A Southington woman’s first book deals with the aftermath of young love

SOUTHINGTON – Brooke Cochrane, a local and Southington High School graduate, 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 are caught up in an unexpected tragedy as they explore the aftermath of their fast-paced romance.

“I wanted to write a story that really captures young love, getting into a relationship for the first time and kind of seeing what’s going on and how everything can go downhill really quickly,” Cochrane said.

After graduating from Southington High in 2014, Cochrane attended Eastern Connecticut State University, where she studied communication and writing and published several short stories in the college’s literary magazine.

Cochrane has been working on the novel since she was 17, completing it while working part-time at a nail salon in Plantsville.

“It started eight years ago. So you can really see where it all fell into place and how her writing has improved even since she started it,” said Kayla Bassingthwaite, who helped Cochrane edit the book. “It was a lot of fun just being like a person so she could brainstorm and almost being like a consultant about what worked and what didn’t.”

The book was released in June by Archway Publishing. Archway offers self-publishing programs for authors while they help with editing and cover design, making the book available on Amazon in digital and paperback.

“I really felt like I came out of my body when I opened the mail and there it is, all the words I’ve spent years and years writing,” Cochrane said. “It’s right in the palm of my hands…It definitely made me very emotional. It was my life’s 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 going to stay locally in Connecticut, but I’m getting criticism from the east coast, west coast, Texas — all over the country,” Cochrane said, “It’s crazy to know that so many many people in this country have held this book that I wrote.

Cochrane is already making plans for a sequel to be picked up by another publisher to expand the reach of its work.

“A lot of people asked me for (a sequel),” she said. “Even before I got it published, my friends and family were like, ‘You can’t stop here, you have to keep going.’ So I’m working on a sequel, its potential prequel, depending on how the sequel unfolds, and I have other storylines that I’d like to write, so the goal is to find a publisher who will help with that.

[email protected]: @cmetzger98