BY INDIANA NASH
NISKAYUNA — When she was little, Erin Andrews was surrounded by books.
“My mother was an English teacher so that’s where I think I get it from,” Erin said.
This September she will be entering into eighth grade at Van Antwerp Middle School and while she is interested in some aspects of school, her main interests lies in her own project: writing a novel.
“I’ve been working on it for a while now,” Erin said. The novel tells the story of a 15-year-old girl named Reed (and Erin is quick to point out her intention to create a pun on the word “read”).
The protagonist has gone insane and is living within an asylum, where she quickly begins to notice that even the asylum is not “normal.”
In order to make her characters more realistic, Erin relies on her artistic skills.
“I often draw out my characters when I’m having trouble with a certain scene. If I’m not sure how to describe this one scene, then I’ll draw the character and figure out how it should look through that,” Erin said.
This summer, to work on her writing skills, Erin attended a creative writing class through Niskayuna’s Summer Enrichment Program.
Carol White, an English teacher at the high school and the teacher for the creative class, said that the program is a good way to help encourage students to write throughout the summer.
But Erin doesn’t seem to require the added motivation.
“I mostly write during the afternoons and I have to type because my handwriting is a mess,” she laughed.
She is most inspired by some of her favorite authors but also by her sister, Abby.
“My sister is in college now and she always comes home with the craziest stories,” Erin said.
Abby goes to Cazenovia College and during a visit with her sister, Erin said that she found the college inspiring for a setting in her novel.
“But my sister’s roommate and another of her friends are really funny so whenever she comes home and tells me some of her stories from school, I’ll use them as inspiration,” Erin said.
While her mother, Lynn, has expertise as an English teacher, she mostly contributes to Erin’s ideas for the plot line.
“We bounce ideas off of each other all the time, especially if I’m not sure how long it should take to get somewhere or if something makes sense or not,” Erin said.
This project is one that Erin hopes she’ll be able to continue on into her career beyond school.
“I really want to be an author or an artist,” Erin said, smiling. This dream doesn’t seem to be far off from what she’s doing now.
For the remainder of the summer, Erin will be visiting family, going to Girl Scout camp (where no doubt she’ll gather more character development ideas) and working on her novel.
“The title is ‘This is Insane,’” Erin said with a laugh.
BY INDIANA NASH
Each week, Your Niskayuna celebrates an outstanding student by publishing a profile of his or her accomplishments. Students can be between kindergarten and twelfth grade, either enrolled in Niskayuna schools or living in Niskayuna (it’s okay if the student you…Keep reading