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A teenage girl and her sister fight back at the pimp who forces them into sex trafficking in a small American town.
A teenage girl and her sister fight back at the pimp who forces them into sex trafficking in a small American town.
74 backers pledged $3,694 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Plot

Zoey James has pimp trouble. And even though he doesn’t know it, her pimp has Zoey trouble. Big Zoey trouble.

In a dark world of meth addiction, trailer parks and abuse, Zoey has seen it all. But when she and her disabled sister are forced into a small-town sex ring, the teenage girls find out just how low their world can go. 

And when someone kills her mother as retaliation for a failed escape attempt, Zoey decides to fight back — and unveil her mom’s killer.

Teaming up with an unlikely photojournalist, Zoey exposes wealthy and powerful men who play in the dirty, back-alley world of modern slavery. 

The price for her cooperation is freedom. The price for getting caught is her life.

That's the heart of my debut novel, The Black Lens. After dozens of drafts and edits, I finished this dark psychological mystery on Jan. 1, 2015.

Personal

I’m a former reporter with a master’s degree in journalism. 

I conducted more than three years of research on sex trafficking for this novel, including interviews with prostitutes, police officers and social workers. 

My wife and I have also volunteered with several nonprofit organizations that help victims get off the streets and survivors find safe homes. 

This in-depth knowledge lends an air of realism to The Black Lens. It’s gritty, real and heroic.

Purpose  

I wrote this manuscript because I wanted to tell a great story that also sheds light on the dark underworld of sex trafficking.

That's why I plan to donate 10 percent of all personal profits from future book sales — not this Kickstarter campaign* — to nonprofit organizations that fight the sex trade, such as:

The International Labor Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, including 5.5 million children. In the United States alone, about 100,000 kids are involved in the sex trade each year. 

Those are harsh facts. But your donation can make a difference. Not only will it help publish a great book, but it will also help me raise awareness of modern slavery — one of the largest criminal activities in the world.

Publisher 

Boyle & Dalton, an independent publisher based in Ohio, has officially accepted my manuscript. 

Check out the company’s About Us page, which compares their independent model to the traditional approach of working with an agent and a big corporate house that takes most of the author's profits.

My publisher asks all authors to invest in the production and marketing of their manuscripts. In return, Boyle & Dalton pays exceptional royalty rates — in many cases nearly 10 times the industry average on a per-book basis.

Your donation will help cover the following services that Boyle & Dalton provides: editing, design, proofreading, marketing and distribution of both hard copies and e-books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other sites.

So please, help me publish The Black Lens. It’s a story that must be told.

*Please note that I can not donate "funds raised directly through Kickstarter to charity," per the campaign rules. However, I will give 10 percent of my personal profits from every future book sale to anti-trafficking organizations.

Risks and challenges

This is my only project, and I promise to complete it. I have already raised more than $1,000 on my own, so please help me finish telling this story to the world.

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    Get a signed and limited hardcover edition of the novel, plus your name published in the book and listed on the website as an "Advocate."

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Funding period

- (30 days)