AP Pierce is the author of The Freedom Adventures Suspense Series. The second book in the series is Girls of the Golden Gate. The book deals with the ongoing abuses of teenage girls and young women. In this behind the story interview, Pierce discusses how the plot came out of a difficult situation he witnessed personally. He said, “It’s tragic how vulnerable people can make themselves.”
The heroine in Girls of the Golden Gate is a young woman who sees how a little luck, the help of strangers, and a lot of hard work changed her life.
“Too often witnessing young women in trouble forced this story to come alive,” said Pierce. “It was placed along the central California coast because it’s an area I am familiar with, having grown up in California. Everything I needed was there: a prison, popular tourist areas, small towns, and the big city of San Francisco. With its hippie history, and wet foggy climate, San Francisco provided the perfect backdrop for the story.”
Pierce is sympathetic to the plight of young women entering adulthood. “They are often forced to make choices and sacrifices. Peer pressure to succeed, the quest for status, and the sense of curiosity often lead them into dangerous situations. Drugs, alcohol, and prostitution continue to plague the lives of many young women. In this story of a missing teenage girl, not only has she found trouble, but the reader also learns about the hero’s past experiences with drugs and selling her body.”
She mentioned a few times at work that she had met ‘some people’ that seemed friendly and welcoming, and then one day she quit her job, just never came back to work
The protagonist in the story, Kelly, survived the same types of challenges. She started a new life for herself. Pierce said, “This is the compelling force to help the young woman she is charged with finding.”
Pierce is retired from a long career in health care and has lived and worked in many parts of America and the world. He said he enjoys having heroines in his stories because of the troubles they face so often in life. “I am fascinated by how women rely on strategy and wit, and even brawn if necessary, to solve problems. Women are masters at conceding the battle while still planning how to win the war. I often put them in very difficult situations, but the heroes in my stories will always win their contests.”
One of the real-life stories Pierce saw involved a former co-worker. She was lured into a cult with promises of healthy living and a sense of family. Pierce said, “These places seem to call themselves ‘community’ quite often. She had come from a difficult background and had been looking for answers in life, things she wasn’t finding on her own. She mentioned a few times at work that she had met ‘some people’ that seemed friendly and welcoming, and then one day she quit her job, just never came back to work.
“Her work friends talked with her family and learned she had joined the community, in reality, a small cultish group that was developing their own religion, based on all the best parts of whatever religion they came across. Some of it was New Age, but to an extreme. After only a couple of weeks, she took off. When she eventually came back to work, she made it sound more like an escape.”
During the young woman’s time in the community, Pierce said she was forced to change her appearance and dress like everyone else. “They made her give up anything that set her apart and made her different. Even after such a short time in that community, she seemed like a changed person, not really having the same fun side of her personality. She didn’t talk much about the details, and it didn’t sound abusive, just mean-spirited if someone didn’t cooperate or asked too many questions.”
Pierce moved away not long after. “I never really found out how she turned out, if she was able to put that behind her and move on. The hard thing was how much she had been affected even after such a short time in the community. Basically, they had preyed on her, using her difficult background as leverage to join the group. She had to buy her way in, and never had that refunded. Every now and then I wonder how she turned out and hope for the best for her.”
Learn more about AP Pierce or Girls of the Golden Gate at a authorpierce.com.