Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Author Interview & Giveaway - Kathi Macias - Part II

Welcome to Part II of our interview with Kathi Macias. Be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of this post. Kathi will give a copy of her book, "No Greater Love," to the winner of our drawing.

4) What advice would you give writers, who love both fiction and non-fiction writing? I'm sometimes torn between the two.

Good writers are often torn between the two, I believe. People often ask me which of my books is my favorite, and I answer that it's the one I'm working on at the time. Of course, it's easier to write with passion about the issues you care most about, but whether fiction or nonfiction, if  you approach the subject from a "people perspective," it takes on a deeper meaning. My fiction stories always unfold through my characters (the plot is almost secondary), and my nonfiction comes to life with personal examples (my own and other people's).

My advice? Study people. Learn how to bring them to life, to make them breathe, to help your readers care about them. That's the most important thing a writer can do to connect with his/her readers.

5) Your book, "No Greater Love," has a depth that's rare in fiction. Do you start with a theme and write your story around it? We'd love to hear about your process.

I usually start with a main character or two and the issue he/she is facing. In No Greater Love (which really is my all-time favorite of all my books!), I started with a thought way back in the 1980s, as I watched the violence and upheaval unfold in South Africa just prior to the release of Nelson mandela from prison and the overthrow of Apartheid. I found myself wondering what it would be like to be a true believer in Christ caught up in the middle of all that. And then I took it to the next step: What if someone considered himself both a Christian and yet one who believed in/supported Apartheid (as many did at the time)? And what if that same person fell in love with a young woman who was a devout follower of the ANIC (African National Congress, led by Mandela)? What would happen if their forbidden attraction/romance led them both to examine and question everything they'd ever believed or practiced? What would be the result?

More than twenty years later, No Greater Love has become a reality. Though I've received rave reviews on it, my greatest compliment came from a young high school student who said to me, "I loved your book. It made me want to be noble." Oh, that God has allowed me to be part of something like that brings tears to my eyes--and keeps my nose to the grindstone when I want to throw in the towel and go do something else! God calls us for His purpose--and for His glory. And so we  press on.

Thanks, Kathi, for a thought-provoking interview and for offering your book.

Giveaway Details: Please leave a comment and your email address. No email = no entry! If you are a Follower or become a Follower, you will receive an additional entry. Please let me no in your comment if you're a Follower.

If you haven't already commented on Part I of the interview (9/15/10), hop over there and comment for a second or third entry. If you're a Follower or become a Follower, please let me know.
Deadline: Saturday, September 25, 2010, at midnight. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on Sunday, September 26, 2010 and notified via email. I'll also post the winner on the blog. When I receive the winner's snail mail address, I'll forward it to Kathi, and she will send you No Greater Love.

The contest is open to U.S. residents only and void where prohibited.

Disclaimer: I did not receive any payment for this interview or book recommendation. Contest is void where prohibited, and the winner is responsible for their eligibility.

Questions for you:  Do you ever feel torn between genres or fiction and nonfiction? Please share.


Kathy Habel said...

I'm such an eclectic reader I'm torn because I have too many books to read. bkhabel at gmail dot com.

I'm a follower.

Rhonda Schrock said...

I love the compliment from the high schooler. What a pay-off for years of work!

Yes, I'm a follower, and here's my email address:

Happy fall, Susan!

Sheri said...

Love the advice about "studying people" to make them come alive. There is nothing worse than reading a book where the characters do not feel authentic.
Thanks for entering me in this giveaway.

bsgextra at gmail dot com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathy -

Thank you for commenting, entering the drawing, and becoming a Follower.

I understand your thinking. It's hard to pick a favorite genre when you read so many excellent books.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

Yes, I know Kathi will treasure that compliment for years. To know our writing has made that kind of impact on a young person makes it all worthwhile.

Thanks for entering the contest.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sheri -

Thanks for commenting and entering the contest.

I've read Kathi's book, "No Greater Love," and the characters are multi-faceted. I felt like I was reading a biography rather than a work of fiction.

Susan :)

Jessica Nelson said...

For writing, I always write fiction. ;-) For reading, I mostly read fiction. *grin*
Great interview! That sounds like an intriguing story, and beautiful too. Thanks, ladies!

jessica_nelson7590 at yahoodot com

Kathi Macias said...

Thanks to all of you for stopping by to read the interview and leaving comments. Blessings!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica -

Thanks for stopping by, commenting, and entering the drawing. Hope the new job is going well.

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathi -

Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I appreciate you stopping in to say, "hello." :)


Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh ,yes, I'm torn. I feel a nudge to jump into the fiction waters, but the rules seem so much more complicated than the nf rules, so I've stayed on the beach so far.

Excellent interview!


I am a follower.


quietspirit said...

Susan and Kathi:
I read fiction and some nonfiction. I have tried to write fiction. I write Christian essays (nonfiction).
I follow Susan. Please enter me in the drawing. cll4him(at)sbcglobal(dot)net.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jen -

The Lord will show you when and if you're supposed to jump into the fiction waters. It's a fun, but challenging, place!

Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

Thanks for stopping by and entering the drawing.

Have you stopped writing fiction? Some folks prefer non-fiction. It's my first love. :)


Nikki (Sarah) said...

I don't live in the US so just leaving a comment..I enjoyed reading this. My first book was non-fiction. Now I'm attempting fiction. Liked what said about bringing breathing life into the characters..

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

Quite a few people start off in non-fiction. You'll find lots of support in the blogosphere for your fiction writing. :)