Eagle Designs
Kathi Macias

Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com; http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com/; www.blogtalkradio.com/communicatethevision) is a multi-award winning writer and radio host who has authored thirty 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). Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, California, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

International Fiction . . . Or Fiction With A Mission

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.

This series has been a long time in the making. Book one, No Greater Love, is set in South Africa in 1989, during the turmoil and upheaval prior to Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. It was a historical time, and I remember being caught up in reading about the goings-on in this faraway land, particularly in the way it affected the spread of Christianity. Somewhere in my writer’s soul, I knew I would one day write a story about that time and place. And so I saved every related newspaper clipping and magazine article I could get my hands on—not realizing that by the time I got ready to write the book, something called the Internet would provide me with a much simpler way to do my research.

It was more than fifteen years later that I sat across from Andrea Mullins, publisher at New Hope, during a much-needed break at ICRS, discussing the nonfiction books I was writing for them. As we chatted, I mentioned my desire to someday write a fiction series about the persecuted church and modern-day martyrs of the faith, beginning with the South Africa–Apartheid story. Andrea’s eyes lit up, and the more we talked, the more I could tell she shared my vision for such a series.

But New Hope didn’t do fiction . . . did they?

Not then, no. But they do now. Why? Because it was God’s time, God’s place, and God’s purpose. My agent and I had tossed the same series idea to publishers who regularly did fiction, but we got nary a nibble. Apparently not God’s time, God’s place, or God’s purpose. But when I least expected it, God stepped in and said, “Now.” By the time I left that meeting at ICRS, my agent and I were discussing how best to put together a formal proposal for the series and get it off to New Hope.

The first two books of the series, No Greater Love and More than Conquerors, which is set in Mexico and deals with the Mayan culture and influence, release April 5, 2010. Books three and four (Red Ink, set in China, and People of the Book, set in Saudi Arabia) release in October 2010 and January 2011, respectively.

The writing and production of this series has been—and continues to be—an exciting shared adventure, as I partner with New Hope 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.

Much of this flies in the face of what I first learned when I started trying to make a living at arranging words on paper: Write about what you know. Looking back, it was good advice in the beginning, but now that the world has become smaller and more interconnected, I’m excited to branch out and write about things that I knew nothing about until I started researching. The most fascinating thing I’ve learned, though cultures and countries may vary drastically, is that human nature does not. Our dreams and desires, emotions and longings, are much the same. God has created all of us with “eternity in our hearts,” a yearning for the eternal that only a relationship with God Himself can fulfill. With that in mind, no genre is beyond our reach if we’re willing to do the necessary research and rewriting necessary to bring the characters in our chosen genre to life.

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.

Video trailer for No Greater Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOx8FRSEheA

Video trailer for More than Conquerors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em2dX2XDKjA


No Greater LoveMore Than Conquerers