Interview with: Shaun David Hutchinson

Shaun David Hutchinson is the critically acclaimed author of multiple queer YA novels, including We Are the Ants, At The Edge of the Universe, The Deathday Letter, FML, Before We Disappear, HOWL, and many more. He has also contributed to multiple YA anthologies, written a memoir entitled Brave Face, and dabbled in short story writing. He now lives in Seattle as a full time author and advocate for queer teen stories. To learn more about Shaun and his writing, visit his website

You can also find Shaun on Twitter and Goodreads

Below is a written interview conducted between the creator of Rainbow Stacks and Shaun David Hutchinson.

RS: Do you have any new books, stories, or poems coming out soon that we should be excited for? 

Shaun: My most recent book, which came out this year is HOWL. It’s the story of Virgil, who moves to his father’s hometown after his parents’ divorce and is attacked by a monster while at a party. The problem is that no one believes it was a monster that attacked him. It’s a story about recovering from trauma and trying to find your way when no one believes you. 

I’ve also got the paperback of BEFORE WE DISAPPEAR, my historical fantasy set during the 1909 Seattle World’s Fair, coming out early next year, and I’m pretty excited about that.

RS: Do you have any life recommendations or advice for young people who are in the early stages of discovering their sexuality or gender identity?

Shaun: The only person who can define your sexuality or gender identity is you, and you don’t owe that information to anyone. No matter what, you are valid and the people who really love you will love you for who you really are. Take your time figuring out who you are. There’s no deadline. And don’t ever feel like you can’t change your mind. As a middle-aged adult, I’m still discovering new things about myself that change the labels I use and how I present myself to the world. Your journey of discovery is about you, it’s for you, and no one else. 

RS: Is there anything that you wish existed or that you had access to when you were in those early stages that would have made this process easier for you?

Shaun: I wish that I’d had more stories that reflected the varied experiences of queer people. As a young person, I looked to books to help me envision the kind of future I might have. The lack of books for queer people made me think that my future would be limited by my sexuality—which isn’t true! And I wish I’d had books that could have helped me see that. 

RS: What do you hope to accomplish as an author? 

Shaun: I hope to write books that will give readers what I didn’t have—hope. I want them to see themselves as the heroes of stories. As the sidekick, as the love interest, as the nerdy scientist, as the villain. I want readers to see themselves in every character imaginable so that they’ll know their future isn’t limited by their sexuality or gender identity. I want readers to know they can do anything they want to do. 

Thank you again to Shaun David Hutchinson for speaking with us! We are forever grateful.

Check out Shaun’s latest book HOWL, or any of his other books, available anywhere you purchase books!

Indiebound, Barnes and Noble, Amazon