Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel Land of Silence was voted by Library Journal as one of top five Christian fiction titles of 2016 and won the INSPY Award for General Fiction. Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category. Her book Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category. In 2011, after publishing her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, Tessa was named New Author of the Year in the FamilyFiction-sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards.

Tessa lived in the Middle East for the first fourteen years of her life. She then moved to England, where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States. She holds an MDiv from Yale Divinity School, where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. But that has not cured her from being exceptionally fond of chocolate. Contact Tessa at tessaafshar.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTessaAfshar/


Welcome to the blog, Tessa. I’m so honored to have you here today. Congratulations on your new release, Thief of Corinth. This story sounds amazing!

It’s a pleasure to hang out with you and your readers, Savanna. Thanks for inviting me.

Can you tell us what first inspired this story?

Increasingly, fans have been asking me for a book they could share with friends who are not practicing Christians. I wrote Thief of Corinth mostly for them. It is a more lighthearted story than you usually find in the genre. Thief of Corinth has more action and adventure than you may expect to find in biblical fiction. I hope my readers will be able to escape into a world that will make them laugh, cry, cringe, clap, and emerge feeling satisfied and strengthened. The novel still grapples with a few important issues, and of course it takes the reader on an adventure of faith. But that adventure occurs later in the story, giving the reader time to settle into the plot first before coming face to face with God.

Many of Corinth’s inhabitants were on the naughty side. In his letter to the house churches he helped to build, Paul said they had been greedy, immoral, drunkard, slanderers and swindlers before Jesus grabbed a hold of them (1Corinthians 6:9-11). I wanted to write about a character that fit this mold. Someone who was a bit of a rascal, with a lot of spunk, and yet at the same time lovable. I ended up writing about a talented girl named Ariadne who fell into theft almost by accident.

Sounds like it offers an incredible journey for the readers. 🙂

What will you remember most about writing this book?

I do a great deal of research when I write these books. It was hard not to fall in love with Corinth as I learned about its history. Corinth was a fascinating city, a boomtown, full of opportunity and excitement and danger. It provided a thrilling background for a novel. My only regret is that I could not personally travel there before writing the story. But maybe someday!

That would be amazing to visit there. Hope you get that opportunity!

What’s one of your favorite things about being an author?

To create a world that someone I will never meet can get lost in, be deeply touched by, even changed by, is an amazing honor. And to do all that from home is the best part. Being a full-time writer is still new to me, and I am enjoying every moment of it.

Love how the power of stories connect us. 🙂

What advice would you give to a new writer?

Khaled Hosseini, the author of The Kite Runner once said: “the most difficult thing about writing is outlasting the beast—lack of stamina, really . . . There are going to be many times where you’re going to be frustrated, where you’re pretty sure that you’ve just wasted the last four months of your life, where you think that this is something that somebody in junior high would write. There are multiple crises of confidence, and episodes of self-doubt. And what I’ve learned is that you just have to weather those.”

Even giants like Hosseini, who has sold over 38 million books, have moments of discouragement. So most likely, you will not be spared. When you have lost confidence and want to give up, the trick is, just don’t! Seek good counsel, be teachable, don’t resent good criticism, and press through the bleak seasons.

Great advice. I needed to hear that, Tessa. Thank you!

In all your studying and researching for your novels, can you name a Biblical figure – besides Jesus, of course! 🙂 – who you would have liked to meet?

Probably Paul. He was brilliant, tough, bold, honest, and impossible to ignore. He had a wicked sense of humor and the kind of personality that could suck the air out of a room. But he could also be gentle, leaking love and protectiveness. A complex man. He would certainly never bore you.

Ah, yes. I love how you describe him. 🙂

Thank you SO much for being with us today, Tessa. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?

I am working on two more books in this series, which is based on minor characters in the Book of Acts. In one of those books, I will bring back a character named Theo from Thief of Corinth. So if you read Thief and fall in love with Theo, don’t worry. He is coming back!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to meet your followers. Please stop by at tessaafshar.com and sign up for quarterly newsletters where you will have plenty of opportunities for winning free stuff.

Sounds great! I look forward to reading more of your stories. Happy Release Day!


Tessa has graciously offered to give away a copy of Thief of Corinth to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for entering! Contest is open to US residents only. Contest ends August 14, 2018.  The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!