My first book, Polycarp: The Crown of Fire, was released by Christian Focus Publications in 2005. It is historical fiction for young readers, based on the life of Polycarp, second century bishop of Smyrna, disciple of the Apostle John, and one of the most famous martyrs in church history. It is the third in the Torchbearers series (novels on the lives of Christian martyrs), and is also available as an eBook. Interestingly, the book was translated into Turkish a couple of years later, in partnership with a missionary contact in the Middle East. Below is the cover for that edition, and, below that, excerpts from reader reviews (of the English edition):


“A stirring read for young people.”

“…very well researched and blends fact with fiction to make an exciting adventure story for seven to 12-year-olds, set in the days of the persecution of the early church by the Roman Empire.”

“Let yourself be transported to a world far different than our own through the writings of Newsom.”

“Reading The Crown of Fire was well worth it…I was captivated by the dialogue Newsom powerfully crafted….”

“…well written and chock full of fascinating history and well researched facts.”

“…perfect reading material, especially the spiritual aspect of the book…[we’re] racing through the book and gaining a good bit of Church history at the same time!”

“…grabs the reader’s attention on page one, and then weaves an action-filled story through to the final page.Drawing from ancient records, William Newsom paints a vivid picture of life during the early days of the Christian church. once into the story, it is hard to put it down…The accuracy of historical events in Newsom’s writing makes this an enthralling way to learn history.”

“…a thrilling account of the history of the church in very late first and early second centuries.”

“It is difficult to convey how much I loved this book. I plan to have my kids read it the next time we do Ancient Rome. I think that this is perhaps one of my favorite books ever. Mr. Newsom does a fantastic job of covering the feel of the early Church, the personalities involved, and the issues—along with the persecution—that the Church faced. A fantastic book for kids and adults alike.”

Get the paperback or eBook today!