Thursday, April 19, 2018

My Author Interview with Lena Nelson Dooley

I was fortunate and honored to be interviewed by Lena Nelson Dooley on her blog.

Here's an excerpt:

Welcome, Kevin. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I’ve been told some of the phrases I use come out in the dialogue of characters. “I hear you say that,” my readers will tell me. But overall, I try to use certain things from time to time to help make the character more authentic. I remember putting into the manuscript of The Serpent’s Grasp a description of a car Micah Gregson used to own that caused him to purchase the car he owned now, a red Mustang Cobra. The car he “used to own back in the day” was a red 1971 Mach 1 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland. That was the car I had in high school and when we were first married (boy, do I wish I still had it now). Unfortunately, that recollection of Micah got axed in the final edit. However, he is driving the Mustang Cobra when he gets followed by the FBI agent, trying to find a news station that carries late, breaking news, and wishing he hadn’t allowed his satellite subscription to expire (another personal piece of info about me, by the way).

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I’ve sat here for ten minutes, and I can’t think of much. I even asked my wife, who’s known me since we were 15. She can’t either. So, I guess I’m not a very “quirky” person. More on the conservative side when it comes to my actions, I guess. However, I suppose it depends on who’s watching, too. Some people would say becoming a writer is a little quirky. “How can you sit at a computer for hours on end?” Ever heard that one? I’ve also had others “say”—not with their words so much but more with their looks and actions—that becoming a follower of Christ is quirky, if not borderline crazy.

When did you first discover you were a writer?

I had an inkling when I was in middle school. Creating stories was an interest, for sure. However, I really didn’t have anyone around who noticed or encouraged it growing up, and there weren’t the opportunities available back then like there are now for young writers (which maybe answers why I wasn’t encouraged?). I finally got more serious about it in my mid-thirties, got more serious about it in my mid-forties, and now, here I am, wishing I’d gotten serious about it way sooner.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

With fiction, I enjoy mysteries and thrillers and wander around that section of the bookstore the most. That doesn’t mean I won’t pick up something else and give it a try, like a speculative fiction work or a science fiction piece. As for non-fiction, that’s all over the map, depending on what I’m doing. Christian spiritual growth books, if I want to read something for personal edification. Books about education, which are related to my day job as an assistant principal at a middle school (that job choice may qualify as quirky, too). Books about the subject I am researching for a novel I am writing. If you look at the bibliography in the back of The Serpent’s Grasp (and yes there is one…I put it there for a reason…), then you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about here.

Want to read the remainder of the interview? You can check it out HERE!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Author Behind the Story Series - Ward Tanneberg

Hello, Everybody! We've had a couple of month lull in our series, but it's picking back up again with a great author who has an interesting story. That's one of the things I love about this job - getting to meet new people. And although it's through the cyberspatial realms of blogs, social media, and the like, we eventually get to meet face to face at writers conferences, as well as other events.

So, welcome to the Florida front porch! Pull up a chair. The iced tea is ready (it's already been in the high 80's here). Sit back, relax, and let's have a chat with my next guest, Ward Tanneberg!

Hi, Ward. For those readers who do not know you yet, why don't you give them a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Ward Tanneberg?

I’ve been in active ministry for 58 years, beginning as a young evangelist, serving as a denominational youth director, college public relations director, pastor in three churches, lecturer, adjunct professor, writer, blogger, novelist, and nonprofit organization executive director. I have spoken in hundreds of churches, adult retreats and ministry conferences, and meet with Christian business leaders, active and retired, in my living room on Wednesday mornings. I currently consult with Ministry Resources International and serve on the board since the very beginning of Assist International, and continue to speak in churches, retreats, and conferences. I’ve visited over 50 foreign countries, some several times. For example, my 11th visit to Israel leading a group will be in 2019.

Wow. That's a rich, full life, and one part of that has been writing. Of all the stories/books you have written, which one is your favorite? And what compelled you to write this story?

My favorite story/book is always the one I’m writing now that has yet to see the light of day. Book manuscripts are to me like embryonic children still being formed, yet unnamed, and hoping for parents that someday will love and nurture them to success.

The memoir, Sacred Journey, is my newest true story. In fiction, I keep trying to make the next one better than the last. In that regard, it would be Redeeming Grace, a thriller that won a 2015 Bronze Jerry Jenkins Illumination Award.

