Pine Crest School Alumnus Publishes First Novel

Recent Pine Crest School graduate Julian Naranjo ’19 self-published his first novel, Made of Shadows, a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, in the winter of his senior year.
Writing under the pseudonym Archi Ofmn, an abbreviation for archivist of many names, Julian first got the idea to write the book in eighth grade.

“After watching the movie ‘Avengers Age of Ultron,’” said Julian, “I was disappointed by how they handled the character of Ultron and thought I could handle it better. As I began my story, it became an exploration about how people reacted to the apocalypse and how they adjust to life now that it is over.”

On writing over the course of three years as an Upper School student, Julian said his process was inconsistent.

“I sat down whenever I had an idea,” said Julian. “The first manuscript was a result of that — very choppy. Then, I would allocate time every day to write. I started setting goals and asking myself questions to get myself organized, and it became a daily ritual for me.”

“Along the way toward finishing the book,” said Julian, “I had a few friends serve as beta readers to critique the book. Then I discovered reedsy.com, a writer’s market that connects writers with editors. So I had help from two professional editors.”

“There are definitely moments when I sat down to write and I thought of Mr. Gillego, and what he would he say about the passage I was working on,” said Julian. “I would try to implement rhetorical techniques from his class. I also thought about Mrs. Ortega and how she loves Shakespeare — I may have implemented some of that in the book. All of my English teachers have had an impact on my writing.”

When asked about the challenges of writing the book, Julian said that “the nebulous middle portion was hard to outline It was hard to decide how the characters are going to get to the end of the story. It was a huge effort to actively go through each character and plot point and figure out where they would go and how. It forced me to have a plan of action.”

Julian will attend New York University (NYU) in New York City in the fall.

“I am going to miss the faculty and my friends at Pine Crest,” he said. “They have been so amazing and supportive. My teachers have been more than that; they have been role models and friends who have helped me through everything.”

“I am excited about living in New York City. NYU is near the five major publishing houses, and they have international campuses, so I can study abroad,” said Julian. “I am just excited to utilize those experiences and enrich myself as an international member of society.”
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