William Paul Young was born May 11, 1955, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, but he spent the early years of his life with his missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea (West Papua). He never intended to be a published author; he kept his writings as gifts for family members until his wife urged him to publish The Shack---even this was only intended for his children and close family members. Initially he only had 15 copies of the book printed. Rejected by 26 publishers, Young and his friends published the book under their newly created publishing company, Windblown Media in 2007. Because of word-of-mouth referrals, the book jumped to number one on the New York Times trade paperback fiction bestseller list in June 2008. Indeed, The Shack was the bestselling fiction and audio book of 2008 in America. Young published Cross Roads in 2012.