Congratulations! It's always a great feeling to have others validate your writing with some type of award or recognition. Before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

I was the lead (only) pastor, in my early 20s, in my first church when I wrote an article for Pulpit magazine (now non-existent). It was accepted and they even paid … 10 cents a word! I was on my way. They published several more of my articles. I like to think it wasn’t my work that drove them out of business.

That's funny, and I'm sure it wasn't. You mentioned you were a pastor as well as how you have held numerous positions, etc. What educational background do you have?

I graduated with a class of 17 from Coulee City HS, a farming community in eastern Washington state; 2 yrs Central Bible College, Springfield MO; B.A. in Bible/Theology, Northwest University, Kirkland WA; graduate studies at Western Evangelical Seminary (now George Fox Theological Seminary), Portland OR and Seattle Pacific University, Seattle WA; Ph.D., California Graduate School of Theology, La Habra CA; additional: Core Coaching Skills; graduate FBI Citizens Academy; Stephen Ministries LTC.

FBI Citizens Academy, huh? Didn't know they had such a thing... Are you married? Single? Have kids? 

Dixie changed her address to heaven on 04 Aug 2015. We met while I was a 17-year-old Bible college student traveling with the King’s Ambassadors Quartet. We were married in Tulsa OK and soon after moved to the West Coast. We were married just over 59 years. We have two married children, 3 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren, and 2 great grandsons. 

I'm sorry to hear about your wife's passing, but the hope we have as believers of it not being the end, but instead a new beginning, is joyous. And congratulations on 59 years. That's becoming more and more of a rarity. 

I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.

Favorite Song of All-Time: The Prayer tops the list of many favorites
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): Falling Upward by Richard Rohr is probably my most recent favorite; again it’s hard to pick just one.
Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 1:6 my mother sent me off to college with this verse.
Favorite Movie: North by Northwest (1959); Hidden Figures (2016)
Favorite TV Show: Blue Bloods (That is one of our favorites as well)
Favorite Novel (other than your own): Vicar of Christ by Walter F. Murphy
Favorite Author (other than you): Henri Nouwen
Favorite Sport: golf (I loved football, baseball, racquetball, tennis and played all of these at various stages, but I’m down to golf now. My dad taught me the game and I never ever beat him.
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): Mariners baseball team
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: PE
Favorite Subject Now: theology reflected in maturing adults
Favorite Teacher in School: Mrs. Neff, a no-nonsense elementary school teacher
Favorite Time of the Year: Autumn, Spring, Summer, Winter in that order here in the Pacific Northwest
Favorite Place to Vacation: the California desert
Favorite Drink: Water, coffee
Favorite Food: Cheese and onion enchiladas and other things Mexican

If your life was a story, and you were the lead character, what kind of role would you play? 

I like to think I’d be John Cain, the lead pastor in several of my novels.
For all the pet lovers out there, answer this question: Do you have any?

I have a 9-month-old, 54 pound, muscular Labradoodle named GAGE. He’s been the amusing topic of a couple of my ‘almost’ weekly Perspective blog posts. He’s near or on my feet while I am writing this.

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

The Apostle John who managed to do his best and most lasting work while in his late 80s, early 90s as an apostolic writer. I hope the same can be said for my work as well.

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?

Mmm...Does sitting at a freeway crossroads with suitcases packed and flipping a coin to see which direction we would go (north or south) for our vacation qualify? How about kneeling by the side of a busy highway, watching an ant attempt to cross without getting run over? We were on a family bicycle ride from San Francisco to Mexico at the time. The ant made it. So did we.

I feel a song about high hopes coming on...

Why do you live where you live?

I like ‘extreme’ weather locations, for example, I’ve lived on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state (144 inches of rain annually); the California desert (very little rain and extreme heat in summers); and the Pacific Northwest (clouds and rain) where I now live in a low-rise condo surrounded by people in the heart of downtown Bellevue, WA.

There seem to be a great many writers in the Pacific Northwest...Does that have to do with the fact that you all have to stay indoors so much because of the rain? Just curious...

We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?

When I find a fiction author I like, I read as much of him or her as is possible, studying writing styles as I go. Catherine Coulter would be one. Lee Child, Joel Rosenberg, David Baldacci, John Grisham and others I read in the thriller environment.

