Deliver Me From Evil is the first book in Kathi Macias’s Freedom series. It seeks to expose the truth behind modern day slavery, specifically sexual exploitation both here in the United States and abroad.
I have to stop here. Those of you who know me or have followed this blog for a while know that my family possesses a history of sexual abuse covering several generations. I praise God every time I look at my daughter that He has enabled us to escape and break this destructive cycle. I mention this here (1) to praise God, but (2) to let you know that I did not want to read this book. Just the cover description made me nervous and nauseous. But I believe in this cause. I believe that too many people are ignorant of what is going in the shadows much closer than most realize. And so I read the book.
If you are worried about gut-wrenching explicit descriptions of despicable acts, relax. This author does a fantastic job of making people aware of the presence and reality of these truths without glorifying them, without forcing those interested in the cause to rub our noses in the filth. I so very much appreciate this. Readers don’t need to know exactly how bad things are too understand that they exceeded bad. They have crossed too many lines and we cannot stand for it any more. Action must be taken.
Okay, sidebar pushed back to the side, today I have the honor of hosting an interview with Kathi Macias, the author of this book. Let’s get started.
How did you come up with the idea for Deliver Me From Evil and the Freedom series?
It actually came out of a phone conversation with Andrea Mullins, the publisher at New Hope. We were discussing the Extreme Devotion series (about the persecuted Church), which I was still working on at the time, and we began to consider topics for a second series. Andrea was the one who suggested human trafficking, and it really struck a chord with me. The more I researched it and worked on the proposal, the more excited I became about joining forces with others working to abolish modern-day slavery, which is exactly what human trafficking is.
What was your favorite scene to write in Deliver Me From Evil?
This book/series has been the most difficult I’ve ever written, simply because the subject matter is so dark and heavy. More than once I had to walk away and clear my thoughts before moving on from one scene to another. But interspersed between the heartache and tragedy are several lighter scenes (written and incorporated into the book out of necessity), dealing with a pastor’s family and their Bible college-bound son who inadvertently discovers the human trafficking ring and becomes involved in the heroic and dramatic rescue attempt. Any scenes revolving around the absolutely functional and loving life of the Flannery family are my favorites.
What was the most difficult scene, and why?
There were many difficult scenes in this book due to the subject matter, but the hardest had to be when the main character, 18-year-old Mara, realizes that one of the younger girls is being tortured and killed in an effort to extract information and punish her. Though the actual violence is done offstage, Mara experiences each blow and muffled scream, as does the reader.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not, how did you catch the writing bug?
Oh yes, I never wanted to be anything else. From the time I discovered the power and allure of words, I was hooked! I was an avid reader before I started kindergarten. A short story I wrote in the third grade was turned into a play for the entire PTA, and I won all sorts of awards for poetry in high school. I even told my then boyfriend (now husband) Al when we were in our early teens that I was going to be a writer one day.
How do you go about writing your fiction books? Which comes first for you, plot, characters, and/or theme?
I usually get what I call “a niggling in my soul,” which eventually emerges into the very basic theme of the book. I hate outlining and writing proposals because I do NOT develop plots or even characters ahead of time. I start with a couple of main characters, a starting and ending point for my story, and just let the rest unfold as I go. I know. We’re not supposed to do it that way, but it works for me, and I so enjoy the surprises as the story develops and my characters take over. So much fun! So long as they don’t try to lead me away from my pre-determined ending. Then I have to reign them back in a bit.
How do you get your ideas for your books?
I have ideas coming out of my ears! I am a seriously addictive idea person. You want ideas? You can have my overflow! My challenge is to figure out which ones are worth pursuing. Not every cute or fun or even meaningful idea that pops into our head is meant to be a book. I pray, think, study, bounce them off people, etc., before committing to moving ahead with one of them. For the most part, however, nearly all my book ideas are, to one degree or another, born out of some moral or social issue that I care about.
How can we find out more about you, The Freedom Series, and other books you are writing?
Please visit my website at KathiMacias.com.
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Disclaimer: 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). Outside of the interview, all opinions are my personal reflections not influenced by the author or CSS.