I got a Kindle for my birthday a few months ago and I’ve read the entire Hunger Games Trilogy (awesome, and thoroughly enjoyable, btw), and then I read Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her, swiftly followed by Trafficked: The Terrifying True Story of a British Girl Forced into the Sex Trade.
And did I mention I’ve written a novel about a 14-year-old British girl who accidentally gets caught by child traffickers and forced into prostitution?
There is a pattern emerging here (aside from the Hunger Games bit, that was a glitch and, frankly, a well-deserved holiday for my nerves!) and it’s no accident. But I’m not entirely sure whether it’s a perverse interest in the actual subject matter or whether it’s part of an inane desire to remind myself how fortunate I am. Because, like others in the same position as me, desperately trying to get someone, anyone to take an interest in their book, I have those down days when life is crap, my writing sucks, and what the hell am I doing wasting my time? And it’s during these times of self-pity that I slap myself around the face and hunker down with a good book that speaks of others less fortunate. But that in itself is self-indulgent; it’s a pat-on-the-back that I’m doing alright, Jack. I have a place to live, a healthy family, and a few nuggets in the bank. I’m not desperately searching for a loved one or suffering intense emotional trauma. I’m fine… but apparently that’s not enough.
So then I move on to consoling myself with the thought that when I get my novel published it will create more awareness of the unspeakable (literally, it seems) horror that is child trafficking for the one group of humans that stand a chance of doing something about it – the next generation. I wholeheartedly believe that our hoody-clad teens are going to save the world, one hip-hop at a time. After all, it’s going to take a lot more than just us to even make a dent in the 2.45 million people that are trafficked each year (half of which are children) in the short time we have left on this earth. And that figure is likely to be vastly underestimated according to ECPAT UK (http://www.ecpat.org.uk). So we’ve got our work cut out for us, and we need help. So that is why my book is for Young Adults; it’s a gift from me to them, a sneaky peek into their future. And what a future it is.
Anyway, back to making me feel better about myself…