In non-fiction, I find Roman Catholic writers, like Joan Chittister, Henri Nouwen, and Richard Rohr to be some of the very best. 

When you look for a new home, what are the things that are important to you? 

In the city I prefer a condominium lifestyle; in the desert I like a gated community like Sun City. Lawns may be the most beautiful curse man brings upon himself, so I enjoy the beauty, but haven’t mowed one in 40 years.

Oh, I like how you think. Can I use that line next week when I have to mow again? I'd hate for anybody to curse me.

When you are looking for a book to read, what are the things that are important to you?

Back cover copy and word of mouth are the two things catching my attention. Also a familiar author’s name that I like.

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?

My most difficult day was Valentine’s Day, 2014, when my wife received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Without therapy she was given 3-6 months. She chose therapy, wanting to hold her yet unborn second grandson in her arms. She lived 18 months. She was always a “teaching moment” to those whom she served as a pastor to women in two churches. That being the case, she agreed to let me write her story, filled with “teaching moments” that has since been published as the memoir book, Sacred Journey.

That is awesome. Tell us about what project you are currently working on. 

My current embryonic project is about “Life InBetween,” where we discover it’s not the high notes that thrill us, nor the mountain peaks that define us. A faith that transforms, that counts as right standing with God, is a faith bringing us straight to the heart of Jesus, who says, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” This kind of faith is shaped in the “InBetweens.”

So I pick the man who was “called a friend of God,” and have begun unpacking the story of Abraham, whose greatest moments were not high points of success, but rather his “Life InBetween” such moments that shaped his faith journey. I’m using a combination of fiction, historical and biblical narrative, and life application. Not heavy, but meaty enough. When I write, I write for persons who were once broken, as well as persons who are broken still. Both are always at the very core of how and what I write.

Tell us about your writing day. How do you go about writing? 

I usually write in the mornings. I’m the freshest during morning hours. If I awaken in the very early hours, I may sit in bed and write.

I compose blogs one day a week, targeting living, learning, leading in life’s second half. My blogs touch on humor, pathos, marriage, family, leadership, church, retirement, anything that people in life’s so-called second half must face. Personally, I no longer speak or write about life in halves, but in thirds, but this is another subject matter.

In fiction, I am more of a pantser, with loose outlines that permit lots of things to “happen” rather than be tightly held together. However, I continue to learn as a storyteller, always seeking fresh approaches and insights. Currently I am enrolled in Jerry Jenkins’ online novel writing course and learning a good deal.

Knowing what you know now about writing, publishing, etc., what piece of advice would you give to the person thinking about writing that novel they have always wanted to pursue since they were young, or the person who believes they have a non-fiction book in them that would be helpful to others?

If you really are a writer, you will face discouragement, rejection, whatever, but you will keep learning and growing. And you will not quit.

Great advice, Ward. Starting is hard enough. Completing a book is even more difficult. But seeing it through to publication and beyond, well, that's an entirely different matter altogether.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

I have written several inspirational thriller novels; a memoir of particular interest to caregivers of those suffering with cancer is Sacred Journey, my most recent work. I have lived 81 years. It is important that those of us in life’s “final third” share, with young and maturing adults, what life while being followers of Jesus has taught us.

Amen. As I get older, my perspective has changed. I used to dislike mornings. Now, they're not so bad. Time spent on seemingly worthless endeavors (like mowing the lawn!!!) are now "hours I'm not going to get back." It's so true.

Thank you, Ward, for taking time out of your writing life to spent some time with our readers. May God continue to bless you and your ministries.

Dear reader, if you wish to learn more about Dr. Tanneberg's writing ministry, check out the links below and the book descriptions.

Facebook: @wardtann
LinkedIn: Ward Tanneberg
Twitter: @WardTanneberg

Sacred Journeya memoir (2016)
From an Amazon customer: What a privilege to be invited into this very personal “sacred journey”. Life lessons abound! Be prepared to feel the pain and suffering of Dixie’s “Enemy Cancer.” The Enemy was brutal. Be prepared to encounter true love and commitment in action. Rare these days. Be prepared to experience genuine faith lived out and see hope penetrate throughout the “journey.” An incredible woman of substance and faith. Beautifully honest. Full of hope.
2) Redeeming Gracea novel (2015 Jerry Jenkins Illuminations Bronze Award)

From the back cover: Seven years ago, Grace Grafton died in a boating accident while partying on the Georgia, South Carolina coast. Was her death the result of alcohol and drugs or something more sinister? Nobody knows: her body was never recovered. Now years later, a woman reads in disbelief the note addressed to her: Hello Grace, did you think we wouldn't find you?

