Local author discusses abuse, human trafficking

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

MT LAUREL—The Mt Laurel library saw a familiar face on Jan. 12, as library patron and author Andrea Miles presented her book “Trespassers” and previewed a new book at a 6 p.m. Meet the Author session.

Andrea Miles, author of "Trespassers," visited the Mt Laurel Library on Jan. 12. (Contributed)

Andrea Miles, author of “Trespassers,” visited the Mt Laurel Library on Jan. 12. (Contributed)

“Trespassers” is a story about a young woman’s journey through the after-effects of childhood sexual and emotional abuse. The novel grew out of Miles’ graduate thesis at the University of Southern California.

“It was something that really spoke to me,” Miles said of the book’s subject, noting numerous people suffer abuse and are coping with the after-effects.

The most challenging part of writing “Trespassers” was staying true to the storyline and characters, Miles explained.

“That was really difficult to do,” Miles said. “I had to do a lot of research.”

Miles also previewed her newest work, still yet to be titled, during the Jan. 12 Meet the Author session. Set in Birmingham, the story delves into the underground world of human trafficking.

“It’s about three girls that are completely different, and they end up under the same pimp’s control,” Miles said, explaining that Birmingham is a major city in the human trafficking “triangle,” which includes Alabama, Tennessee and Florida.

Miles was inspired to research the topic after a representative from the faith-based anti-trafficking organization, the WellHouse, came to speak to her Bible study group.

Founded by a former trafficking victim, the WellHouse rescues women and children from trafficking situations all across the state, even close to home in Shelby County. Miles said the WellHouse has been an important source of research for her newest work.

Mt Laurel Library Branch Manager Kate Etheredge said she was excited to see Miles present at her home library, noting Miles’ book, “Trespassers,” is a popular and often checked out book at the library.

“(Miles) has been a member of our book club at the Mt Laurel Library for a long time,” Etheredge said. “We really wanted to support her at her home library… the community loves her.”

More information about Miles and her work can be found on her website, Andreamiles.com.