Shayla Cole & Bria Burton
Shayla Cole is my nom de plume for all things related to my epic fantasy trilogy, Livinity. All other writing remains under my real name, Bria Burton. Women's fiction, inspirational fiction, science fiction, fantasy (excluding anything related to Livinity), horror, and pet stories are all written under Bria Burton.
Blogger at St. Pete Running Company.
Running Mom. Follower of Jesus.
Married to my best friend and we live happily ever after.
Under the pen name Shayla Cole, I'm the author of an epic fantasy trilogy, Livinity. Book One is complete, Book Two is in deep editing (tentative title: Legends of Livinity), and Book Three is a rough draft (tentative title: Lady of Livinity).
The unpublished manuscript won First Place at the 2011 Royal Palm Literary Awards. (Note: I had no pen name at the time, so Bria Burton is the name on the award itself).
I'm currently querying agents and publishers with Book One of Livinity.
Award-winning author Bria Burton lives in St. Petersburg with her wonderful husband, her darling son, and two wild pets. Her fiction has appeared in over twenty anthologies and magazines. Her inspirational novella, Little Angel Helper, won a Royal Palm Literary Award and earned high praise from the 25th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Two of her novelettes, Her Midnight Ride and The Running Girls, were semi-finalists in a contest. While she writes, her dog and cat do their best to distract her, which is why they star in her family-friendly short story collection, Lance & Ringo Tails. At St. Pete Running Company, she's a blogger and customer service manager. She's a member of the Florida Writers Association, and also a member of the Alvarium Experiment, a by-invitation-only consortium of outstanding authors who created The Prometheus Saga Volumes 1 & 2, Return to Earth, and The Masters Reimagined anthologies.
I grew up in a Christian family. My dad worked for Young Life, an outreach for middle and high school kids. My mom stayed home with my two older sisters and me. I was three years old when my mom said I asked her a bunch of questions about Jesus. She asked if I wanted to pray forgiveness for my sins and ask Jesus to come into my heart, and I said yes. I repeated her prayer and accepted Christ as my savior. At twelve, I had learned more about what a relationship with Christ meant and recommitted my life to him.
My first seven years, we lived in Estacada, Oregon, a tiny town out in the sticks on a gorgeous hillside. We had a great yard and tree fort where my sisters and I played. I began writing stories almost as soon as I could write words and sentences.
From ages eight to fifteen, I lived in Centralia, Washington, a dreary but green city exactly between Portland, OR and Seattle, WA. My mom had me join a gymnastics team to curb my excessive energy. By middle school, I quit so I could play volleyball and run track.
Just before my sixteenth birthday, we moved to St. Petersburg, FL for my dad’s job. My parents asked me if I was okay moving. I had begun to experience what is now labeled seasonal depression, and was extremely excited about the idea of living near the beach in hot and sunny Florida. The first few months were tough as I was right in the middle of sophomore year, but I eventually transitioned, made some best friends for life and have called Florida my home ever since.
I attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL, and had the time of my life. I earned my BA in English and minored in Creative Writing and History. I was involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship where I continued to grow in Christ and made some of the best friends I have ever known. Living in the oldest city in the country was a rich experience with the historic downtown area and beautiful beaches.
I moved back to St. Petersburg after college, not quite sure what to do with myself. I started a small business called Bria’s Beaded Palette in 2005 and closed it down in 2010. I worked out of my parent’s home, where I lived, making beaded and hemp jewelry and selling at the local Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Pete. Eventually, I got a full-time job at a surgeon’s office where I had worked summers during college. After nine years there, I quit in 2013 to spend more time writing.
When I heard the Lord telling me it was time to move out of my parent’s house, he also told my dad about a position for him with Young Life in Yuma, AZ. A few months before my parents moved, I got an apartment with a roommate in NE St. Pete.
Just before moving, I started dating my best friend. We had met ten years earlier when both of our families moved to St. Pete a few months apart. We attended Faith Covenant Church together where his father pastored. In our ten years of friendship, we had our ups and downs, but everything is timing. When we started dating, we both knew this was it. Eight months later in a ceremony co-lead by our fathers, we were married.
Now we live in a lovely home he bought just before our wedding. House projects pile to the ceiling, but he enjoys working on those and our house continues to improve. We adopted a rescue English Springer Spaniel, a wonderful dog named Lance. We also adopted an adorable gray and white cat, Ringo, from some friends. They are the stars of my ebook series, Lance & Ringo Tails. Visit the series blog for more details.
We welcomed our first child, a boy, in December 2017.
My dream of publishing novels continues. From early childhood, I have kept on writing. My Flagler College Creative Writing and English classes helped me immensely. Ever since I joined the FWA (Florida Writers Association), I have enjoyed the tremendous benefits of the local writing community. I lead a critique group and attend the FWA Conference in Orlando every year.
In 2017, I invented my nom de plume, Shayla Cole. This pen name is used exclusively as the author for Livinity.