Those nine chilling words end Grafton's self-imposed sanctuary of witness protection. Now she and everyone she loves are in grave danger. Long believed dead, she has a secret that can change the future of America. She knows the man running for president is guilty of a double murder! But who will believe her?

Until next time, may God bless you, and may you bless God!


Friday, March 23, 2018

The Alone Syndrome (A Seriously Write Blog)

Our pastor, preaching on Matthew 26 recently, mentioned that when we sin, it usually happens when we are alone. That’s when the decisions are made. That’s when the actions are carried out.

He gave the example of verses 69-75. Confronted by a young girl about his relationship with Jesus, Simon Peter fell into the sin of denying His Savior…when he was by himself. James, John, Matthew, and the rest of the disciples were not around.

It made me think about King David. As he stood on that roof, watching Bathsheba bathe. There was nobody there to grab him by the shoulders and shake him into his right mind.

The same goes for the believer in Christ, our pastor said, who falls prey to temptation. Like porn, for instance. Nobody watches it while the family is in the same room.

Or what about the person who “cooks the books” of a successful business in order to bilk Uncle Sam out of tax revenue or drive up the stock price? This person probably is not going to share this with the rest of the company’s employees or stockholders.

The point is, our most egregious sin usually occurs when we think nobody is watching.

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Chat with Dr. Ted Baehr (A CAN Blog)

Another phase of my writing career is to take my published and unpublished works and transform them into screenplays. It's a different style of writing, for sure, but it is an exciting kind as well. One of the places up-and-coming screenwriters can go to get help, advice, and stay on top of the movie industry (while having all that info delineated from a Christian worldview) is The man behind the website and organization is Dr. Ted Baehr. And I had the privilege of "interviewing" him recently for the Christian Authors Network.

To read it, click HERE!


PS- One book that isn't referenced in the article is this one. If you are thinking about screenwriting, you probably should grab a copy of it, too: How to Succeed in Hollywood: A Field Guide for Christian Screenwriters, Actors, Producers, Directors, and More.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Must Go Faster! Must Go Faster! (A Seriously Write Blog)

This iconic phrase comes from a movie wherein three people in a Jeep are about to be eaten alive. Can you picture the scene? Can you see the dinosaur’s head in the side mirror, with the little message on the bottom: OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR”?

Do you ever feel like that sometimes as a writer? If you don’t go faster, the world of writing and consumerism will eat you alive? While you’re writing your second or third book for the year, another author just published his or her eighth?

In a world with things like binge watching, fast passes, and freaky-fast food deliveries, it seems everything has to happen yesterday. Procrastinate a day, and you’re a week behind. So, we combat those assaults with personal and group-oriented binge-writing events. Pay good money for formulas on how to write a novel in thirty days. Some authors even go so far as to have someone else write the novel for them (with their input, of course). That’s how some famous authors can publish 13-14 novels a year.

For the remainder of the article, click HERE!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Meet Georgia Shaffer (A CAN Blog)

Greetings from C. Kevin Thompson. Well, winter is officially over, I guess. I know. I know. Those of you in Minnesota and Montana might argue the point. It’s all about three words: location, location, location. We almost broke a record the other day of 87 degrees here in central Florida. So much for spring…
So, we sit here on the front porch…ceiling fans on high…ice-cold glasses of lemonade sweating on thirsty stones…welcoming Georgia Shaffer to the Guest’s Adirondack Chair.
Welcome, Georgia! Before we get going on the other questions, first tell us about your latest book, A Gift of Mourning Glories!
Georgia Shaffer
Georgia Shaffer
The reasons we face loss are many. The results, however, are the same. Our hearts ache. Life as we knew it is gone. We can avoid the most common mistakes of starting over with this book’s practical five-step approach, enabling us to move from feelings of hopelessness and despair to those of hope and joy.
For the remainder of the article, click HERE!

