It has been a pleasure participating in the Blog Tour for Trafficked by Kim Purcell. This was not your everyday run of the mill young adult novel. Trafficked is a suspenseful ride from the beginning to end. My post today is a guest post provided by the author Kim Purcell. Take a look at what she had to say.
By: Kim Purcell
About the book:
A 17-year-old Moldovan girl whose parents have been killed is brought to the United States to work as a slave for a family in Los Angeles.
What Kim had to share about her book!
When people read my novel, TRAFFICKED, about a girl who comes from Moldova to America to be a nanny and ends up as a modern-day domestic slave, they think I must have interviewed a bunch of modern-day slaves. It¹s not true. I never met a modern-day slave. I didn¹t end up speaking to any girl or woman who would fit a legal definition of a trafficked person. I never met someone who was exactly like my character, Hannah, who was trapped in a house, threatened to the point that she was too afraid to leave. However, I talked to women who¹d been afraid of their employers, who¹d agreed to take less money than they¹d been promised because they feared deportation, and who¹d put up with egregious working conditions due to fear. I read a lot of real-life stories about modern-day slavery and I talked to people who worked at several anti-trafficking agencies. I didn¹t want to meet someone who was exactly like Hannah because that would have taken the fun out of creating her and writing a story. I am a fiction writer. It is in the fiction part of it that I play with my characters. I have a journalism background, but I didn¹t continue down that path because just telling the straight facts wasn¹t interesting to me. In
my imagination, I dance. Having said that, I had to base this novel on truth. I wanted to portray a story of a modern-day slave, as real to the truth as I could without making it a nonfiction story. If I¹d met a girl exactly like Hannah, I may have felt honor-bound to write her story exactly as she told it to me. Thankfully, I didn¹t. But I¹d like to tell you about Natasha, one of the many girls whom I met in Moldova, when I was researching this book. In the capital city, Chisinau, I read posters everywhere that said: You are not a Product. The anti-trafficking agencies and the government were trying unsuccessfully to stop their girls and women from being trafficked out of the country. It was clear when I met the girls why they were so vulnerable. Most of them were poor, yet smart and ambitious, with few opportunities in their own country. Many of them were being raised by a grandparent
because their parents were working elsewhere. One day after school, I sat with about five girls and a teacher in a classroom. All around us, the chairs had been put on top of the desks. The school was quiet, a big difference from the loud yelling and running I¹d witnessed in the day. One girl was named Natasha. She had straight black hair and wore new, dressy clothes that fit tightly around her middle. She was quiet, shy and very polite. Her English was fairly good in that I could understand her without any problems. I asked the girls about their parents and their family situation. When it was Natasha¹s turn to talk, she admitted in a small, quiet voice that she hadn¹t heard from her mother in almost a year. I¹ll never forget the look on her face, part abandonment, part worry. She stared at the floor by her feet, overcome with emotion, but she didn¹t cry. The other girls watched her with flat, emotionless expressions of their faces. They didn¹t say anything. I felt sure her mother had been trafficked. But all this girl could do was hope and wait. Sometimes, if their families are lucky, the girls and women return without money, their shame so intense that they don¹t tell anyone what happened to them. It¹s terribly sad. I think of Natasha often and hope her mother came back, but I don¹t know if I¹ll ever find out. I can only hope that my novel will bring more awareness to this human tragedy and make people open their eyes to the nanny or housekeeper who may be the slave next door.
Tell me that doesn’t tug at the heartstrings. This is an incredible story, about realistic possibilities. Kim Purcell offers readers a story that will leave them reflecting long after the last page.