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By Scot Allen

Mid-Pacific junior Jaclyn Nafarrete ’22 has always enjoyed writing.

Her love for the written word began with poetry and reading. She admits that she often  finds it difficult to articulate her thoughts and thus finds it easier to do so in writing.

“I think writing is a really good creative outlet for me,” she says.

Nafarrete recently self-published her first book Pick Up the Pieces. Two author-signed copies currently reside in the high school section of the Kawaiaha‘o Library. Students can check out the book just like they would any other.

During a recent class in the library her classmates, library staff, and teachers gave her a round of applause as she posed for a photo.

“I think it’s incredible when people face their fears and put their thoughts and imaginings down on paper — whether that’s writing a story or painting a picture — and then share it with the public,” says Mid-Pacific Librarian Nicole Goff. “Jaclyn has taken a huge step in the realm of making dreams come true. This was an idea and now it is something tangible. I think that’s an incredible achievement and we are very proud of her.”

Nafarrete wrote the book in just two months and then spent another month editing and rewriting.

She describes it as a very typical teen romance story – about a football player and a nerd – but it unfolds a little differently than the usual stereotypes might allow, in that the football player isn’t popular and the nerd is popular. The main character is a football player, who recently lost his mom. “So he is dealing with that as well as trying to figure out his own sexuality along the way,” Nafarrete says.

She wasn’t thinking of publishing it at all, but her friends encouraged her… “and it became this really big thing that I never really expected it to become,” she says. “A couple of my friends read it — and liked it — which was really nice.”

She published the book independently through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. The books are printed on demand, so she is not aware of how many have actually been printed until later in the year when they send her first royalty check.

“I’ve always been an emotional person and through writing it is a lot easier to articulate what I’m feeling when it’s on paper,” Nafarrete  says. “So I write a lot when I have a lot of energy and need to settle down. I like creative writing because it gives me a chance to create new worlds and new experiences and meet new characters. I’m also a reader. Someone once told me, ‘write what you love to read,’ so I did just that.”