I am delighted to have Precarious Yates as a guest on The Borrowed Book today. Precarious whose real name is Sarah Smith has lived in eight different countries but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter,and their mastiff. When she's not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying, and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky. You can learn more about Precarious and about the issues discussed in her novel by visiting http://www.precariousyates.com/.
Welcome to The Borrowed Book, Precarious. You've just released your debut novel The Elite of the Weak, and it sounds intriguing. Tell us what the story is about.
The Elite of the Weak is set in the near future when Babylon is rebuilt over the ancient ruins. Odd political alliances are forged and strong earthquakes occur in strange places.
Trained to do covert missions from a young age, Hadassah enjoys few things more than thrills, whether it's jumping out of an airplane, a high speed chase after a Somali pirate or crawling through the air ducts in a mafia-owned warehouse. But nothing is more thrilling than rescuing kids from human trafficking. The only thing is, she might do better on a team than on her own.
Enter Revelation Special Ops and their unique short-term mission trips. This elite group of people, R.S.O., is trained to rescue kids from the darkest forms of human trafficking. And they may be willing to take seventeen-year-old Hadassah on board.
It sounds exciting. There has been a lot in the media recently about human trafficking. What made you write this story for a YA audience?
When I was twenty-two and first learning about human trafficking, I was appalled not only by what I learned, but also by what I believed. Beforehand, I thought (1) slavery was eliminated across the globe, and (2) most prostitutes chose their lifestyle.
I was wrong on both accounts. I was dead wrong.
When I sat down to write The Elite of the Weak, I geared it toward Young Adult. I wanted teens to not only be aware of the situation, but to know there are solutions to the problems. Organizations such as IJM http://www.ijm.org/, Exodus Cry http://www.exoduscry.com/
and Love146 http://www.love146.org/ actively work toward rescue, restoration, and prevention.
I love the name of your heroine. How did you come up with the name for Hadassah?
Before the summer 2010, I had never seen so many crepe myrtles blooming everywhere. I looked up the Hebrew for 'myrtle' and discovered that the name Hadassah, Queen Esther's original name, means 'myrtle'. I knew from that moment my main character would have this name.
Not only do I like your heroine's name, I like your pen name. What made you choose it?
When I was 23, I wrote a five act play called The Precarious Redemption of Laodicea. The main character, Precarious, was a bull-in-the-china-shop evangelist who grew honest with herself and dedicated her life to the Lord's will to rescue girls caught in sex slave trafficking. She needed to see the light of day even if the play never would. Yates is a family name.
I can tell you have a heart for the oppressed. What has fostered that concern for others in your life?
Eleven years ago I worked with my dad's friend who was putting together a film about the issue of human trafficking in Eastern Europe. After the fall of the Soviet Bloc, girls were promised jobs as actresses, waitresses, or dancers in more prosperous countries. Once they crossed the boarders, the girls were thrown into brothels and their passports confiscated. I was horrified when I learned about this, and from that summer on I set my heart to become an abolitionist.
Since then, every time I wrote creatively, the issue of human trafficking sprang onto the page. My heart was too broken about this to ignore it. So I decided to plot and plan a novel that came from this place in my heart.
Was there a special reason why your book with such a sobering message released at this time of the year when people are focused on celebrating Christmas?
December 2 is the day designated by the UN as the day to stand against human trafficking. But more than that, there is The Advent Conspiracy. In the true spirit of Christmas, Christians all over the globe are banding together to see 1,000,000 people resuced from forced labor. http://www.ijm.org/content/advent-conspiracy
There are at least 27,000,000 children who are forced laborers. If you can't donate, please pray for those rescuing slaves!
What message would you like to leave for our readers about how they can help in the fight against human trafficking?
First of all, Jesus is the Great Abolitionist and the Great Emancipator. This is not a hopeless situation because in Him there is great hope!
Connect with organizations that work to end human trafficking. Also, befriend or mentor someone within the foster care system. Around 95% of kids exploited in the US have been through the foster care system.
Thank you for this enlightening interview, Precarious. My eyes have been opened to the injustices that many are facing in the world today. I know our readers have also been made of aware of the great need of many individuals.
Precarious would like to give one of our readers the gift of her autographed book. If your heart has been touched by this interview, leave a comment, and you may be the winner.