Kathi has a "coup de grace" with her third book, The Deliverer, in the series on the tragedies and means for redemption for victims of modern day sexual slavery. It's great to have Kathi on my blog once again to interview her on this recent book.
This last book in Kathi's series was a great read. I think I finished The Deliverer in about three days. That's unusual for me, but I had to know the ending! As usual, Kathi paints and repaints the characters in their own voices chapter after chapter. Even if you hadn't read the first two books of the series, you could quickly catch on to the background and status of each character.I liked the time frame of this book as it takes place over much of our holiday season to celebrate Thanksgiving and the birth and delivery of Jesus by Mary. I especially liked the plot in this book because it was more of an internal and spiritual journey for our protagonist, Mara. Her transformation into a believer was a slow and gradual process of surrendering mental territory to God's will and ways. This was so similar to my own new birth in Christ, a long and sometimes painful "delivery".
Kathi, a special and repeat guest on my Spiritual Heartbeats blog, is here to discuss her recent book, The Deliverer. So let's get on with the Q and A's, alright?1. How similar was the pace of Mara's conversion to your own experience? Tell us how you came to know Jesus as your Deliverer and Savior.
- I wasn’t raised in a Christian home, but I had sporadic exposure to Christianity via attending with friends now and then when I was little. I even thought I wanted to be a nun at one time (I suppose I was always searching), so I convinced my parents to let me live in a convent for a few months as a teenager. I didn’t last long and was quickly convinced that was not my calling! I was actually 26 and struggling with my personal life/relationships when I somehow (not sure it was a “vision” as such) saw Jesus, walking toward me, carrying His cross. He was bleeding and bent over, stumbling as He walked. I was standing in a crowd, watching him. As He drew closer, I began to weep at the pain and sorrow so evident on His face. Then He was right in front of me. He looked past everyone else and spoke five words that changed my life forever: “I did it for you.” I’d heard that Jesus “died for the sins of the world,” but now it was personal—and radical. I did a 180 and never looked back.
2. In this book, Mara has to go way back to her childhood to fully forgive what happened when she was eight years old. In this scene, there seems to be no protection for her mother from a very abusive husband, Mara's father. Is this normal for the law to turn a blind eye in Mexico to spousal abuse?
- To some degree, yes, particularly when they live far from the city and try to keep their family secrets” private. It’s very sad, but unfortunately common.
3. In a subplot, we see some difficulties in adopting and acclimating an older child from a totally different culture. Where did you get the insight for describing this in your novel? How many years does it usually take for a person like this to feel comfortable in a new home and our American culture?
- I’m not sure if there are any studies or statistics about how long this would take, but the few victims I spoke with said the healing process is extensive and long-term. I would imagine it is even more so for a child who has been so damaged, lost her parents, and then is transported to a foreign culture/country. Despite how loving the family might be, the child has a lot of baggage, and it’s not going to be resolved easily.
4. Mara struggles with her attraction to Jonathan Flannery. Why is it necessary for her to resolve old issues of bitterness before she can forge a new one with this Christian man?
- This is imperative because, understandably, this girl also carries untold baggage and is in great need of healing. Without a deeply meaningful experience/conversion and then a reconciliation with the past through forgiveness, it would be impossible for her ever to have a normal relationship. In her mind, men are the enemy, so to be able to trust one is a huge step. Jonathan's character would have to move slowly for this relationship to grow and flourish.
5. In this book there seems to be a liberal dose of words spoken by God to our characters. The literati would describe this as "deus ex machina". Why did you choose this as a method in moving your plot along?
- I suppose because I strongly believe God still speaks to us today. When Dr. Billy Graham was asked by a prominent TV host if he believed God actually spoke to him, Dr. Graham replied that he believed God speaks to everyone—but few take the time to listen.
6. I would have liked seeing more of Jonathan interacting with the "new" Mara in this book. If you could change one thing about this story, what would it be?
- I’m not sure I would make any changes. I like to leave stories open-ended, so long as the basic loose ends are tied together, which I believe they are in The Deliverer.
7. Tell us what you'll be working on the next six months, God willing, and what your other activities will be. I certainly would like to meet you some day if you ever make it over to the Southeastern states, my friend.
- Oh, I do hope to be in your area of the country one day soon! Right now I am just starting book three in a new series for New Hope Publishers. These three novels are contemporary stories about modern-day issues (interracial romance, abortion, people with disabilities), told against the backdrop of a quilt representing the life of a woman of faith and courage who made a difference (i.e., Harriet Tubman, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, Fanny Crosby).
Kathi, thanks for bringing us your take on this book, The Deliverer, and answering my interview questions. For more information on Kathi Macias, her books, and organizations supporting the release and re-entry of sexual slaves into a normal lifestyle, you can go to the following web sites:
International Justice Mission: http://www.ijm.org/resources
Salvation Army: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-dynamic-index/8081a4079639d55a802573e000530965?opendocument
Blessings and Agape as you celebrate Christ's Birth and Give Thanks to God,Dr. Linda B. Greer