The Ugly Truth Behind the Fiction — Research on Human Trafficking for Laerka, my Southern Gothic Thriller

Texas Monthly recently ran the article below to cast a much needed light on US brothels, in particular, those forcing underaged foreign girls into prostitution.


The following is an excerpt.

Most people who are aware of the existence of human trafficking think that it happens in faraway places, like war-torn countries in the former Soviet Union, Southeast Asia, or Eastern Europe. Few can imagine that slaves are brought into the U.S. to work in restaurants, factories, and sexually oriented businesses (SOBs to those in the know). In fact, across the country, tens of thousands of people are being held captive today. Depending on whom you ask, Houston is either the leading trafficking site in the U.S. or very near the top, along with Los Angeles, Atlanta, New Orleans, and New York City. There are obvious reasons for this dubious accolade: Houston sits at the center of major highways between Los Angeles and Miami and between the U.S. and Latin America. It has a sprawling international airport and a major international port. It is diverse in a way that allows immigrants to disappear into neighborhoods that are barely policed. It’s also a place with an enormous appetite for and tolerance of commercial sex: From the days of the first oil boom, the city has drawn single men who’ve left smaller towns and poorer countries in search of work and then quick and easy companionship.

See complete article at:


My own WIP, Laerka, is in its final revisions and will hopefully find representation soon. Stay tuned for more. Here is some tentative cover art.

rack card antoniomuramermaid

Leave a Reply