the Bible.
“For instance, if all the Bible says is ‘Paul went from Athens to Corinth,’ I can fill in, make something happen along the way, an encounter, or a conversation,” he said.
His main goal with the book was to provide encouragement to those enduring a slump in their lives. Paul’s story, for Tustin, is one of growth and transformation from hate to love, from selfishness to selflessness.
“Everyone goes through tough times, but it makes you who you are,” he said. “Paul persevered through a lot of persecution, and this novel tracks the development of his character. As he grows, he is still the same person, but there are vastly different dimensions to his personality.”
WIL TUSTIN will sign books at Reed’s Gumtree Bookstore on May 10 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal