Category Archives: Author Interview
INTERVIEW: PAT BERTRAM, Author of DAUGHTER AM I
Q: What is your novel Daughter Am I about?
Q: How did Daughter Am I come to be?
Q: Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?
Q: Where did you get the names for your characters?
Q: How much of your personal psyche, your struggle and your insecurities are hidden within the characters of your stories?
Q: What was your journey as a writer?
Q: Do you think this book changed your life?
Q: Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?
Q: What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
Q: What are you working on now?
Q: Where can people learn more about your books?
by: Pat Bertram
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing LLC
Format: Paperback (304 pages)
My deepest thanks to Pat Bertram for visiting my blog, graciously answering my questions, and introducing us to herself, DAUGHTER AM I, and her character, Mary Stuart. Like many readers, I am always on the quest for another great read, and I found one here!
Don’t forget to come back and check this blog for my book review of DAUGHTER AM I by Pat Bertram, coming soon.
INTERVIEW: KATHI MACIAS, Author of THE DELIVERER (Freedom Series #3)
Q: While this is the third and final book in the Freedom Series, I’m sure there are people who are just learning about it. Would you please share what prompted you to write these books on such topic as relevant and difficult as human trafficking?
I was finishing up my previous fiction series for New Hope Publishers (the Extreme Devotion Series, dealing with the persecuted Church around the world) when Andrea Mullins (the publisher at New Hope) asked me what topic I wanted to tackle next. We discussed a few possibilities, and then she suggested human trafficking. I was aware of it and thought it was terrible but had no idea how widespread it was. I agreed to do some preliminary research and get back to her. When I discovered there are more than 27 million people held in various forms of human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor or military conscription, involuntary donation of body parts/organs) and that many of them are children (including an estimated 100,000—300,000 MINORS held in sexual slavery in the US today!), I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight. Not only have I now written/released the Freedom Series on human trafficking, but I’m speaking on it everywhere/every chance I get.
Q: What was your original objective in writing these books, Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer? And, what are you hearing back from people who have read the books? How are they taking action?
Originally my plan was to see the books alert readers to this horrific crime and, hopefully, challenge them to get involved in fighting it some way. That seems to be happening, but on such a larger scope than I had imagined. The response from readers is overwhelming! Pastors have written to say they are challenging their entire church to get involved on some level, and I’m being invited to speak all over the country on this topic. I am thrilled to see the Light being shined in this terrible darkness at last! As for specific actions, pastors and civic leaders are inviting me (or others in this ministry) to come and speak to their congregations/groups to help educate them on this massive tragedy. Readers tell me they are posting about my books all over the net to help snag people’s attention. I’m getting invitations to speak on radio and TV as well. I’ve also been contacted by readers who are getting involved in setting up safe houses for rescued victims, which is a huge need. I was even contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and invited to participate in group conference calls on the topic. Overall, I’m thrilled at the way God is using these books to help sound the alarm and to “rescue the perishing.”
Q: It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include?
This is vital to me, and as you said, I almost always include an intercessor in my novels. I know there were intercessors in my own life who prayed me through some incredibly dangerous and difficult times, and I appreciate those heroes of the faith more than I can express. Highlighting their importance in my books accomplishes two things: it enables me to honor those faithful intercessors who often get no recognition in this world, and it also calls others to get involved in intercession as well.
Q: You write books as you often call them, parables with a purpose, on topics such as human trafficking, the persecuted church, illegal immigration, and your Christmas 2012 book is about homelessness. Some might call you an advocate. Why is it important for Christians, and the church as a whole, to discuss these issues?
You’re right that I call my novels “parables with purpose,” because I believe Jesus is our example and that’s what He told to His followers—parables with purpose. He didn’t just tell them “nice stories” to entertain them. He told stories that would grab them right where they lived, and then challenge them to change their hearts, their minds, and their lives. The Church has always been at the forefront of serious social change, leading the charge to abolish slavery for instance, and leading the charge on these other issues is right where the Church needs to be now. The first step is to discuss the issues, to make people aware of them, and then to call them to action. I believe gripping fiction is one of the most effective ways to do that.
Q: Will you give us a glimpse, a taste of things to come — without getting too far ahead — of what’s in store for your next series and books on the horizon?
