Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest Post by Laura Kreitzer: An Important Message to Everyone

In the next few minutes - maybe hours, Laura Kreitzer will be taking over Fragments of Life to talk about something that's really really important to me. I hope that you will take the time to read this. It might change or even save someone else's life.
Hello Literary-Folk!
My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I’m the author of the Timeless Series and the Summer Chronicles. This week I would like to alert everyone on a colossal crisis that’s gone unnoticed in the world: human trafficking. That’s why I’ve asked hundreds of blogs to be involved with spreading the word on this issue that’s become close to my heart.

As an author, and someone whose life is put in the spotlight, I keep most people at a distance. Only a handful of my friends know the whole me and the events from my past. But this week I’d like to share with you a part of myself that the outside world doesn’t see (and a part of me I don’t like to share). I was emotionally abused for five years by someone I thought loved me, my mind beaten into submission. Though the turmoil I went through doesn’t penetrate as deep as someone forced into slavery on the worldwide market for human trafficking, I can sadly relate in some ways: imprisoned, my life dictated down to what I wore, ate, where I went, whom I spoke to, where I worked, when I slept, bending to his every whim. He did not sway, even when I cried through some of the more traumatic things he had me do. I was a slave in my own home. In my desperation for freedom, I held out a gun and asked him to just end my suffering. I was desperate.

I can’t even imagine how many women (and men) in the world are in a similar situation. What’s even worse, I had it mild compared to the children that are sold for labor or sex. Surprisingly, the good ol’ U.S.A. is reported to be the host to two million slaves. Did you know this? Because I certainly did not; not until I was preparing to write my newest novel: Phantom Universe. The main character, Summer Waverly, was stolen as a child and sold as a slave to the captain of a modern-day pirate ship. From a loved child who only knew “time-out” as punishment, to being whipped into silence was something I knew nothing about. So I researched deeply into human trafficking and the psychological effects of torture of various types that one would endure in these circumstances. I felt shaken at my findings and knew I had to tell Summer’s story. (Read a sneak peek here.)

A storm began to brew in my mind; transforming, morphing, twisting, and expanding into this massive, black cloud. I had to bring this tragic atrocity to the forefront. My own emotional experiences, mixed with the research I did on human trafficking, made me feel an intense connection with Summer, and to all women who’ve been through this kind of brutality. The cloud ruptured and rained all over my computer one day. It took one month to write Phantom Universe, the first in the Summer Chronicles. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote nearly nonstop, only breaking for necessary tasks like eating, showering, and occasionally—very occasionally—sleeping.

Though the book I’ve written would be classified as Science Fiction, or as I’d like to call it, Dystopian, the emotions and psychological aspects are not Science Fiction—they're real. Reviewers have said many amazing things about Summer, this character who is so real in my mind and who I cried along with as the words poured from my soul onto my screen.
“I admired Summer's strength and ability to adapt,” says CiCi’s Theories. “I felt tied to her emotions,” Jennifer Murgia, author or Angel Star admits. And Tahlia Newland, author of Lethal Inheritance, remarks, “Summer is strong and smart in mind [. . .]”
Through her overwhelmingly horrendous past, Summer goes on more than just a physical journey in Phantom Universe, she goes on a psychological one as well; growing beyond her mute state to persevere and survive in a new world beyond the whip she’s so frightened of.

Now that the release date is here, I’m excited and terrified to share this story with everyone. I’m emotionally tied in every way to the words I’ve written, because they’re more than words. More than just a story on a page. Beyond the fictional aspects, there’s a real issue that needs to be addressed: human trafficking must be stopped. We shouldn’t sit idly by while this continues to plague us. Our world’s children—our nation’s children—are being affected. It’s time we take action!

Earlier this month Phantom Universe hit Barnes and Noble’s top 100 Best Selling list. I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sales from Phantom Universe, until the end of February, to the DNA Foundation.
“DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators, and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
Freedom is a basic human right and slavery is one of the greatest threats to that freedom. No one has the right to enslave another person.”

—From DNA Foundation’s Website
I ask that you spread the word to everyone you know. Look around on the DNA Foundation website and find a way to get involved in ending human trafficking. Take action today. Everyone has a voice—you have a voice. Will you have the courage to use it?

Thank you to Laura for this post. 

Here in my country, human trafficking is a really big problem. I've met girls whose lives were ruined by selfish people. Honestly, I don't even know how they're still classified as people after what they've done to these girls. Because clearly, being human means having a heart, having a conscience. These people don't have any of those. Nada. All they have is desire for money. I'm thankful though that the girls I met were blessed enough to survive with their minds. Some are not so lucky. They've reclaimed their lives and are trying to fight those bad memories and negative emotions every minute of their lives. Who could blame they if they're angry, if they despise, if they want revenge? No one. They have the right to feel what they do. But in the end, the only way to survive is to let go. To let go of all this hurt, anger and hopelessness. Of course, this can only happen if the ones responsible for these girls' fate are imprisoned for the rest of their lives.

If you want to help any of the girls - who are mostly 13-19, do something. Speak. Help Laura. Because it's happening all over the world. Girls are being sold. Girls are being forced to live hell on earth. What's worse is that they're just teens. Teens like you and me who should be enjoying life, discovering things. Every girl deserves a happy life.


  1. It's a great post! Human trafficking is a problem that's always been there, but no one seems to be paying much attention to it. Thanks for the eyeopener, Laura!

  2. I really admire how brave Laura is to post this. To share her own experiences to bring light to this awful problem. As Kate mentioned above - we know it's there, but it's not an issue you really see in the limelight. It's amazing how the news can spend weeks gossiping about the latest celebrity scandal, but not insist on bringing public awareness to this. Thank you for speaking out, Laura!

    I cannot wait to read her book, I'm sure it will be an incredible journey.