Sweets for the Soul

Featuring Paul Young, Author of the "The Shack"


Does curling up with a good book, sipping from a mug of coffee, and indulging in a red velvet cupcake (or two) sound like your ideal Saturday night? If so, don’t miss Live to Give...a God Thing’s third annual Sweets for the Soul event on February 13! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the program will feature a presentation by best-selling author Paul Young—his much-loved literary work includes The Shack, Cross Roads, and Eve—as well as a dessert reception. The event is free and open to the public, although donations will be accepted in support of underprivileged women and children living in the Lowcountry. Treat yourself to calories that count, in a good way! Until then, read on to learn more about guest speaker Paul Young’s incredible journey as an author and speaker.



How did your journey as an author begin?
“I have always been a writer, like so many others; you journal, write poetry and songs for friends and family, some short stories to give as gifts, that sort of thing. I am married to Kim, who liked my writing and for a few years told me, “Some day as a gift for our children, would you write something that puts in one place how you think, because you think outside the box.” For a few years I didn’t feel ready, not whole enough, not mature enough until the year I turned 50. Our youngest of six was 13 years old, we were living in a tiny rental house, I was working three jobs and Kim at the local high school bakery. So on the train to one of my jobs I wrote my kids a story. We all love a good story and it is a wonderful way to present your thoughts. I also had nothing else to give them for Christmas that year, but someone gave us some extra dollars and I photocopied 15 copies of what would become The Shack; 15 copies that did everything I ever wanted that book to do. Never crossed my mind to publish it, never intended to be an actual author. God has a sense of humor.”

Tell us about life since the release of The Shack:
“That is not an easy question, because the last eight years have been surreal and utterly unanticipated and unprecedented. From 15 copies at Office Depot, The Shack in around 50 languages has sold enough copies to be, unofficially, sitting in the top 100 Bestsellers of all history. Because my writing has touched people inside the common experience of our losses, and given people a voice for their own story and great sadness, as well as a language that is not religious with which to have a conversation about God, I have been invited to disparate and cross-barrier conversations about some of the deepest issues of our lives. Remember, I didn’t ask nor was I looking for any of this, but here we are and it makes me laugh every day. Cross Roads was the second novel that has done very well, and already so has Eve. All three books are involved in discussions about being put on the big screen, The Shack slated for release mid-November, 2016.”

What inspired your latest release, Eve?
“My novels are written around very personal questions. The Shack: How does one reconcile the ideas about the power and goodness of God, in a world full of tragedy and travesty? Cross Roads: How does grace or change get inside the world of someone who doesn’t want it? Eve: If men are so obviously more messed up then women, how come men are in charge? I never thought it would be possible to write Eve, it was simply too fundamental a tampering and too difficult to translate into something accessible to the people for whom I care. Hardest piece of work I have ever engaged, but probably my best so far.”

Is there a central theme that links the various subjects of your books?
“Very much. What does it mean to be human? What is the nature and character of God? How do we process our losses and broken hearts?”

What brings you the most joy in writing and speaking?
“Listening. Listening to the stories of others. I am honored to have been allowed to walk on the holy ground of other people’s stories. It is astounding, wrenching, miraculous and rejuvenating. In all of this craziness, for that I will be eternally grateful.”

What can attendees expect from your presentation at Sweets for the Soul?
“Stories. I am a storyteller. I can’t tell you which ones or why those that night, but we will all find out together. It is more fun that way. Maybe I will tell you a story from the movie set of The Shack.”


WHAT: Live to Give...a God Thing’s third annual Sweets for the Soul fundraiser, featuring best-selling author Paul Young and a complimentary dessert reception.

WHEN: Saturday, February 13 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Hilton Head Christian Academy
(55 Gardner Drive)

WHY: All funds raised at Sweets for the Soul go toward supporting women and children living in the Lowcountry. We seek to meet the spiritual, emotional, and educational needs of local families through the funding of scholarships, spiritual counseling programs, career education, rental allowances, and much more. Live to Give is the mission in your own backyard!

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public; Donations and offerings gratefully accepted.
For more information, visit livetogivehhi.org

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