New Tech senior writes Science Fiction trilogy for Capstone Project

Catherine Jackson completes three full length novels for graduation project


Photo by Mallorie Munoz.

Thomas Rousseau, Staff Writer

While most high school students have trouble writing a three-page essay, Catherine Jackson, a senior at New Tech [email protected] wrote a full length science fiction trilogy for her senior Capstone project.


A Capstone is a graduation required project that seniors develop and complete on their own to showcase their knowledge and readiness for postsecondary education. The Capstone project is done entirely outside of class and tests a student’s time management skills and ability to work independently.


“I have loved writing for as long as I can remember,” Jackson said. “The first book took about a year, and I was writing them overlapping each other, I first had the idea in July of 2014 and I started writing in November of that year.”


While writing itself is nothing new to Jackson, the editing, formatting and publishing process was a new challenge to be overcome.


“[The Capstone] is really something that the goal is that you would master an academic area and be able to tie it in with something you are interested in and passionate about, or maybe have future aspirations,” New Tech High Capstone facilitator Jennifer Greever said.  “It is very individualized, they all look very different, in the end we are hoping to have a product that is based on research.”


The Capstone project involves a lot of research, and the first semester of school is used primarily for research to build a foundation for the rest of the project.


“Catherine’s research was reading a ton of books, and then she did an annotated bibliography for her research component where she summarized all the books and assessed them for what was good about them,” Greever said.


It took Jackson around a year to finish the first title, but after that the other two came more easily. The premise of the book is that the United States lost a future world war, and genetically modified super soldiers known as “Hijacked” are hunted down afterwards. The story follows several of them and their struggle for survival.


“I eventually had to quit [my job] because they were scheduling me too much, so I did not have any time to write,” Jackson said. “Sometimes I would turn down things on the weekends because it was the only time I could write,”


Jackson’s final Capstone presentation has been completed, and with her trilogy done, she is looking forward to expand on her new ideas.


“She handed me the first book to edit as a Christmas present actually,” Neera Jackson, Catherine’s mother and editor for her books, said. “It was really pretty amazing, I was so proud to do that.”


Jackson has self published a book in the past, and has gained a vast amount of experience and confidence throughout writing the trilogy.


“One of the most amazing things for me is that, here is my daughter at 17 years old, and she trusts me enough with her work to be able to ask me for advice,” Neera Jackson said.


There is already another book in the works for Jackson, and she is determined to become a professional published author in the future.


“She was definitely dedicated to it, so I not only saw the elements of the girl I knew since she was born, but also a professionalism that I actually see a difference between the first book and her third book,” Neera Jackson said. “She has developed as a writer, even throughout the course of this trilogy.”
As of now, she has sold 14 print copies of her books and 15 copies on Kindle. All three books are available on Amazon.