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  • Writer's pictureShelby Haisley

Who Am I? My Author Journey

Welcome, friend! I hope you're enjoying your day so far. Thanks for coming to check out my website! I appreciate everyone's love and support of me and my books. You might be wondering, how did I become an author? Where did I get my ideas? How did I become published? Well, let me try to answer a few of those questions.


As far back as I can remember, I was always telling myself stories. I'm an only child, so I learned how to entertain myself from a young age. I would act out grand adventures with my Barbie dolls and pretend my "older sibling" was telling me a story. I would write little short stories at school as well. I laugh when I look back at some of the crazy tales I invented involving me and my friends. I was obsessed with The Boxcar Children series, so most of my stories were about me and my friends becoming orphans and having to survive on our own. My dad jokes he slept with one eye open when I was a kid. Sorry, Mom and Dad!


I had two teachers that were instrumental to my path into writing as well. In eighth grade, my writing teacher was Ms. Kelsey Cooper Maddox, a wonderful woman who encouraged me to continue writing my silly stories. She gave me an award for writing at junior high graduation and stated, "This young lady will most likely publish a book by her senior year." I still have that certificate. For junior and senior English, I was fortunate to be taught by Mrs. Sally Jo Herring, an amazing teacher and mentor. I had written a very rough draft of what would eventually become Wanted and showed it to Mrs. Herring one day after class. She read over my work and encouraged me to polish and publish it. I was stunned, but promised I would try.


Now, where did August Havens and her story come from, you may ask? It's a bit complicated, but here's some background. My father has always loved movies and TV shows, especially those involving action and adventure. One of the ways we bonded was watching a movie or show together. I grew up on Star Wars, Mission: Impossible, James Bond, Air Force One, etc. However, as I got older, I noticed that there were not many female characters in main roles in my favorite movies. Many times, the women were only used as love interests or were killed or kidnapped in order to motivate the main male hero. I decided I needed to do something about that. So in 2010, I started writing about a young woman I later named August Havens. The rough draft was finished and read by Mrs. Herring in 2012, and then I forgot about it. Or so it seemed...


I attended my first semester of college in the fall of 2013. No, I didn't go for writing, I actually majored in social work. Surprise! I was starting to become stressed and uncovered that old rough draft in my desk. I knew I needed the stress relief, so I decided to enter National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2013. In less than thirty days, I managed to rework the entire novel and add new, improved content. After handing it off to a few beta readers, I decided it was time to publish.


I decided to go the self-publishing route because I wanted creative control of my work. My friend, Katelyn Summers Moore, did an incredible job creating a cover for Wanted and several family members and friends stepped in to help edit. I chose CreateSpace (now Kindle Direct) since it was recommended by NaNoWriMo. I appreciated that the site was very user friendly and walked me through all the necessary steps to publish Wanted. I published my first novel on January 26, 2014, a little over two weeks from my nineteenth birthday.


And since then, I've been on a wild ride. I published two more books in The August Havens Chronicles: Twisted (2015) and Crossed (2017) and have attended multiple community events to market myself and my work. I managed to graduate with both my bachelor's and master's degrees in social work in the process and I currently work full-time as a hospice social worker.


In 2020, I hope to continue to grow my series' reach. I am publishing an audiobook version of Wanted through ACX in March. Also, the final novel in the series (for now), Shattered, will hopefully be released in Spring/Summer 2020. I would like to eventually shoot a book trailer and/or short film based on the series in the future.


Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I hope it was informative and gave a little more background into my journey. Without my readers, I wouldn't be the author I am. Thank you so much for your support of me and my books.


Have a blessed day,

Shelby

My first event as an author - May 2014.

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