Susan Preston - Media Information
About the Series
Christian history comes to life!
Although sub-titled ‘The Apostle John series’ he is not the main focus of the books. A key character, yes, but every book lifts the lid on life in those times, and enables us to see people coping and living under Roman rule. As the back cover says – “To be a Christian in 1st century Ephesus, under Roman rule, is dangerous”
Come! Walk with them. You will see them as people - like us!
Life as a Christian in Ephesus in the first century AD was perilous, especially for the Apostle John. He was targeted by Roman authorities who hoped that if they silenced him, the Christian sect would disappear.
But John had a family who loved him, as a man, as the last living disciple, and as a mentor.
As he writes his memories of his time with Jesus Christ, his family live, work, and deal with the challenges and persecutions of the times. Seen as heretics by the Jews, a threat to their livelihood by the pagans, and as insurrectionists by the Roman authorities, all would have been happy for this ‘sect’, the fellowship of the ‘Way’ to give up.
Their faithfulness has given us the Bible today, and has proved that the ‘gates of Hades will not prevail’ against Christ’s church.
Readers soon identified the ‘hero’ of the Apostle John series of books as his fictitious great-grandson, Benjamin. He is joined by his equally fictitious family, fellow-believers, Roman soldiers, and haters of Christianity.
In the background, and sometimes the foreground, the Apostle John is writing his gospel, as life in these tumultuous times plays out.
What if you awoke to find yourself in the 1st century AD among the persecution and hatred of Christians like yourself? How would you cope?
For the last few years Susan has been researching and writing the Apostle John series of books. As she will tell you, Susan has learned a great deal about the hostile environment in which the first Christians lived and worked.
Assorted Alternative Bios about Susan
Currently, Susan is 'breathing life' into the late 1st century AD with her book series. Subtitled 'Apostle John Series' - these books are about the people, the culture, the challenges and the dangers of life in those times.
Susan’s writing talent surfaced in her early school years, then life, raising a family, moving from Scotland to Western Australia, intervened. That talent did not go away, just lay dormant. She ran a weekly church girls club, co-coordinated children’s holiday camps, was the co-author of a children’s church program, and wrote a help book for children, ‘We Are Divorced’.
Circumstances led to a change of direction, that of being a registered Trainer and Assessor, and employment as a computer and software trainer. There, her talents spread to writing ‘help’ books – with all steps shown.
Then came an ‘aha’ moment. A detailed Bible study series on the Gospel of John led to Susan ‘seeing’ the people behind the story. Gigabytes of research later, Susan had a database of life in the 1st century AD.
All of this has gone into the Apostle John series of books, of which Hold the Faith is the first. Currently, she is working on book five
When Susan changed from a career as a computer trainer to writing historical Christian fiction, it seemed as vast a change as moving from Scotland to Western Australia.
It came about after listening to a detailed Bible study on the gospel of John. Susan’s interest was piqued.
What was it like for those first ‘Followers of the Way? Susan wondered.
Further studies, and an enormous amount of research later, the facts demanded to be recorded… as fiction.
“Researching life in the 1st Century AD is a combination of mystery tour and treasure hunt,” she said.
One she still enjoys.
Research became addictive, the characters became part of the family for Susan and her late husband.
She says - "So there was an additional dimension to the loss I felt when he died in December, 2013.
She was writing book 3 in the series then. His words to her when he was told he was dying, were, “You had better hurry up and finish book 3 if you want me to read it." – He was Susan's first editor and beta reader.)
It took a while, but it was published.
Now book 5 in the series is in first draft. she believes he would be pleased.
“Researching life in the 1st Century AD is a combination of mystery tour & treasure hunt.” So says Susan MB Preston, author, the Apostle John series
It might seem like a dull life, sitting in front of a computer researching facts, then weaving them into a fictional story.
Not for Susan MB Preston, author of the Apostle John Series.
Although these books started as curiosity… ‘I wonder if…’ the research became addictive. The characters in her book became family members.
As one reviewer said… “… they leap off the page.” Hold the Faith is the first book in the series, and it sets the scene, introduces the characters and the life in 92 AD. Book 5 is in progress, and is set in 96 AD.