NAUGATUCK — Alana Branch’s first venture as an author deals with the darker side of love.
The Naugatuck resident’s first book, “Love 2 Kill,” features two short stories.
The first story, “My Sister In Law,” focuses on the character of Jocelyn, who is mourning the death of her brother. Jocelyn soon begins to expect that her sister-in-law Brynn may have had something to do with the death.
The second story, “Stalker,” is about the character Raja Hayden, a transfer student at Wilby High School. Hayden falls in love with a guy at school who already has a girlfriend. As the story progresses, Hayden’s love turns into obsession.
Branch, who is a private first class in the Army Reserves, wrote the stories while serving in Iraq as part of her admission application to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Penn.
“They let me write anything for my application and the stories just came up,” Branch said. “I’ve always had a thing for psychological thrillers.”
At the time Branch did not have the funds to attend the University of the Arts. She is currently enrolled at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury where she’s working towards her associate’s degree in Nuclear Medicine. However, she did have the two short stories.
Branch began searching for a way to get her stories published and soon came across Tate Publishing and Enterprises.
“I was online one day and came across a company looking for aspiring writers. I got a letter that my book was really good,” Branch said. “They are very nice and said you have something good going here.”
“Love 2 Kill” was published on April 9, a day after Branch’s 23rd birthday.
While the book has been published, Branch has run into some trouble promoting her work.
“I’m nervous to promote the book because of tragedies with Sandy Hook and Boston. This book does have tragedy in it,” Branch said.
Branch said she has been trying to Naugatuck Valley Community College to allow her to advertise her book.
“It’s hard to get something going when the story involves killing. I can’t even have my college hang a poster because it involves that kind of thing. So it is kind of difficult,” Branch said.
Although both stories look at the darker side of humanity, Branch is sure that people will enjoy them.
“They will have you guessing the whole way through. It’s a page-turner,” Branch said. “It’s a good read for anyone who likes to read suspenseful stories.”
Branch said that readers will also find a message in her stories.
“The message in the book is not to trust just anybody. Take the time to get to know somebody,” Branch said.
Branch said one of the reasons she wrote “Love 2 Kill” was to help get people out of their own world.
“That’s the whole point of reading a book, get out of your world and into another person’s world,” Branch said.
Though this is the first book she has published, Branch hopes it will not be her last and to someday be writing for the New York Times.
“I write every single day,” Branch said. “I love to write essays. I like to write songs and am an aspiring screen writer.”