A Beautiful College Journalist Has Discovered The Darkest Secret Of Human Trafficking. Now She Is About To Become Its Next Victim.
For Samantha Grayson life at prestigious Great Northern University outside of Chicago couldn’t be any more complete: the star reporter for The Daily Northern and in love with Tyler McManaway, the handsome All-American quarterback of the school’s resurgent football team. But a passing glimpse of a story concerning the baffling disappearance of five young women that terrorized Los Angeles a year earlier catches her attention interest and research into the tragic incident unknowingly leads Samantha on a path towards an unimaginable danger.
Samantha has no idea the puzzling disappearances are linked to a dark chapter of human history. Descendants of those involved in the African slave trade evolving their sordid enterprise into a wicked enterprise far more vile and insidious. A shadowy cabal trafficking in female flesh, kidnapping unsuspecting young women to fill grim consignments worth millions for wealthy and powerful clients to satisfy their barbarous and twisted desires. Now their most skilled Collector, an operative known for ruthless cunning, is in Chicago to acquire ‘product’ for his most profitable, and brutally sadistic, client. A man that if his depraved secret of violent blood lust comes to light will send political shock waves around the globe and threaten the fragile stability of the world’s economy.
When a worried freshman seeks Samantha’s assistance in locating her missing roommate, the investigation thrusts Samantha directly into a terrifying peril not only jeopardizing her life, but that of her closest friends. As Samantha struggles to escape a seemingly hopeless situation and a cruel destiny guaranteeing certain death, Tyler McManaway is thrust into a desperate life-and-death contest far removed from the playing field to find and rescue the woman he loves from the brutal clutches of evil men with malicious intentions before time runs out and Samantha Grayson vanishes forever as another helpless victim of The Trading Society.
Targeted Age Group:
16 and up
I think it is more in finding the right balance between the plot and the characters. I’ve read thrillers with fantastic plots and concepts but fail in developing characters I care about, and other books with memorable characters but a plot with holes you could drive a truck through. I’ve tried to strike that right balance in The Trading Society between characters you truly care about and what happens to them-not stock, two-dimensional characters-and a plot that will keep you moving on towards the final chapter.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Write a good story, something people will want to read. And search for an angle or plot that is unique. The reason ‘Fifty Shades’ and ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Harry Potter’ did so well is that each was a concept that hadn’t been executed before. Try to be the one who scales Mount Everest first because history doesn’t remember who was second.
Eric Martin is the pen name of this 1988 graduate of The University of Notre Dame where he worked as a news reporter on the staff of The Observer, the independent student newspaper. When not writing, he puts his degree to use selling running shoes at Fleet Feet Sports in Chicago where he also writes and edits copy for the store’s website. He does not have an advanced degree in fiction writing, but has been blessed with a fertile, and some would say overactive, imagination with him since his early childhood growing up in Seneca Falls in Upstate New York. This is his debut novel under his pen name; expanding on a shorter serial work originally developed in a Yahoo story group in 1999. He lives in Homewood, Illinois, a suburb south of Chicago, with Cubbie, his rescue greyhound, and sometimes literary muse.
The Trading Society it my second book, this first under my pen name. Around 2000, when I was writing my first book which was much darker in tone and dealt with serial killers, I belonged to an adventure story group in Yahoo and, in an effort to take a break from slogging through finishing my first book, created an ongoing serial concerning the adventures of young and beautiful college journalist at Great Northern University named Samantha Grayson who in the first story runs afoul of a ‘white slavery,’ what we now call human trafficking, ring and has to be rescued by her boyfriend, All-American quarterback Tyler McManaway. I grew up in the seventies and every cop show had a ‘white slavery’ episode where pretty college coeds would be kidnapped for sale overseas, I guess I was impressionable back then. The serial progressed from there with Samantha and her friends experiencing danger and peril at the hands of this human trafficking ring and other adversaries. I always liked writing the serial and when I decided to take a second stab at writing a book I went back to that first story and fleshed it out into a full-scale novel with the idea that the human trafficking ring is run by descendants of those involved in the African slave trade of the 1800s who moved on to kidnapping young women for the rich and powerful when their trade was abolished. Samantha unwittingly discovers this and becomes their next victim to be sold to their most lucrative, and brutal, client.
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