Please join me in introducing a hot new and young author bursting into the published book world. Perhaps, you have already heard of his rising star, Shelby Haisley, author of "Wanted" but if you haven't, you're missing a great read.
I've had the honor and privilege to meet Shelby a couple days ago at a writing group dinner and I was impressed by her excitement and her knowledge of the writing industry.
August Havens was a normal girl until the night of the accident. During that fateful evening, both her beloved parents and her memory of the event vanished in an instant. She thought it was a blessing in disguise not to remember until the CIA came after her wanting to know her parents' secrets. Now with the help of a gruff rogue agent and a young and clever inventor with secrets of their own, she must unlock her memories of the most horrible night of her life and manage to stay one step ahead of her enemies. It won't be easy, but sometimes the skeletons in the closet must be revealed.
It is a pleasure to introduce Shelby Haisley.
Thank you for having me! I am nineteen years old and I am currently studying to become a social worker (I’ll be a junior in the fall). I love to read and listen to music, especially Lindsey Stirling and Imagine Dragons. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family in my spare time. I currently work full time constructing and editing online classes for Indiana Wesleyan University. I am also working on my series, The August Havens Chronicles, whenever I can catch a spare moment.
Your creativity already seems to jump off the pages. Some authors get the writing bug at a young age, was that the case for you?
I have always enjoyed writing from a young age. I was an imaginative little girl and I would tell stories to myself since I didn’t have a sibling to tell them to (I’m an only child). I used to fill up notebooks with story ideas, but I never acted upon them. However, there are some embarrassing ones my friends and I wrote in junior high! I came up with my main character, August Havens, when I was fifteen and knew I couldn’t cast her off to the side like I had done before. Thus, I created "Wanted" just for her because I knew it would be the perfect fit.
I bet the readers can't wait to find out more about her. What were some of the factors that made you want to write your first book and then your series?
My teachers and parents were huge supporters of my writing. I have to thank Mrs. Sally Jo Herring for reading all my essays during my junior and senior years of high school. She encouraged me to write my first book after reading the first (awful) draft of Wanted and told me to expand upon my ideas. My dad was also a major factor since he would painstakingly read over my work and teach me how to write “realistic” action scenes. One day I sat down and decided I would just write one word at a time. As I planned the first book, I realized August and her friends deserved to be used in a series full of adventure and danger, so I created outlines for three more books and a prequel.
How did you come up with the idea to write Wanted?
I came up with the idea for Wanted from my dad. Since he didn’t have a son, he would sit me down and make me watch his old 80’s and 90’s action movies with him. I grew up on Star Wars, The Bourne Identity, James Bond, and Mission: Impossible along with countless others. You’ll see some references to these series in my books. I became tired of the same main character who was a strong man who did all the work and the girl just stood off to the side and did nothing. When I created August, I knew she was the perfect character to break through that role. I wrote Wanted in order to share her story.
Shelby, so many of us writers feel this exact same way. I understand that Wanted is book one in a series. What is the time frame for your next release?
Yes, Wanted is the first book in The August Havens Chronicles, which will be a four book series. I am planning on releasing one book a year since I am still in college and working. My next book, Twisted, is currently in the editing stage and I’m hoping to release it in January 2015. The other two books will hopefully be released in 2016 and 2017. The prequel will be released between the third and fourth books.
Sure, I would love to share an excerpt!
My name is August Marie Havens. A strange name, right? My parents wanted me to be “unique.” Thus, they named me after a month of the year. I am fifteen years old; I have honey blond hair, and dark brown eyes. But enough about me. You want to know my story, correct? I’m guessing that’s why you’re here. Okay, here we go.
It was a normal summer night in June. My parents and I were driving home from a movie. I don’t remember the title, but I think it was a comedy. My mother had fallen asleep in the back, while my father and I were talking up front. Dad was teasing me over some boy I had a crush on.
“August, you’re too young to be dating!” he said with mock seriousness.
“Daddy!” I whined. “I’m fifteen! You and Mom were dating when you were fifteen!”
“Well this is different, Auggie. You need to slow down with this boy. You are only a freshman in high school. You have plenty of time to fawn over boys.”
I sighed. “I guess you’re right, Daddy.”
“That’s my girl.”
“Can we go to the shooting range this weekend?” I asked. “You said you would help me practice on your 9mm…”
He smiled. “Sure. Maybe I’ll even let you shoot the .45.”
“Really?” I implored with a grin.
“Of course! Any daughter of mine needs to know how to defend herself. That means knowing how to shoot any firearm she can get her hands on.”
“Anything for my favorite girl.”