Friday, January 26, 2018

My Eyes Are Dry (A Seriously Write Blog)

Sometimes, as writers, we come to the blank page blank ourselves. We want to be fresh. We want to be original. We wish for others to read our every word. However, we sit and stare at the screen. And it stares back. It’s all been said. It’s all been done. It’s all been written. The words of Ecclesiastes haunt us: “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Click HERE to read the rest...

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Meet H. L. Wegley (A CAN Blog)

Greetings from Kevin Thompson! If you are thinking of coming to Florida soon, you may wish to wait. We had snow in the panhandle a couple of weeks ago. We’ve had below freezing temperatures as recent as mid-January coupled with winds of over twenty miles an hour, and they are breaking out the swimming suits in the stores. Coats, jackets, mittens? You should have bought those in October when they were plentiful…and it was ninety degrees outside.
Welcome to winter, Florida-style.
H.L. Wegley
H. L. Wegley
Nevertheless, we’re here on the front porch, bundled up in layers of blankets, grasping a cup of hot coffee, watching our breath drift away in the wind.

Who wants to join me? Well, believe it or not, there is a hearty soul from the great northwest who is willing to brave these swampy wilds, huddle up in one of our Adirondack rocking chairs, and share with us some of his writing tales. Welcome to the Florida front porch, H.L. Wegley (we all know him as Harry)!
Click HERE to see blog post...

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Author Behind the Story Blog Series - Kathi Macias

Greetings from the frigid south! (Don't laugh. We had some nights below freezing...and the panhandle got snow.) I hope all of you had a wonderful, restful, peaceful, and God-blessed Christmas and New Year! I know we did, and we are looking forward to what God has in store for 2018. I sense some big things are my writing world...and in the world at-large. What about you?

One of the neat things about doing this series is getting to know new people. One of those people is a guest this month on my Author Behind the Story series. Please welcome, all the way from sunny California, Kathi Macias!

Welcome, Kathi! For those out there who may not be familiar with Kathi Macias and her writing, give us a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Kathi Macias?

I’m a 5 foot 2 inch great-grandma who was once introduced as Rosey Grier’s bodyguard, and I’ve spent an entire day on death row at San Quentin. I have six kids, an army of grandkids and great-grandkids, and if you asked them to describe me, they’d say things like, “meanest mom in the world,” “craziest lady in town,” and “greatest cook on the planet.” Take your pick; they’re probably right on all counts.

San Quentin, huh? Just one day? Did you know I used to be in prison, too? Spent over four years of my life in the mental health unit of a state correctional a correctional officer. Somehow, that job and writing have some eerie correlations, sometimes. 

If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be?

C.S. Lewis or Brennan Manning, as I so admire their thinking/writing.

I have to admit, I am not familiar with Brennan Manning, but see, now I want to go see who that person is.

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus?

The woman at the well. I believe she has been smeared as a prostitute, when that may not be the case. Yes, she went through several divorces, but it wasn’t women who could instigate a divorce in those days. Since no children are mentioned, I think it’s possible she was divorced, over and over again, because she was childless. That would have made her shame even greater. That she finally ended up living with a man she wasn’t married to may be because no one else would have her or provide a roof over her head. I think she may have been one of the most brokenhearted women who ever lived.

Why do you live where you live?

I suppose we live in Southern California because we grew up here. (My husband and I grew up a few blocks from one another in Ventura, California, and met when we were six years old.) Three of our six children and their families live in California, as well as our grown grandchildren. We live in a lovely retirement community because at our age, we don’t want a “high maintenance” home and yard. Also, my husband loves golf, and we have our own course here.

Ever heard of a place called The Villages in Florida? Largest retirement community in the world, as I understand it. So, we are very familiar with the lifestyle you portray. So, when you look for a new car, what are the things that are important to you?

I think practical, reliable, and affordable. Although those factors impact my husband’s decision too, he is also enamored of a car’s looks. (Hence, his 2005 Sunburst Orange Corvette and my 2011 gray Toyota Camry.)

Orange Corvette? The police would love him down here...

Well, we know you're married and have children and grandchildren. Do you wish to tell us a little more?

