How did you come up with the idea for this story?
As I was finishing up my first fiction series for New Hope Publishers, the four-book Extreme Devotion series (also New Hope’s first-ever fiction books) about the Persecuted Church around the world, the publisher and I were discussing where we wanted to go next. She suggested the topic of human trafficking, which immediately resonated with me as I too am interested in this tragic problem, so I developed a three-book series on the topic, with Deliver Me From Evil being the first one.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Wow, this is a tough one, as I love contemporary fiction. Okay, here we go: Patti Lacy, Susan Meissner, Susanne Lakin, Mary DeMuth, Athol Dickson, and Jim Rubart. All are different and unique, and all are people I greatly admire.
I'd crash that party in a minute. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
This is tougher, since I don’t read as much historical fiction, but I have to say my sister-in-law, Kacy Barnett-Gramckow because I loved her Genesis trilogy. Also, Francine Rivers, Bodie Thoene, Eugenia Price, Sarah Sundin, and Laurie Alice Eakes. Though I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, these ladies all write about eras I find fascinating, so I usually try to make time to read their latest offerings.
Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
Oh, if they only knew! People are surprised when I tell them I don’t get contracts for every proposal my agent sends out, but it’s true. However, I must sheepishly admit that my greatest problem right now is far too many contracts and not enough time to write! I also do a little editing and collaborative writing on the side, plus travel/speak/teach, so life is crazy-busy!
Tell us about the featured book.
Deliver Me From Evil is the first in the Freedom series, which follows the life of a young girl named Mara (meaning “bitter”) who is sold into sexual slavery by her family when she is only eight years old. She is brought into the
and forced to do whatever her uncle—the brothel owner—demands of her for ten
years. At last she meets someone who seems to want to help. Does she dare dream
of being rescued? The subplot takes place in the Golden Triangle of Thailand,
where two sisters are also held in a brothel, not realizing they have a
connection to the main story taking place in the United States . All this will play
out as the stories dovetail throughout the series. United States
I love the symbolism in the cover. Please give us the first page of the book.
Mara fought to breathe against the thick darkness that pressed her down. The closet was so small…so dark and cramped. Impossible to stretch out, whether lying down or standing up. How long had it been now? Hours? Days? The blackness was too complete, the confines too cramped even to venture a guess.
She’d been in what they all termed “the hole” before, but not for a while now. In the beginning, before she’d learned to obey the rules without question or hesitation, she had often found herself confined in what felt like a tomb, wondering how long it would take before she crossed so far into insanity that there was no way back. And though the times in the hole were the worst, life outside the silent box wasn’t much better. To survive, Mara had quickly learned to remove herself from the horrifying reality that had become her life, to travel far away in her mind where the torture was only a distant terror, one she could endure if she disciplined herself to think of something else. Eventually she had become one of the most compliant of the twenty or more wretched creatures that dwelled in this nameless location, which she had come to understand was somewhere in the San Diego area of Southern California, not far from the Mexican border. As a result, her trips to the hole became only a vague yet obedience-motivating memory.
But this time she had dared to break a rule, not openly but secretly, praying to a god she didn’t really believe in to protect her. Unfortunately, the nonexistent god had apparently chosen not to answer her prayer, and she had been caught and severely punished—beaten mercilessly and thrown into the hole without food or water—because she had allowed the face of a young child to entice her to venture beyond the tentative bounds of safety.
And for what? Not only had she failed to help the girl escape, but she had probably caused her to be thrown into the hole as well, for there were several such confines within the compound. Nearly as bad as being in the claustrophobic enclosure herself was knowing that a captive no older than six or seven was being held in a similar prison nearby, terrified beyond imagining.
When would Mara learn? She herself hadn’t been much older than the tiny child when she was spirited away from her previous life, never again to see her home or family or anything else familiar. Thrust into a world of violence and perversion, Mara had learned to endure the most nightmarish and degrading of conditions. Though at first she had cried and begged to go home to her parents, even though they too had beaten and abused her, she finally came to understand that it was her father who had sold her into this new life from which there was no escape—and her very own uncle, her “tio” who had arranged the sale and was now her owner. And that was the worst part of it all—realizing that no one would ever come to rescue her, for those who should care enough to try were the ones who put her there—all for the price of a few weeks worth of drugs or alcohol, possibly even some food.
With that realization, Mara had chosen to harden her heart and do whatever she must to get through, one day at a time—sometimes one moment at a time. That was how she had gained the tiniest amount of freedom and privileges, being fed more regularly and even allowed to walk relatively unhindered around the small compound that had become her world—so long as she continued to obey her tio and his two henchmen without question.
But then the little girl with the terrified eyes had arrived, bound and gagged, bloody and bruised…and everything had changed.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My main website is www.kathimacias.com; I also have an “Easy Writer” blog at http://kathieasywritermacias.blogspot.com and another website at www.thetitus2women.com.
Thank you, Kathi, for this peek into such a sordid world. This should be a call to arms.
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