AWARD-WINNING author David Massey celebrated the launch of his second novel with a day of activities at a Kingswinford school.
The rising literary star from Stourbridge, who has enjoyed a whirlwind 18 months since his first book Torn was published, stopped off at Crestwood School on World Book Day (Thursday March 6) to launch his second offering Taken.
David, who was snapped up by the man who discovered JK Rowling, spent the day running workshops and talking to pupils about his latest read which looks set to follow in the footsteps of his critically-acclaimed tale of love and war, Torn.
Released in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Taken follows a group of gutsy disabled teenagers on a round-the-world charity yachting trip.
But the adventure becomes a nightmare when they are captured by a notorious warlord and his band of child soldiers - and the team must fight for survival as they are taken on a terrifying journey into the African jungle.
David, aged 53, said: "It centres on a girl called Rio - and as she gets deeper into the jungle she realises she can find friends in her enemies; and it's about people overcoming their disabilities. The Paralympic Games was going on at the point that I was writing it and it was a huge inspiration.
"Some of the disabled teenagers in the book are ex-army members and have lost limbs so there's also link to Torn."
The book also features cameo appearances by two characters from Torn - a mysterious thriller about a 19-year-old British Army medic in Afghanistan.
But David stressed: "It's a totally separate story."
Legendary Chicken House Publishing boss Barry Cunningham, who gave Harry Potter author JK Rowling her big break, signed up the Withymoor based father and businessman after reading his manuscript for Torn.
David, who runs an intern et based emergency supplies business with his wife Debi, was on the verge of ditching his writing ambitions altogether, but since the 2012 release of his debut novel he has won an army of fans and - as well as being nominated for a host of literary accolades - he was named winner of the Lancashire Book of the Year Award 2013.
Torn has also gone down a storm in the USA where social educators have hailed it one of the most important books of 2014.
With his second book now under his belt - David, who has been touring schools across the UK, hopes to keep up his classroom visits in 2014 and be able to inspire more young writers to follow their dreams.
Schools interested in arranging a visit can contact the author by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter (@DavidRMassey) or Facebook (DRMasseyBooks).