Lynn Austin is the bestselling author of nearly thirty novels and was one of the first inductees into the Christy Award Hall of Fame. A former teacher, who now writes and speaks full-time, Lynn has sold more than one and a half million copies of her books worldwide. Her novel Hidden Places was made into a Hallmark Channel movie starring actress Shirley Jones.

She and her husband have three grown children and make their home in western Michigan.


If someone asked you to describe yourself with one word, what word would that be?

Adventurous. I chose to attend a college 750 miles from home, where I later met my husband. He’s a musician, and he proposed by saying, “If you marry me, we’ll never be rich, but we’ll see the world.” I liked that! Since then, we’ve lived in two foreign countries and have traveled to many, many more. None of our three children was born in the United States. I enjoy seeing new places, trying new foods, and meeting new people from other cultures.

Let’s talk about your new book, All My Secrets (Tyndale, February 2024). Please tell us about it and what inspired it.

I was initially drawn to the Gilded Age because of the excesses of the era—the enormous, overly decorated mansions, the lavish lifestyles of the rich, the rags-to-riches stories of the Gilded Age tycoons. I wanted to explore what might happen if these fortunes were lost, or if my characters began to acknowledge the emptiness of a life lived only for pleasure. People today often envy the rich and famous, so I wanted to take a peek behind the scenes of a time period that is similar to ours in many ways and explore some of the values that shaped it.

In All My Secrets, Addy is being given conflicting advice. Her grandmother’s wisdom, her mother’s financial needs, society’s pressures, and her own growing social conscience are all pulling her in different directions. These influences are easy to see in a novel but aren’t so obvious in our everyday lives. I hope readers can gain insight into what might be influencing their own decisions and learn to discern God’s plan for their lives as they read Addy’s story.

What role does faith play in the story?

Faith plays a role in several ways. Some of the characters discover that their past mistakes can be forgiven through faith in Christ. This renewed faith provides them with a fresh start, even if they still must face the consequences of their mistakes. Other characters grow in faith throughout the story because of what they experience and learn to make better decisions by trusting God’s plan for their lives. And faith causes some of the characters to question the misplaced values that have shaped their lives.

What can readers look forward to next from you?

I’ve just finished writing a Christmas novella, which continues the stories of the characters from All My Secrets. It will be released in late fall 2024 in time for the Christmas season.

What do you find to be the most challenge part of writing? How would you advise young writers who are just starting out?

Researching within a vast sea of information (without pursuing endless rabbit trails) is challenging, but I enjoy that process. Creating complex characters and a fresh plot that hasn’t been overused is also challenging, especially after writing nearly thirty books. After all these years, I’ve learned about the daily discipline that’s required in order to write a book—and write it well—and still meet the publisher’s deadline. But it’s still one of my biggest challenges.

I would advise young writers to learn to set priorities in their life and writing, and allocate their time accordingly, aware of the endless distractions that will try to divert them from God’s call to write.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Do you have any favorite memories from Valentine’s Days past … or special traditions?

My husband Ken and I hadn’t been dating long when the college held a Valentine’s Day dance. They asked all single men and women to put their name in a hat, and the two winners would get a free dinner together at the city’s fanciest restaurant. Amazingly, Ken and I won! (I took that as a good sign!) Our Valentine’s Day tradition ever since has been to celebrate together at a fancy restaurant.

Thanks, Lynn! It’s nice to have you back at Divine Detour.

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For more information about Lynn, visit her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

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