'The Shack' Author, William P. Young Interview

The Shack Book

On November 13th, 2007, William P. Young (he goes by Paul), author of The Shack, visited my hometown for a book signing and we were thrilled to finally connect LIVE in living color! Here’s the back story…

On August 30th, I finished reading The Shack. Read the back cover to get the gist for what The Shack is about. It’s my favorite book I’ve read all year!

I emailed Paul immediately, with this intro…

“Hi Paul, I just finished the book about 5 minutes ago, and I’m wrecked! ;-) I cried, I laughed, wept, then laughed again. Thank you!…”

In the email, I shared how I would like to volunteer just a few hours to help him revamp his blog, which so happened to be the professional WordPress theme I coach my students at WordPressTutorials.com to use. Honestly, it was a pitiful sight, and it needed some TLC ;-)

What I didn’t realize was that in May this same year, a Paul Young had registered at WordPressTutorials.com and was attempting to set up his own blog. The same Paul Young! So when he received my email, he knew exactly who I was and his prompt reply was…

“Dear God-send…the username and password combination for windrumors.com is… Brother, you can do ‘whatever’ you want!!!  You have my permission to totally have fun with this!…”

Amazing small world huh? God works in mysterious ways…

So what you see at www.WindRumors.com is what I’ve helped him with so far, and there’s more to do. The video interview below includes our conversation about what technology we could potentially deploy to help his readers and audience share their feedback and voice on his blog.

This video interview has been split into 3 parts. Our conversation revolves around faith, spirituality, The Shack book’s miraculous results in sales, language translation, virality, and lives changed, and also technology, new media and social media. I challenge you to view these videos and to pick up a copy of the book for yourself. I’ve already ordered and handed out 2 autographed case lots of The Shack from Paul ;-)

Enjoy these videos and/or MP3s (may be easier to download to consume it) and I invite your feedback and comments…

William P. Young Interview Part 1

William P. Young Interview Part 2

William P. Young Interview Part 3

89 comments
Stella
Stella

A job well done over at Windrumors!

I too feel that The Shack was a breath of fresh air for those who find the church's traditional emphasis of the anger, judgement and remoteness in the Father's character has stifled any real affection or love for Him. The Shack opens up some new vistas in regard to God's grace, love and desire to really engage with us at a meaningful level.

My reading group has recently combined The Shack with Forgiving Ararat by Gita Nazareth and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, in raising an intellectual debate about religion. Thought you may find it to your liking.

Peg
Peg

Dearest All
I have not yet read The Shack although been introduced this via a colleague I wait with bated breadth for it to arrive. I am a very spiritual person and my life is enriched in my heart with the love I have for Jesus and God. I am a Catholic but would just like to say I am not ignorant of others faith, here is why. For many years I have prayed endlessly to God for him to assist my marriage, to guide my husband to him. I loved my husband so much that all I wanted for him was to be a true person, to love himself, then others. If he respected himself then he could respect others as God wants. Anyway I found out my husband had an affair my heart broke- my world was torn apart. How could this happen to me I do not deserve this- for some time I have struggled with forgiveness. My husband also a Catholic struggled with his feelings and had lost his faith.
For seven years I have had a lovely man at my door he is a Jehovah's Witneess. I have been very wary because it was drummed into me as a child and a Catholic do not let them in. Anyway to cut a long story short- this man stopped at my door to give me a copy of the Watchtower- as usual I was polite and none ignorant. My husband came out and began a conversation with him- that was the day he met God. A few weeks have passed and there is no promise of my husband becoming ever a JW. But this man sits and chats and discusses the family and importance of being a better person- he has calmed down, stopped smoking has become the person I wanted him to be for himself. He takes time to listen, is thoughtful. Therefore God comes in different guises and religions, if you believe in Jesus and GOD then believe someday, somehow he will come and maybe not in the way you thought he would. That mans persistence knocking at my door prevailed after 7 years- I am being honest from my heart- my home is now a garden finding bloom- each day I am being given a bouquet of happiness xxx Love Peg xxx

Elizabeth barrington
Elizabeth barrington

the author sent me the address so I could send my book and have it signed. I accidentally deleted it, do you know where I might be able to find it again?
Elizabeth Barrington

Scott
Scott

Hi,
I finished reading "The Shack" last night. I must admit that I cried several times both in sadness and in joy. Paul's take on who God is and why things are, was simply beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I will recommend it to my family and friends. Thank you

