By Margaret Maynard
For The Herald Bulletin
FRANKTON, Ind. —
It became obvious early in her life that Shelby Hintz, now 10 years old, had a special talent for writing.
Shelby started printing stories by hand before she could write or type. She also drew pictures that illustrated characters in some of her first stories.
Recently, two of Shelby’s books were self-published, and she took part in local authors book-selling events at both Alexandria and Anderson public libraries.
Shelby’s first book to be published, “A Dog Who Saved the Day — Mollie’s Best Friend,” was the story of a young girl and the adventures she and her dog experience.
The second book published, “A Dog Who Saved the Day — The Missing Book,” tells how Mollie’s dog helps her search for a library book.
“I like to write about animals,” Shelby said. “I already have several other books started on my computer and hope to have my Survivor Series, about cats looking for homes and their many adventures, ready to publish in the near future.”
According to Ruth Shinness Brinduse, a local author who attended the Anderson book signing, “Shelby captured the attention of many authors as well as those attending. She was delightful and very talented. I think she sold more of her books than any of the rest of us.”
Shelby’s mom, Rhonda, edited her books and her dad, Don, developed her website. Her mom’s sister, Alonnia R. Davis, provided the cover art for both book covers.
“I get my inspiration and a lot of my story ideas from watching my pets,” Shelby said. The family’s pets include Sugar the dog, Pipkin the domesticated rabbit and cats Callie, Simba and Navarre (named after a favorite beach in Florida).
Rhonda stressed the importance of reading to children.
“We read to Shelby every day as soon as she could sit up, plus she saw us reading daily,” Rhonda said.
“I cut the cable off a computer keyboard when Shelby was 16 months old and she would tap on her keyboard while I was working on my computer,” Don said.
Shelby has a small laptop she uses to write most of her stories.
“I took keyboarding in third grade and loved it,” said Shelby.
Her parents purchased the small laptop for her last year, since she was such a good student and could use it for her writing. They emphasized that she does not have Internet access on her laptop or cellphone service for calling or texting.
Shelby is a fifth-grade student at Frankton Elementary School and is a member of Student Council. She is also a member of First Baptist Church in Anderson.
“When I’m not writing, you can find me reading, drawing, playing guitar or piano,” Shelby said. “My dad and I are both learning guitar, plus he is teaching me to play piano.”
Shelby has been a part of several projects through Student Council. The students plan to visit the Humane Society and participate in a fundraiser to help with the cost of caring for the animals.
When asked where she thought her talent for writing and her creativeness came from, Shelby replied, “I believe it is all a gift from God.”