Guest post from Activist Faith co-found Daniel Darling with novelist Kahi Macias on social issues. Great input for writers wanting to make a difference.
Kathi Macias is a great friend and a fellow New Hope
author. She is a prolific author, having written nearly 30 books and
ghost-written numerous others. She has taught and coached writers at
conferences around the country is an in-demand public speaker at women’s
My wife is actually reading How to Keep a Tight Ship When You’re Surrounded by Loose Cannons, which she says has already provided her with a lot of laughs and much inspiration for raising our three children.
1) You’ve been writing and speaking for a long time-what first stirred in your heart the passion to put words on paper?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write. I was reading
before I started kindergarten and just seemed to have an ongoing love
affair with words. When my husband, Al, (then boyfriend) and I were
walking home from school one day in junior high I announced to him that I
was going to be a writer some day. He often comments that I’m probably
the only person he knows who knew what I wanted to be when I grew up–and
2) You’ve helped New Hope Publishers launch their first fiction line. You guys are doing something a bit different with it. What exactly is “missional fiction?”
“Missional fiction,” or “fiction with a mission,” is just that:
fictional stories based on true stories of those whose lives are
dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission and going into all the
world to preach the gospel and make disciples. The stories are based not
only on foreign missionaries but also on nationals, all of whom are
challenged at some point in their faith–possibly even to the point of
laying down their lives. Ultimately, though, we hope to challenge
readers to move into that same level of faith. Of course, not all the
series that will be included in this “fiction with a mission” line will
be about missionaries, but all will have a greater mission of educating
and challenging readers to a deeper level of faith and a more vibrant
love-relationship with the Father.
3) No Greater Love weaves a story of romance into the epic story of Nelson Mandela, apartheid, and South Africa. What drew you to this story?
This story was originally birthed in my heart more than twenty years
ago, as I watched the violence and upheaval in South Africa, preceding
the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the downfall of Apartheid.
I couldn’t help but wonder how it was affecting believers in that
country and how it might eventually affect us in other countries as
well. The nugget of an idea–an interracial, forbidden romance–sparked
the story, though it sat on the back burner for many years before I
sensed God releasing me to move forward with it. By that time my vision
for the story had grown to include believers in other countries around
the world–hence, the Extreme Devotion series of four books, rather than a
stand-alone book as I had originally anticipated. (God’s plans and
timing are always so much better than our own!)
4) More Than Conquerors is
set in the violence of Mexico’s drug wars. This is an especially
relevant given the increasing attention given to what is happening
there. What surprised you the most about what is going on there?
Not only does More than Conquerors delve into the violence
of the Mexican drug wars, but it encompasses the superstition of the
Mayan culture in the Southern portions of Mexico as well–San Juan
Chamula in Chiapas State in particular. We hear so much about the
illegal immigration problem in our country, about the violence of the
drug wars spilling over across the border, and also the human
trafficking that is interwoven with so much of these problems. But we
seldom hear of the extreme devotion of those in Mexico who love and
serve God under some very harsh and dangerous conditions, and who
treasure family second only to their relationship to Christ. That’s the
part of Mexico I wanted to bring to life in More than Conquerors.
5) If you could give one piece of advice to young, emerging, writers, what would that be?
Spend time with God, discovering and developing your own calling and
passion for ministry, and then let that focus birth the words and
stories you write. It’s too easy to jump on someone else’s bandwagon,
only to discover it’s already full and straining at the seams. You don’t
need to adopt someone else’s vision; God has one tailor-made just for
you. Seek Him first–and He will be faithful to reveal it to you. And
then be patient until He moves you forward in the fullness of His time.
BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith.
Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has
investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books
include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J.
Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at DillonBurroughs.org.