Pequannock Township author D.L. Cocchio has completed her second book, "Magic by Moonlight."
The book is about three friends who use a magic amulet to travel back in time, where they witness the Salem Witch Trials and solve a mystery that could change the course of history.
Best friends Emily and Megan, along with their friend Ben, were learning about the Witch Trials in the present day when they decide to become witness to the horrific events of 1692 Massachusetts.
With the aid of the amulet Emily and Megan bought at a Medieval fair and used to journey back to 15th century England in Cocchio's previous novel, "Be Careful What You Wish For," the trio learns more than the expected from a slave named Tituba. But that may come in handy if they are accused of being witches themselves.
Cocchio says her book is directed at children ages 8 and up. She wanted to introduce children in that age group to subjects such as the Salem Witch Hunts.
"I wanted to give children a sneak peek at the topic of the Salem Witch Trials," she says, "which they wouldn't normally be exposed to until later in their academic life."
Cocchio, who might be remembered as Debbie Lauber by her Pequannock Township High School (PTHS) classmates, started writing as soon as she could pick up a pen.
"As a kid, writing was an outlet," she says. "I was always writing something."
And reading, too. She estimates she read the entire mystery section of the local library over two summers. "I loved Nancy Drew-type books she says. By high school, her favorite book was "Lord of the Flies."
Most of her writing includes mystery and magic, along with teen paranormal activities. She plans to write at least two or three more books revolving around her characters of Emily and Megan.
But before she resumes the series, she plans to complete a book aimed at teens and young adults titled "Psychic Circle–Souls Entwined" involving teenagers with paranormal abilities such as being psychic.
Cocchio often serves as a coach for other writers, and is a member of several writing groups where she gets support, ideas, and critical input. She says that if you are interested in being an author, "You should keep on writing, rewriting, and rewriting some more. That's what perfects your work. Let your friends read your work and offer comments."
As most authors would tell you, finding a publisher can be a daunting task. Even J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter novel was rejected numerous times. "The most important thing is to never give up," Cocchio says.
"Magic by Moonlight" and "Be Careful What You Wish For," both published by Magic Moon Press, are available at Amazon.com. They are also available on her own website, www.dlcocchio.webs.com