Published Author Coco Ma ’25 Announces Fantastic New Book Series


Courtesy of Coco Ma

Coco Ma ’25 MUS ’21, author of the “Shadow Frost” trilogy, will release a new two-book series called “DEATHLINGS” in the fall of 2023.

A recent graduate from Yale School of Music where she studied piano, Ma wrote her first book at age 15 and published it in 2019. Since then, she has published another book called “God Storm”. His new series is based in near-future New York City and represents his new approach to blending fantasy and reality. Ma said “DEATHLINGS” represents her new voice as a more established author and reflects her efforts to tell stories using a more diverse cast of characters — unlike the predominantly white casts she grew up reading.

“Coco has a fluid, engaging style that was evident in his earlier work,” said English teacher Derek Green. “But this new book is a real step forward for her – mature, inventive and disciplined.”

Ma started writing “DEATHLINGS” in 2019 while a student at Yale School of Music, before the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She has said that the widespread blocks that have taken place during her writing process have been a “creative black hole” for her due to the isolation and lack of daily interactions that she relies on to get herself. Inspire.

Ma said the series’ protagonist draws inspiration from her own experiences living in New York and reflects her Chinese-American heritage. The protagonist, she added, attends high school in the same neighborhood as Ma.

“In New York, every day is like a story, wherever you go there is inspiration to be found,” Ma said. “It was really important for me to consider the elements of the city.

Ma said she considers “DEATHLINGS” to be a more personal book than her previous publications, noting that it was the first time she wrote from a first-person perspective. She said it helped make the book “so much more present”.

Although she started writing “DEATHLINGS” before the pandemic, Ma incorporated many elements of a “city in crisis” into the book. She said her frustration with the COVID-19 pandemic “translated” into her book.

“It’s a COVID book that was written before COVID and not about COVID,” Ma said.

Green praised Ma’s work ethic, saying she spent months writing and rewriting the novel to perfect its characters and their internal conflicts.

For Ma, the storytelling journey has not been easy. She said finding the balance between being a songwriter, a pianist and an undergraduate student has been a “constant struggle”. Especially following a recent accident that delayed her graduation recital at Yale School of Music, Ma faced significant stress during her freshman year at Yale College. She said she was focusing more on productivity and learning to be more flexible with herself.

“Coco is such a gifted storyteller,” said Holly Root, Ma’s literary agent. built.”

“DEATHLINGS” will be published by Viking Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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