Guest Post by Heather Huffman *Free ebook!*
Posted by Krystal Larson at 1:15 AM Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Suddenly a Spy is free for Kindle users through the 26th of May!
I always knew that Conrad Langston and Rachel Cooper needed their own story, and I wanted to call it Devil in Disguise. I can’t really say why I wanted that to be the title; I just did. Of course, that’s usually how my books wind up with their titles – they simply come to me while I’m typing up the notes.
I also knew, though I have no idea how or why, that the premise of the story would be that Rachel Cooper’s little sister had been taken by human traffickers. The rest was kind of a blur, so I let it simmer in my brain while I worked on other stories.
To my surprise, it wasn’t long after I began using my books to raise awareness for human trafficking that I began hearing from readers who wanted to put me in touch with various organizations involved in the fight. One such organization was Project Liberty, and from my first meeting with them I knew I wanted to do anything I could to aid them in their cause: recovering our children from human traffickers.
It was through this relationship with Project Liberty that I learned the stories of various recoveries they’d been on. I changed names and specific details to protect the real people behind the stories, and in a few spots I adapted the stories to make them fit in the world I’d created, but the hope is that having real cases at the root of the stories and situations in Devil in Disguise adds a sense of realism to the novel.
Another organization referred to me by a reader is The Covering House, which is a shelter for girls under the age of 18 who have been rescued from human trafficking. I met with a representative for their organization and was impressed with both their dedication to helping victims and with how much they’ve accomplished in such a short time. (I’m currently trying to help raise money for The Covering House. If you can help me with this, click here. All amounts are appreciated!)
One of the things I quickly realized when speaking with The Covering House was that the desperate need for housing for trafficking victims has not been exaggerated. If anything, it’s been understated. That need is something I speak to in Devil in Disguise.
Personally, when I look at the big picture in human trafficking, I get overwhelmed. I feel helpless. When I break it down into something smaller, I start to think maybe we can win this fight. It’s a fight worth winning.
So, while I address all aspects of human trafficking in the talks I give at schools and churches, and while I’ll continue to support organizations that come at the issue from many angles, I’ve begun to narrow the focus of my own endeavors down to two areas: recovering and housing victims.
Sometimes, I feel like a Chihuahua nipping at the heels of a Mastiff; there are days it feels like my work is futile. But then there are times I hear from a mother that she’s now watching her teenager’s friend list online, or a teenager tells me they’ve created their own social media awareness campaign, and I think that maybe even the Chihuahua can find the Mastiff’s Achilles heel.
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