Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Author Interview & Giveaway - Kathi Macias - Part I

Kathi Macias is a popular speaker and Bible teacher, a blogtalkradio host, and an award-winning author of more than 30 books, including the Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers and Valeria's Cross from Abingdon Press. A wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Kathi lives in Southern California with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding Al's Harley--hence, Kathi's "road name" of Easy Writer!

Since reading and recommending Kathi's book, "No Greater Love," I've wanted to interview her. Although we didn't connect at the Greater Philadelphia Writers Conference, I did pick up the CD of her workshop on "Issues With Fiction." Kathi is sponsoring a giveaway of "No Greater Love." Be sure to check out the details below.

1) Hi Kathi, thanks for joining us at Christian Writer/Reader Connection! I've been listening to your CD from the Philly Conference. You talk about issues-related fiction. Could you define this term and tell us how it became your passion?

Though I have written nonfiction and fiction almost equally, for a long time it was a real tough sell to get contracts for Christian fiction. That has changed over the last couple of decades, and I now find that my agent is able to land fiction contracts for me even easier than nonfiction.

I suppose I gravitated toward what I call issues-related fiction (stories based on true-life events and hot-button, often controversial topics) because that's what I care about and wht I like to read. I will always choose novels that deal with social issues over the standard romance or suspense novels that don't include such issues. I need more than just a good story to keep me interested! I want something that challenges me to change for the better! As a result, that's the type of fiction I choose to write.

2) You've helped a number of people write their stories. How did you break into this field?

I started out (MANY years ago!) writing a weekly newspaper column and doing some string reporting for them. That meant I wasn't really on their regular staff, but if something came up in my area and they didn't have a regular staff member who could cover it, they sent me. I seemed best at doing human interest pieces, and soon found that I was a natural at interviewing people and writing their stories--either in the third-person as a reporter or in the first-person as a ghostwriter/collaborator.

I believe that not only my journalism training but my interest in drama helped me most with that. Taking some drama classes and acting in a few stage plays enabled me to know how to "crawl inside someone's skin" and write from another perspective/viewpoint.

3) What are some of the steps you take when writing someone else's story? Do  you shadow them, interview them, etc.?

Lots of interview time--either in person and/or on the phone and email, etc. I gather all the written information that's available and study it. I also like to hear tapes of them s peaking, particularly if I can't spend a lot of time with them face-to-face. That helps me adopt their speech patterns so I can more easily write in their voice.

Giveaway Details:  Please leave a comment with your email address. No email = No entry!

You can receive an extra entry if you're a Follower or become a Follower of Christian Writer/Reader Connection. Please tell me in your comment if you're a Follower.

If you comment on Part II of the interview and leave your email address, you'll receive a third entry.

Only residents of the U.S. are eligible for the contest. The contest is void where prohibited.

Deadline: Saturday, September 26, 2010, at midnight. The winner will be drawn on Sunday, September 27th, and notified by email. I will also post the winner on the blog on Sunday, September 27th. When you send me your snail mail address, I will forward it to Kathi. She will send you the book.

Questions for you:  Have you ever interviewed someone? How did you prepare for the interview? Please share.




24 comments:

Patti Lacy said...

LOVED hearing about "Easy Writer!"
Thanks for spotlighting Kathy, Susan!!!

Karen Lange said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks to both of you for sharing with us. :)

Blessings,
Karen
klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti -

Isn't that a great road name? Kathi's book was hard to put down.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Thanks for entering the giveaway. Stay tuned for Part II.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Kathi Macias said...

Tank you, Susan, for doing this interview--and thank you, dear readers, for taking the time to check it out.

Beth Reinke said...

Interesting that you like to hear the interviewee's speaking voice, Kathi, so you can imitate their speech patterns and "voice." Great idea!

Beth
rdwriter at hotmail dot com

Marja said...

Great interview Susan/Kathy, thank you for sharing! And Susan, thanks for your comment the other day on my post "Does God change his mind?" it really ads something to the post, appreciate it :)
marjameijers@filternet.nl

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathi -

Thanks for stopping by. I'm happy you agreed to the interview and enjoyed every minute. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Beth -

I was also fascinated by that statement. Of course, we'd want the book to sound like the interviewee.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja -

You're welcome!

I thought your post was very thoughtful. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Jeanette Levellie said...

I love Kathi. She is a writers' writer, in that she's always striving to help fellow writers succeed in their own dreams. A woman after God's and my heart.

Please enter me in the drawing. I'm a follower.

Thanks!
Jen

jeanettelevellie(at)gmail(dot)com

Lynn said...

I liked reading about how her drama training taught her to write from a different perspective. Very interesting!

Nancy said...

"Easy Writer" is such a clever name. She has so much background. Sometimes these theme fictions are very good. I like the way she morphed from non-fiction to fiction.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

Thanks for joining the fun and entering the drawing.

Yes, Kathi gives back to the writing community. I'm thankful we connected.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Maria I. Morgan said...

Insightful interview, Susan! I'm with Nancy, I chuckled over the name, Easy Writer, and thought, "How clever!" Love the connection between Kathy's stage time and how she uses it as a writer. I'd love to be entered in the drawing for her book! And I am a follower of your blog!

morgan(dot)maria(dot)i(at)gmail(dot)com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lynn -

Before I interviewed Kathi, I didn't realize drama training could be relevant to writing. Of course, it all makes perfect sense now. :)

Did you want to enter the drawing? Please leave your email address in the comments.

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

Kathi certainly found a perfect brand for her writing.

I'm always interested in writers who started off in the non-fiction arena. It's where I started. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Maria -

Thanks! It wasn't hard to find questions for Kathi. She's interesting both as a person and as a writer. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Shannon O'Donnell said...

What a wonderful interview! Thanks to you both!

And I loved your answer on my blog today, Susan. :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Shannon -

I hope you'll pop in for Part II of the interview next Wednesday. If you want to enter the drawing, please leave your email address. :)

Blessings,
Susan

The Whispering Creek House said...

Great interview..it is very interesting and encouraging! its exciting that Kathy enjoys writing from the perspective of the person she interviews..it must be an adventure every time! thanks for the giveaway! God Bless! Stephanie
steprla@aol.com

The Whispering Creek House said...

o! im also a follower of this your blog! oops forgot to mention! Stephanie at the Whispering Creek House! steprla@aol.com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Stephanie -

Thank you for commenting and entering the giveaway. Don't forget Part II of the interview and opportunity for another entry. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Inspired Kathy said...

Thanks for the interview.
I'm a follower
bkhabel at gmail dot com