SOUTHINGTON — Brooke Cochrane, a local woman and graduate of Southington High School, recently published her first novel, “Stranger.”
The young adult novel is a fusion of mystery and romance. It follows two high school students – Hartley and Jason – who get caught up in an unexpected tragedy as they explore the consequences of their fast-paced romance.
“I wanted to write a story where it really kind of captures young love, to throw yourself into a relationship for the first time and kind of just see what happens and how it can all go downhill very quickly,” Cochrane said.
After graduating from Southington High in 2014, Cochrane attended Eastern Connecticut State University, where she studied communication and writing and had several short stories published in the college’s literary magazine.
Cochrane has worked on the novel since she was 17, completing it as she works part time in a nail salon in Plantsville.
“She started it eight years ago. So you can really see where it all came together and how her writing has improved even from when she started it,” said Kayla Bassingthwaite, who helped Cochrane edit the book. “It was a lot of fun just being like a person for her to bounce ideas off of and being almost like a consultant for what was working and what wasn’t.”
The book was released in June through Archway Publishing. Archway offers programs for authors to self-publish while they assist with editing and cover design, making the book available on Amazon in both digital and paperback.
“It definitely feels like out of body when I opened up the mail and there it was, all the words that I spent years and years writing,” Cochrane said. “It’s just in the palm of my hands ... It definitely made me very emotional. It was my lifelong dream to hold a book that I published.”
Cochrane had a book signing at Zingarella Pizzeria in Plantsville last month and the book currently has four-and-a-half stars on Amazon.
“I thought it was just gonna stay locally in Connecticut, but I'm getting reviews from the east coast, west coast, Texas - all over the country,” Cochrane said, “It's wild to know that so many people in this country have held this book that I wrote.”
Cochrane is already drafting plans for a sequel aiming to get picked up by another publisher to expand the reach of her work.
“I’ve had a lot of people ask me for (a sequel),” she said. “Even before I had it published my friends and family were like, ‘you can't end it there you need to continue.’ So I’m working on a sequel, its potential prequel, depending on how the sequel goes. And I do have other storylines that I would love to write. So the goal is to find a publisher that will help do that.”