In addition to the 2012 Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in America, I will be releasing a new series starting in January. The first of the three novels is called The Moses Quilt, and it deals with a contemporary interracial romance, set against the background of a quilt that tells the story of the courageous, faith-filled woman known as Harriet Tubman. A contemporary novel dealing with the issue of abortion will follow, with the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell, as our backdrop heroine. The final book will be built around the much beloved Fanny Crosby, as we deal with the issue of people with disabilities. That series is from New Hope Publishers, but I also have a book releasing in the Spring of 2013 from B&H Publishers called Last Chance for Justice. It’s part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series, and I’m very excited about it.
Q: You also write a devotional blog. Can you tell us what the focus is and where we can find it?
I started writing a weekly devotional several years ago, in response to a request from the then newly formed group CAN (Christian Authors Network). I sent it out as a group email and had about 40 recipients then. The devotional mailing quickly grew and expanded beyond the CAN group, with countless readers signing up to receive it. I also started posting it each week on my devotional blog (http://kathimacias.com/category/devotional-2/), which is part of my primary website (www.kathimacias.com), where you will also find my “Easy Writer” blog, which is more writing-related. (You can also sign up there to receive the weekly devotional in your inbox.) Over the years the devotional has been picked up by Crosswalk, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News (I offer it in Spanish as well as English), Believe.com, Christians in Recovery, etc., so the readership has mushroomed beyond anything I ever imagined. God is amazing, isn’t He?
Q: Finally, we know you as an award-winning author, but you also enjoy speaking for women’s events, and other groups, as well. On what areas or topics do you focus your speaking presentations? How can a church or group find out more about having you speak for their event?
I speak on various topics, including the issues I address in my books, but on other topics too. One of my most requested topics is “When Passion and Purpose Collide.” That, along with several other popular topics, can be found in the speaking section of my website (http://kathimacias.com/speaking/). To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to http://kathimacias.com/speaking/speaking-schedule/ and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at http://kathimacias.com/speaking/endorsements/.
For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit Facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias.
by: Kathi Macias
Publisher: NEW HOPE PUBLISHERS
Published: August 1, 2012
Format: Paperback (320 pages)
My deepest thanks to Kathy Macias for visiting my blog, graciously answering my questions, and introducing fans to her latest Freedom Series title: THE DELIVERER. Like many readers, I am already looking forward to Kathi Macias’ future books!
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview and/or book review on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com).
When a personal crisis tested and strengthened her faith, award-winning journalist Beth Wiseman was advised by her agent to consider writing a Christian novel, particularly an Amish one. Encouraged by her agent’s urging, she began exploring the Amish lifestyle and soon developed a great appreciation for the more peaceful way of life. In 2008 Wiseman wrote her debut novel, Plain Perfect, featuring the Amish lifestyle within the context of a fictional love story. It was a bestseller, as have been all of the full-length novels and novellas she has written since.
While Need You Now is Wiseman’s first non-Amish novel, she is confident it will not be the last. She is already making plans to write a second contemporary novel in the near future. Like Need You Now, it will also be set in small-town Texas, a familiar background she thoroughly loves exploring and writing about.
Wiseman’s previous releases have held spots on the CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) and the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) bestseller lists. In 2010, she received the INSPY Award for Amish Fiction (chosen by blog reviewers). In 2011, she received the Carol Award and was the Inspirational Readers Choice winner for her book Plain Paradise. Her novel Seek Me with All Your Heart was the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year.In addition, Wiseman has been a Retailers Choice Finalist, a Booksellers Best Finalist and a National Readers Choice Finalist. Prior to becoming a novelist she received many honors for her work as a journalist, including a prestigious First Place News Writing Award from the Texas Press Association.
Today, she and her husband are empty nest parents of two grown sons, enjoying the country lifestyle and living happily with two dogs, two cats, two pot-bellied pigs, two chickens and a single pygmy goat in a small community in South Central Texas. Along with writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, traveling and watching good movies. Her favorite pastime, however, is spending time with friends and family.
INTERVIEW: Beth Wiseman, Author of NEED YOU NOW
Q: As a former award-winning journalist, having received eleven honors including a prestigious First Place News Writing Award from the Texas Press Association, what inspired you to begin writing fiction?
