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.