Well, if you’ve missed Friday Fiction Fix while I’ve taken a bit of a break from reading to move and get settled in, you’re in for a treat, because here’s the second instalment in a single day!
I had the pleasure of meeting award-winning author Kathi Macias when I attended the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference last year. I have a great deal of admiration for her and her work. Having ghostwritten for a number of years, and now publishing titles under her own name, Kathi is beyond prolific!
Kathi writes about real issues in a real and compelling way that show the reader the issues aren’t as overwhelming as we might be tempted to think they are by bringing them up close and personal, and something we can do something about.
She has done it again with Special Delivery. The book is the second in the Freedom series, following up on the lives of Jonathan and Leah Flannery, all-American siblings, just finishing high school and Mara and Lawan, girls trapped in the seedy world of sex trafficking that the reader meets in Deliver Me From Evil.
I’m delighted to present this interview with her as part of the Christian Speaker Services blog tour:
Special Delivery is book two in the Freedom (human trafficking) series. For anyone who may not have read book one, Deliver Me From Evil, can you fill us in on the focus of the series in general, and Special Delivery in particular?
The Freedom series is a three-book fiction series built around the horrifying topic of human trafficking. People often ask me why I decided to write about such a dark topic. First, I explain that I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness. And second, I believe the Church should be at the forefront of the modern-day abolition movement to set the captives (modern-day slaves) free. The three books in this series specifically follows the life of a young woman named Mara, who was sold into sexual slavery by her own parents in Mexico, and then smuggled across the border into San Diego by her uncle who then served as her pimp. A strong sub-plot throughout the series tells of two sisters in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Chanthra and Lawan, who are also trapped in a brothel. Finally, a teenage girl named Francesca, kidnapped in Juarez, Mexico, and forced into prostitution, is introduced in book two. Special Delivery picks up two years after book one, Deliver Me From Evil, ends, and continues with the stories of Mara and Lawan, as well as others carried over from book one. Mara hopes she is finally free to pursue her own life because she was rescued from the brothel and her testimony helped lock up her uncle for life. But the man has underground connections and is driven by revenge to reach out from behind bars and deliver the ultimate punishment to his niece.
This isn’t the first fiction series you’ve written on nationwide and even worldwide social issues, the one previous to this being the persecuted Church. What draws you to these difficult topics?
As a Christian, I believe I am compelled to use my God-given gifts to honor God in all I do—and that includes exposing the deeds of darkness, calling sinners to repentance, and taking a stand for righteousness by doing all I can to help rescue those who are suffering. I dare not turn my back on “the least of these.” I also believe that God placed this sort of burden on my heart even before I became a Christian at the age of 26. I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, a “soap-box” preacher, if you will. When I met Jesus, I simply redirected that passion toward His people, realizing I couldn’t effect real change in my own strength anyway.
With your obvious passion to right social and moral wrongs through the power of the Gospel, how did writing and speaking enter into that?
I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was a child—never wanted to do anything else. When I was a teenager I told my then boyfriend (now husband) that I was going to be a writer one day. What a blessing that God allowed me to fulfill that dream! After becoming a believer and growing in my faith, it was natural to take my passion to fight for others and incorporate it into my writing. Speaking, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. I was terrified of public speaking when I was young, and the day I received Christ I made a “bargain” with God, promising to do anything He asked of me—so long as it didn’t include public speaking. (Does God have a sense of humor or what???) Now, when I stand in front of audiences where I believe God has called me to speak (and actually find myself enjoying it!), I tell my listeners that if God has called them to do something and they feel it’s impossible, they can consider me their “visual aid” that NOTHING is impossible with God IF we will simply take that first step of obedience and let Him fulfill His purpose in and through us.
With the topics of the worldwide persecuted Church and human trafficking under your belt, what other issues are you dealing with in your writing?
My Christmas 2011 book, A Christmas Journey Home, dealt with the immigration/border problem, and my Christmas 2012 novel,Unexpected Christmas Hero, will be about homelessness in America. The next issues-related fiction series I have on tap—which I am just starting to write, by the way—is called the “Patches of Courage” series and will begin releasing in late January 2013. Book one is The Moses Quilt, based on the life of Harriet Tubman, and will be followed by The Christmas Quilt and The Impossible Quilt. This series of books will highlight historical American women whose Christian faith enabled them to walk in great courage and make a difference in the lives of countless people.
Where can people find out about you and your books/speaking/appearances?
They can go directly to my website (www.kathimacias.com or www.boldfiction.com) or my Easy Writer blog. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and various other social sites. Would love to hear from all of you!
Where can people find out about free book giveaways on this blog tour?
The blog tour host is giving away a set of two books from the Freedom Series – Book 1 (Deliver Me From Evil) and Book 2 (Special Delivery). Also, readers can follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter or follow on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/CSSVBT.TheFreedomSeries for more book giveaway locations on the tour.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services.
I’m willing to give away my copy of Special Delivery as well, if readers can be patient enough to wait until I can figure out how to mail something from our new home in China. If you’re interested in my copy, leave a comment on this post. The winner will be chosen by Random.org. And don’t miss the trailer for Special Delivery below: