Bodie and Brock Thoene’s names have been synonymous with quality Christian Fiction for decades. And with almost 60 historical novels to their credit it’s little wonder.
“History is as fresh and dramatic as today’s news,” says Bodie. “We research the actual events as they happened and then place our characters in the center of the whirlwind. Keeping characters fresh means understanding their reactions to what they are living through. Without the emotion and the conflict in the lives of our characters the history would be something like watching the weather channel on a sunny day—writing historical novels is more like living through an episode of Storm Stories!”
During the past few years, the Thoenes have focused on the life and times of Jesus Christ in their highly commended AD Chronicles; but their newest series sees a return to the mid 20th century, where their stories first began.
With new publisher Summerside Press, the Zion Diaries commences with The Gathering Storm set in Belgium and then England, in the midst of World War II. Readers will be thrilled to revisit many of their favorite characters from the Zion Covenant and Zion Chronicles series, including Elisa and John Murphy, Rachel Lubetkin and Moshe Sachar.
The Thoenes also promise much more: “We wanted our first novel in the Zion Diaries series to be fresh and new, with new characters carrying the first novel so that everyone can read this story, even if they have never read a Thoene novel,” Bodie says. “While we will tell the stories of beloved characters, we intend to bring in the pathos and passion of new characters, as well.”
The Thoenes are unsure how many books will be involved in this series but promise to take readers through the duration of the war, spanning the years 1939 to 1945.
While they’ve made their name in historical fiction, Brock & Bodie are always willing to try something new—the duo, with son Luke, recently penned contemporary political thriller Icon. Published as a serial ebook by FamilyAudioLibrary, it has been in the top 100 ebooks on Kindle. They are soon to start the sequel, Effigy.
The Thoene’s passion for literature extends beyond their own writing. With a heart to help others experience the power of words, they established the charity Shiloh Light Foundation. “Shiloh Light Foundation produces the highest quality audio books for those who are visually impaired,” Bodie says. “We also provide free books to U.S. Navy ship libraries, other military personnel and more than 200,000 prisoners.”
Whether a novel is set in the city of Jerusalem, aboard a migrant ship bound for New York, the battlefields of France or the streets of Berlin, the Thoene’s faith is evident. Researching and storytelling has deeply impacted their own faith. “We can answer truthfully that we are the most blessed of all as we write,” Bodie says. “There are often times when we sit down to work and think we are going to write one thing—then something entirely different and life-changing emerges from the scene. We often feel the Lord is whispering actual events and showing us the hearts of real people as we write. This has changed our lives in ways beyond explanation. God’s truth shines through, touching us first, word by word, and line by line. There is hope and joy for every child of God. He intends for each of us to experience that joy even in the midst of this difficult moment in our own history. Like the characters in our novels, the Lord is the Author and Finisher of our faith.”