LITERARY stardom is beckoning for a new author from Stourbridge who has been snapped up by the man who discovered JK Rowling.
David Massey hopes to shoot to fame in the world of teen fiction with the release of his debut novel Torn, which is due to hit book shelves across the globe today (Thursday August 2).
The tale of love and war in Afghanistan, told from the perspective of a 19-year-old army medic, earned him a contract with Chicken House Publishing - founded by Barry Cunningham who gave Harry Potter author JK Rowling her big break when he worked at Bloomsbury.
David, who was about to ditch his dreams of becoming a published author shortly before publishing legend Barry got in touch, said: “It’s been really exciting.
“I was at the point where I was going to give up writing - the email from Barry came out of the blue.”
He said he sent off the first four chapters of the book as a taster but it was not until months later that Barry himself requested the complete tale and shortly afterwards offered him a contract.
The novel, being published worldwide, tells of British army medic Elinor Nielson’s quest for truth after a young Afghan girl vanishes after walking into a hail of bullets.
What she discovers makes her question everything she believes in - even her feelings for the American lieutenant who takes her side.
David, from Withymoor, who runs an award-winning emergency supplies business with his wife Debi, was inspired to write the book after heading up an aid expediton during the revolution in Romanian where he witnessed the devastating effects of conflict on young people.
During his research for the novel he also discovered some startling realities for teens serving in Afghanistan.
He said: “I was surprised how many teenage soldiers were dying in action; yet the story of war is not often told from their perspective and the voice of the young female soldier is heard even less.
“I hope that Torn not only gives a voice to young people coping on the frontline but also highlights how children are often the silent victims of war.”
The next few months promise to be a whirlwind of book signings across the country for the father-of-three who worked on music and magazine shows on various radio stations before starting his own business.
His first promotional appearance will be at Waterstones at Merry Hill on Saturday August 4 from 11am to 3pm.
He will also be putting in an appearance at a literary festival running from noon till 7pm on Friday August 10 at St Thomas’s Church, Stourbridge, as part of arts event SMARTFest.