Day 10: YA/Middle Grade; Shelley Pickens

Meet Shelley Pickens.

Shelley Pickens Author Pic.jpg

Shelley Pickens has always enjoyed languages and writing. At the University of South Carolina, her career path took a turn when a professor proclaimed her writing as inadequate and disorganized. After those words, Shelley decided to teach so she could support the development of young minds rather than demolish them. She majored in Spanish education and began her lifelong career as an educator.

After years of instructing high school students, she decided to utilize her firsthand knowledge of young adults and apply it to her passion for creative writing and the supernatural. Thus, “The Haunting of Secrets” was born. Her debut novel was published by Fire and Ice, an imprint of Melange books out of Minnesota, in July 2014 and soon became an Amazon five-star pick for readers. Her sequel, “The Haunting of Secrets: Unhinged” was released in April of 2015 and the third book in the series, “Unleashed”, was just released in September of this year.

While she continues her attempts to foster a love for learning with young minds at a large school in Atlanta, GA, her escape is writing her current work in progress, The Other Side of Tomorrow.  When she’s not in the classroom or on her laptop, Shelley escapes from reality with a complex thriller or science fiction series on television. She is also an avid fan of little league softball Hook up with Shelley at her website at or like her Facebook page for updates and quirky writing stories.

Author Links:


Guest Post – “Turning Darkness into Light through Writing”

I was drawn to the dark paranormal from a young age. Paranormal writing is something that I feel calls to you, from a deep, dark place. If you met me in real life, you would see a positive, happy go lucky girl with a heap of humor, sarcasm and bit of sass. My personality does come out in my books, but mostly it’s the darker parts of me that I hide from the world. In my books, the darkness contained within seeps out from the darkest parts of my soul. I feel like the darker side of paranormal calls to me so that I can expunge all the negative, horrible things I encounter in this world. It’s my escape, allowing me to be a better teacher, mother, and all around more positive person.

I write because the story takes hold of me and won’t let go until I create the story on paper. I always start with an idea, but I never do outlines since the story always tends to take on a life of its own. As I write, it’s my hope that my readers can feel the emotions I did when I wrote it, that they may escape just as I did into the world I created.

The darker side of human nature is something that interests many. It is such a foreign concept for those of us that lead normal lives. Our escape from normal isn’t always a cozy romance, but sometimes a story where good conquers evil. I hope that my readers can escape to a place where they want to find out how it all ends, answer the age old question asking, “Who done it?” The darkness enveloped within that mystery just deepens the suspense and experience I feel.

I love writing for YA genre because I teach young adults in high school. They are such fascinating, complex, sarcastic creatures that keep me on my toes every single day. We all were told ghost stories as children to keep us in check. Stories that captivate and awe, and contain horrors that few humans are capable of perpetrating. But, on the flip side of all that darkness, is the hero. The one and only person that possesses the ability to stop the evil lurking about, no matter how impossible it may seem. I believe it is that idea, that power that we crave in stories no matter what the genre – the power of the hero to change fate. So often in life, especially in teenage life, we feel powerless. We long to be more than we are; more than we were given in life. Reading stories about a hero facing and defeating the impossible, gives us hope. A hope that we are indeed in charge of our destinies. That our lives aren’t defined by our social status or intelligence, but by the size of our hearts and our fierce bravery to conquer despite all odds.

That is why I write, and why I share my heart and stories with others. We can never let the darkness win.

Book Link Info:

Buy links: The Haunting of Secrets
Print book:


Amazon UK:


Barnes and Noble:

Buy Links: Unhinged

Print book:


Amazon UK:


Barnes and Noble:


Buy Links: Unleashed

Print book:


Amazon UK:


Barnes and Noble:

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