(NY POST) — In 2005, William Paul Young was working three jobs and living in a 900-square-foot apartment with his wife and four of his six children after losing his home to bankruptcy.
On his daily 40-minute train commute, he began writing a novel that he hoped would express his feelings about God to his children. It was a gift from his heart, the one thing he could offer during a season where he lacked money to buy gifts. He expected it would be read by his family and maybe a few friends.
He was off by more than 20 million people.
Young’s 2007 novel, “The Shack,” about a father whose mourning of his daughter’s death prompts a visit from God, has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. It has also been turned into a movie that hits theaters in March, starring Sam Worthington as Mackenzie, Young’s fictionalized version of himself, and Octavia Spencer as Papa, his representation of God.
For Young, 61, it has been a true rags-to-riches tale made more poignant by the hardship he’s faced throughout his life.
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