South Lincolnshire’s big open skies are familiar to Australian Susan Knight from childhood.
She grew up surrounded by British artist Campbell Mellon’s paintings of East Anglia on the walls of her parents’ home.
Susan’s second home at Surfleet Seas End provides her with a wonderful contrast to Australia, is close to her brother’s house and reminds her of those enormous skyscapes she loved as a child.
It has also provided the inspiration for her latest book, A Time to Act, the fourth in a series of what she calls “scripture-based novels for adults”.
Susan honed her writing talents producing scripts for children’s radio programmes for the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
She says: “It was a good discipline for me as a writer because you are given 13 and a half minutes and you have to get the essence of the story across and keep the children engaged.”
From there she started writing children’s stories and produced seven during the time her own children were young.
“Now my passion is writing scripture-based novels for adults,” she says. “I don’t play fast and loose with the record. I invent people and situations, but in every way it follows what it says in the bible. That can be tricky because there are various timelines that you can follow, and some people disagree.”
Writing fiction based on the bible is not surprising for someone who was brought up a Christian from being a baby.
Susan, who attends the Christadelphian church in Spalding when she is in this country, says: “My faith is important to me and in my view there is nothing more real than the bible.”
Susan admits when she shuts her study door she is like a time traveller, and says: “I disappear and I am in that world.”
Her first book, published in 2006, was A Time to Hear, set in the time of John the Baptist and before the gospels began. That book was reprinted in 2012 and in 2014 it was produced as a musical stage play and the book of the musical has just come out. The next book, A Time to See, covered the last part of Jesus’ ministry, and came out in 2009. Next, in 2012, came A Time to Speak, set in the time of the early church.
The latest, A Time to Act, is set in the early parts of the Acts of the Apostles.
Susan says: “It is basically a fictionalised biography of the Apostle Paul. He’s such a controversial figure and complex man and often misunderstood.”
The book (ISBN 978-1-5144-4030-8) is available from online sellers from £12 or visit sjknightworks.com