Do you ever wish you could unknow what you know? Or erase something you’ve learned?
Sometimes, I think the ol’ “ignorance is bliss” adage might be a good way to live.
Then I read something like this:
“People tended to believe what made them the most comfortable and prevented them from being nudged from their comfort zone.”
Kathi Macias wrote that line in her latest novel, which tackles the little-talked-about, uncomfortable subject of human trafficking. Modern-day slavery. It’s a topic the Church is shining more light on, but it’s still underpublicized. Taboo, even, in some circles.
Macias spotlights the issue with Deliver Me From Evil, the first in her new Freedom series. To say that this book is hard to read doesn’t fully describe the range of emotions I felt as I read. In it are scenes on which I didn’t want to dwell but couldn’t forget, decisions I wouldn’t want to make but hope would be right. And as is typical of Macias’ books, I’m left challenged and inspired to make a difference. How, is the question I have yet to answer.
Check out the book trailer below for a glimpse of the series. And read on for an interview with Macias. If you’re interested in other books Macias has written, check out my past reviews of People of the Book, which shines a light on Christian persecution in Muslim countries, and A Christmas Journey Home, which focuses on illegal immigration.
How did you come up with the idea for Deliver Me From Evil and the Freedom series?
It actually came out of a phone conversation with Andrea Mullins, the publisher at New Hope. We were discussing the Extreme Devotion series (about the persecuted Church), which I was still working on at the time, and we began to consider topics for a second series. Andrea was the one who suggested human trafficking, and it really struck a chord with me. The more I researched it and worked on the proposal, the more excited I became about joining forces with others working to abolish modern-day slavery, which is exactly what human trafficking is.
What was your favorite scene to write in Deliver Me From Evil?
This book/series has been the most difficult I’ve ever written, simply because the subject matter is so dark and heavy. More than once I had to walk away and clear my thoughts before moving on from one scene to another. But interspersed between the heartache and tragedy are several lighter scenes (written and incorporated into the book out of necessity), dealing with a pastor’s family and their Bible college-bound son who inadvertently discovers the human trafficking ring and becomes involved in the heroic and dramatic rescue attempt. Any scenes revolving around the absolutely functional and loving life of the Flannery family are my favorites.
What was the most difficult scene, and why?
There were many difficult scenes in this book due to the subject matter, but the hardest had to be when the main character, 18-year-old Mara, realizes that one of the younger girls is being tortured and killed in an effort to extract information and punish her. Though the actual violence is done offstage, Mara experiences each blow and muffled scream, as does the reader.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not, how did you catch the writing bug?
Oh yes, I never wanted to be anything else. From the time I discovered the power and allure of words, I was hooked! I was an avid reader before I started kindergarten. A short story I wrote in the third grade was turned into a play for the entire PTA, and I won all sorts of awards for poetry in high school. I even told my then boyfriend (now husband) Al when we were in our early teens that I was going to be a writer one day.
How do you go about writing your fiction books? Which comes first for you, plot, characters, and/or theme?
I usually get what I call “a niggling in my soul,” which eventually emerges into the very basic theme of the book. I hate outlining and writing proposals because I do NOT develop plots or even characters ahead of time. I start with a couple of main characters, a starting and ending point for my story, and just let the rest unfold as I go. I know. We’re not supposed to do it that way, but it works for me, and I so enjoy the surprises as the story develops and my characters take over. So much fun! So long as they don’t try to lead me away from my pre-determined ending. Then I have to reign them back in a bit.
How do you get your ideas for your books?
I have ideas coming out of my ears! I am a seriously addictive idea person. You
want ideas? You can have my overflow! My challenge is to figure out which ones are worth pursuing. Not every cute or fun or even meaningful idea that pops into our head is meant to be a book. I pray, think, study, bounce them off people, etc., before committing to moving ahead with one of them. For the most part, however, nearly all my book ideas are, to one degree or another, born out of some moral or social issue that I care about.
How can we find out more about you, The Freedom Series, and other books you are writing?
Please visit my website at KathiMacias.com.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (ChristianSpeakersServices.com).