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8/5/15 at 04:31 PM 0 Comments

Proceeds of sales of new Christian fiction novel will help victims of human trafficking in U.S. and overseas

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Author Ryan Mix in Iraq

Rossling Publishers has announced that a portion of proceeds of sales of the new fiction novel, The Academy will help fight human trafficking both here in the states and abroad. Co-author Ryan Mix just returned from Iraq where he served as videographer for an upcoming documentary on the human trafficking that is being conducted by ISIS, which is now the largest buyer and seller of human beings in the world.

“My trip to Iraq was an eye-opening experience about the devastation human beings can inflict on one another,” says Mix. “We traveled with a well-organized and trained security team comprised of former U.S. Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and intelligence agents watching our movements. Our main objective was to interview and capture stories of refugees who have escaped from ISIS, specifically those who were taken for sex-trade. With their stories, we will be able to clearly illustrate to the world what is really going on and how people can help. ISIS makes over one million dollars per day through human trafficking, making it one of their largest revenue streams. As they overtake a village, they kill all the men who do not convert to Islam, and kidnap women and girls who they can enslave to do domestic chores or to sell for sex.”

Human trafficking is the second largest illegal industry on the planet, trumped only by the drug trade. Over 27 million people are enslaved worldwide. The Academy book sales will help support the U.S.-based charity, Visibly Unseen, which helps victims of trafficking here in the U.S. as well as partners with other organizations who specialize in stopping human trafficking.

“Since the goal of ISIS is to create a global caliphate, stopping them before they spread any further is a necessity and one way to do that would be to cut off their source of revenue,” says Mix. “Fighting human trafficking is extremely important, not just because so many boys and women are losing their lives, but because it is such a lucrative industry, it has endless potential to keep spreading harm and traffickers will only get more aggressive, leading them to continue kidnapping women and children in our neighborhoods. Currently in any given city in the US, children are being stalked by predators to sell because it is such a lucrative business.”

First-time authors Ryan Mix and J.T. Payne held nothing back from their initial endeavor into Christian fiction with the new book, The Academy. Abortion, drugs, suicide, evolution, and death are just a few of the concepts the main character encounters at a fictitious Christian school. The Academy has a suspense element that both Mix and Payne wanted to create to keep readers on their toes. They admit to intentionally making “75% of the book anti-Christian,” but they had a good reason for doing so.

“We tried to take a bold new approach,” says Mix. “We wanted to build tension for Christians reading the book by flipping stereotypes and clichés on their heads so readers cannot assume anything and are forced to question what is coming next. But we also wanted to offer a storyline that might draw in non-Christians as well. Jesus taught in parables all the time in order to get people to think about spiritual things.”

The Academy tells the story of a student who, after accidentally uncovering many dark, hypocritical practices at his Christian high school, begins to question Christianity itself, while struggling to survive the perilous aftermath of his discovery. “We set out to do something that we have not seen in other Christian fiction books,” explains Mix. “We intentionally make the faith look bad so readers must justify why they believe it.”

Mix is from Billings, Montana and Payne is from Nashville, Tennessee, and they have been friends since sixth grade. They wrote the book over a three year time span, using Facebook and Google Drive as their main communication tools. Both admit to being new to the writing process, but knew they had a good story to tell. Due to their backgrounds as students in Christian schools, Mix and Payne have already been asked by their peers if the story is true.

“The story was inspired by, but not based on, our time attending a Christian high school and Christian college,” says Payne. “We grew tired of hearing the rumors and statements that Christians don't live in the real world and that we held on to faith instead of facts. We also wanted to combat several Christian stereotypes, sadly based in reality. We face these head on by contrasting them in the story with examples of people who portray the correct examples of Christianity.”

For more information, visit www.academythebook.com. For more information on Visibly Unseen, visit www.visiblyunseen.org.

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