Selling Katie

March 2023

“Fifteen-year-old Katie has met the perfect guy—handsome rich and just a little bit older. Skyler’s false veneer soon reveals a terrible darker side, but is it already too late?”

Local author Donna White is back on the bookshelves with a new release, once again turning her focus on a subject rarely talked about – the child sex trade in Canada.

“When I first started thinking about writing my fourth book, Selling Katie, I found out there were very few, if no, books about human trafficking for the YA (young adult) reader,” says White.

“I thought, this is stupid. There are girls as young as 12 years who are being lured into the sex trade and there are no books out there to tell them, to warn them. I knew it would be a hard sell in the publishing world, but I figured if a publisher didn’t take it on, I would self-publish it, and try to get it into as many hands as possible.”

White is no stranger to hard-hitting subjects. As an active volunteer with World Vision, her first trilogy deals with the painful topic of child soldiers in Uganda. White visited the Child Rescue Mission in Gulu several times to meet survivors and get their stories. When she decided to take on the topic of human trafficking, she interviewed former sex workers, attended anti-human trafficking conferences, and spoke to both counsellors and police who work with survivors of the sex trade.

“As I did the research, the story line was forming in my head,” White says.

“So, I think the writing took 6 months at the most. It was the rewriting and editing that took a long time. An editor in Virginia read my first draft and suggested I remove some content and make some changes – which I did – and then there was the wait for feedback from a few survivors who I had interviewed. I didn’t want to proceed with putting the story out until I had their approval. But when I interviewed both child soldiers and survivors of the sex trade, I saw a resilience you don’t see very often. I want to share that strength and show people that, despite the difficulties, we can rise above and become better and stronger for it.”

White has always enjoyed writing, looking forward to any writing assignment in high school creative writing class, but she never wrote with the intention of publishing until 10 years ago when she got the idea to write the Stones Trilogy. Then she decided she should turn her hand to at least one project, but she also knew that it wouldn’t be ‘fluff.’

“When I was in high school, I read We the Living by Ayn Rand and totally fell in love with the heroine. I admired her strength and her will to do what was right, no matter what the cost. I think it was then that I realized how much of an affect a book could have on a person.

When I decided to write, it was with this intention – to create characters who people could look up to, to perhaps gain some guidance in their lives. YA readers are searching for someone – perhaps not intentionally – to look up to. If there’s a character that has faults but manages to do admirable and good things, then, yeah, that inspiration can go a long way.” YA, or Young Adult, is a vast genre in publishing that is primarily targeted at readers between the ages of 12 – 18, but because of the fearless content, diverse sub-genres, and bold themes, it attracts readers across the age spectrum. So, while Selling Katie was written with a YA audience in mind, it may find a more powerful readership in parents, grandparents, and other concerned adults.

“Selling Katie is a YA book suitable for teens,” says White. “I wrote it hoping it would find it’s way into intermediate classrooms – grades 7 and 8 – because there are girls as young as 12 years doing tricks during their lunch hours and then after school. Yes. Here in Thunder Bay.”

For information on Anti Human Trafficking Services, there are several organizations in the city that can provide it. The Anishinabe Women’s Crisis Home and Family Healing Agency has a toll-free number at 1-888-200-9997 or in Thunder Bay at 807-346–HELP (4357). There’s also Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services that have numbers can be called 24/7 for help.

“The more people know, the more we can fight it,” White says.

White does do the occasional book signing at craft events, where she enjoys talking with people about her books and the human impact of social injustice locally and worldwide. Copies of her books are available at Indigo, Entershine Bookshop, Gallery 33, and online at Amazon. For more information on this powerhouse author, check out her website at

Heather L. Dickson is a photoshop guru, zoologist and author of 6 novels.

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