Feature Interview: Kathi Macias
By Rhonda Clark –
Kathi Macias is a woman of many talents and interests. She’s not only an award winning multi-published author, but she’s a popular speaker. April 5, 2010, the first two books in her new series, Extreme Devotion, will be released.
Q: Kathi, thanks for taking time to answer my questions. First, I want to say I’m intrigued by your Extreme Devotion Series. From what I’ve read, this series will take you on adventures around the world. Can you tell us a little about the series?
A: You’re exactly right! Each book is set in a different country with entirely different characters and situations. The first book, No Greater Love, takes place in South Africa in 1989, during the turmoil and upheaval just before Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and the fall of Apartheid. Book two, More than Conquerors, is set deep in Mexico, in a little village named San Juan Chamula, where Mayan superstition is prevalent and outsiders—particularly “Evangelicos”—are most unwelcome. Book three is called Red Ink and is set in modern-day China, but not in the bustling cities—rather in the gulags where prisoners of conscience and many Christians suffer unimaginable tortures for their faith. The fourth and final book of the series, People of the Book (which I’m still writing!), is set in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where Christians are not only unwelcome but in great danger—particularly Muslims who convert. Each of the four books is loosely based on real-life accounts.
Q: Wow! This series sounds very intense. Where did you get the inspiration to write such a series?
A: I have long had a passion for the persecuted Church and am a great supporter of Voice of the Martyrs and Open Door Ministries. My heart is to bring an awareness and concern to Christians (particularly in America) who don’t realize what their brothers and sisters around the world suffer every day. My following of the life of imprisoned Christian wife and mother Li Ying was the springboard that convinced me to write the series. And when Andrea Mullins of New Hope Publishers heard of Li Ying and my desire to write a fiction series to help bring a greater awareness of the persecuted Church, she jumped onboard and helped me make this dream a reality, even though New Hope had never published fiction before.
Q: The past few years have been very busy for you. In 2009 you released three books, and this year, you have four books—The Extreme Devotion Series—hitting book shelves. Do you have any other works coming soon?
A: Actually, I have six books releasing this year. In addition to the four-book Extreme Devotion Series, Casa Creacion (Strang Communications) is releasing the Spanish edition of Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today (one of my 2009 nonfiction books), and Abingdon Press is releasing my stand-alone third-century historical novel, Valeria’s Cross, co-authored with Susan Wales. So it’s been an amazingly busy year—and promises to continue to be!
Q: I received Valeria’s Cross in the mail last week. It’s in my stack. Two of your books released last year were non-fiction. Do you have trouble switching gears from writing fiction to non-fiction?
A: Not really, no. People often ask me which I prefer, and I suppose it’s whatever I’m working on at the moment. I so love to write that each book becomes my current passion. Right now it seems that fiction is what’s landing me the most contracts, but who knows what might happen next year? It’s always exciting to see what God has in store.
Q: It is exciting to watch God fulfill His purpose in everyone’s life. I can’t wait to see what happens with you next. Now several of your non-fiction works share titles with your speaking topics (click here for a complete list). Which came first, the workshops or the books?
A: For the most part, the books came first. The one exception is my writers’ workbook, The Train-of-Thought Writing Method: Practical, User-Friendly Help for Beginning Writers. I had taught that at conferences for years and finally decided to put it into a book rather than running off handouts each time I headed out for another writers’ conference. That book is now available in Kindle as well as hard-copy, and I see it as having a long shelf-life.
Q: Speaking and teaching at conferences are only part of a bigger picture. Can you tell me more about your ministry?
A: We’re still in the talking/praying process about incorporating into “Beyond Me Ministries,” though I imagine we will do that one day. Beyond Me: Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World is what I consider our flagship book. And I say “our” because we have an entire “beyond me” team. In addition to my husband, who jokingly insists he’s “the brains of this outfit” (and probably is!), there are several other people God has brought onboard to make this ministry work. (You can see them on the Beyond Me Team page of my website.) I’ve been in some sort of public ministry for decades, from traveling with a national prison ministry to serving as a biblical counselor on a large Southern California church staff to writing and teaching and speaking. I always think of myself as a writer who speaks, as opposed to many of my friends who are speakers who write, but I enjoy both. And right now our “Beyond Me Women’s Conferences” are taking off around the country. I couldn’t be more pleased about that, because everything we do as a ministry team, as well as part of the Body of Christ, flows out of that “beyond me” lifestyle.
Q: I’d like to attend one of your conferences. Let me know when you’re near Memphis. There is one fact about you I found interesting: you’re a biker chick. How often do you and husband, Al, takeoff?
A: Every chance we get! That’s why they call me “Easy Writer”! And living in SoCal makes that a bit easier. Right now is prime riding weather. It gets a bit hot for that in the summer where we live, but then we just head an hour west to the coast.
Q: I have several friends that ride. The Smoky Mountains is beautiful tour. Have you ever been there? What’s your dream bike tour?
A: We were just there in the spring of 2009, winding up a TV tour that started in Atlanta. It was breathtakingly beautiful in the Smoky Mountains, but we weren’t on our bike—just a rental car. Ah well, maybe next time! A dream bike tour would have to include LOTS of time, as riding several hundred miles a day doesn’t work well for this old gal anymore. (I’m a great-grandmother now, remember!) So no time limit of schedule to just take off and tour the country (no desert areas in the summer!) would work for me.
Q: I can’t believe you’re a great-grandma! You must have been a child bride that grew up with her kids. Thanks again for taking time for this interview. Lastly, what’s on your nightstand to read?
A: I always keep my small Bible there and some sort of publication from Voice of the Martyrs to remind me of my Christian family who doesn’t have such an easy life as I. Beyond that it’s whatever novel has just popped over the transom for me to read/review. Right now it’s Liberty’s Promise (a three-in-one collection) by Amber Miller Stockton (aka Tiffany!).
To find out more about Kathi’s books, visit her website, or order from Amazon.
No Greater Love (Extreme Devotion Series)
Paperback: 320 pages
•Publisher: New Hope Publishers (April 5, 2010)
More than Conquerors (Extreme Devotion Series)
•Paperback: 320 pages
•Publisher: New Hope Publishers (April 5, 2010)