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The Orion

‘A Skye of Jade:’ a dystopian world created by Chico State student

Blue, pen name N. T. Blue, is a student majoring in public health preparing to graduate in May, and her journey writing “A Skye of Jade” has been lengthy but fulfilling
Nautica Blue released the second edition of the dystopian novel, “A Skye of Jade,” in April. Photos courtesy Nautica Blue, collage created by Ariana Powell using Pixlr.

Chico State student Nautica Blue invites readers to follow Sebastian Skye, scarred by the loss of his family, as he takes revenge on the Crown, the matriarchy that rules the dystopian world Aashianna in the newly released novel, “A Skye of Jade.”

Nautica Blue, shown above, got into writing after she finished a high school sophomore English class final ahead of time and had nothing else to do. Courtesy: Nautica Blue

Blue, pen name N. T. Blue, is a student majoring in public health preparing to graduate in May, and her journey writing “A Skye of Jade” has been lengthy but fulfilling.

“Well, when I got into reading around like seventh grade, I was pretty much strictly reading dystopias and so dystopian has been like my favorite genre for a really long time and that’s what ‘A Skye of Jade’ is,” Blue said. “It’s a dystopian romance and so I just kind of pulled from like all the different dystopian worlds that I’ve read and kind of created my own thing there.”

When writing, she was inspired by dystopian novels such as “Legend” by Marie Lu and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins.

Blue said she realized how much she likes writing during her high school sophomore English class.

“… we had just finished a final and I finished really early so I didn’t have anything else to do ’cause we couldn’t leave class,” Blue said. “And then I was just thinking about a dream that I had the night before about a girl with ice powers that she got from the moon and a guy that got fire powers from the sun.” 

She started working on the story and realized she enjoyed writing, and “A Skye of Jade” came after.

When writing, Blue said she typically starts with her character. For “A Skye of Jade” specifically, she started with Sebastian Skye, the book’s main character and namesake.

“I go like personality traits first, and then I go with appearance and then, I go with the backstory and their name always comes last because it takes me forever to choose a name that I like,” Blue said. “And then after that I pick who the other important characters in the story will be and how they’re gonna relate to my main character. And then after that I build the world around them.”

Sebastian Skye is a morally gray, Robinhood-type character who doesn’t like the Crown, Aashianna’s government.

The Crown took Skye’s family from him at a young age. Since then, Blue said, “He kind of just goes around messing with the government and they can’t ever catch him” by stealing from banks, freeing people from prison, messing with military bases and other derelict actions. 

Blue said she wanted the Crown to be blatantly corrupt and she sees a lot of the disparities in her book in real life.

“So it was kind of easy to just pull those elements out of the real world, unfortunately,” Blue said.

While writing, Blue said the hardest part was planning for a plot twist that happens about halfway through the story.

“A Skye of Jade” is Blue’s first published book, but not the first she’s written. She wrote her first book when she was 16, and recently, she’s been restructuring it and hopes to write a few books in that world.

It took Blue around two years to write “A Skye of Jade” because it was hard to find time to sit down and write due to school and work. However, after it was written, Blue said the editing happened pretty quickly.

Blue originally published “A Skye of Jade” a couple years ago and wrote, edited it, designed the cover, printed it and distributed it all on her own. However, she acknowledged the first edition was rough.

“So the cover was not as pretty as this one and like I didn’t have the knowledge to put like an author’s note and a dedication and an author bio and stuff in the other one,” Blue said. “So this is my second edition technically. And it’s kind of just like an upgrade of the first one.”

The cover art of the second edition of “A Skye of Jade” was created by Lindsay Baang. Courtesy: Nautica Blue

The second edition now has a better cover and chapter headings — designed by Lindsay Baang — and content and she published it under her mico-press, Neptune Publishing.

The manuscript was edited by Blue’s best friend, Madeline August, who majors in manuscript editing.

“She kind of gets all the inside knowledge of my books and characters and plots and world-building before she even gets the manuscript,” Blue said.

“A Skye of Jade” is available online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. It will be available online at Target and Apple soon, Blue said. She also plans to contact local bookstores to see if they might want to shelf “A Skye of Jade.”

“So it’s still a little scary but we’re getting there,” Blue said.

Blue is also working to set up a book signing either at the Butte County Library or Barnes and Noble. 

Blue hopes people walk away from her book with a specific message:

“The main message pretty much is just like, don’t be corrupt. Like help people and care about people. And if you’re in charge of people, then that’s what your focus should be,” Blue said.

To keep track of updates regarding “A Skye of Jade,” and any other books penned by Blue, visit her Twitter, Instagram or TikTok pages.

Ariana Powell can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ariana Powell
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.

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