Jessica Kristie of Winter Goose Publishing and Hallway Publishing will be our special guest at the 2013 Write to Inspire Conference. In addition to her work in publishing, Jessica is also an accomplished author with several books published so far. Her most recent book, Barbed Wire Butterflies is a beautiful blend of art advocacy and activism. The book gives readers a look inside the world of human trafficking while proceeds from the book are used in the battle to end it!
I know you can’t wait to meet her, so here’s an introduction by way of an interview and a review of Barbed Wire Butterflies.
What inspired you to write Barbed Wire Butterflies?
The topic of human trafficking was divinely placed for me. That part came first, then after some research God gave me the words. It was an outpouring that I believe is meant to open the conversation to begin taking a look at this difficult subject.
How do you find time to write when you are also an publisher for Winter Goose Publishing?
I admit it is difficult and my writing has suffered due to this very busy time with Winter Goose and Hallway Publishing. It is all a blessing and I make time for writing, but not as much as I would like. After the summer I hope to sit down and re-inspire my sense of writing, as that vent is so needed in my life.
Do you know if there are really any “sweat shops” such as this book entails?
Unfortunately, yes. Lots of them and all around the world. They are more prevalent internationally, such as in China and India, but there are plenty here in the U.S. as well. Often in the U.S. you will find slaves mixed with regular warehouse employees as opposed to the entire operation being only unwilling participants, or those paid at terrible wages and worked long hours.
What do you find is the hardest part or least favorite part of writing a novel? What is the easiest or the most fun?
The hardest part for me is keeping the story consistent and fun, but that is also the most exciting part. The challenge of pulling all the pieces together and looking at the finished product is a beautiful reward to the difficulties in the process.
What is the most challenging part of being in the publishing business?
The business is ever changing with constant technological advances and many alternative options for both writers and publishers. It can be difficult to meet everyone’s needs, including our own. We are dedicated to putting out the best books in content and aesthetics, and have successfully been rolling with the changing business.
Tell us about your next book.
I have finished a psychological thriller that I hope to have released next year. I’m excited to expand my writing skills as well as write in a genre I’ve always loved reading.
A Review of Barbed Wire Butterflies:
This story was compelling to me, maybe because the sickening problem of slavery has never ended. Even though we have laws against it, human trafficking continues.
Thirteen-year-old Elani Benjamin has been kidnapped by people looking for cheap labor. Hundreds of girls work in an ugly, concrete-walled building. They make clothing, electronic equipment, clean the place, and sleep in cells after their long days of work and little food. The guards could take their pick of the girls whenever they wanted. In other words, a living hell on earth.
Elani has no choice but to follow their orders, but exhaustion does not stop her from making friends with her three cell mates and one friendly janitor. They warn her not to make waves and above all not to make eye contact with the guards or the Captain. Especially not the Captain.
Horror stories circulate in whispers as the girls work and in their cells. Minor illnesses can become fatal. Small injuries must be avoided at all costs. Hurry to each assignment or else.
Hope is in short supply, but Elani must cling to the hope that one day she will be free, or she will lose her individuality and her soul the way so many around her have already done.
Anne Baxter Campbell is a Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She has two children’s picture books self-published: Everybody Needs a Name and Maybe Wins! She just signed a three-book contract with Helping Hands Press. Check out her blog A Pew Perspective.