A local writer’s futuristic, end-of-the-world fiction novel had to prove itself to reach publication and now “The Withering,” by Joshua Jacobs, is available as an ebook on Amazon.com.

“The Withering” takes place in the future when a plague has hit the world and wiped out the vast majority of the earth’s population. A mark appears on the skin and within days that person is dead. The main character of “The Withering,” Alice Isaacs, however, has had the mark for two years and has not died. Some people think because she is still living she may be responsible for the plague and she’s forced to go into hiding to avoid their wrath.

Jacobs said he’s been writing novels for the last eight or nine years, but this is his first book to reach publication. It was published by Kindle Press, which runs the Kindle Scout program. Authors submit their books online and anyone can log on to kindlescout.amazon.com and vote for the book they would like to see published — based on a small sample from the book.

“There were a number of times over the past few years that I considered quitting writing,” Jacobs said. “I finally found a literary agent after six or seven years and when nothing came of that it was back to the drawing board, a hopeless kind of feeling. On a whim I saw this opportunity through Kindle Scout... If you get enough votes they’ll read your book and consider it for publication and sure enough, it was selected.”

The book is available as an e-book only through Amazon.com.

Jacobs is a Desert Vista alumni and a teacher at Kyrene del Pueblo Middle School. He said he received a lot of support from his students and fellow teachers and he’s heard only good reviews so far. The experience has been a little bit surprising since he said not too many people have read his writing until now.

“I love to read myself, I love immersing myself in a really good story,” he said. “Sitting down and creating a world and the characters and throwing them into impossible situations and having them work their way out is really exciting. I hope people are entertained. My stories always do have a theme and a message and I hope the reader gets it, but my No. 1 goal is I hope people are hooked from day one and keep reading and are unable to put that book down. The biggest take away is I want people to be entertained.”

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