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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Author Interview - Kathi Macias

I'm doing things a little different this time. On this blog, usually Tuesdays are for someone's story about a God encounter. Usually author interviews take place the day following a book review. However, I also usually try to schedule book reviews for as close as possible to the book's release. Kathi Macias's latest, The Moses Quilt, wasn't supposed to release for a couple of weeks from now, but it released early. Long story shortened to protect the innocent, I'm making this interview a little more on the personal story side and doing it on Tuesday to fit it in before I originally scheduled it. If that doesn't confuse you, it's not because I didn't try...
Kathi Macias and I at 2010 ACFW Confernce

Anne: Good morning, Kathi--thanks for joing us this morning. Tell us, why did you begin writing?

Kathi: I’ve loved words for as long as I can remember, and when I ran out of things to read, I started writing my own stories. It was a natural progression, I suppose, and I can’t remember ever wanting to be anything else.

Anne: Are your goals when you write now the same as then?

Kathi: No. When I started writing as a little girl I wasn’t a Christian yet. I only wanted to entertain and tell fun stories. I still want to do that, but I have a greater purpose in challenging readers to go deeper in their walk with the Lord (or begin one if they haven’t done so) and to move beyond self and recognize the issues in the world that demand our attention. Jesus told “parables with purpose,” and that’s now my goal as well.

Anne: Do you ever wonder if you would have the same courage as your characters in similar circumstances?

Kathi: I wonder that all the time, particularly in my most recent release, The Moses Quilt, based on the life of Harriet Tubman. I’ve always admired her but as I researched her life in-depth, I was amazed at the price she paid, over and over again, to be obedient to God’s call on her life.

Anne: Would you share what your greatest trial has been?

Kathi: I don’t know that I have any one specific personal trial (several over the many decades of my life), but my greatest difficulty in writing has come with the accelerated technological age. I have always resisted change, and because I got my start in the Christian publishing world before authors had agents or publicists or had to establish social networking pages and blogs, I came kicking and screaming into that part of the industry. But once I realized it was either learn or become a dinosaur and give up what I loved doing, I got on board. Now people actually call me the “marketing guru,” which I find hilarious.

Anne: When your hubby retires, what will be the different arrangements for your writing?

Kathi: Definitely going to be some changes! First, I won’t have to get up at dark-thirty as often (only if I’m doing an early-morning talk show or something). My entire schedule will get pushed back a couple of hours, and I may not have to drag myself to bed at eight-thirty like I do now. (I’m looking forward to that part!) Another major change I anticipate is the need to draw (and maintain) reasonable boundaries around my work area. With a retired engineer-type husband hovering around, I’ll have to make it clear that I’m working and can’t always (yes, I’ll make SOME exceptions) stop to go for a ride or have lunch. But it will be fun to have the option on occasion. Finally, we’ll have more leeway to “get out of Dodge” when we feel like it, particularly when our SoCal summer temps hit triple digits. Then it’s “have laptop, will travel,” and off we’ll go for cooler climes!

Anne: What's the most surprising thing you have learned during research for your books?

Kathi: Definitely it was learning more about Harriet Tubman’s life. I knew she was famous for her work on the Underground Railroad, risking her life to successfully lead hundreds of slaves to freedom. What I didn’t know was that she also served as a spy and a nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War, and that afterward she was very involved in women’s rights. Fascinating woman!

Anne: Would you like to talk a little about your next books?

Kathi: Following on the heels of The Moses Quilt (New Hope Publishers) will be Last Chance for Justice from B&H Publishers. It releases May 1 and is part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series (think Mitford Series with several authors). Then I’ll return to the Quilt Series, with The Doctor’s Christmas Quilt releasing in October 2013 and The Singing Quilt releasing in Spring 2014.

Anne: Thanks so much, Kathi. I want you to know--you have been so instrumental in my own growth as a Christian. Your challenges reached my heart. Thank you for being here, and thank you for choosing to write parables with a purpose!
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