October 11, 2011

Behind the scenes of A Christmas Journey Home

Today we are taking a "behind the scenes" look at Kathi Macias' latest book A Christmas Journey Home which I found to be a phenomenal read. Please be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a FREE copy of the book. You'll find details about the giveaway at the end of this post.

At first glance you might think that A Christmas Journey Home is simply a fictional "holiday read." However, it is so much more. It is a window into the world of illegal immigration. And, it's a mirror which allows us to reflect.

When dealing with the issues, such as illegal immigration, we often do a lot of generalizing based on our own personal thoughts. Because of our tendency to see things only from one perspective our view is very often tainted. One-sided. Even prejudiced.

That is what makes a book like A Christmas Journey Home so important. It is far more than just a good fictional story. It is highly informative. It is moving. It is challenging.

Kathi Macias is an expert at crafting her books in a way that allows readers to see all the way around the issues. Most often this occurs through the eyes of the characters.This well-rounded view tends to push the readers past wrongly perceived notions. As a result the experience has the power to be life-changing. At least that has been the case for me.

I don't typically walk away from a fictional story thinking about its characters for days. However, A Christmas Journey Home has that kind of impact. If you allow it to, the message has the power to both teach and transform. Who can say that about most fictional books? Kath Macias' books provide a unique reading experience. I can't recommend them highly enough.

Here is more from Kathi on  A Christmas Journey Home:

How did you come up with the idea for A Christmas Journey Home?

I knew I wanted to do a Christmas book—the first of what would become an annual event that my publisher and I were discussing—and I also knew that despite the lighter tone required in a Christmas book (as opposed to the darker themes of the persecuted Church and human trafficking, which I’ve been writing about), I had to stick to my “brand” as closely as possible: hence, an “issues-related” Christmas novel, dealing with the issues related to illegal immigration.

What was your favorite scene to write in A Christmas Journey Home?

I loved writing this entire book, and the characters are delightful (except the villains, of course!), so I loved almost all the scenes. But I think I liked the scenes with Isabella’s old abuelo best, as the grandfather reminded me of my own grandpa and even my dad, both of whom I loved dearly. I love incorporating at least one elderly saint in each of my books, and in this one I decided on a man since most of the other books have had women as the elderly, praying characters. I also brought in a little boy because children can add such a delightful element to any story, and six-year-old Davey certainly does that in A Christmas Journey Home.

What was the most difficult scene, and why?

The toughest scene had to be when Francisco and Isabella thought they were finally on the verge of being able to get away from the migrant camp and find a small home of their own, where their baby could be born in relative comfort and safety. If you’ve read the book, you know that isn’t at all what happens. But this heartbreaking scene had to take place to bring the story to its miraculous conclusion.

What is there about you, apart from writing, that many people don’t know?

First, my “road name” is “Easy Writer” because my husband and I were Harley riders for many years. (We’ve traded the bike in on a 2005 Corvette, so I’m still “Easy Writer” but in comfort now!) Also, I served on staff at a large Southern California church for several years, training small group leaders and doing biblical counseling, among other things.

Who are some of your favorite writers, and are you an avid reader?

Absolutely I’m an avid reader! I have always loved books/reading/words and been fascinated by them. When I ran out of books as I child, I started writing my own. (Voila! Look what came of that!) As for favorite writers, that’s tough, but here are just a few: Brock and Bodie Thoene, Francine Rivers, Patti Lacy, Athol Dickson, Jim Rubart, and Alan Paton, who wrote my favorite all-time fiction book, Cry the Beloved Country. That book changed my life and inspired my novel set in South Africa in 1989, No Greater Love. I also enjoy reading Brennan Manning, Jennifer Kennedy Dean, Oswald Chambers, and Max Lucado for nonfiction.

What’s on the horizon for you now, so far as future book projects?

I am currently finishing up the final book of the three-installment Freedom series (Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer). Then I will jump into my Christmas 2012 novel (working title is A Home For Christmas) and a novel called Last Chance for Justice, which is part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series with another publisher. After that I hope to get going on a new fiction series, which is still in the discussion/planning stages with my publisher and agent. So life is busy, but most contracts coming my way seem to be fiction right now. I am also keeping busy with very occasional editing projects and some speaking/teaching around the country.

Where can we find out more about you, The Freedom Series, and keep up with your to-be-released books?

Please feel free to visit my website at http://www.kathimacias.com/.

***I am giving a copy of A Christmas Journey Home to one of my readers. If you would like to enter to win please leave a comment and your email on this post. The winner will be randomly chosen and notified on Tuesday, October 18th.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (ChristianSpeakersServices.com).


Vicki said...

Hi Melinda! Enjoyed your post, and what a wonderful Christmas book... ♥ Kathi Macia is a great writer!

melindalancaster said...

Yay, Vicki!
Guess what? Looks like you are the winner. This was a great book on so many levels. I'm looking forward to setting it to you so you can read it.

I'll contact you on FB for your address.

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