Today's guest blogger is Kathi Macias, a multi-award winning writer and radio host who has authored 30 books and ghostwritten numerous 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).
"Fiction with a Mission" by Kathi Macias
Ever since I signed the contract with New Hope Publishers for my four-book fiction series (New Hope’s first-ever venture into the world of fiction!), I’ve been hearing variations of the same question: What’s the genre?
Tough one to answer. I suppose contemporary international fiction sums it up best, since each of the four books is set in a different country and takes place in modern times. But New Hope, which is known for its passion for missions, has opted to call it “Fiction with a Mission,” and I couldn’t be more pleased with that label.
The first two books of the series, No Greater Love, which is set in South Africa in 1989 during the violence and upheaval preceding the overthrow of Apartheid, and More than Conquerors, set in Mexico and dealing with the Mayan culture and influence, release April 5, 2010. Books three and four (Red Ink, set in China, and People of the Book, in Saudi Arabia) release in October 2010 and January 2011.
The writing and production of this series has been—and continues to be—an exciting shared adventure, as I partner with New Hope Publishers in their first fiction launch, while I learn about the unique aspects of writing fiction in international settings. Of the four countries highlighted in the books, I have been to only one—Mexico—but I have never set foot in the area where the Mayan culture is so strong and where much of book two takes place. Can anyone say RESEARCH? Online research, library research, books and videos and movies—and people. My greatest resource for authentic research has been connecting with people (again, via Internet) who either currently live in the countries where my stories occur or have recently lived there. Though I began the writing of the stories based on much of my online and book research, the majority of personal touches that make readers say, “Wow, it’s like I’m right there!” came about as a result of feedback from those who know the areas and culture firsthand.
As Christian writers, we are part of the one true Church, the Body of Christ that has existed for centuries and crosses all boundaries and borders. There are no limits to where God can take us or how He can use the gifts He has given us to communicate His truth and His love to those who so desperately need to hear and receive it. I am honored and humbled that He has given me the opportunity to use my words in His service, particularly this new series. It is my way of “going into all the world”—and calling others to do the same. I pray my venture into international fiction will truly prove to be “fiction with a mission” for all who read it—and who may find themselves called to expand their own writing into this exciting and growing genre.
No Greater Love
Forbidden romance, an unlikely martyr, and an even more unlikely hero. Orphaned four years earlier when their parents, active in the African National Congress ANC movement against Apartheid, were murdered, 16-year-old Chioma and her 15-year-old brother Masozi now live and work on an Afrikaner family’s farm. When Chioma and Andrew, the farm owner’s son, find themselves attracted to one another, tragedy revisits their lives. Chioma escapes to join an ANC rebel band in her effort to survive and gain revenge for her family and culture. When cultures clash in life-or-death struggles, Chioma must choose between violence and revenge or forgiveness and selfless love. Loosely based on historical events and set near Pretoria, South Africa, just prior to the setting of the popular movie Invictus, during the violent upheaval prior to ANC leader Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and his ascendance to the presidency of South Africa, this story of forbidden romance produces an unlikely martyr who is replaced by one even more unlikely.
"In this first book of her Extreme Devotion series, Macias proves herself to be a masterful storyteller, mising complex characters with a riveting plot, and showing how God calls each of us to be closer to Him." --Cheryl Malandrinos, The Book Connection
Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.
Visit Kathi online at http://www.kathimacias.com/; http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com/; and www.blogtalkradio.com/communicatethevision.