Please welcome Kim Purcell, debut author of Trafficked!

Kimberly Purcell Trafficked
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A 17-year-old Moldovan girl whose parents have been killed is brought to the United States to work as a slave for a family in Los Angeles.Hannah believes she’s being brought from Moldova to Los Angeles to become a nanny for a Russian family. But her American dream quickly spirals into a nightmare. The Platonovs force Hannah to work sixteen-hour days, won’t let her leave the house, and seem to have a lot of secrets—from Hannah and from each other.

Stranded in a foreign land with false documents, no money, and nobody who can help her, Hannah must find a way to save herself from her new status as a modern-day slave or risk losing the one thing she has left: her life.

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Describe Trafficked in 140 characters (the size of a tweet).

A seventeen-year-old girl from Moldova is forced to work as a slave for a family in LA; the only person who can help her is the boy next door, who barely knows she exists.

How much research did you do for Trafficked?

I traveled to Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Eastern Europe, to research this book because it has one of the most severe trafficking problems in Europe. There, I interviewed girls who would be at risk, especially girls whose parents were out of the country working, and girls whose own mothers might have been trafficked, but didn’t know for sure. I interviewed regular girls in the city with dreams and ambitions and girls in the villages who were shy and vulnerable in their own way. Talking to all these different girls helped me form the main character, Hannah. I also interviewed people at anti-trafficking organizations both in Moldova and in America. Finally, I talk to many Russians and Moldovans living here in America, including ones who’d worked as nannies and housekeepers and who’d been mistreated here in America. I interviewed at least thirty people for the book and I read many accounts of modern-day slaves here in America and Great Britain.

Wow, that is awesome. Do you mind sharing about your writing process? Do you follow an outline? Fly by the seat of your pants? Flesh out the characters first, or focus on the plot?

When I write the first draft, I let the characters speak to me, surprise me a little. It’s an exploration of plot and character. I love this phase of my writing because the characters come alive in my mind and tell me the story. Then, I look at the draft and see what I like and what works. I make an outline at that point. In the second draft, I rewrite from scratch, looking at the chapters I liked and then rewriting them with more tension and detail. If this second draft is strong, I keep it and edit sections of it as needed. Otherwise, I rewrite from scratch again. This in theory, of course. In reality, in the three books I’ve written so far, I’ve needed to rewrite each one from scratch at least four times. TRAFFICKED took me about twenty drafts, which is shocking at this point. I’m hoping I’ll get a little faster in the future.

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy? Writing doesn’t count!

I love to do yoga and run. I love being on water, swimming, boating, waterskiing, whatever as long as it’s on the water.

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go and why?

I would love to go to Central America, especially Nicaragua. I went there when I’d just graduated from college and it’s probably my favorite country I’ve ever visited, both the west and east coasts, which have entirely different cultures. One side speaks Spanish; the other side speaks English. It’s beautiful and the people are really amazing.

Oooh, I’ve never been to Central America, but it’s on my list of places to visit. What is on your summer reading list?

I have a very long summer reading list, probably at the top of it is A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne and How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr.

All of those books are on my TBR too! Are you working on any new projects? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

The novel I’m just finishing is about an awkward, funny girl who’s getting bullied at school. When her life feels like it can’t get any worse, her biological father, a dangerous criminal, shows up. He’s charming and makes her feel good about herself, but when he pushes her to get revenge, she has to decide between what’s right and what’s wrong, and learn to stand up for herself, even against him.

Your next book sounds amazing, I’m already intrigued by the main character! Just for fun, what is your favorite:

  • Place to write? My sunroom/office
  • TV show and/or movie? The Walking Dead
  • Genre of music? R & B
  • Book? I love so many books, but if I must choose, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

I love The Walking Dead – the TV show and the graphic novels! They were the first graphic novels I ever read, and they’re awesome :). I really need to re-read To Kill  Mockingbird now that I’m an adult. I’ve always loved it, but it’s been so long since I’ve read it.

Kim Purcell

Photo credit: Jenn Clark

About the author (from her website):
I grew up in a small town. It wasn’t right for me, so I left. I went to university, got married and moved to LA. I wrote two novels before TRAFFICKED. I had two kids. We all moved to New York, which I love. In my spare time, I’m a swimmer and a runner and a yogi. I dance in elevators and change rooms. I laugh a lot and sometimes I yell.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Thanks Kim for taking the time to answer my questions!

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4 Responses to Author Interview: Trafficked by Kim Purcell

  1. Felicia says:

    This book sounds intense. How great is it that Kim did so much research. That had to be both scary and eye opening.

    Great Interview 🙂
    Felicia recently posted..Weekly Book Travels Log for Last Week/This WeekMy Profile

  2. Randi M
    Twitter: randinicole13

    This sounds like a heart-wrenching read, but it’s going on my list! I love that Kim put so much research into her work; knowing all the background behind this makes me more anxious to read it. Thank you for the great interview! 🙂

  3. […] Interview with Kim Purcell, author of TRAFFICKED […]

  4. kimbacaffeinate
    Twitter: kimbacaffeinate

    Wow..i loved the explanation of your writing process. This topic sounds interesting and I look forward to reading it. Awesome review Jen!
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..The Ravenous Dead by Natasha HoarMy Profile

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