About Story Carnivores:

About Shaunta:

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”–Stephen King

I learned to read when I was three. My mother taught me, because she couldn’t keep up with my constant desire to be read to. I never stopped. Something about stories dug in and took root.

In 2003, I decided that whenever someone asked me about my work, I was going to say, “I am a writer.” I wrote it on the school admission forms for my kids that year. I put it on my resume. It felt pretentious, which isn’t something I really enjoy feeling, but I didn’t give it up. People would ask me what I wrote, and I could say that I’d been a newspaper reporter, and I wrote freelance articles whenever the opportunity came up. But what I really wanted to say was that I wrote novels. So, in 2004, I figured I better, you know, write a novel.

So, I did. And it was awful. But I worked on it for two years and it was less awful. And I wrote another one, and another one. Each one was less awful.  And suddenly, saying that I was a writer wasn’t quite as pretentious. And then I sold a novella, and another one, and it was even less pretentious. I’m happy to say that I no longer feel pretentious at all saying I’m a writer. I sold my first novel to a print publisher this year.

Shaunta’s Amazon Page

Shaunta’s Blog

Shaunta’s Twitter

About Brian:

“Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.” –Norman Mailer

I’ve been obsessed with books and writing ever since I can remember being able to see and think. In the third grade I received an award for most hours spent reading–264, if I remember correctly. I wrote my first short story that year, too, and I’ve been writing ever since.

In high school and college I got sidetracked making short films, and in my early twenties I wrote five full-length screenplays and tried to find representation in Los Angeles. But screenwriting ultimately wasn’t making me happy, and in early 2010 I decided it was time to write a novel. The six weeks I spent writing the first draft of that book changed my life.

It’s not one of my favorites, but that first book taught me how to sit down at my desk everyday and write a novel. In the last two years I’ve written seven novels–five YA and two adult. One of the books got close to representation, but so far all of them have been self-published through Amazon. I’m currently working on my most ambitious novel yet, a YA novel about gay love, dinosaurs, and the end of the world, and here’s hoping later this year I’ll be able to find an agent and an editor who feel the same way.

And yes, I really do love Sandra Bullock.

Brian’s Amazon Page

Brian’s Blog

Brian’s Twitter



  1. Max

    That feeling pretentious rings a bell with me. I’ve always wanted to be a journalist, and over the past year have managed to break into the industry. When people ask what I do and I say journalism, it still feels like I’m lying, or talking myself up – even though being a journalist is no great thing in many people’s eyes. I can imagine the feeling must be ten times greater when you have to say “novelist”. Congratulations on pulling it off!

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