Semi-finalist in 2015 American Christian Fiction Genesis contest with The Apricot Underground
Published in Bedlam Magazine January 2015
“Action is greater than writing. A good man is a nobler object of contemplation than a great author. There are but two things worth living for: to do what is worthy of being written; and to write what is worthy of being read.” -Ross Perot
Behind Lead Doors
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The inspiration for this contemporary novel came in 2012 when I first learned there were still 27 million people enslaved in the world and thousands more being trafficked every day. My perspective changed drastically when I found out that slavery and human trafficking wasn’t “only in other countries” (i.e. not my problem.) Human trafficking is rampant in the USA with Atlanta’s airport being one of world’s biggest hubs for it. Kidnapped children and women traveling alone are easy targets. So educate them and equip those you love to always be aware.
The End It Movement has really shone a light on slavery and human trafficking in the past few years in an unbelievable way. When my kids say “where were you while this happened?” I want to be able to say that I did something. I raised my voice for those who had none. And Behind Lead Doors brings home the idea that no one is safe from the clutches of evil.
On Wings of an Avalanche
The premise of this book started as a story about organ trafficking in Africa. And while the problem is absolutely rampant in the black market in Northern Africa especially, the story morphed into a tale about both a Canadian doctor doing charity work in Mali and a college-aged boy from the UK getting forced into drug trafficking for a violent warlord.
I really enjoyed writing this book with one of the main characters being a British boy who has his pilot’s license because I could do 100% of my research in house (literally) thanks to my British pilot husband. Similarly, my father-in-law does a lot of medical work in Africa so I let my imagination run wild and asked a lot of crazy questions to both men. It’s amazing to me how how resilient yet fragile we are as humans and can find good in any situation if we look hard enough. Hints of that appear all throughout my work.
The Apricot Underground
When people (like my mom) ask me incredulously where I come up with my stories, the very sad answer is that I draw a lot of the main story lines from real life situations. This novel was no exception. In eastern Europe edging west, there is a huge network of people involved in stealing women’s babies or impregnanting women with the purpose of taking the child to “adopt” to a unsuspecting Western couple. It’s called baby selling or baby factories/child harvesting. While it’s a tough topic, I write about it in a way that doesn’t scar the hearts of sensitive readers.
Adoption is a beautiful example of love. Families aren’t always composed of blood relatives, but you can be sealed together by love. However, there’s a lot of horrible abuse taking advantage of the open hearts of those willing to adopt, especially internationally. Statistics online state the problem of mothers selling their own children for money to survive is the worst in Africa, but impregnanting a woman with the intent of producing a “desirable child” is worst in Europe. And I believe stealing babies from unsuspecting mothers happens all over, as we saw from the Chinese doctor who was caught doing this very thing just recently.
My intent is to tell stories that open people’s eyes to the reality of the world around them. There is much work to be done, many causes of justice to be fought for. Just talking about the problems chases some of the darkness away.
A Golden Sky
When I started planning out this novel, my intent was to deal with overcoming the labels given to us whether that be by society, family, classmates, or coworkers. And in a way it is. But the story also goes deeper to making the best of every situation and really looking for chances to help others improve their lives. Maybe we can’t solve world hunger on our meager monthly salaries, but we can help change lives of the people in our cities who need what many of us have in excess–clothes, food, a safe place to stay.
This is the first of my novels to be set in the USA, but I have every intention of carrying a few of the characters into the international scene and changing lives in places where there is generally no hope of a “rags to riches” story.