Becoming a Christian novelist was a calling for me, and it came on the heels of a particularly rough time in my life. My son (then 15) had spent several weeks in the hospital, and when he finally came home to recover, my agent suggested Christian fiction to me, particularly Amish. She said she felt like I was in the right place spiritually. I’d always been a Christian, but when I thought my child might die, I was guided into a renewed, more “real” relationship with God. From the time I started writing my first book in the Daughters of the Promise series—Plain Perfect—I could feel God’s hand on it. And He has continued to bless me with stories to tell.
Q: What would you consider your biggest challenge as a writer of Christian adult fiction?
To make the messages loud and clear for those who need to hear them, but not be preachy. And to stay on the course God is leading me despite my own insecurities, fears and worries.
Q: One of the teenage characters in Need You Now practices an often misunderstood form of selfinjury. Why did you feel it important to showcase such a deeply personal issue?
I chose this form of self-injury because it IS so misunderstood. I’ve known of several teens who have coped in this destructive way, and I couldn’t understand it. So I set out to educate myself and others, hoping and praying that it would help a teen or family dealing with this issue.
Q: You also addressed high-functioning autism in your latest novel. What would you most like your readers to understand about children who have been diagnosed with this disorder?
I have a close friend who taught autistic children, and her experiences first sparked my interest in these very special children. I think it’s important to note that autism is diverse, and no child or diagnosis is the same. It’s very individual, from high-functioning autism to children who don’t speak at all. I believe that God places these children in the lives and on the hearts of people who can often reach them.
Q: What inspired you to write about such complex issues?
I usually don’t have a full-blown plot lined out before I start a book, but, in this case, I did know that I would write about self-injury. I also wanted to write about a married couple, as opposed to a “boy meets girl” romance. However, I didn’t set out to write about autism. I had already covered the subject in another book, Plain Promise, several years ago, but I felt God calling me to go a step further with an older child who was autistic. I also wanted to tell a very “real” story about the bond of marriage and the strength of family. And I think that anyone who has raised a teenager can attest to the fact that it is one of the hardest jobs on the planet.The rewards outweigh the hardships, but sometimes it’s hard to breathe when we are facing challenges with our kids.
Q: How much, if any, of the rural setting for Need You Now was drawn from your own experience?
Round Top, Texas, is one of the smallest towns in South Central Texas, and it’s right down the road from me, so there are lots of real places mentioned. I’m also a city girl who moved to the country later in life, and I’ve experienced a lot of the things I mention in the book. Not to give anything away, but when Darlene has an intruder in the first chapter—I’ve been there. It was a lot of fun writing about my area and incorporating familiar topics and descriptions, like coyote hunting and cow tipping.
Q: Several of your characters in Need You Now find themselves having to deal with forgiving past mistakes, their own and those of others. Do you believe that forgiving both ourselves and others is essential to individual and marital happiness and, if so, why?
I write a lot about forgiveness—another thing that I never set out to do, but it always finds its way into my books. I think that’s because I tend to carry my burdens from the past and have a hard time forgiving myself. I know in my heart that the inability to forgive—whether ourselves or others—hinders progress and can block the voice of God, but it’s still hard not to cart our baggage around with us. And if we can’t forgive ourselves, it’s even harder to accept that others are willing to forgive us.
Q: As a reader, it was very easy to fall in love with your main character and her family. Will you be bringing any of these characters back in future books?
Oh, I hope so. I guess it will be up to the readers…and my publisher. My characters are real to me, so I always hate to say goodbye to them.
Q: Will you be returning to the Amish background for your next book, or will it be non-Amish, as well?
The plan is to alternate between Amish and contemporary fiction. The next book to come out will be His Love Endures Forever, which is book #3 in the Land of Canaan series, scheduled for release in October 2012. Then from there I am going to write another contemporary, and it will be set in another small town near me.
Q: What would you most like your readers to take away from Need You Now?
Life can be a mess sometimes, and when that happens, our faith either gets stronger, or it takes a dive. I hope readers will close the book with a feeling of renewal and the certainty that there is no hardship that we can’t conquer with God on our side. I hope that this book will bring folks one step closer to Him.
by: Beth Wiseman
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback (320 pages)
My deepest thanks to Beth Wiseman for visiting my blog, graciously answering my questions, and introducing fans to her first contemporary work of fiction. Like many readers, I am already looking forward to Beth Wiseman’s new titles from inside and outside Amish country!