Shock. Awe. I’m still trying to digest the fact that someone believed in my writing enough to offer me a publishing contract for my YA/Sci-Fi novel NINE. Thanks to Marc Estes from Snow Leopard Publishing who found value in what I’ve been doing for the past four years. I’m grateful for the chance to begin a journey I always knew would come one day.

I’d been trying to find an agent all summer, entered contests, had moderate success, but to no avail. Just the thought of having my imagination available worldwide along with right down the street is a dream come true. How many books have you sold? Well–I’m not exactly sure how well it will sell, but can anyone really predict their success? Maybe if you were Stephen King, your chances of success would be easy to predict. I have some goals, of course, but no preconceived notions about making a Best Sellers list or winning any awards. I just had a story to tell, and I wanted to tell it. Faith, my main character, has a blood disorder. Rare.Why did I give her this flaw? 

Well–around 9 years ago now, my oldest brother passed away from leukemia. Ironically, he beat the cancer but died due to complications of Graft Versus Host Disease. I knew my brother had faith, but he also had so many questions, doubts, and things he wasn’t sure of when it came to the afterlife. I remember him asking me a day before he finally passed if all this God stuff we’d talked about for years was really true. I assured him it was. Hope filled his eyes. Tears flooded mine. 

So what does any of that have to do with my main character? Simple really. Faith’s not sure of where she fits in the grand scheme, and she blames herself for not doing enough to help her mother. Not being able to save her. That was me. I gave my platelets. Spent a week getting four shots of neopogen in my stomach just to increase my T-cells. Then another week of lying flat in a hospital bed waiting for a machine to separate my cells, so I could give them away to him. Nurses had to massage my arms afterwards, scratch my face when I itched, and feed me because each time I moved it made an alarm go off and the process got interrupted. This meant I’d have to stay there even longer. Six hours a day for five straight days, and I’d do it all over again for him.

He made it to my wedding as my best man as a result. Two months after, and he was dead. Faith’s power? She can heal others, but she can’t heal herself. I did what I could, but it wasn’t enough. Hours after he died I remember asking God why He didn’t heal my brother. His answer? I did. 

NINE’s all about aliens assimilating human souls in order to survive on earth, but Faith’s not too willing to give hers up quite yet. She may not have been able to keep her mother alive, but she can save the world. Maybe there’s hope for me too.

Enjoy the book. It was a blast writing it. I’m almost healed now too.

D.M. King