(If Not, Maybe You Should!)
I enjoy reading and writing suspense and mystery, so I tried my hand at a trilogy a few years ago. It did passably well, but I quickly realized I wasn’t another Brandilyn Collins or Terry Blackstock, so I began to ask myself just who Kathi Macias was as a fiction writer. That’s when I realized that although I liked suspense and mystery, and even some chick-lit and bonnet fiction, they weren’t my passion. I’m an issues person. Whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction, my desire is to minister to people who are dealing with issues of some sort—divorce, loss of a child, betrayal, AIDS, human suffering of nearly any kind. With that focus, I began to hone the stories that had already been birthed in my heart by the Creator who knew and loved me before the foundation of the world.
The result was my current series from New Hope Publishers, a house that never did fiction before—until they heard about my idea for an “Extreme Devotion” series, four novels loosely based on true accounts of those who suffer for their faith in other countries. It turns out they had long hoped for something that would fit their dream of launching a “fiction with a mission” line, and my issue-related proposal fit the bill to a “T.” The fourth and final book in that series, People of the Book, has just released this April. It is set in Saudi Arabia and deals with the very real and heartbreaking issue of honor killings.
In addition, we have just contracted for a second series, this time based on the topic of human trafficking, an issue that both the publisher and I feel strongly about. New Hope and I are also partnering to put out a stand-alone Christmas book this year, titled A Christmas Journey Home, which deals with the issue of illegal immigration.
It isn’t the settings or characters or even the story lines that tie all my new novels together, but rather the very real issues of human suffering, whether as a direct result of our faith in Christ or as a catalyst to bring us to Him. These aren’t light issues and not easily defined or described. The research has been and continues to be intensive and often emotionally draining. But my agent said something to me the other day that strengthened my determination to continue writing tough, issue-related fiction: “You’re writing fiction that matters.”
Exactly. It matters to me because God designed me that way. It also matters to those whose lives my books will somehow touch and change.
And that’s true, whatever direction God takes you in your fiction writing. Forget about the current trends and overloaded bandwagons, and ask Him to help you identify and pursue the passion He’s put in your heart. After all, there’s room in Christian fiction for lots of issues, and when they’re God-driven, they will fulfill the purpose He has intended.
***For a chance to win a copy of People of the Book, please leave a comment. I’ll be giving away two copies. Also, for anyone who’s just venturing into the exciting world of writing and publishing, I’ll be giving away one copy of my writers’ workbook, THE TRAIN-OF-THOUGHT WRITING METHOD: Practical, User-Friendly Help for Beginning Writers, so be sure to specify in your comment if you would like that book. Blessings!
***Kathi Macias (http://www.kathimacias.com/ ; http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com/ ; http://www.thetitus2women.com/ ) is an award-winning author of more than thirty books, including her most recent release, People of the Book, available now at most online venues as well as Christian bookstores nationwide.