Terry Waite had revealed he wrote a book in his head during his time being held hostage in solitary confinement in Beirut.
He told The Big Issue magazine that the stories he had in his head due to being a reader helped him cope.
“I had no pencil and paper, but I could write in my head. I wrote my first book, Taken On Trust, in my head. I was chained up for 23 hours and 50 minutes a day.
“I had no books or papers and no companionship. I slept on the floor. The only way I could survive was to keep myself mentally alive. I didn’t ever feel the close presence of God. I felt alone.
But I could say, in the face of my captors, you have the power to break my body by beating me, you have the power to bend my mind by interrogating me, but my soul is not yours to possess,” he told the magazine.
He said he knew he might die, but he kept telling himself, “don’t give way to morbid thoughts. You still have life today”.
Mr Waite said he thinks he came out of the experience a better person, adding: “We live in a world of suffering and there isn’t a soul who doesn’t suffer in some way.”
As an envoy for the Church of England, he travelled to Lebanon to try to secure the release of four hostages and was himself kidnapped and held captive from 1987 to 1991.
The Big Issue is on sale from Monday.