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Book review and author interview: The Wanderer Reborn by Natasha Woodcraft

This post consists of a book review, an interview and details of the book. Links to other posts about The Wanderer Reborn are also included and will be updated during the blog tour.

Book review

The Wanderer Reborn is the sequel to The Wanderer Scorned, which I reviewed earlier. Although I was reading a digital advance review copy of The Wanderer Reborn, I finished reading it the day after I received it; the story is gripping. This is not a stand-alone book; without reading The Wanderer Scorned first it would be difficult to appreciate the background of the story. From 1st December to 5th December 2022 The Wanderer Scorned Kindle edition is available free.

Many modern series are written in a way that makes it possible to dip in and out in any order. I’d compare skipping the first book in this series with skipping (for example) The Fellowship of the Ring and beginning The Lord of the Rings with The Two Towers.

The few references to the earlier book are essential to the story.

Like The Wanderer Scorned, The Wanderer Reborn is a story within a story. It is told immediately after the first story. This time the narrator is a woman. She has had many adventures and has become wise.

Although the inspiration for this book is the early part of the Book of Genesis, this story follows the biblical text less closely than The Wanderer Scorned. It is an imaginative work of fiction. I found it an uplifting book. If it has a message, it is ‘Despair turns to hope’ – a line from one of the songs in the Wanderer Reborn.

There are songs composed by Natasha Woodcraft in both these books. She has recorded some of them and uploaded them to YouTube.

Interview with Natasha Woodcraft

I asked Natasha a few questions, which she has answered below.

Natasha, you were writing songs before you were inspired to write fiction. What is your musical background?

Hi Susan! Yes; I’ve been writing songs for a number of years. This came as quite a surprise to me, just as much as novel writing. However, my mum said I sang before I talked, so I suppose music has always been in my blood!

I started with unexpectedly getting the lead role in the school musical when I was just 8, then going on to win a regional singing competition the following year. I began playing the trumpet shortly afterwards and had lessons for 10 years, taking part in various bands and orchestras. At aged 13 I went to a school that specialised in performing arts and commenced singing lessons there, working my way quickly through all the grades and participating in many more musicals. However, I always felt like I was the underdog in a school full of brilliantly talented people. I have two left feet and didn’t receive another lead role in a musical until I was 33!

I’ve always made up little tunes when singing to myself, but it wasn’t until 2015 that I picked up a guitar and began writing worship music. It was at a particularly difficult time in my life when I needed to rely on God for everything and songwriting was a gift that the Lord gave me to cope during that time. One song I released recently, called Plan for the world, was born out of that experience 7 years ago.


I know that these books arose out of your Bible/prayer journalling. Is that something you have been doing for a long time?

Yes, though somewhat sporadically! I was an avid journaller during my teenage years, but the habit slipped when I had young children. I only took it up again more recently. I find that writing down my thoughts and prayers as I read scripture helps me to engage much more meaningfully with the text. It also helps to keep me awake as I usually do this very early in the morning! We know that God speaks to us through His word, but it can be hard to listen to Him when life gets busy. Journalling forces you to slow down for a moment. It is always such a blessing to go back on something you’ve written and see how God has answered your prayers and spoken to you, even if you didn’t realise it at the time.

Most of the loose ends have been tied up by the end of The Wanderer Reborn, but it is still obviously part of an ongoing story. Are you planning any more books in the same series?

Yes, I slipped in Azurak right at the last minute when I realised that there was a Book 3 brewing in my mind! Ha ha. Originally, The Wander Scorned and The Wanderer Reborn were one story, so I was tying up all the loose ends at the end of Reborn. (I had thought the next book I wrote might be about the flood, hence Kayin’s ‘pronouncement’, but I have actually transported a flood-type narrative into another world in my current work in progress, which is being written for young adults.)

