Sari Caste 

 
It's my pleasure to welcome Catherine Kirby to my blog today to do a guest post about her book, Sari Caste, which sounds a fascinating and heartbreaking read, and a story that needs to be told. Take it away, Catherine... 

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Hello, I'm Catherine Kirby, author of two novels: Sari Caste and See Through. I'm thrilled to be given an opportunity to be on one of Sibel's blogs. Thank you so much, Sibel.

I was totally fascinated by Sibel's site after we met up through Twitter. It's a breezy, eye-catching site with so much to read and discover on it. My attention, though was immediately drawn to a particular title of Sibel's, different from all the rest: Trafficked: The diary of a Sex Slave. It was amazing to read about and so different from Sibel's other novels. I had to get in touch with this lady. I soon received a reply. She was also interested in my novel, Sari Caste, and agreed to give me space to talk about it on her site.

Trafficked tells the story of a female sex slave and the terrible abuse and damage she suffers both physically and mentally. Finding out that such things happen set Sibel thoroughly researching the subject in order to write her novel. Everyone should know about this so that protest is made about these crimes against vulnerable women.

Writing Sari Caste began on a similar note. I was on holiday in Cyprus as it happened. I never read newspapers on holiday but someone had given me just the middle pages featuring a story of young vulnerable girls. I don't know what made me go against my usual need for a complete break from the media and all the stuff it throws at us daily. Holidays are for fun and a much needed rest. Anyway, I read this heart-rending story. It touched me deeply. Little girls and even a few boys were being bought by a woman, pictured in the article, who would visit an outlying village where there was great poverty. She promised parents there to educate any children they entrusted to her in return for a little money to ease their circumstances.

The children accompanied her to Calcutta, where they were sold into bogus marriages. Then, once they had been used and abused, they were either kept as slaves, murdered or passed on. Those not sold in this way were sent to brothels, where they got the kind of education their parents would never have wanted for them.

The pictures of that woman with these smiling young girls holding hands with each other, so innocent and unprepared for their fate, touched me deeply. It haunted me. I began to read and research. I'd never written a novel and had no idea how to do it, so I began by writing short stories on the subject. The stories grew as the research grew. Then I sat down and wrote the first line of my novel. I kept writing and looking at the word count and thinking about and living with my characters until I found myself back at the beginning. Sari Caste is a novel that starts after the event and then goes on a journey that returns to the starting point. I hadn't planned that. It just evolved. Fortunately, it worked.

Sari Caste is available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle and as a paperback. There are more details of Sari Caste and my second novel, See Through, on my website and on Amazon.

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Thanks so much for telling us about Sari Caste, Catherine. I've just downloaded it on my Kindle and can't wait to read it! 


Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave came about in much the same way as Sari Caste.  About five years ago I watched a mini series about girls from Eastern Europe who’d been trafficked. It haunted me for a long time, and then gradually it faded from my mind and I got on with my life. Then a little while ago I was sitting in a doctor’s surgery waiting for an appointment and picked up a magazine. Inside, was the story of one women who’d been trafficked. It made a chill run through me, and I realized that in those five years, I’d never heard anything in the media about it.

That got me thinking, and I started researching other victim’s stories online. They were horrific, heart breaking, gut wrenching, and I knew this was a subject that, despite being such a global problem, a lot of people are unaware goes on. I really wanted to do something to raise awareness into the subject and Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave was born.

Although the book is fictional, it’s inspired by these victim’s stories, and is a very sad global reality. In 2007 the US Department of State carried out a Trafficking in Persons report. The statistics shocked me to the core: 700,000-800,000 men, women and children trafficked across international borders each year, approximately 80% of which are women and girls, and up to 50% are minors. The figures will be a lot higher four years on.

And one of the truly scary things is, most people think it only affects third world countries, but it’s going on right under your nose. The US Department of State estimated 14,500 to 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States alone each year.

I wanted Trafficked to be gritty, hard hitting, and tear-jerking. And I wanted it to make people really stop and think about this subject. I chose to write it in the form of a diary so the reader really feels every emotion – the fear, beatings, horror, desperation, hope, and faith. I wanted people to experience the ordeal through the eyes of all the Elenas out there. 


You can find out more about Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave on my books page.
 
So here's to writing stories that need to be told! 

Sibel XX