Eileen Rife has written a novel about a subject very much in the news these days—sex trafficking. Today, I’m running an interview with Eileen about Chosen Ones and her desire to tell this story. Welcome, Eileen.
How did you come up with the idea for Chosen Ones?
Four years ago when I was brainstorming characters and plot for Book 3 in the Born for India trilogy, my youngest daughter, Stephanie, alerted me to the horrors of sex trafficking. A short time later, I discovered that her older sister, Michelle, shared the same burden to the point of spending sleepless nights in tears over these abused women and children. Thus, Punita, my eleven-year-old Nepali protagonist, a victim of the
sex trade, was born.
What is Chosen Ones about?
A child taken captive. Life in Chennai, India is complicated. While Maggie and Gavin Munsfield adjust to a new baby, missionary friends Dan and Yvonne Pratt exp
erience the heartbreak of infertility and miscarriage. When their lives intersect with a young girl caught up in the horrors of sex trafficking, each of them will receive a
precious gift. But will they find it in their hearts to accept an outcome so different than what they expected and hoped for?
How did you go about writing Chosen Ones?
Once I had my main characters in place (missionary couple and Nepali girl), I started researching the sex
industry. I watched DVDs, read books, articles, and news stories. I discovered some shocking statistics confirmed by Destiny Rescue USA, Inc, a Christian organization dedicated to freeing and rehabilitating children who have been sexually exploited and working with high-risk families and villages to prevent their children from being trafficked.
* Twenty-seven million slaves exist in our world today.
* There are about two million women in prostitution in Asia and half of them are children.
* Every minute, two people are trafficked across international borders.
* Every ten minutes a woman or child is trafficked into the U.S.
* Every year, 200,000 American girls are at risk for sex trafficking.
* Every day 3000-5000 children are being sold or lured into prostitution.
* The International Labor Office estimates that the slave trade generates $32 billion in revenue each year.
Punita is a composite profile of a poverty-stricken Nepali girl sold by her father to traffickers thinking he is
sending his daughter off to the city to work as a maid for a wealthy family. The Oasis Compound missionaries introduced in Books One and Two travel along to Chosen Ones with spotlight on Dan and Yvonne Pratt, administrator and teacher in the orphanage school.
Why did you pick the setting you did? Does it have personal meaning for you?
It most certainly does. Chosen Ones takes place in Chennai, India. The setting has special meaning for me since my oldest daughter, Rachel, committed her life to career missions in India when she was 15. She left for
the field as a single gal in 2004. Two days later another missionary commented that her ministry would be more effective if she were married. It just so happened that this missionary wife had the perfect match in mind.
Rachel’s love for the Lord, for the Indian people, and her unique human love story became the impetus behind the first novel, Journey to Judah, in the Born for India trilogy.
How do you create your characters?
I’m smiling at this question, because many of my characters are composites of people I have encountered over
55 years of life. In creating them, I often revisit both positive and negative relationships. This can bring both joy and angst. Thus, writing is not always easy from an emotional standpoint.
Typically, I open a blank computer screen or a notebook page and start a character profile. For each character I
assign a name. Names are fun for me and usually come fairly easily. Then I describe the character in several areas: physique, career, personality, hobbies, quirks, fears, habits, character qualities, family background, current family life, spiritual life, likes, dislikes, foods. In short, I cover as many different areas as I can think of, because the more I know about my character, the more detail will show up in the novel. This will set him apart from the other characters in the story.
Which character is most like you? And why?
In Chosen Ones, I would have to say that Yvonne is most like me in personality. I, too, tend towards obsessive-compulsive behavior and have to rely on the Lord to curb worry. However, I’d like to think I have a better
sense of humor than Yvonne. She can come across as a stuffed shirt at times.
Did any of the events in the book really happen?
Actually, yes. Yvonne’s miscarriage account is taken from my own experience.
Chosen Ones is available at most online stores, including www.amazon.com, www.christianbook.com, and www.barnesandnoble.com. Available in paperback, Kindle, Nook and ebook at www.familyaudiolibrary.com.
We’ll finish the interview next Tuesday when Eileen will tell us more about herself and what she’s working on now.
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