Young Adult: When did you decide to start writing?
Kim Purcell: I’ve been writing since I was a kid, always making up stories. Professionally, I started out as a journalist, but I always wanted to change the story, make it more dramatic, so I started writing novels instead.
YA: Tell us a little bit about your latest work.
KP: TRAFFICKED is about a seventeen-year-old girl from Moldova who comes to America to be a nanny but instead is forced to work as a modern-day slave for a family in LA. The only person who can help her is the boy next door, but he doesn’t know she exists.
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YA: What are some of the qualities in your latest work that set it/you apart from what’s currently our there on the market?
KP: There’s no other contemporary YA novel about modern-day slavery in America on the market right now. I hope this book will help give some insight into the people who are locked away in our neighborhoods and could, in fact, live next door.
YA: What attracts you to the Young Adult genre specifically?
KP: I think the books you read when you’re a teenager have a way of sticking with you and informing your beliefs and values. Besides, I love talking to teenagers and hearing their particular insights about fiction and life.
YA: Who would you count among your strongest influences for your latest work, and why?
KP: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden was very informative because it’s a beautiful story about the struggles of a different type of slave. Also, I traveled to Moldova. If I hadn’t interviewed girls there and experienced it firsthand, I never could have written this book.
YA: Who or what do you hope not to be compared to?
KP: I suppose I don’t really want to be compared to anyone or anything. I have my own voice and I wouldn’t want anyone to say my voice is like someone else’s. I guess I like to think I’m unique.
YA: Do you have pursuits outside of young adult fiction?
KP: I’m a kundalini yoga instructor and I’ve found that the more yoga I do, the more joyful I am. I also love to do anything in the water: swimming, body surfing, sailing, water-skiing. If I’m in the water, you’ll always see a big smile on my face.