A letter left by her aunt, a hand-drawn map and an old Toyota Camper take Shannon Burke on a quest into the Adirondacks.
She learns much along the journey, including how to step out of her comfort zone and gains a taste for adventure.
Her creator, Clinton Central School graduate Glenn Miller, hints that Burke will not be content just to explore Upstate New York. “The next book sets her out on a cross country trip,’’ said Miller, who grew up in Clinton, graduating in 1987.
Miller, whose mom Catherine Miller still lives on Chestnut Street, recently published ‘Camper Girl’, a story about character Shannon Burke’s exploration of both the Adirondacks and who she is.
While billed as a Young Adult novel, Miller said the more accurate genre is New Adult, focused on the college-age reader. “Young Adult can cover from early teen and up,’’ Miller said. “I’m looking at the reader who is just out of high school and going through some of these life explorations as well.’’
It’s a time of life Miller helps shape in those who become his students. After graduating from Clinton and attending SUNY Oswego as an English major, he started his teaching career in Syracuse helping people obtain their GED.
Interested in both writing and teaching - Miller said he always kept journals - he moved on to Binghamton University and earned a master’s degree in writing. Binghamton offered the option for a final thesis to either do a research paper or a creative thesis.
Miller chose to wrote his first novel to meet the requirement. “I had been working on different stories for a long time,’’ he said. “I pulled it together for a 350-page novel.’’
The story of a teenager looking for identify after the death of someone close was, he said, both a mess and a learning experience. “It was great to go through that,’’ Miller said, “to better understand the process.’’