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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KATHI MACIAS is a popular speaker and an award-winning author of more than 30 books. She and her husband, Al, live in Southern California.
PEOPLE OF THE BOOK
by Kathi Macias
Published by New Hope Publishers
ABOUT THE BOOK
Will God protect and keep them safe in the midst of persecution?
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?
Readers, buy your copy of People of the Book today!
AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR
When I first started writing, I heeded the admonition to “write what you know,” even though it severely limited my topics and focus. As a result, most of my novels were set either in Southern California, where I was born and raised and currently live, or up in the Pacific Northwest, where I also lived for several years. My characters were a lot like me and/or the people around me, and their lifestyles and circumstances often paralleled my own to some degree.
But somewhere along the line I had to ask myself, Is that all there is? Can I move beyond my own little corner of the world in my writing, even if I can’t actually do so physically? With the Internet at my fingertips, I decided I could.
That’s how my current four-book “Extreme Devotion” series with New Hope Publishers came about. People of the Book, the final installment of the series, which just released in April 2011, is set primarily in Saudi Arabia. Not only have I not been to the Saudi Kingdom, but I had a difficult time finding anyone familiar enough with the country and culture to be of any help. I finally located a lady who had lived there as a secret believer (Christian) for eighteen years and had only recently moved here to the States. She was not only willing but anxious to talk with me and to give me personal feedback on the story. It was the added touch that brought realism and authenticity to the book.
I did similar things on the first three books in the series. Red Ink, the third book, is set in China, and though I’ve never been there myself, my readers tell me the book reads as if I have. I had two people working with me who had spent extensive time in China, and they were a huge help with points of language and culture. The same is true of the second book, More than Conquerors, which is set in the San Diego/Tijuana area (been there!), but also San Juan Chamula in Southern Mexico, where I’ve never set foot. The book that opened the series, No Greater Love, takes place in South Africa during 1989, so not only did I need to transport my readers to a place I’d never been, but to a time I remember only vaguely.
I started putting together the rough draft of these books by doing extensive Internet research, which helped a lot. The books began to take shape, but they were missing something—a cultural element that could come only from someone who actually lived in the country. That’s when I began the search for just the right person for each book.
I can only say that I believe God provided those people, as I really had no clue how to find them myself. In each instance, just when I needed a reader who knew the country and the culture, God placed that exact person in my path. Not only that, but He also gave them a willing heart to read the manuscript and to give me feedback that would flesh out the stories and bring them to life. As a result, my readers rave about the way they feel they’re actually right in the middle of the story/country/culture. Even bestselling author Jerry Jenkins said on the cover of book one, No Greater Love, “You’ll feel as if you were there.”
My new “Freedom” fiction series, also from New Hope Publishers, begins releasing this fall with book one, Deliver Me from Evil. Once again I have approached the initial writing of these three novels with Internet research, but I am also taking advantage of personal input from those who have spent time in the Golden Triangle area of Thailand, where parts of the books take place. It is my way of “going into all the world” without leaving home.
And so, though I strongly encourage new writers to consider starting out by writing what they know, I also encourage them to consider branching out a bit as they grow in their writing career. It’s a tidbit of advice that I believe will work for any of us, regardless of whether or not we are writers.
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Thank you, Kathi, for sharing with us today.
Guest Question: Why would you like to read a book set in the Middle East?
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