“I thought Mom was your favorite girl.”
Dad laughed. “She’s my favorite woman.”
I also laughed and leaned back in my seat. Little did I know that my life was about to change forever. We drove through an intersection, still laughing and talking. Just then, a bright light shone in my eyes. By the time I saw the car blaze through the red light, it was too late. I screamed right as the vehicle drove into the driver’s side of our car. I heard glass shatter and metal crumple as everything faded away.
I moaned softly as I awoke. I was still in my seat and the airbag was deflated in my lap. My face stung from it and I would later have bruises across my nose and cheeks. My ankle was throbbing and I had some small cuts on my arms from the glass. I saw that my legs were covered in a red sticky substance. I gasped as I realized it was blood. I examined my legs but found no horrible wounds. Where did it come from, then? I began to hyperventilate. It hurt to breathe since my seatbelt was so tight. “Daddy…” I whispered. I turned my head and started screaming again.
My father was covered in blood. I can’t even describe how horrible he looked without feeling sick. I realized in horror that the blood all over my lower body was from him. I looked in the back and saw my mother lying halfway across the backseat in an unnatural position. I knew she was already dead. “Oh, no,” I sobbed. “Oh gosh, no. Don’t do this to me. I don’t want to die.”
Dad took my hand. I tried not to notice that his hand was sticky with blood. “August, listen to me,” he said calmly.
“Daddy, what happened? Don’t leave me,” I begged. “Don’t leave me.”
“Listen to me, sweetheart. This was not an accident, understand?”
My heart sank. “What? What do you mean?”
“August, this was a setup. You need to get out of here. You need to run as far and as fast as you can. There’s a bag in the trunk. Grab it and run. Don’t stop. Don’t look back, no matter what happens. They will be looking for you, okay? So you just run.”
“Who are ‘they?’” I asked. “Who will be looking for me?” I was really confused and the fact that I had whiplash wasn’t helping. “I’m not leaving you,” I said. My father pulled a gun out of his jacket and pointed it in my direction. “Daddy?” I gasped fearfully.
He looked very determined. “Yes, you are. If they find out you exist, they will never let you go. Now go, August! Run!” He was breathing heavily now. “Go!”
I pushed against my door and managed to get it open. I stumbled on my burning ankle and fell to the pavement. “What’s going to happen to you?” I cried.
“Don’t worry about me. Just get out of here!”
“I can’t do this.”
“Yes, you can. Be strong, August. You still have a lot of strength left in you.”
I nodded with tears streaming down my face. I pulled the trunk open, grabbed the black duffel bag inside, and ran down the Philadelphia streets. I didn’t know where I was going, but I was getting away from the accident. Why did this happen? Dad said that it wasn’t an accident. Why wouldn’t it be an accident?
I was only a few blocks away when I was forced to stop since my ankle was killing me. I slid into an alley and sat on someone’s back step. I put my head in my hands. “What am I going to do?” I sobbed. “My parents are dead, I’m all alone. What is going to happen to me?”
I sniffled and glanced at the bag. Something told me that it was important. I unzipped it and gasped when I pulled out a Smith & Wesson pistol. I dropped the gun in horror. “What the heck?” I wondered. I reached inside the bag and brought out a blue United States passport. I opened it and saw my photo, but a different name. “Madison Taylor Clark,” I read.
I was shocked. Why had my father packed a bag for me with a gun and a fake passport? I rummaged through the bag some more and found hair dye, colored contacts, a couple changes of clothes, a cell phone, and a large envelope filled with money. A lot of money. My eyes grew wide as I flipped through the bills. “What is going on?” I whispered.
All of a sudden, light flooded the alley. I turned towards the light fearfully. I saw black silhouettes getting out of an SUV. My heart began to pound. I grabbed the bag and ran into the shadows.
“Stop, August!” a voice called. “We’re with the police! We’re not here to hurt you!”
I didn’t listen. I just kept sprinting down the alleyway. Dad must have a reason for me to escape the wreck. It was his dying wish for me to run. He had a bag packed full of things for me to start a new life under a different name.
Just then, I ran smack-dab into a wire fence. I cried out as I fell back onto the concrete. Everything started to become very dizzy and I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t find my bag; I must have thrown it. Hands grabbed my wrists and ankles. I shrieked when they touched my bad one. “Let go of me!” I cried. “Let me go!” I continued screaming as the two people carried me out of the alley. Then I felt a needle enter my skin and my world went dark.
Thank you so much for having me! I enjoyed it!
Wanted is available in both paperback and Kindle at
Or visit Shelby on her Facebook page at: