Finding Passion

090 Полина-2I wrote an entire post regarding being passionate about our turning points… even the bad things that happen to us. It was a kind of personal/character study. I’m saving that one for another day. It’s pretty good. But not good enough for today.

The reason I delayed the turning points post was because I’d started thinking about the silly things that tap our passion buttons. Writers, and serious readers, will know what I’m talking about when I say… Pens and Punctuation. It went well with Passion, that whole alliteration thing. It felt fun, and it felt like it could garner a lot of interaction on our blog. Again, I’m saving that idea for another time. Not good enough.

Here’s why.

Right now, this very minute, I’m flooded with emotion. I’m in the middle of writing scenes and chapters that are humbling me to the core. I hesitate to say I’m passionate about this topic, but I am passionate about doing it justice. Writing the right story. Bringing something to the table that will shed a little light on human trafficking. How it happens. How it happens here. How it happens to girls and boys in my neighborhood—in your neighborhood. It isn’t just Thailand or the Philippines or “over there.”

It’s here.


The research alone has about done me in. The men and women who fight this day in and day out are heroes. They are living it in the real world, 24/7/52, while I’m crafting a silly story. I can’t even begin to grasp the extent of their strength… or their passion. There are enough resources and hero experts out there to bury one little writer whose only role is to bring fact into her fiction.

My goal is to take one reader at a time who hasn’t considered this thing happening in her backyard and intrigue her enough to get on Google for some answers. To begin to talk about it with her friends. To find a place in the scheme of this horror where she can make a difference. And the way I do that is to create a damn good story, an escape, with just enough information that readers want to know more beyond what I’ve written… that’s how I can make a difference. Right now, the balance between information and story is tricky. It’s all so damn important. Story rules, but still.


In my books I’ve tackled psychological issues (not your typical serial killer), illegal immigration, organ donation, depression, and cults. But this human trafficking thing has me by the short hairs.


I’ll be keeping on. Working to integrate the real world into the fictional. Working to get people talking about things they might not normally feel comfortable talking about. Working to use whatever talent I have to facilitate change, even if it’s only that little butterfly flapping its wings over a pond in South America. It’s a fabulous start if I only find one person… who has passion.

If you’re interested, here’s just one of thousands of websites related to combating human trafficking: FBI

What about you?

As writers, have you found yourself in the middle of something where you could only hope to write the best story you could to showcase the issue? If so, you can help me here… are you confident you were successful?

As readers, did you ever stumble on something that energized you to consider the issue, talk about it with friends? Even take action?


It’s all better with friends.


Author: Peg Brantley

With the intent to lend her stories credibility, award winning author Peg Brantley is a graduate of the Aurora Citizens’ Police Academy, attended the Writers’ Police Academy conference, has interviewed crime scene investigators, FBI agents, human trafficking experts, obtained her Concealed Carry Permit, studied diverse topics from arson dogs to Santeria, and hunted down real life locations that show up in her stories.

11 thoughts on “Finding Passion”

  1. Powerful post. I think a lot of people dismiss fiction as “just a story,” but I think fiction has a peculiar ability to peel back the layers and expose the truth in a way people sometimes don’t even notice because they’re caught up in the “story.” Good for you for finding a topic you’re so passionate about!


  2. WOW. Peg, your passion comes through loud and clear. This story obviously touched a nerve. My first Henery Book Death by Blue Water touched on immigrant smuggling. I felt the same way. I wanted to wrap a good story around a problem that ends in tragedy. Can’t wait for your finished book. Sounds like a must read.


  3. This is such a powerful post, Peg! Donald Maass talks a lot about writers needing to have an underlying purpose for writing the stories they do, and you definitely have that! Just by bringing the issue to the forefront I feel like you’re succeeding.

    From a reader’s perspective, one book that really moved me was Flight Behavior by Barbara Kinsolver. That book was so eye-opening about the decreasing monarch butterfly population that it inspired me to plant milkweed–their primary food source–in my backyard. It didn’t grow, but I’ll try again this year 🙂


  4. Beautiful post. I got truly outraged over people protesting child refugees coming across the border from Central America. I used to teach ESL to Latino children so I make a big effort to support causes that support those kids.


  5. This is an amazing post, Peg. And your attitude and approach to the subject matter are really impressive. And I have no doubt that books can change how we readers see the world and awaken us to important issues–see it happening every day, both in the classroom and out.


  6. I know the feeling, being humbled to write about a topic and do it justice. Can’t say I’m there right now, but I love the way you articulated that. I can’t wait to see what you do with your story. 🙂


  7. Coming late to the party, but yes, I have a topic I’ve been noodling for over 10 years, maybe 15, afraid I can’t do it justice. I have confidence that as my skill grows, maybe some day I’ll be able to. Until then, I just keep plugging away with my 10,000 hours.


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