What inspired you to write about human trafficking and sexual exploitation?
The idea came from pieces I’d read over the years, and I hope my novels have taught some girls and women not to be so trusting when dealing with strange men. Always remember though, the shoe can be on the other foot. I think the best fiction has a fact basis; this is how people are able to put themselves in the characters lives and become involved. They are happy when the character is happy, sad, and sometimes frightened.
Can you describe the storyline of your novel about human trafficking and sexual exploitation?
My first novel, Run for Home, is about a family living on what some people call a sink estate. Thirteen-year-old Claire is enticed away by the delectable Brad, thinking she is going to be part of a film. He leads her to the docks where she’s taken prisoner. There, she finds two other girls on the boat. All are to be sold into the sex trade.
What other novels that you’ve written have touched on this subject too?
Bad Moon Rising is in a similar vein, only this book deals with cults, and how people can be brainwashed into leaving family and friends. Here we have four teenagers, each with a different problem, who fall victim to the cult. Most of my books, although thrillers, have vulnerable people in them.
What research did you have to undertake before writing about human trafficking and sexual exploitation? How did you go about that and what was entailed?
Most of my research can be done on the internet, although for location I like to visit the places I am writing about to get a feel for it.
What changes could the government make to help victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation?
Centres should be set up to help the victims. There may be some, but more are needed. In my Holy Island trilogy, there are safe houses all over the world. In my opinion, if you ruin someone’s life, then yours should be ruined too. You should be put on an island forever, away from good, decent people. There is far too much of the softly, softly approach these days.
For anyone else who wants to be involved, what can other people do to help?
I’ve read great advice from activists and advocates in this interview series – I’d say start with Michelle Sweeney’s interview as she covers most ways people can get involved.
Recommended websites/further reading:
And my website
- Sheila Quigley’s writer interview can be read here.