Monday, November 12, 2012
Traveling Internationally Without Leaving Home
I just returned from ten days of travel, and I'm so glad to be home! But I must confess that at no point during those ten days did I ever leave my home country. Instead, I had the opportunity to speak to various groups on a topic of international interest and concern: human trafficking. I was even interviewed by a local ABC News affiliate on the topic and got to watch myself as the lead story on the evening news. Exciting stuff!
These opportunities reminded me of how important international fiction truly is. When I accepted the three-book fiction contract from New Hope Publishers to write a series on human trafficking, specifically child sex slavery, I knew I wanted to include the international scope of the problem while at the same time bringing it home to so many in my own country who seem to think it just doesn't happen here. The Freedom Series (Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer) did exactly that, as I wove two stories together throughout the three books: one in the Golden Triangle of Thailand and one in Southern California, with a few scenes in Mexico as well. I have been amazed, as I've traveled this country and spoken to various groups, as well as talked about the topic on radio and TV, how aware people seemed to be of the trafficking problem in other countries but how unaware of it here where I live. As a result, I feel I have accomplished my objective by including these two seemingly separate stories and locations in the same series of books.
International fiction is unique in presenting this opportunity, regardless of where you live as a writer or reader. As writers we can travel the world from our home office, spinning fascinating tales that inform and challenge, while tying together the commonalities of human beings everywhere. As readers we can travel to exotic places and experience the good, the bad, and the ugly of our brothers and sisters around the world--even if we can't afford the airfare to take such a trip.
Whether it is human trafficking, the persecuted Church, or any other universal topic, international fiction offers the ease of travel without leaving home, and I am so grateful to be a part of it!