Sophomore Faith Birmingham has just self-published her first novel, “Bloodline,” written when she was in eighth grade.
The novel came from a competition with a friend to see who could come up with a better book idea. Birmingham said she wrote every chance could get until the project became much longer than she had first intended.
“I had a couple people read [the story] just because I was proud of it,” said Birmingham. “Once it started getting over 150 pages I was like, ‘Okay, this is an actual novel’.”
“Bloodline” follows Rayla, a young orphan who knows nothing of her parents or origin. After enrolling as the kingdom’s first battle student, she begins training with the hopes of one day becoming a guard. When a threat challenges the integrity of the kingdom, it is discovered that Rayla has a power that has been drawing enemies in. With her friends by her side, Rayla races to discover how much danger they are in, all while being forced to face the question of where she comes from and what power is running through her blood.
Brimingham said the rough draft was completed in five years, and the book was published a year later.
“I had this idea of where I wanted it to go and then when I started writing it, and I realized it was that…this is going to have to be more than one book,” said Birmingham.
The plan was for the story to only be a novel, but after character development and plot setup, there were clear lines that divided the story into a series of three books. Birmingham said it was this exposition that took the first novel so much longer to write than the other two.
“I was just trying to get it through the process of publishing, so I started writing the second one and so the rough draft of the second and third one are both done,” said Birmingham.
She said the biggest challenge was getting her novel published.
“The hardest part was really just trying to get enough money for it,” said Birmingham.
Every penny from her summer jobs went to publish the novel, a process that cost her approximately $2,200. She hopes to finalize the last two installments instalments of the trilogy but is not sure how well they will do.
“I’ll publish the first one just to say I’m a published author, and then if God decides to take it somewhere and I actually end up making money off of it, then we’ll get publishing the other two,” said Brimingham.
Driven by the support of her family and friends, Birmingham decided to publish “Bloodline.”
“I didn’t have an agent or agency seek me out, read my book…I did it all myself,” said Brimingham.
Birmingham at times felt the process was surreal.
“There were times I was reading it that I would have to stop and be like ‘You’re not just reading a book, this is your book, you published it’,” said Brimingham.
As an aspiring English teacher, Birmingham hopes her novel will be useful in the future.
“I know you have things you have to cover in your English class, but I think it’d be cool to use some of the stuff, like if I had my published book that we could read,” said Brimingham. “[Even just] using it for showing even little grammar things or character development.”
She hopes that her book may be able to inspire her future students.
“I found something that I like to do and something that God had gifted me with and I just decided to do something with it,” said Birmingham. “I think that that story within itself will be hopefully encouraging to students.”
“Bloodline” can be found on Amazon, on Kindle and in paperback.