Blessed
Blessed

It is the BEST book I have ever seen ..... and its so INSPIRING ! really I feel so Overwhelmed when I read that ... totally changed the whole thing in my mind . really . what makes me think is moreover towards completely change paradigm
and i love the way when there PAPA revelaed that there is NO RELIGION . Awesome .. there is no religion what still exist GOD himself. AMEN!

witedazee
witedazee

I just started reading the book. At first I was upset because of the little girl. It reminded me of when my brother was murdered and they never found his body. However, once I got past that the book really touched my heart and emotionally I could feel God working in my life. I am on Chapter 9 now and the last few chapters made me laugh deep in my soul. I could really understand where Mack was coming from and the answers are crystal clear. All the critics with their heresy remarks are ridiculous. They don't get the humor and he spiritual aspect of it. So far so good and I can't wait to finish it.

Bill Costello
Bill Costello

I just finished the CD and went and bought the book....wonderful...and I went to see what others thought of it....mostly good, except for all the preachers, ministers and priests...you know those people who don't work for a living...the ones that sell sell Jesus for a living. They attack it with a vengence because it threatens their livihood. What a bunchy of phonies. I found "The Shack" to be absolutely refreshing and it answered a lot of questions reinforced a lot of questions and opinions that I had about organized religion. There ought to be more of this type of non typical literature published...it is great and ought to be read and pondered by people who can think for themselves

Teresa Gosney
Teresa Gosney

I was so moved by this book (I LISTENED AUDIO) I purchased the book for my son and wish to pass it to all my family- this made the understanding and love of the trinity so simple and moving that I can go on and on about the spirtit moving in me as I listened. We have one commandment and that is to love our neighbor- this I wish on everyone

Benita Miller
Benita Miller

Our nephew bought our family The Shack after our youngest son, 23 yoa, died suddenly while away at college - April 25, 2009. This book ministered to my heart in the deepest and most profound way. God provided this book to "take me away" from the heartache of having a child pass away. I only wish I wasn't done with it...what did it do for me? Well our son was "born again" at age 15, but was not walking iwth Christ on a day to day basis, bottom line, he was human and not perfect. He loved the Lord and knew JEsus was the only way -- so the shack presented God/Jesus/Holy Spirit in such a loving, kind, sweet way that is so contrary to what we hear today. I am a daughter of God and honestly, I have been so turned off by the church today, long before our son went to be with Jesus. It is about love, love your neighbor as yourself,and know God. I am rambling, my heart is broken but always from the time we found out our Daniel son was no longer on this earth with us -- God sustained us with strength and gave us a peace that passes all understanding that Daniel is in Heaven now, he just moved. Thanks and May God's Light Shine Upon all of you!

Patricia Cox
Patricia Cox

It took me a while to get the beginning of the book. I read the first part before i moved on, but when I did I couldn't stop. I learned so much about the questions I have been asking myself. I felt it was me asking the questions. After reading it I knew I wasn't alone. This is the first book that I have read that was able to put it in common terms. Once I started reading it, it was hard to put down. The book was introduced to me by a handyman I hired to do some work. He said, "you have to read this book, you will never be the same."

I let me mother read the book and she has read it over and over about 10 times. She called her sister in Houston and she bought the book and her two daughters bought the book. My mother took it to the church and several ladies from the church bought it. My mother told my sister and brother and they bought it. My mother is spreading the word better than any advertising agent. When we go home to visit her (she is 74) we have to be prepared to sit down and discuss the book.
It would be a great day if she had the opportunity to meet mr. Young.

Sign Pat

Nate Lokos
Nate Lokos

I am about three quarters of the way through "The Shack" and have been touched; as have been many of the folks who previously commented. The story has enhanced my perspective of God and the relationship that He so desires to have with us.

I did have a couple of comments that I wanted to share. First, I think that one must be sure to view this, and similarly wonderful books, as a supplement to the word of God and not a replacement. While the Bible may be difficult to understand in places, it is God's Word and it alone is alive and powerful, sharper than the sharpest sword, cutting between soul and spirit. I suggest that anyone having serious trouble understanding the Bible ensure that they 1) have a reputable easy-to-read translation with extensive footnotes and 2) pray that the Holy Spirit will unlock the meaning of God's word and apply it to their heart.

