Sunday, July 22, 2007
I've watched Austin Boyd's progress from an attendee at the Mount Hermon Conference to an award-winning author and faculty member there. He remains the same quiet, dedicated, thoughtful man he always was, and I'm proud to call him friend. His travel schedule has been extremely hectic and we haven't been able to connect for a formal blog interview, but I did want to give you a little background on him and give my personal endorsement to his latest book, The Return. Austin's story is an inspiration to everyone who is still struggling to see their words in print.
The following is abstracted from Austin's web site: On a West Virginia farm in 1971, young Austin W. Boyd felt the call to become an astronaut. In 1982, Navy pilot Boyd entered his first application to join NASA’s space program. He would submit more applications than any other naval officer in history. In 1990 he made the cut for the first time and became a semi-finalist. He was cut in the next round. Again he became a semi-finalist in 1992. Again he was cut. At age 40, late in the game for many pilots, he made it all the way to Houston as an Astronaut Candidate Finalist. Twenty were interviewed, one was selected.
Age 42, again, semi-finalist. At age 44, Boyd was ready to give it one last shot. He had made enough connections, and fulfilled all the requirements. He had the dream application. This was his time.
And then he called it off. His wife, suffering through the stress of fourteen moves, three wars, and eight astronaut applications, was sick.
Boyd had walked the daunting path to become an astronaut, but decided at its pinnacle that his calling was first to his family—to a journey, not the destination. In 1998 he began writing The Evidence, the fulfillment of his astronaut dream in print, if not in life.
“There’s one thing that writers and astronauts must both possess in great quantity,” Boyd says. “Tenacity.”
He moved to Huntsville, Alabama—Rocket City, USA—in a job as a spacecraft engineer and began to write.
A second mortgage on his house and dozens of rejections later, he finally succeeded. I'd encourage you to check his web site for the full story of how he achieved this, but eventually Austin had a three-book contract from NavPress for the Mars Hill Classified series. The first book, The Evidence, was hailed as a new entry in the genre of Christian fiction—technical thriller, space suspense, and romance all rolled into one. Austin's second book was The Proof. The final novel in the series, The Return, was recently released, and I was privileged to provide a quote for the back cover copy for that book. Like its two predecessors, it's an excellent book, and I highly recommend it.
Austin is currently working on an exciting project, but I don't have permission to release the details. Nevertheless, it's a great continuation of the success story of a dedicated author and fine Christian. Congratulations, Austin.