By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Young Palisadian Jessica Jacobs has turned her passion for writing into her debut novel, “This Hurts More Than It Looks,” which was released at the end of May.
The Marquez Knolls author shared that she has been working on her freshman novel since October 2018, writing with others at Writopia Lab in Westwood, a nonprofit organization that connects published authors or produced playwrights with students.
Jacobs said she would be there every Sunday up until the COVID-19 pandemic struck, then she began writing in her free time.
“I joined Writopia Lab very young but I’ve definitely always enjoyed and had such a great time writing,” Jacobs said to the Palisadian-Post.
Now, she is celebrating the release of her self-published novel.
“Vera Bow-Ramos is trapped under her parents’ surveillance,” according to a synopsis. “Overwhelmed from their constant scrutiny, she craves freedom. A rebellious night leads to a violent confrontation. All at once, the surveillance is cut off, and Vera is left with a groundbreaking secret her family has kept hidden.
“Vera delves into a lifestyle of playing guitar and experimenting with drugs. Tragedy strikes, and she feels alone trying to deal with its consequences. Too caught up in her change of scenery, Vera wonders if she’s lost herself within it.”
Jacobs said the publication of “This Hurts More Than It Looks” has been exciting.
“I wanted to do this process by myself, not with any other companies,” Jacobs said. “It was really exciting to put it out, I had been holding onto it for a really long time just to make sure it was exactly how I wanted.”
She said her interest in dystopian fiction at the time, including Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series and J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, inspired her to pen the novel. She began writing at approximately 8 years old, first with short stories in her journal that she described as “complete Harry Potter rip-offs.”
Although “This Hurts More Than It Looks” is the first novel Jacobs has published, it isn’t the first that she has penned. As she prepares to enter her senior year at Palisades Charter High School, Jacobs said she is currently working on a number of projects Palisadians can look forward to.
“I really want to do something out of my comfort zone, more fantasy-oriented, so I’ve been working on a combination of Wes Anderson and fantasy,” Jacobs explained. “Just loosely writing things like that and short stories.”
In her free time, Jacobs said she enjoys spending it in the Palisades and listening to music. She said the local hiking spots are also special to her.
Jacobs shared a few pieces of advice to offer to those who wish to pursue writing.
“Listening to music is always super inspirational, and accepting and seeking constructive criticism from peers and family members is also super helpful in the process,” Jacobs said to the Post.
She said her parents and sister always read what she writes and offer “incredible” feedback.
“Writing anything down … if you feel inspired is always the best,” she shared. “Write everything.”
“This Hurts More Than It Looks” is now available for purchase on Amazon, Kindle Edition. The novel currently holds a five-star global rating.
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