If I hadn’t taken that hiatus, it would have killed me. I came close to burnout—launching a company, handling book due dates at the same time and handling family traumas.

Can you share some of those challenges and how God shepherded you through them?
Six months after I decided to take a hiatus, my niece Madison (Mady) died in the middle of the night from a congenital heart defect. She was 6 years old. Sheltering my kids and myself through that grieving process was huge. Six months after that, I was pregnant with my son, Jack. We weren’t planning that either. God could see all that ahead—the good and the hard and what I would need.

What led you to write again?
Three and a half years into taking a break, I sensed a need to get back into the groove. I had read The Da Vinci Code in 24 hours. I loved the pacing and the intrigue, but I obviously hated the heresy. I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan, and those movies were coming out around that time. This led me to write a big epic quest trilogy that had some of the pacing and intrigue of The Da Vinci Code, but to remain scripturally accurate.

How did you devise the plot for The Gifted Series, and specifically for the critically acclaimed first book, The Begotten?
I talked to a couple of biblical scholar friends and told them I was looking for a Biblical mystery. They mentioned the lost letters of St. Paul.  In 1 Corinthians you see a reference to letters that are not part of our Christian canon. What if someone were to find a new letter from St. Paul? What would be the most evocative thing he would write about, but remain true to the letters we do know? I thought it would be spiritual gifts, pre-reformation and pre-renaissance. That’s how I wound up with supernatural thrillers. The second book in the gifted series, The Betrayed was published in September.  I am writing the third book, The Blessed.

What is your advice to aspiring writers and others who long to fulfill a God-given dream?
There are seasons in all of our lives. Just because an open door hasn’t appeared before us at the moment we want doesn’t mean it won’t come down the line. The older I get, the more I’m comfortable with just trusting that I’m to do what’s laid before me and trust Him to do what He’s going to do and accept that. God is good all the time, no matter what happens.

Stacy Hawkins Adams is a freelance writer and Christian fiction author. Her third novel, Watercolored Pearls, was released last month.