About Me

Mini BIO

Award-winning author.

Special Correspondent for Joy on Paper radio program's Science Fiction BookBuzz.

Running Mom. Blogger at St. Pete Running Company.

Follower of Jesus. Healed of long-haul Covid.

Married to my best friend and we live happily ever after.



Award-winning author Bria Burton lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband, son, and two wild pets. Her author motto, "Rekindle Your Wonder," stems from her desire to renew a sense of awe and wonder in her readers. She writes science fiction, fantasy, speculative, and inspirational fiction. Her short stories have appeared in over twenty anthologies and magazines. In 2022, she joined the Joy on Paper radio program as a Special Correspondent for the monthly Science Fiction BookBuzz, and her guest host interviews have included Lou Diamond Phillips and Veronica Roth. She has independently published two inspirational novellas: Little Angel Helper, a Royal Palm Literary Award winner, and The Running Girls. Her dog and cat star in her family-friendly short story collection and podcast, Lance & Ringo Tails. At St. Pete Running Company, she's a blogger and customer service manager. She's also a member of the Alvarium Experiment, a by-invitation-only consortium of outstanding authors who have collaborated on six anthologies: The Prometheus Saga Vol. 1 & 2, Return to Earth, The Masters Reimagined Vol. 1 & 2, and The Light Fantastic.


From a young age, I've been a writer and a reader. My favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, speculative, and inspirational fiction. Since 2008, I've been an active member of the Florida Writers Association. I joined the Realm Makers writing community in 2021. As a member of the Alvarium Experiment, a group of authors collaborating independently together on science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction short story collections, I've contributed to all six of their anthologies. I'm the primary blogger at St. Pete Running Company. In 2022, I joined the Joy on Paper radio program as a Special Correspondent for the monthly Science Fiction BookBuzz. That means you can hear my soothing voice presenting a two-minute sci-fi book review once a month live on the Tan Talk radio network WTAN-AM 1340/FM 106.1, or on the TuneIN radio app (search Joy on Paper). As a guest host, I'm interviewing author and Golden Globe-nominated actor Lou Diamond Phillips on Tues, 8/22/23 at 11 AM EST.

My as-yet unpublished novels include a futuristic science fiction series which I'm actively pitching to agents and publishers. Other WIPs (works in progress) include a medieval fantasy series and a standalone inspirational women's fiction novel.

In 2021, the Alvarium Experiment released a new anthology: The Light Fantastic featuring my science fiction humor story, "Backlash/Frontlash\Whiplash." In 2020, the Alvarium Experiment presented The Masters Reimagined Vol. 2 featuring my fantasy story, "The Eyes of Mona Lisa."

In 2019, I started a new podcast, Lance & Ringo Tails, where I narrate the stories that appear in the collection. My first flash fiction story, "The Bloodiest Sword is King," appeared in Havok Magazine May 24, 2019. "Journey Into the Dying Light of Stars" was featured as a fullcast production on the Journey Into podcast in May 2019. "Her Midnight Ride," a companion piece to "On Both Sides," won the Silver award for Published Novelette at the Royal Palm Literary Award competition. In 2018, the short story was featured in The Prometheus Saga 2, an Alvarium Experiment project.

In 2017, RPLA Finalist The Running Girls, a novelette, was published in print. The ebook came out in 2016. Also in 2017, the single Kindle story, "The Count of the Alician Apocalypse," was published as part of the Alvarium Experiment project, The Masters Reimagined.

In 2016, "Maribel's Day of Death" appeared in the About Time anthology. Little Angel Helper won a Third Place RPLA in the Published Novella category. The book was initially released in paperback in 2015 after having been published as an ebook in 2014. The Alvarium Experiment launched Return to Earth in 2016, which featured my contribution, "AOB." A reprint of "A Dream Within a Dream" appeared in the horror anthology In Shadows Written.

In 2015, Little Angel Helper was released in paperback after having been published as an ebook in 2014. Sprinter won the First Place RPLA for Unpublished Women's Fiction (the current title for this unpublished novel is The Marathoner's Daughter). Short story publications included: "A Dream Within A Dream" on the Journey Into... podcast as narrated by the author, "Tight Pants" in Page & Spine, and "Ticket to Heaven" in Faith Hope and Fiction. Two story reprints appeared: "The Mute Girl" in Youth Imagination magazine and "The Wheels Must Turn" in the Broken Worlds anthology. The Alvarium Experiment published their first project, a science fiction anthology called The Prometheus Saga featuring "On Both Sides."

