A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

The Bright Unknown Book Tour + Author Interview

The Bright Unknown JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for The Bright Unknown by Elizabeth Byler Younts, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

The Bright Unknown 
Title: The Bright Unknown  
Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts  
Publisher: Thomas Nelson  
Genre: Literary Fiction  
Release Date: October 22, 2019

This poignant and heartbreaking novel explores the power of resilience, the gift of friendship, and the divine beauty to be found in the big, bright world—if only we’re willing to look.

Pennsylvania, 1940s. The only life Brighton Friedrich has ever known is the one she has endured within the dreary walls of Riverside Home—the rural asylum where she was born. A nurse, Joann, has educated and raised Brighton, whose mother is a patient at the hospital. But Joann has also kept vital information from Brighton—secrets that if ever revealed would illuminate Brighton’s troubling past and the circumstances that confine her to Riverside. Brighton’s best friend is a boy she calls Angel, and as they grow up together and face the bleak future that awaits them, they determine to make a daring escape.

Nothing can prepare Brighton and Angel for life beyond Riverside’s walls. They have no legal identities, very little money, and only a few leads toward a safe place to land. As they struggle to survive in a world they’ve never seen before, they must rely on each other and the kindness of strangers—some of whom may prove more dangerous than the asylum they’ve fled.

Narrated in Elizabeth Byler Younts's gorgeous style, The Bright Unknown is a sparkling search for answers, family, and a place to call home.
PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook

Elizabeth Byler Younts

Elizabeth Byler Younts gained a worldwide audience through her first book, Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Solace of Water and the Promise of Sunrise series. Elizabeth lives in Central Pennsylvania with her husband, her two daughters, and a small menagerie of well-loved pets.  

CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Hi Elizabeth! First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and allowing my readers the chance to get to know you and your latest book-The Bright Unknown- a little bit better. I always like to start these interviews with something fun… tell us 5 random facts about yourself that we WON’T find in your bio!

1-I am a die-hard lover of Tomato Pie!
2-I am a super slow reader so with that and being a very busy homeschooling mom, I rely a lot of audiobooks for my book diet!
3-I enjoy knitting and crocheting!
4-I was in a short film in my early 20s and it won 3rd place at a small film festival in Michigan where I grew up.
5-I wrote my first book when I was 11 and I knew I was hooked on the process!

Let’s talk writing! Your first booked was published in 2011, and you’ve had several books published in the years since. How does it feel to see your words in print for the first time? Do you still find that each release comes with the same excitement? 

It really is still a bit crazy to me that when I was 11 and began to dream about being an author, that it has come true! My first book was an indie book I did for my family and to see that in print was extremely special. My grandmother had lived life through the Great Depression and I wanted to immortalize her stories. I hold that book very tightly to my heart—even with the mistakes I’ve found in it since—because of my relationship with my grandma. She passed away in January 2019 and the book holds new meaning for me now. Writing stories is just such a special privilege.

Releases since then absolutely come with great excitement—and trepidation! The Bright Unknown has been the most difficult book for me to write up to this point. I love it. It is dear to me. But I still worry about it—like a mom over a toddler trying new things on the playground! I want it to find it’s place in the reader’s hands and I really truly hope the reader sees the hope and light within it.

Speaking of excitement, you’ve had an exciting few months! Not only is The Bright Unknown releasing in October, your previous book The Solace of Water was awarded the Carol Award very recently! Congratulations! Can you share your reaction to hearing that news?

I was SO VERY SURE that I wouldn’t win because I believed so firmly in my fellow finalists, that I nearly didn’t even watch the awards banquet from my living room, I wasn’t able to travel. My husband was traveling for work and had FaceTimed me right when I started the live stream. He decided he would also watch the live stream with me—I told him not to worry about it because I wouldn’t win. He did anyway and we stayed on FaceTime the whole time. When they announced The Solace of Water I think my jaw just dropped! My girls came running over to hug me and we just stared at the screen. My husband was yelling over the phone and, of course, said he knew all along that I’d win—he carries way too much confidence in me. LOL To say the least, it was entirely unexpected. I am extremely overjoyed with the award. It is so humbling and rewarding!

As a writer of historical fiction, what type of research goes into creating these stories? When writing, do you try to keep everything as historically accurate as possible, or do you find a little liberty is okay for the sake of a good story?

I read nonfiction, watch movies or TV, interview, read tons and tons of articles online. It is extremely important to me to keep things as accurate as possible. I am willing to change very little to make the story work. In The Bright Unknown I really had a hard time with the medical information—the medicine parts. There is very little about this and how it was administered and what it looked like practically. A few years ago for another book, I interviewed a nurse who worked in an asylum in the 1960s. She was a big help even though my book was set decades earlier. I do my best and if there are errors to be found I will apologize and ask for grace. It can be very stressful, to be sure!

Not only have you written Amish fiction in the past, but you have used your experience growing up in an Amish family to consult on Amish lifestyle and the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. What is that experience like? What have you consulted on that we might recognize?

I have consulted on 2 major TV shows. If you really want to know, you can message me privately! I can’t say that I’d recommend binge watching either of them but I did watch the one episode I consulted on because I was very fascinated.

It was a great experience. The one I worked with I was able to go on set and work with Andrew McCarthy, who was directing! When Andrew McCarthy yells for your help on a scene, you run! Before filming started he even called me…I still have a hard time imagining this. We talked through several scenes and I gave him a bit of my vision for a few things and we connected well. I was on set for 2 days and had a wonderful time. The second show was only via email and phone. I did not have to go on set, but it was a great experience as well.

I personally cannot wait to read The Bright Unknown! The idea of 1940s asylums sounds absolutely intriguing to me! But just in case anyone is still on the fence, what should everyone know about this book? Why will we love it? 

Good question. If they’ve read The Solace of Water and enjoyed it, they will love The Bright Unknown—dark and soul-furrowing heartaches that we all, at times, must walk through. There is hope within the darkness and everything is laced with grace and redemption. The Bright Unknown is a journey story to understand what it means to belong. A reader who enjoys books that make them cry or consider the deeper things of life will enjoy The Bright Unknown.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions. Before we go, I know I cannot wait to see what’s coming up from you! Can you give us an idea on what we can look forward to next?

I’m not able to share my next project yet but rest assured that there will be one. I will continue to tell stories about people who are walking through soul-rending situations with a focus on hope and light. I hope you will stick with me!

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Thank you for being a part of the tour!!!


Contact Form (Do not remove it)

back to top