When I did the initial research for the novel, I didn't have official news stories for the most part. I was going on self reports that I'd read and elicited from others (and a few documentaries here or there, but those were about Prague or other foreign countries).
Yesterday, though, the FBI and others announced this major sting:
This is the situation that J T Leroy (whoever she really was) described in her/his novels--the truck stop prostitution of children. I'm glad that we've gotten some kids out of that cycle.
But more than that, I'm glad that the announcement was made so publicly.
My main character and I are not alike at all except in this: we both understand that people don't want to know this stuff goes on--but that level of denial creates opportunity for it to occur. I know that when I first described the novel, people did say that they felt trafficking only happened in other countries, and even then only to girls.
It's not a pleasant subject, but I'm glad that its on people's minds again. Maybe with more awareness, we can get more kids out of this cycle.