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Rhinebeck Teen Publishes Debut Fantasy Novel

Erin Forbes
Erin Forbes Photo Credit: Contributed

RHINEBECK, N.Y. -- Erin Forbes, a 17-year-old Rhinebeck resident, is already a published author.

Forbes is the author of "Fire and Ice: The Elementals", a fantasy young adult novel she self-published on Amazon last year. Forbes, who began writing the book when she was 12, has done book signings throughout Dutchess County.

The book is set in Aisling, an enchanted realm where each person is born with a unique and magical gift. Due to an ancient curse, Aisling has been slowly crumbling. But when Alice and Emery Hanley, twin sisters, step into the Academy for Gifted Youth, their lives change and they discover a prophecy that could save Aisling.

"I have always been an avid writer and reader," Forbes said. "I wanted to write the sort of book that I always wanted to read."

Forbes said many young adult books can be depressing and she wanted to write something more inspirational. Forbes said she was inspired by "The Chronicles Of Narnia" and the books of Rachel Hartman and Lois Lowry.

"I think teens should be reading something up more uplifting," Forbes said.

The idea for "Fire and Ice" stuck with her and when she completed it, Forbes met with local publishers and authors to get a feel for the industry and figure out how to get her book out. She decided to self-publish it herself.

"It takes a lot to get accepted by a publishing house," Forbes said. "JK Rowling got denied 12 times and she had a really good book series. I wasn't going to wait for it to be rejected, I would just do it myself."

Forbes was told she had to be good at marketing herself. Forbes took their advice to heart, creating a website and trailer for "Fire and Ice." 

After going through Amazon, Forbes said it was insane when she got an actual copy of her book.

"My mom was taking a bunch of photos of my reaction," Forbes said.

Forbes is currently working on the sequel and said she has plans for the series to be four books. Forbes, who is home-schooled and takes online college courses, said she was considering attending SUNY New Paltz.

During the day, Forbes tries to get her schoolwork done by 1 p.m. and spends the rest of the day writing and editing. She said she has enjoyed getting to meet her fans at book signings.

"At my first signing, I didn't know what to expect," Forbes said. "But I sold so many books, I was shocked. One little girl had come from Goshen and said 'I can't believe I'm meeting you. You're my favorite author. This is so exciting.' It's been crazy."

Forbes said she would tell other young aspiring others to read as much as you write.

"You can learn a ton from the work of other authors," Forbes said. "You need to really devote yourself to writing."

Forbes is hosting a book signing at The Ugly Mug in Poughkeepsie on April 7 at 4 p.m. To purchase her book, click here.

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