A little something about me. I was born in 1979 and spent my childhood in Indiana and and Southern California. I obtained a degree in engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, but I found little inspiration in the study beyond my love of mathematics. While my friends tinkered with cars and robots, I wrote essays and read philosophy. Faced with a crisis of identity, I took a turn and enrolled in law school at the University of Virginia. After graduation, I clerked for a federal judge and then joined a small law firm where I worked for six years.

Through all this, I moonlighted as an aspiring novelist, writing stories that garnered quite a stack of rejection letters from literary agents. Then in 2008 my wife gave me the idea for A Walk Across the Sun. Neither of us knew how hard it would be to research, write, and publish a novel on the global trade in human beings. Our ignorance was a grace. Had we known, we probably never would have attempted it. How thankful we are now that we did.

AWATS, as we call it, has been translated into nearly 20 languages and distributed all over the world, reaching bestseller lists and receiving prize nominations in a number of countries. Our greatest joy, however, is not the acclaim but the fact that the book has stirred readers around the world to engage the cause of justice on behalf of the victims of human trafficking.

My second novel, The Garden of Burning Sand, will be released in 2013. Part African legal thriller, part mystery, and part American family drama, it is set in Southern Africa and the U.S. and addresses a handful of intersecting human rights issues. It is my hope to write many more stories like these in the coming years, stories that expose the wrongs in our world and reveal the heroism of those who labor tirelessly to bring injustice to its knees.

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