JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Kathi Macias, author of People of the Book
(New Hope Publishers)
Farah lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with her family and wants nothing more than to develop a deeper devotion to her Muslim faith. She sees the month of Ramadan as her chance to draw nearer to Allah, and pursues that goal. All goes well until the prophet Isa—Jesus—appears to her in a dream and calls her to Himself.
Her brother, Kareem, who has never liked her, seeks to discredit her. Farah’s cousin, an only child, frequents an online chat. She discovers former Muslims discussing their new belief that Isa is much more than a Muslim prophet—He is actually the Son of God. She becomes acquainted with an American girl of Muslim ancestry—now a devout Christian—Sara. Sara has problems of her own due to her brother Emir’s suspicious behavior.
Each finds their faith put to the test. Will they be true to their beliefs? Will God protect them, or will they pay the ultimate price for their faith?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write People of the Book?
Kathi Macias: People of the Book is one of four books in the Extreme Devotion series. Each of the four books takes place in a different country, where Christians often pay a huge price for their faith. People of the Book is the final book in the series, and I knew I couldn’t complete the series without including at least one Muslim country.
Saudi Arabia is the most rigid when it comes to Christians practicing their faith openly, as well as for Muslims who convert to Christianity. That’s why I decided to set the book in the Saudi Kingdom. I also have a friend who moved to this country from Saudi Arabia and whose friend was the victim of an “honor killing” by her family when she became a Christian.
JP: What sets People of the Book apart from other books in the same genre?
KM: There are few books set in Muslim countries that tell the story of the double oppression of women and Muslims who convert to Christianity. The young women in People of the Book fit both descriptions. Though the story is fiction, it is based in much truth.
It also carries a subplot set in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, where a former Saudi family lives. They too have become Christians, and the teenage daughter connects with the Saudi teens in the story. So though the three primary characters are separated by thousands of miles, they find a heart connection online.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to People of the Book getting out to the public?
KM: I have worked hard for years to build a platform and a brand. As a result, my name is recognizable as one who writes hot button issues-related fiction. (The fiction series following this Extreme Devotion series is based on human trafficking.) I do a lot of traveling and public speaking, which helps me get the word out about my books.
I also have built up a strong online presence with blogging and social networking, which helps tremendously. I have a publicist who gets me on radio/TV, a speakers’ bureau that helps me with speaking engagements, and others who help me with book trailers and blog tours.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish People of the Book?
KM: I am a trained journalist, so I tend to write fast and clean. Most of my deadlines allow for no more than three or four months (at most, often less) to research, write, and polish my books before turning them in to my publisher. People of the Book was no exception. I researched/wrote in within a three-month time frame.
JP: What’s next for Kathi Macias?
KM: I have wound up my series on human trafficking plus written my annual Christmas novel for 2012, so now I am on to my “Patches of Courage” series for 2013. The first book, The Moses Quilt (a contemporary, interracial romance told against the backdrop of a quilt that tells the story of Harriet Tubman) releases in January 2013, with two more to follow. I have completed The Moses Quilt and turned it in, but now I must write the other two.
Thanks so much for your gracious invitation to include me on your site. Blessings!