Deliver me From Evil by Kathi Mathias puts a human face on a seldom talked about worldwide atrocity: human trafficking. It follows the interconnected story from three vantage points.
Mara, a six year old Mexican girl, was taken from her desperately poor family by her uncle who promised to care for her in America. Now eighteen, she has lived twelve years as part of his violent prostitution ring in the heart of San Diego.
Jonathan, also eighteen is a college senior planning to head to Bible College in the fall, mostly because he feels it’s what is expected of him. Working a job selling pizzas to save the funds he needs, he inadvertently stumbles upon Mara and another young captive who has been recently snatched off the streets of the city.
Jolene and Jasmine are captive a word away. Their captors see them as a commodity not even worthy of the basics of human comforts. When a girl in their situation has outlived her usefulness, she is simply disposed of.
Where is the hope for these young slaves of human trafficking–is there any hope? How far are Jonathan and his family willing to step outside of their comfort zone? How far would you be willing to step?
A beautiful, yet horrifying tale with a clear challenge and message to the reader. If you dare to read it, it will leave an indelible imprint on your heart. Will you be one of those who dares to open your eyes to these forgotten children of God?
Kathi, how did you come up with the idea for Deliver Me From Evil and the Freedom series?
Kathi–It actually came out of a phone conversation with Andrea Mullins, the publisher at New Hope. We were discussing the Extreme Devotion series (about the persecuted Church), which I was still working on at the time, and we began to consider topics for a second series. Andrea was the one who suggested human trafficking, and it really struck a chord with me. The more I researched it and worked on the proposal, the more excited I became about joining forces with others working to abolish modern-day slavery, which is exactly what human trafficking is.
What was your favorite scene to write in Deliver Me From Evil?
Kathi–This book/series has been the most difficult I’ve ever written, simply because the subject matter is so dark and heavy. More than once I had to walk away and clear my thoughts before moving on from one scene to another. But interspersed between the heartache and tragedy are several lighter scenes (written and incorporated into the book out of necessity), dealing with a pastor’s family and their Bible college-bound son who inadvertently discovers the human trafficking ring and becomes involved in the heroic and dramatic rescue attempt. Any scenes revolving around the absolutely functional and loving life of the Flannery family are my favorites.
What was the most difficult scene, and why?
Kathi–There were many difficult scenes in this book due to the subject matter, but the hardest had to be when the main character, 18-year-old Mara, realizes that one of the younger girls is being tortured and killed in an effort to extract information and punish her. Though the actual violence is done offstage, Mara experiences each blow and muffled scream, as does the reader.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not, how did you catch the writing bug?
Kathi–Oh yes, I never wanted to be anything else. From the time I discovered the power and allure of words, I was hooked! I was an avid reader before I started kindergarten. A short story I wrote in the third grade was turned into a play for the entire PTA, and I won all sorts of awards for poetry in high school. I even told my then boyfriend (now husband) Al when we were in our early teens that I was going to be a writer one day.
How do you go about writing your fiction books? Which comes first for you, plot, characters, and/or theme?
Kathi–I usually get what I call “a niggling in my soul,” which eventually emerges into the very basic theme of the book. I hate outlining and writing proposals because I do NOT develop plots or even characters ahead of time. I start with a couple of main characters, a starting and ending point for my story, and just let the rest unfold as I go. I know. We’re not supposed to do it that way, but it works for me, and I so enjoy the surprises as the story develops and my characters take over. So much fun! So long as they don’t try to lead me away from my pre-determined ending. Then I have to reign them back in a bit.
How do you get your ideas for your books?
Kathi–I have ideas coming out of my ears! I am a seriously addictive idea person. You want ideas? You can have my overflow! My challenge is to figure out which ones are worth pursuing. Not every cute or fun or even meaningful idea that pops into our head is meant to be a book. I pray, think, study, bounce them off people, etc., before committing to moving ahead with one of them. For the most part, however, nearly all my book ideas are, to one degree or another, born out of some moral or social issue that I care about.
How can we find out more about you, The Freedom Series, and other books you are writing?
Kathi–Please visit my website at KathiMacias.com.
Here is the Book Trailer:
I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (ChristianSpeakersServices.com).
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