In 2014, short story publications included: "In Line at the DMYV" in the Welcome to the Future anthology, "The Darkness Below" in The Colored Lens #13, "Switching" in The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine and "Ligeia" on the Journey Into... podcast.

In 2013, Lance & Ringo Tails, a collection of humorous pet stories, was published in ebook and paperback editions. "The Mute Girl" appeared in eFantasy and "This is Hollywood" appeared in FICTION on the WEB.

Short stories featured in FWA Collections include: "Maribel's Day of Death," published in Slices of Life as the #4 top pick, "Ma Says" in Let's Talk, "The Wheels Must Turn" in My Wheels, "The Price of Integrity" in It's A Crime, and "Empty Girl" in Revisions: Stories of Starting Over.

In 2011, Livinity won First Place in the Unpublished Fantasy category at the RPLA. "Flying With Daddy," flash fiction, was a semi-finalist in the Able Muse Write Prize.

In 2004, the Flagler Review published "Where St. Pete Goes," a short prose piece, and "Monet at Giverny," a poem.

In 2003, I graduated magna cum laude from Flagler College, earning my BA in English with minors in Creative Writing and History. I also won the English Department Award and was a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society.

I continue to write/submit short stories and my completed novels. Follow the blog to read more details about these stories and my writing process.


Bria (Gomez) Burton

In the early 80's, I was born Bria Nicole Castañeda Gomez in Portland, Oregon, where 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 Jesus 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 (east of Portland) 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 deepen my relationship with Jesus 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.

During college, I scoured the internet for personality tests with a friend who was also interested in the topic. When this friend sent me a book about the Enneagram a few years ago, I devoured the book and took the official test. My personality is Type 7 (Enthusiast) with Type 9 (Peacemaker) as a close second, and Type 2 (Helper) as a close third. While I've never taken the official Myers-Briggs test (only unofficial ones back in college), I have deduced that I am an ENFP (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving) aka Campaigner. In a nutshell, I'm a free spirit who demonstrates my enthusiasm for the things that I'm passionate about. I'm curious and I enjoy seeking the deeper meaning in things. I love sporadic adventures and can go with the flow. I'm creative and have a vivid imagination. I'm good at playing hard and resting hard. I'm highly empathetic and a deep feeler. I love to connect with people and to find out their stories (although I struggle to remember what people do for a living even moments after they tell me). I'm scattered and can struggle with highs and lows in emotions, and I while I have no trouble starting new things, I have trouble finishing things. FOMO (fear of missing out) is another struggle, but as a believer, I turn to the Lord as my source of strength in each of these personal struggles.

After college, I moved back to St. Pete 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.

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 that 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. 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 family-friendly short story collection and podcast, Lance & Ringo Tails. Visit the series blog for more details.

We welcomed our first child, a boy, in December 2017.

Running has become a passion for me. After nine years at the surgeon's office, I quit in 2013 to spend more time writing. In December 2014, I was hired part-time as a blogger and customer service manager at St. Pete Running Company. Visit their blog and mine, The Anti-Running Runner, and also click the Running link on this site for more info.

In 2022, I suffered through a horrendous long-haul Covid battle that lasted about eight months. My symptoms included insomnia, weakness, fatigue, severe anxiety and depression, weight loss, brain fog, confusion, memory loss, loss of sensations of hunger and thirst, inability to tell when I was full, and a rash that covered most of my body. It was the darkest, most hellish time in my entire life. By God's grace through a lot of prayer from my brothers and sisters in Christ and because of some wonderful doctors and nurses, I was fully healed.

My dream of publishing novels continues. After being unable to write for most of 2022 due to the above-mentioned illness, I was thrilled to get back to writing in 2023. Ever since I joined Realm Makers and the FWA, I have enjoyed the tremendous benefits of the local writing community. You can often find me at the 3rd Saturday Night Market in Gulfport, FL called Indie Faire from 5-9 PM selling my indie-published books and stories.

Thank you so much for visiting my site!

Shayla Cole

Nom de Plume

Shayla Cole is the pen name I use for my epic fantasy trilogy, Livinity.

Visit www.shaylacole.com for more details.