Senior Khrystyna Stets explores opportunities in capstone course, publishes novel Faded Reality


Courtesy of The Valley Life Newspaper

Published and proud — Author Khrystyna Stets poses with a copy of her novel, Faded Reality. Stets is a senior enrolled in the custom capstone.

Sydney Bigelow, Opinions Editor

Following a lifelong dream to be a published author, senior Khrystyna Stets enrolled in the Custom Capstone course to hone her writing skills and work with adults in the building to publish her debut novel, Faded Reality. Faded Reality follows the life of a young woman living in the city and is a charming, relatable book for young adults. 

 Faded Reality features the lavish life of young socialite Diana who is surrounded by everything a girl in New York City could dream of. However, she didn’t care about the fame, wealth, and cameras, because like many influencers and celebrities, she was not as happy as she appeared to be. 

When her day in the spotlight came to an end, Diana would “escape” and become a more authentic version of herself. In this persona, she was able to realize that she was putting on a facade to please the media and her family. The book also touches on an interaction with a childhood best friend and mentions a fake love interest named Chase, adding a slight romantic aspect to a story of self discovery. 

“Khrystyna has a skill with creating characters.  When she was first brainstorming about her story, she was telling me all about the backgrounds of her characters and she had created such a strong past for each of them!  I’ve never seen a student do that before!  Khrystyna created characters with whole lives that did not begin or end in her story–and that is what makes her characters truly stand out!,” English teacher Jill Schlenker said. 

The Custom Capstone course is advised by Business teacher Jeff Daddio but Stets worked closely with her project advisor, Schlenker, who applied her knowledge of literature and composition to the development of Faded Reality. Stets worked on the novel for the entirety of the academic year while balancing advanced level classes and college applications, a difficult but rewarding journey. 

“I’ve always loved writing and when I was younger I would always dream about writing my own stories and becoming an author. As I grew up and gained so many responsibilities I was never able to explore that dream, but the capstone gave me the time and resources to work on my writing,” Stets said. 

Stets will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall. Although she is enrolled in the School of Business pursuing a degree in Finance, she will continue to explore her passion for writing. She is already working on another book to be published in the near future. To support Stets and her writing goals, readers can purchase a copy of Faded Reality on Amazon.