Katie Femia taught elementary school in South Bend for eight years before she felt the itch to write.
She spent her lunch hour and breaks writing, but realized it wasn't something she could do halfway.
"I knew I had to let teaching go," Femia said. "It was very clear to me that writing was what made me happy."
Book signing event
Katie Femia will be at Mishawaka Antiques on Saturday, March 29, to sign copies of her book.
Here's how to attend:
Saturday, March 29
Mishawaka Antiques, 116 Lincolnway East, Mishawaka
She took a year off to write, and quickly found freelance work. But her main project was her first book, "Peacock Swamp: Book 1: The Nine,"now available on Amazon, barnesandnoble.com and at Mishawaka Antiques.
The story takes place in 2064, where 17-year-old Vitalia lives in a world where a nine-member tribal unit decides who gets health care and who doesn't. Vitalia's family must lobby for a heart transplant for the girl, and the book follows their adventures.
The residents of this future world, Femia said, are crippled by a fear of sickness and desperate for health care.
"The Nine" is in the same genre as popular young adult books that have crossed over to a mainstream audience, like "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent."
Femia loves these types of stories, which is partly why she decided to write one.
"It's kind of a genre based on what people fear," she said. "That kind of story will always grab. It's a trend that I don't believe is going anywhere."
Perhaps dystopian books are also popular because of the sometimes-unstable world we live in, Femia suggested.
Young adult books tend to be shorter and easier to read, which she thinks might appeal to members of a fast-paced society.
Femia's busy promoting her book and planning the next in the series. She lives in South Bend with her husband and three children.