There is a back-story on this book and though it is technically a Literary Fiction, it is based on very real people, very real circumstances - considering that there are estimated, over a million children caught up in the sex slave market today, in just one country alone.
When I was very young, there was a time when I experienced having little to nothing. I owned one pair of running shoes, I never had money of my own, I had a few clothes, but, at least I had a roof over my head and there were always three square meals on the table for me - so I was secure in that.
As the years progressed, and more luxuries entered my life, television introduced me to the fact that there were children around the world, my age, who had nothing - not even food. Their images never left my mind - and in fact, they became part of the motive force for wanting to help them.
Some years ago, a friend, who was volunteering in Calcutta, India, sent me photos of a girl, possibly no more than six years of age. They found her living on the streets, taking care of her one year-old brother; both had been abandoned. Her face was dirty, her hair was matted. She wore the torn rags of a dress, while her brother had a dirty t-shirt over him. And yet, her eyes were so alive.
Those images were the seeds which foddered this new book, See me NOT. See me NOT is a story about Hann'sha, an Indian girl born into a family of ultimate poverty; and who, at the age of eight, is sold into prostitution by her father out of desperation for money to feed his family. For the next four years she lives a life of hell, forced by her human traffickers to give sexual services to men; until one day an American happens upon her and makes it his mission to save her from her bondage. It's a very passionate story, about courage and integrity, taking the reader through the convolutions of Indian culture, and gives the reader an insight into this world. And while there is a fictional thread giving it plot and intrigue, as this man battles against the criminal element which holds her in slavery, the book is grounded in facts. Anything depicted in this book, in terms of actual conditions under which these children are treated, is probably understated.
There are an estimated 1.3 million children in India alone who have been sold to traffickers, and who are held captive, to perform sex for men. This does not even take into account the woman who are similarly held.
The story delivers a blow to the criminal underworld of human trafficking which exists not only in India, but is also quite prevalent in Europe, America and other countries.
In publishing the book, I have also teamed up with RealStars - an organization that campaigns against human trafficking and sex slavery, and I am donating part of the proceeds of all sales of the book to their cause to help raise awareness about this global situation.
If you're reading this article, and feel motivated, get a copy of the book, for yourself and a friend, or donate one to your local library or reading club. Every bit helps - and who knows, you might end up helping some twelve-year old who is trapped, somewhere, without hope of getting out. I think we need to let them know that there is hope and that they are not forgotten. Thus the title of this book: See me NOT.
For more information, go to www.reallaplaine.com or www.realstars.eu