The second comment concerns God's great nature. He is truly loving, peaceful, awesome, and--praise Him--merciful. In fact, my vocabulary is far too limited to begin to describe how wonderful God is! However, God is also just. Without His justice, the world and our lives would be capricious jokes. That's why heaven and hell are necessities. God's assurance of an ultimate judgement for all expresses both His just nature and His high regard for humanity. After all, someone goes through life keeping God at arms length and/or trying to reach God through their own efforts or theology has very clearly expressed their desire to keep far away from God and not approach Him on His terms. God would be belying His own nature if He forced people that did not want to know Him to spend enternity with Him.

Be blessed.

Cynthia Jones
Cynthia Jones

My life will never be the same. My eyes were open to the restictions that I myself had placed on what God would be like. I did not want the book to end. I read this book while recuperting from a heart attack and as such was able to devote significant time in reading this book. I purchased the book and am recommending it to all of my friends. Thank God for you!!!

Golda Davidson
Golda Davidson

I thought the book the shack was a wonderful book. Sometimes the Bible is hard to understand and this gives a person a better understanding of how the Lord realy is. This book takes the fear out of religion and makes you want more of the lord. This book shows that we have a loving lord and not what we have been taught about heaven and hell. I feel Mr. Young was lead by the Lord to write this book. The Lord does come to us through dreams and visions and this book proves that. The book the Shack may be fiction but it is so true.I have myself and know other people that have experenced these things that was in this book. I feel everyone should read this book and they will fall in love with the lord all over again, or want to know him. Golda Davidson

Bertha Giddings
Bertha Giddings

I read the book "The Shack", it was an awinspiring story. When I wasn't crying, I was laughing, or eager to see what would follow. There are few books I pick up and can't put down. This was one such book. It was a life changing story. To each one that I have reccomended this book ( and there has been many) they have all spoke of how life changing it is, how they want to be kinder to their fellow person or how they want to just love everyone. It is wonderful and thank you Paul for bring it to us.

Bertha Giddings

nancy gorman
nancy gorman

YESSSSSS...REST is living in the present(ce) of God... moment by moment not meditating on the future or the past but on HIM who is life! Within this rest is LOVE PEACE AND JOY! yes... we have to make the decision to live like this.

Debbie Graham
Debbie Graham

I have been a christian since I was 9 years old...I am now 48.
Your book has tremendously made a difference in my life.
After reading some reviews, I see I am not alone in the emotions that 'The Shack' brought to me.
I laughed, I cried, I wanted to shout....so many feelings.
In September, 1997, my 16 year old son was killed in a car wreck.
Over the years, I have been on emotional roller coaster.
In the past couple of years though, God has eased my pain.
Some of the incidents in your book, have only confirmed some of the things that God has revealed to me.
I know it is fiction, but I believe it came from a heart that Truly loves God.
Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.
I'm telling everyone I know, to read it.
Again, Thank You
Debbie Graham

Kim Owens
Kim Owens

I loved this book and it was an amazing transition for me. This book was such a healing experience for me. I had just gone through a devastating period in my life where I caught my husband cheeting on me, and he was really mean and he managed to fire me from our company and took my income away and removed me from my life and moved his girl friend into my life.

I was depressed and could hardly get out of bed. I was wondering around a book store looking for something to read and came across "The Shack". I didnt know what it was about, but it sounded inspirational, so I bought the book. The girl at at the check out counter told me that she had heard it was really great. I had never heard of it before.

I like so many others, must admit, I couldn't put the book down. I laughed, cried, laughed again. I is an amazingly powerful book that made me look inside myself. My divorce is not comparable to loosing a child, but the principles that are conveyed in the book spoke to me. I was consuming myself over the grief of loosing my husband my business and I felt so sorry for myself. I got out of bed and got a job and started back on the road to a healthy happy life with my kids after I read the book. It wasn't an instant change, but it was a beginning to getting me out of bed and back into the world of the living.

tony pajamas
tony pajamas

i hope people who read this book dont start to think that God saves everyone even when they willfully sin and dont repent. yes, God loves us all but do you love him back? im someone who believes that there is no better book than the Bible Itself!

Rita Corbett
Rita Corbett

Hi - I LOVED The Shack!

But there is one thing the author missed - I would LOVE to talk to him about it - it is the most amazing discovery about God that I have ever made, and would add an even further dimension to his work.

I hope to hear!