I am married to my junior/senior high sweetheart. We have six children, and countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I have recently come to understand something an elderly friend used to say to me years ago: “My two favorite times in life are when my grandchildren come to visit and when they go home.” Lots of truth in that! My husband and I usually recover with a nice long nap.

Every grandparent knows what you mean. That's what makes this stage of life so grand.

I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell

us in one sentence why it is your favorite.

Favorite Song of All-Time: “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me. I listen to/sing that song and think of how glorious it will be to finally be home with our Lord—and to see our many loved ones who have gone on ahead of us.
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): Nearly anything by Brennan Manning or Max Lucado. Their words sing, and their message goes deep to the heart.
Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 3:13-14. It puts everything in this crazy world into proper perspective.
Favorite Movie: Driving Miss Daisy. It’s my favorite “feel good” movie, and I could watch it over and over.
Favorite Novel (other than your own): Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. It changed my heart/life and inspired me to write No Greater Love, set in South Africa.
Favorite Author (other than you): Brock and Bodie Theone, Their series captivate me!
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: Definitely writing and English. I always loved anything that had to do with words.
Favorite Teacher in School: Robert Ferries. He was my English and Creative Writing teacher, and he challenged and stretched me to be a better writer.
Favorite Time of the Year: Fall. We live in the desert, and fall means the heat is over for a while!
Favorite Place to Vacation: Lake Arrowhead. I love the peace and quiet of the mountains.
Favorite Drink: Strawberry lemonade. It’s so refreshing!
Favorite Food: Toss-up between pizza and calzones. Must be the Italian in me! (You know a calzone is just a pizza folded over in half, right? I love those, too!)

When the words aren’t flowing, what is your favorite comfort food and why?

And so we return to pizza.

Before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

I was in love with words before I was old enough to go to school. I read everything in sight (cereal boxes, newspapers, etc.), and when I ran out of things to read, I started making up my own stories. Though I briefly entertained the idea of becoming a teacher, my only real desire from my earliest recollection was to be a writer.

Do you have a crazy, interesting, behind-the-scenes story about the publishing world you’d like to tell your readers without boring them to death with industry gobbledygook?

I arrived early to a writers’ dinner, as did Barbara Johnson (Woman of Faith and Spatula Ministries fame). We got to chatting and ended up good friends. I was honored to attend her last birthday celebration before she went home to be with the Lord. What an incredibly special lady she was! I look forward to seeing her again when I too go home.

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?

The biggest impact on my writing came from a young man of about 17 or 18. I was doing a book signing for my newest release, No Greater Love, a novel set in South African in 1989 just before the fall of Apartheid, when this young man entered the bookstore. He looked around until he spotted them, then walked up to my table. “I wanted to meet you,” he said, “because I just finished reading your new book, and I wanted to tell you that it made me want to lead a noble life.” His words ring in my ears each time I craft a new book.

How awesome is that?! Just goes to show how we never know who our writing impacts and how it challenges them. 

Of all the stories/books you have written, which one is your favorite? And what compelled you to write this story? 

I have to go back to No Greater Love, set in South Africa in 1989. I first considered doing the book way back in the late ’80s, as I watched the drama unfolding in South Africa, as Apartheid finally fell and Nelson Mandela was released from prison. But it wasn’t until 2009 that I found a publisher willing to consider a novel on the topic. Thank you, Andrea Mullins of New Hope Publishers! In fact, it launched my Extreme Devotion series (four novels about the persecuted Church around the world) and New Hope’s first-ever fiction line, “Fiction with a Mission.”

Before we wrap things up, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

My heart, whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction, is to challenge my readers to think beyond the obvious and to take their commitment to Christ to the next step. Much of my fiction is based on social issues, such as homelessness, human trafficking, PTSD, etc. As Christians, I believe we need to be actively involved in helping with/solving these issues. It’s not enough to feel badly about them—we need to do something, and each of us can do at least one thing.

Well said. I feel the same way about my writing. That's why my website says, "Where Imagination Meets Eternity." 

Thanks, Kathi, for taking the time to be with us here on ABTS! 

Well, folks, if you'd like to follow-up this interview and get to know Kathi more, you can visit her at these locations on the web:


Kathi Macias (personal)

Twitter: @alandkathi

Her Website:

Until next time, may God bless you all, and may you bless God!