I got the idea for Wanderer 3 when I received some feedback on a late draft of The Wanderer Scorned from an editor. She suggested I move the Lamech section from the original omniscient narration into Chanoch’s point of view, and as I did so, I started developing Chanoch and Adah as characters and I also discovered Yaval. All sorts of ideas began forming for what I could do to take these characters forward. So Wanderer 3 (once its written) will be the continuation of the Prologue/Epilogue story. I might do a Chayyim & Avigayil spin off at some point too…watch this space!

The lists of characters in your books are really helpful, especially as you have changed most of the spellings from those in the version I am familiar with.

Are there other parts of the Bible, which you might consider writing in a similar fictional manner?

Over the last year I have been listening through the Old Testament on Audio Bible whilst walking my dog. Ideas come to me all the time when I’m walking. Sometimes I have to stop the Bible, make some notes on my phone and rewind before carrying on! So I have quite a few ideas. Many of them have probably been done already, so it’s going to take some more research and definitely a lot more prayer. But what I love most about writing this genre is how much time you get to spend in the Word of God. It is such a privilege and delight. I hope the Lord will give me the time, inspiration and opportunity to write many more stories in the years to come.

Thank you for telling me more about yourself and your writing plans, Natasha. I’m looking forward to reading more of your books in the future.

Dear reader, you may also like to visit Bobbie Ann Cole’s blog, where she has a video interview with Natasha.

Details of The Wanderer Reborn

Publisher: WW&S Publishing

Publication date: 3rd December 2022

Where to buy it: It will be available to order from all bookstores in due course, but the links are not live yet. Signed paperback copies can be purchased from Natasha Woodcraft’s website.

The ebook is available exclusively from Amazon here. It is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, so Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read for free.

Picture of the book superimposed on a landscape with the text:
Coming Soon
'Natasha woodcraft has given us another beautiful what-might-have-been account. Awan's growth in grace deeply challenges our own faith as we are faced with her grief and love. How do you forgive the murderer of your twin brother?'
Maressa Mortimer  Author of Sapphire Beach and the Elabi Chronicles
natashawoodcraft.com

28th November Joy Margetts

29th November Vicki Cottingham

30th November Maressa Mortimer

2nd December Rob Seabrook

3rd December Natasha Woodcraft

4th December Ruth Leigh

5th December Alexandra Banwell

6th December Olusola Sophia Anyanwu

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Book review – The Wanderer: Scorned by Natasha Woodcraft

Natasha Woodcraft has written a remarkable book – The Wanderer: Scorned is the first in a series looking at what the background might have been to some well-known stories from the book of Genesis. She is not writing specifically for people who regard the Bible as a sacred text. The Wanderer: Scorned is a work of fiction, but the story includes many truths about relationships between people and between people and God.

Picture of the paperback book The Wanderer: Scorned

The tale is told as a story within a story. I became so absorbed in the main story that I had forgotten the context in which it was being told. Once I had read the book and the appendices I went back and read the prologue and epilogue consecutively. They fit together perfectly and left me wanting to read the sequel.
I enjoyed the way that Natasha Woodcraft imagined what it would have been like for the first humans, having been expelled from Eden and being inexperienced in every way.

Readers who are familiar with other Bible stories may find a foretaste of some of them. The relationship between two brothers reminded me of the story of the prodigal son. Having to wait during a character’s illness was not unlike Jesus’ response to Lazarus’ illness. There was also an incident reminiscent (or prescient) of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

As well as being a writer, Natasha Woodcraft is also a musician. Her song included in Chapter 3 is available as a video with subtitles on YouTube.

I read an ARC (advance review copy) as a large print .pdf file, which took me longer than it would have taken to read a book. (For one thing it wasn’t on my TBR (to be read) pile!)

The Wanderer: Scorned is being launched on 6th August 2022. It was a real privilege to be able to read it ahead of that date. It is available from Amazon as a Kindle edition from 2nd August 2022 and a paperback from 6th August 2022.

The sequel, The Wanderer: Reborn, is expected in Winter 2022.