Rita

Dardy Berge
Dardy Berge

My friend told me about The Shack. I cried, I laughed, and when I was finished I made a mental list of all the people I needed to tell about it. I grew up learning about God's love and this story explained what I learned. Thank you for this gift. God has used you in such a wonderful way through your writing.

dimitar traev
dimitar traev

i finish the book in my holiday to spain.one of the best book i ever reed.GOD bless u Young.Did anyone know if i can find this book in bulgarian?

chelsey
chelsey

ok i'm sorry it does say it im sorta blonde...... it should still say it bigger. sorry i think the book portrays an image of god that we all should have or want to have it shows him as wanting to be there for us and it shows how god doesn't bring pain on us we bring it on ourselves i do like the book and i may read it again. i am very glad that you published this book and im happy you wrote it, it widened my understanding and my desire for the lord. i'm sorry and thank you

chelsey
chelsey

you really should put SOMEWHERE on the book that it isn't a true story cuz here i am readin it thinking this really happened but no! it didn't so you should think about people like me next time the people who believe the book was true!!!!!

other then that it was a good book.

Mark
Mark

Good evening,
I just finished reading the Shack and I am so grateful for it! The book was given to me by a fellow from church who said it was really different. I didn't start to read it right away but a few weeks later, another fellow who was ministering to me
ask me if I had ever heard of it. I said it was sitting on my kitchen table,unread,but I recognize God's voice when I hear it...copies in Spanish are available from ChristianBook.com, as I am buying one to give to a very dear woman from South America to read as she flies home for the holidays.She has no idea what she will be experiencing when she goes to"the Shack"!

Marian
Marian

Hello,
I would love to know if there are any plans to have this book translated to Spanish?
I know it would be a HUGE blessing to the hispanic community as well.
thanks!

Karen V
Karen V

Rest assured The Shack is a work of fiction. If you look carefully on the cover/back of the book, you'll probably see it noted somewhere. A real little girl didn't die, but she represents Innocence of a Child, "murdered" by someone. So many people have something within them taken/destroyed/murdered when they are yet children (physical/sexual/mental abuse, etc). That leaves deep, deep scars and wounds that take years, if not decades, to heal. Through building trust and developing a loving relationship with Papa, we can recover from anything and heal the deepest wounds. You are loved!

nancy young
nancy young

i need someone to answer this question is the shach a true story or is it fiction did this little girl really die i did love the book but i am confused

Kristen O'Brien
Kristen O'Brien

I just love reading from all of you that are seeing God in this book. Everything Jesus said and did while on the earth shocked and appalled the smart, learned religious leaders. He came to love the lost and the broken. Thank God!

Dave Aldrich
Dave Aldrich

Eric... reading what you just read reminded me of the true power behind this book (the True Power's name is PAPA!). So many are missing the point, missing the boat, really. Straining over doctrinal correctness and missing the reality of our loving, wonderful Father who desires us passionately! Thanks for what you shared.

Sherman, I continue to enjoy hearing folks that have posted here, how they have been so moved by The Shack... so moved by His grace for sure.

Dave

Kathy
Kathy

Eric, thank you for opening up your heart and sharing your comment with all of us. I to have been blessed reading this book. It encourages me to read all the ways this books has blessed so many people. Papa is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He meets you just where you are. He reveals Himself to you the way you need Him to. Thank you for everyone who allows us to see a glimpse of Gods love through your comment.

Trish Jones
Trish Jones

You are so right Eric ... this is where we measure the depth of our love.

Eric
Eric

You know what is so awesome with Gods love? He extends it to everyone! I would ask that we pray for those who find it necessary to question how God works, rather that we would simply jump in (as Peter did in faith!) the flow of Gods love and let it just be!

Trish Jones
Trish Jones

Actually, I should rephrase my comment above ... "they're not even heavenly minded, they just think they are!"

Trish Jones
Trish Jones

You know Eric, I couldn't have put it better and so nicely!

I would probably have ranted about their legalism and being the ones Jesus was referring to about "shutting up the kingdom of heaven against men..." This book is probably turning more men to Christ than all their legalism put together.

When Tommy Tenny wrote "Hadassah" God told him to get to people "through the back door" and this is the reason he made it a novel because it would get people to read it.

I don't say we should preach lies - for those of you ready to shoot me down - but if you can't get to people except via preaching scripture you have the problem, not those "NOT" listening to you.

