Briarcliff High School Student Publishes Novel With Dad

BRIARCLIFF, N.Y. -- For Briarcliff High School student Erynn Altabef, 16, her new published novel came from wanting to spend more time with her dad.

Erynn Altabef with her new book, "Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel."
Erynn Altabef with her new book, "Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel." Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sarah Studley

Altabef and her father Jeff's new book "Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel" was released Monday. The book is the first book in a three-book deal. 

"We both love to write and we decided we were going to create a story together," Altabef said. "We both like fantasy and dystopian novels."

The book is about a 16-year-old Native American named Juliet Wildflower Stone. Stone starts investigating some murders that have occurred in her town and realizes her grandfather might be involved. While trying to clear his name, she discovers a secret society created to protect her and starts to develop special powers.

The Altabefs began writing the book when Erynn was 14.

"My dad would write a chapter or two and I would tell him what has to be changed and he would edit it," Altabef said. "Now that we've written a second book together, I'm actually physically involved in editing it."

A visit to Sedona, Ariz. and it's rich culture helped inspire the book.

"We just loved it and decided to incorporate it into the book," Altabef said. "It's so beautiful out there."

Altabef said being a published author is awesome and she recently hosted a book-signing party at Sherry B Desert Studio in Chappaqua.

"A bunch of my friends came and it was really nice," Altabef said.

Besides her dad, who has written several thriller novels, Altabef said she is inspired by authors Veronica Roth, Kiera Cass and Joelle Charbonneau. 

Altabef said it was often hard finding time to write while keeping up with usual rigors of a high school student. She said she would consider studying English in college and that she wants to be a teacher.

She said her high school English teachers Karen McCarthy and Jamie Mandel helped inspire her writing and she hopes readers have fun with the book.

"I want it to be a good escape from whatever they are dealing with," Altabef said.

"Wind Catcher: A Chosen Novel," is a young adult novel aimed at readers in six6th grade and up. To purchase the book, click here

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