While most authors would consider having one novel published a great achievement, Haywood County Early College (HCEC) fourth-year student Erin Skinner has already written and published eight books.
Skinner has always had an interest in writing, but she said her classmates and freshman English teacher Beth Hooper opened her eyes to the possibility of sharing her writing with the world.
“Mrs. Hooper gave us a class assignment to teach sentence structure,” Skinner explained. “We started a story and then our classmates added on to it. I began my story about baseball, and by the end of the assignment, my classmates had turned it into a love story about me and my favorite baseball player.”
That class assignment became the basis of Skinner’s first novel. Nearly four years later, under the pen name E.L. Skinner, she has written and published eight books in “The Slugger Series” with one more on the way. She’s also working on two other books – one is a marine love story and the other is a shape-shifter romance.
“I love writing romance novels because I can create a love story between two characters,” Skinner said. “Writing is a stress reliever and a way for me to escape reality.”
After some encouragement from her friends, Skinner decided to search for a way to publish her books. She found a free self-publishing company through Amazon, and in January 2014, “Meeting the Baseball Player” was available for purchase. Her novels are available for purchase online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Although Skinner is a talented writer, she wants to pursue a career in the military. By December 2016, Skinner will not only have completed her high school degree, she will also earn an A.A. and A.S. degree from Haywood Community College. She plans on joining the Army National Guard next year and hopes to one day become a Navy SEAL.
Along with her military aspirations, Skinner has set rigorous education goals for herself. Over the next few years, she wants to go to college and eventually earn her doctorate in history. After serving in the military, Skinner would like to return to Haywood County to teach social studies.
“Teachers like Mrs. Hooper are making a difference in the lives of our students,” HCEC Principal Jeff Haney said. “Mrs. Hooper helped open Erin’s eyes to the possibilities around her, and now, she has published books and wants to become a Navy SEAL.”
Skinner was recognized at the Haywood County Schools board meeting in January with a Young Authors Certificate of Achievement.