Waco Author Event brings together international experience, writing

On Thursday, Common Grounds will be hosting an event for authors, which will include books, giveaways and a question and answer segment. Grace Everett | Photographer

By Tyler White | Reporter

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Common Grounds Waco is hosting the Waco Author Event. Award winning novelists Nova McBee, Ronie Kendig and Candace Kade will discuss their world travels, books and great adventures in their lives with the Waco community.

Nova McBee, author of “Calculated,” said the event is an opportunity to share her life experiences of living overseas and allow her to discuss the themes of identity and purpose behind her works. Along with these themes, she said it’s an opportunity to show people the impact that living abroad had on her life.

“Crossing into cultures is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done,” McBee said. “Just seeing different worldviews, seeing the world through other people’s eyes, finding out how they live, how they speak, how they communicate and really understanding the world through different cultures is one of my favorite things to do. That’s why my personal series is very international.”

McBee said that this international impact often seeps into her work and gives her the unique ability to share cultural experiences and expanded worldviews to her readers. Living in Europe, the Middle East and China has provided her with the understanding to give her audience a special insight into what that international influence is.

“Living abroad can really impact your identity, who you are,” McBee said. “Right now, because I’ve lived in so many countries and I have so many different pieces … I’ve adopted these parts of these cultures.”

“Calculated” is currently being adapted into a film. She said it has been amazing to see the response to her narrative because it has provided people with a powerful perspective on what it means to find an identity and a purpose.

“The screenwriters in Hollywood, when they were reading this … they’re like, ‘Wow, this is what the world needs to hear and no one is telling them,’” McBee said. “That was so powerful.”

Candace Kade, author of “Enhanced,” shares a similar sentiment with the impact of international living on her writing. After growing up in China, Kade said she dealt a lot with the problems of identity and where she fit in; a theme that is found across her work.

“Everything I write has these themes of like identity and belonging and how you answer the question, ‘where are you from?’” Kade said.

Through her book, she said she’s been able to help others see these new perspectives of culture through her world building. Even as extensions of her own experiences, the narratives in her story allow others to relate and resonate with the cultural impact that seeps through her writing.

“I love that I get to help people see this other world that they’ve never seen before and build up this world in my story,” Kade said. “I think growing up overseas has totally impacted all my stories and definitely ‘Enhanced.’”

Along with talking about the themes of their books and their lives overseas, Kade said they will also talk about where they were all at when they graduated from college. Even if people don’t necessarily relate to the international problems of identity, she said people can relate to the unknown of graduating and moving to another part of life.

“Whether you’re one of those people who are like, I know what I’m gonna do, and that’s fantastic, or whether you’re someone who is taking a lot of different changes and different majors and turns in your career, that’s okay, too,” Kade said. “You don’t have to have everything figured out.”

Kade encourages everyone to come out to the event on Thursday to hear these discussions. She said she hopes that what she has to say, along with McBee and Kendig, will resonate with everyone wherever they are at, and that they will be able to learn more about the themes of identity and purpose and be able to recognize the impact of international influence in their writing and experiences.

“No matter your background, no matter where you’re at, you’re going to get something out of this,” Kade said. “I hope that you will be encouraged in your career, whether you have it figured out or not.”