Maria DeVivo’s seventh novel, Witch of the Black Circle, is available for preorder.

As the author’s first book, The Coal Elf, celebrates 10 years, Maria DeVivo is looking forward to a big 2023 ahead. The author has two releases scheduled in 2023: Book 4 on January 24 and Book 5 on August 11. She will also participate in eight book conventions in the coming year and has hopes for a movie version of one of her novels.

Original Story Printed January 2022.

Fans of adult fiction are in for a treat thanks to a local author. FishHawk resident and Randall Middle School teacher Maria DeVivo’s new novel, Witch of the Black Circle, is available for e-book preorder this month.

“For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be an author,” said DeVivo, who has lived in FishHawk since 2005. “From early on, I knew my imagination was just too large to be contained, and one way or another, it needed to be unleashed on the world.”

DeVivo, who has published seven novels so far and is on schedule to have five releases this year, described the latest true adult horror.

“I’ve always written dark subject matter—I live in that strange, gothic world in my head—but this is my first true adult horror novel,” she explained. “There are no holds barred with this one. Nothing is off limits. My other books are pretty tame compared to this.”

According to DeVivo, Witch of the Black Circle is a story about a girl whose mother has always told her she was cursed by a witch, is inspired by true events.

“Growing up on Long Island, NY in the 1980s and living through the time known as the Satanic Panic Era was interesting, to say the least,” she said. “I drew upon a lot of personal experiences and blended it with what was going on culturally at that time. The tagline isn’t just for shock value.”

In addition to writing, DeVivo teaches English Language Arts (ELA) and journalism at Randall Middle School but said this book is not for her students to read.

“This book is for anyone who likes horror and 80s nostalgia, doesn’t have a weak stomach and isn’t shy from adult content,” she said. “This one is definitely 18-plus.”

Witch of the Black Circle is available for e-book preorder and will be released on Monday, March 7. This month, DeVivo will attend Central Florida Comic Con in Lakeland on Saturday and Sunday, January 15 and 16 and will speak on a panel on writing. To learn more about her books and appearances, visit

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.