Sherman, forgive me for "ranting" on your blog but boy, these people gotta understand what it really means to "be in the world but not of it," and for some of these folks, they are so heavenly minded, they have no earthly use!

Eric, I'm so pleased to see this book has helped with rebuilding the relationship with your dad.

Be Blessed,

Trish

Eric
Eric

My heart is truly sadden to see so many reject Gods love and base it on the Bible. Isnt that how the Jews missed out on Christ? We are so worried about living by the law, that we forget that because of Christs death and resurection, we no longer live by the law. We live in freedom through the love of the Father because we are His Children.
This book is fiction and is one mans view of God in all 3 persons. It is not a theological study on the trinity (which is also mans attempt to understand God and not even biblical) or in redemption or forgiveness.
Tthis story is about one persons experience of meeting God right where he was. It was his choice to step out in faith, but ultimately God was there even in his pain, anger and misunderstanding of who God really is.
God is using this book (as well as His living Word) to restore a faulty relationship with my dad.
I have never understood my relationship with my earthly father and thus never understood or comprehended my relationship with my heavenly father. This book brings to life His love for me as a son. I am now accepting my own dads love as a son. I want to sit in the arms of my heavenly father and fully accept His love and acceptance knowing that there is no expectations only an expectancy in the relationship!

MARY
MARY

recommended to all my family members! (6) ...great christmas gift!

suzq
suzq

REFRESHING;)learned alot! BEAUTIFUL STORY

sue pinkston
sue pinkston

Felt like I was reading a story and a bible lesson for the day everyday after a certain point in the book. YEA:) WAS REFRESHING.

George
George

Dear Margaret-

When you get there be prepared to start anew.

Margaret Willits
Margaret Willits

Above is my comment. How did Young come to write this amazing book? Truth and fiction combined or pure fiction? Whatever, there's much within its pages to return us to God's word.

Margaret Willits
Margaret Willits

I've heard several stories as to how and why this book came to be. The one I want to know about, did Young really write this book for his son in the face of HIS great sadness over the tragic death of his sibling? Or is it just his creative way of showing his readers the depth and grace of God's love? Or both? I'd really like to know but whatever--the book makes one think deeply, crying and rejoicing. Hope to get an answer.

Mari Annej Andersen
Mari Annej Andersen

I would like to get in touch with Paul Young or someone who works with him. We are a ministry - "Freedom House Minisitry"
in the Chicagoland area and we would very much like to invite him to speak at one of our events Please notify me in how I could make contact with him.
www.marianne@freedomhouseministry.net

Sherman Hu
Sherman Hu

hiya Stella, thanks for jumping in to this conversation with your feedback and resources.

RE: WindRumors - I had originally worked on it, but the super delicious new design has been designed by a design studio to take Paul and his blog to the next level ;-)

RE: Book recommendations - thanks for sharing! ;-)

Sherman Hu
Sherman Hu

Elizabeht, I'm unsure what Paul had shared with you. But you can check his WindRumors blog for details.

Sallie
Sallie

This book is both amazing and wierd. I don't like other people's idea of God and agree with Tony P. that the Bible is the best source for truth. I have one big question for the author, what does he mean when he says Jesus is not a Christian? That whole last page of that chapter has me wondering about the whole message!
Thanks, Sallie

David
David

Sallie - I just heard the author speak this weekend and he commented on this exact subject being one of the most controversial in his book. Paul (the author) states that Jesus was obviously not a "Christian", he was/is a Jew. He was born, lived and died a Jew. The term "Christian" did not come to be used until many years after Jesus death. Paul even uses the following joke to poke fun at the whole concept: Did Jesus arrive in heaven and think to himself "...darn, if only I had waited 10 years, could I have asked myself into my own heart?" The author also says that people often ask him "Are you a Christian?" He responds...tell me what one is and I'll tell you if I am!
...Hope this helps. David

Susan Vollmar
Susan Vollmar

Sallie asked a question regarding "What did the author mean when in a chapter it stated that Jesus was not a Christian? I have not come to that place in the book yet however, may I throw this out. "Christian" represents a state to be Christ like, to walk the pilgrimage, to believe in Christ. Having said that: Jesus Christ is already "Christ" period. He paid the price. We need him so much for all depths of our hearts. I am so humbled and thankful he is Christ and he knows the depths of our hearts and he is the loving great healer. "He is "The great I AM" In Christ Love Susan