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North Salem Teenager Publishes Second Book

NORTH SALEM – Daniel Koch found that he did his best writing when he was alone and had no distractions. So he sat at his computer from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. each night to work on his novel.

Then he went off to his classes at North Salem High School.

Koch started his first book, " Descendant: The Protector ," at the age of 15 and was finished with it six months later. He entered it in Amazon's Breakthrough Novelist Contest and reached the quarterfinals. Finding an agent proved less successful, however.

"They wouldn't take a chance on me because I was too young," he said. "So I sent my manuscript to an internet editor -- Lynn O'Dell at Red Adept Reviews. And then I self-published."

His second book, called, "Descendant: The Devil's Minions," also took six-months and was self-published.

The books are aimed at kids twelve and up, he said. His inspirations were the Harry Potter books and the Hunger Game series. He plans to write five books in his Descendant series and already has the plots outlined.

"I like to put in things that are secretive. Everything is in there for a reason,” he said. “There are difficult hidden references."

Koch just finished his first year at SUNY Purchase, where he is studying philosophy.

"Recently we read Dante's Inferno and it helped me form the third book," he said.

He would love to be a professional writer when he finishes his education. Meanwhile, he continues to work on the third episode of The Descendant series. And he is reading Harry Potter for the seventh time.

Koch said he sells about 30 to 40 books a month, mostly to people using electronic readers.

“People don't take you very seriously if you self-publish," he said, however he would tell other aspiring writers to follow the same route. “Write as much as you can and never give up. Self-publishing has been great."

Koch said it would also be great to see his stories hit the big screen. He’s even thought about who he’d cast in each role.

"I switch people all the time,” he said. “Right now it's Logan Lerman as Jason, the hero, and Penn Badgley as the villain, Falco."

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