ABOUT KATHI MACIAS: Kathi is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.
How did you come up with the idea for Deliver Me From Evil? Were you happy with the book cover? I love it. It really sets the tone for the book.
It actually came out of a phone conversation with Andrea Mullins, the publisher at New Hope. We were discussing the Extreme Devotion series (about the persecuted Church), which I was still working on at the time, and we began to consider topics for a second series. Andrea was the one who suggested human trafficking, and it really struck a chord with me. The more I researched it and worked on the proposal, the more excited I became about joining forces with others working to abolish modern-day slavery, which is exactly what human trafficking is. And yes, I love the cover! It’s powerful.
Could you share some of your testimony with us?
I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, though if anyone asked about my religion, I said I was a Christian. I attended various churches with friends (Catholic, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Baptist) and even lived in a convent for a few months, thinking I might want to be a nun when I grew up (changed my mind on that one rather quickly). When I was in my early 20s, one of my brothers became a believer and began to pray for the family. Soon my mom and another brother were born again, and they were all praying for me. I didn’t hold out for long. On July 5, 1974, in the words of Brennan Manning, “I was ambushed by Jesus of Nazareth.” I’ve never been the same.
Can you give us a sneak peak into what book you are working on right now?
I am currently working nose-to-the-grindstone on the final book of the Freedom Series, The Deliverer, which releases in Spring 2012. (Book two of the series, Special Delivery, releases this winter and is currently in production.) As soon as I turn this one in next month, I will write my Christmas 2012 book (A Home For Christmas) and then jump right in to Last Chance For Justice, the second book in the new multi-author Bloomfieldseries from B&H. More than likely I’ll then be tackling my next New Hope “Fiction With A Mission” series after that, the “Patches of Courage” trilogy.
What was your favorite scene to write in Deliver Me From Evil?
This book/series has been the most difficult I’ve ever written, simply because the subject matter is so dark and heavy. More than once I had to walk away and clear my thoughts before moving on from one scene to another. But interspersed between the heartache and tragedy are several lighter scenes (written and incorporated into the book out of necessity), dealing with a pastor’s family and their Bible college-bound son who inadvertently discovers the human trafficking ring and becomes involved in the heroic and dramatic rescue attempt. Any scenes revolving around the absolutely functional and loving life of the Flannery family are my favorites.
In Deliver Me From Evil, what was the most difficult scene to write and why?
There were many difficult scenes in this book due to the subject matter, but the hardest had to be when the main character, 18-year-old Mara, realizes that one of the younger girls is being tortured and killed in an effort to extract information and punish her. Though the actual violence is done offstage, Mara experiences each blow and muffled scream, as does the reader.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not, how did you catch the writing bug.
Oh yes, I never wanted to be anything else. From the time I discovered the power and allure of words, I was hooked! I was an avid reader before I started kindergarten. A short story I wrote in the third grade was turned into a play for the entire PTA, and I won all sorts of awards for poetry in high school. I even told my then boyfriend (now husband) Al when we were in our early teens that I was going to be a writer one day.
I know you also write non-fiction books. Which came first Fiction or Non-fiction books?
I actually had my first two books release simultaneously: a nonfiction devotional for women (which became a bestseller for Regal Books) and a novel (which didn’t do too well, as Christian fiction was not popular in those days). So I suppose I launched both at the same time. My first love is fiction, but I enjoy writing both. For a long time, however, it was easier to get contracts for nonfiction books; that trend has definitely shifted.
How do you go about writing your fiction books? Which comes first for you, plot, characters, and theme?
I usually get what I call “a niggling in my soul,” which eventually emerges into the very basic theme of the book. I hate outlining and writing proposals because I do NOT develop plots or even characters ahead of time. I start with a couple of main characters, a starting and ending point for my story, and just let the rest unfold as I go. I know. We’re not supposed to do it that way, but it works for me, and I so enjoy the surprises as the story develops and my characters take over. So much fun! So long as they don’t try to lead me away from my pre-determined ending. Then I have to reign them back in a bit.
How do you get your ideas for your books?
I have ideas coming out of my ears! I am a seriously addictive idea person. You want ideas? You can have my overflow! My challenge is to figure out which ones are worth pursuing. Not every cute or fun or even meaningful idea that pops into our head is meant to be a book. I pray, think, study, bounce them off people, etc., before committing to moving ahead with one of them. For the most part, however, nearly all my book ideas are, to one degree or another, born out of some moral or social issue that I care about.
I heard it announced that you have signed a book contract with B and H, can you tell us what book you’ll be working on and when it will be out?
Yes, that’s true. Last Chance for Justice is book two in the new Bloomfield series from B&H. At this point I am one of three authors (the other two are Debby Mayne and Gail Sattler) signed to write a book each for that series, but other authors may be joining us. My book won’t release until Spring 2013, but we will start introducing people to the Bloomfield community and its quirky residents long before that.
Can you tell us something that might surprise people?
Few people know that my “road name” is “Easy Writer” because my husband and I were Harley riders for many years. We only recently traded in the Harley for a Corvette, but my “Easy Writer” moniker has stuck.
Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for your Christmas book? What do you hope readers take away from your book?
A Christmas Journey Home was originally titled Miracle in the Manger, and I thought of it while singing “Away in a Manger” in the shower. (Yeah, I know. Not very deep, is it?) In the words of Athol Dickson, one of the book’s endorsers, I hope my readers will realize that “it took a baby in a manger to show us how to truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”
QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK!
If someone gave you a give certificate to eat anywhere you desired, where would you eat and why?
Anywhere in Hawaii, preferably the Big Island. (LOL! Yeah, I know, you were looking for a particular restaurant, but I don’t care about what I eat—just where.)
You’ve been given and opportunity to go out on a special date with your husband. Where would you go and what would you do?
Hawaii! (Are you seeing a trend developing here?) Seriously, that is our favorite place in the world. My husband’s favorite island is Maui, and mine is the Big Island. But hey, I’d take a ticket to any of them any time! What would I do? As little as possible. Sit under a palm tree with a cold bottle of strawberry lemonade and a great book, perhaps?)
Name two jobs that you’ve had that might surprise people?
I was a bank teller for several years, and I also taught pre-school—the four-year-olds. It made me tough.
If you had a FREE Afternoon and you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?
Catch a plane to Hawaii! Okay, seriously. Sit under a palm tree with a cold glass/bottle of strawberry lemonade and a good book. (Sorry. I tend to be a bit one-dimensional, I’m afraid.)
What has been your favorite book club experience? What made it so much fun?
The Book Club Network