Tuesday, March 8, 2011

So Why Human Trafficking?

With the release of my new book "Faithful Deceptions", I've had several people ask me why I chose to focus on human trafficking. 

Well, it all started with a miniseries on Lifetime back in 2005 called "Human Trafficking, staring Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it.  It's a mind boggling story.  I was in the middle of finishing another manuscript, but after watching this movie my muse jumped up and said, "Out of my way, sister!"

I sat down to write a brief outline of the thoughts bouncing in my head and the next thing I knew I couldn't stop.  Six months later, Faithful Deceptions was finished.  The rough draft anyway.  I've actually been working on the edits and revisions for this manuscript off and on since 2007.  After my first RWA conference in Dallas, I let it sit for awhile and finished the story I was working on to begin with.  Then switched to writing a middle grade book and Young Adult for a change of pace.  At least I thought that was why back then.  Now I'm thinking it had alot more to do with how the story and the human trafficking affected something deep inside me.  The research has always been a fun part of the writing for me.  Not so much with this story.  The things I read and learned were almost too much to bear.  And I had two young daughters at the time.  It really shook me up.

Maybe this subject is something I need to bring more out in the open.  Human Trafficking is not a crime that only happens in foreign countries like so many of us think.  I was one of those people.  Then I found out  how many cases actually take place right here in the United States.  The Walmart in my home town is actually a stopping point for those coming in from Mexico on their way into the U.S. with these young girls. Horrified isn't even strong enough a word for how this makes me feel.  I could sit back and thank the good Lord above that I have no real life experiences to draw on.  But I feel like there's more I should do to bring this out in the open.

This horrifying reality will be woven through my next several books.  And I think I'm the one most surprised by this sudden realization.  Funny how a story can grasp hold and not let go.  How it can dig so deep within you there's no escape, no alternative but to see it through.  Heavy sigh.  Another reason I love to write?  The possibilities, shocking truths and breathtaking journeys one's imagination can take you through.

6 comments:

William said...

No need for me to go into detail (you know me too well!) but I'm proud of you for tackling this subject head-on. The more who know, maybe the more can be done about it.

The statistics are terrifying. There have been a series of arrests here in Houston alone that are stunning and shocking; imagine what goes on in cities like New York or L.A.?

Anyone who even remotely thinks, "Oh, that never happens in Real Life" is kidding themselves.

It's a delicate subject, that's for sure. You're to be commended for choosing to write about it (I can only imagine, it can't be easy).

Now, go get 'em....:)

Melissa said...

Thanks, Will! All this stuff makes me hesitant to let my two teenage girls out the front door every morning. But you're right, the more people who know and know what signs to look for, the better! Maybe just making eye contact with a stranger as you pass, letting them know you see them, could deter their plans. I plan to be more aware of whats going on around me at all times.

Canyon Girl said...

Friends in Sweden sent a book on this subject by a Finnish author, Sofi Oksanen, called Utrensning in Swedish. I started it, but became so upset, I put it aside for now. I really admire you for taking on this subject. It is really horrifying what goes on that we close our eyes to for the most part.--Inger

Melissa said...

Thanks for stopping by, Inger! :) I might have to pick that one up. Is it printed in English? As for my books, I will only touch on the subject. The research is for my own knowledge. Hoping I can put as much emotion into my work as I can without going to deep into the details.

Jill Kemerer said...

Your book sounds really good! I researched human trafficking two years ago and was shocked to learn what a hub Texas is for this crime. So tragic. Thanks for bringing light to a dark topic.

Melissa said...

Thanks, Jill! :) I'm hoping just making people more aware will help. This crime just makes no sense to me at all. The more I research, the more baffled I get.