Christmas Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Kathi Macias. Kathi’s many fiction and nonfiction books explore weighty topics and have won numerous awards. Even better, Kathi is known for her encouraging and generous spirit.
Kathi, please tell us about your book, To the Moon and Back.
Alzheimer’s had invaded their home and their lives, though no one seemed ready to admit this diagnosis. Can this fractured family find its way to a place of healing, or will the darkness prevail, destroying them all? Unconditional love is their only hope…but how are they to get there?
What inspired you to write this book?
My uncle recently died of complications associated with Alzheimer’s, and as I witnessed the heartbreaking changes in this once strong and brilliant man, I determined to write a book that would help others understand the effects of Alzheimer’s from the patient’s viewpoint. Hence, To the Moon and Back is written primarily from the point of view of the woman suffering with the disease.
What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
The greatest challenge was “showing” the story from the mental point of view of a woman falling ever deeper into the ravages of this disease. The book had to make sense, even when told from the perspective of someone whose thoughts seldom did.
That must have been quite a challenge! How do you share Christ in your writing?
I go into any book I write with what I like to think of as a “heavenly viewpoint.” Rather than telling the story from a worldly point of view, I tell it from the viewpoint of strong believers. Though some characters don’t know Christ and others are at various stages of growth in their faith walk, everything stems from God’s worldview, as expressed in the Scriptures.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything other than write, though I wasn’t raised in a Christian home so I didn’t see myself writing books from a Christian perspective. But from the time I first discovered books, I knew I wanted to write them.
Tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
My most touching moment with a reader came several years ago, when New Hope Publishers released my first novel with them, No Greater Love. Set in South Africa in 1989, just before the fall of Apartheid, I opened the story with an interracial romance, which was forbidden in that particular time and place. At one of my first book-signings for No Greater Love, a young man of about 16 or 17 came into the store and walked right up to me. “I heard you were going to be here,” he said. “My mom pushed me to read your book a few months ago, and I’m really glad she did. I read it, and it made me want to lead a noble life.” I could scarcely answer him through my tears!
I love that! Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
Before semi-retiring, I worked full-time on a church staff, doing biblical counseling, training small-group leaders, and leading Bible studies. I was already writing then, but I had much less time to do it than after I left that job. But oh, how those responsibilities, particularly the biblical counseling, gave me much-needed insight in developing characters for my stories!
Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
This is one of the toughest things for most writers, I believe, but it’s also true for anyone who feels “called” by God to do something special/specific for the Kingdom. The minutes you say “yes” to that call, it seems all the powers of darkness are arrayed against you, doing everything possible to keep you from following through on that call. I can’t number the people who have asked me through the years how to push past those many interruptions to what they know they’re supposed to do (and truly want to). Though I have no simple answers for them, I just remind them that whatever it is they believe God has called them to is the most noble and worthy thing they can do in this lifetime—and we don’t get a second chance to fulfill it. I tell them that at the end of their life, they won’t regret not spending more time on frivolous pursuits, but they will deeply regret time wasted that could have gone toward fulfilling God’s call on their life.
Great advice, Kathi! What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I suppose I’m a real example of a “busman’s holiday,” meaning I spend my non-writing time reading other people’s books and stories. I also enjoy knitting and spend most of my evenings working on a gift for one of my kids/grandkids/great-grandkids. I find it very relaxing!
Kathi, please tell us about your next project.
I am co-authoring a book called Fearless with a woman who is the most traveled missionary who ever lived. She has taken the gospel to more than 200 countries, and though she is nearing 70, she’s not through yet. She will be writing under a pseudonym, since she is already wanted in several countries.
Thank you so much for sharing with us, Kathi!
Writing for Him,