They write across genres but focus predominantly on YA/NA, SFF & Urban Fantasy, and LGBTQ+ literature. They enjoy exploring and exploding myth and trope, mixing high and low fantasy themes, and injecting the modern world with everyday magic. They play with concepts of the observer and the observed, the impact of medium on character and relationship, and aim for humor, drama, and pathos in equal measure. (Plus a healthy dose of queer romance.)
Denali Stannard has two upcoming novels: Star Boys, which follows two actors through the rigors of falling in love and creating prime time TV; and The Fairy Dealer, the first book in the Kingdom of Rust series, in which a burnout med student and a drug-dealing prince of Faerie attempt to save Worcester, MA from a very deadly form of gentrification.
See what readers have to say about their writing below.
Denali Hussin gets to be the top half of Denali Stannard thanks to her parents’ novel naming approaches, which now serve her well in naming novels. A writer and editor by training, she has worked in sustainability, climate change, and science communication for nearly a decade. She writes The Stoop Gallants, a twice-weekly fantasy webcomic, and spends her free time googling ‘is raw asparagus poisonous to cats.’ She lives in Boulder, Colorado along with the deranged appetite of a ten-pound tabby, the more sedate appetite of her longtime partner, and the constant internet presence of her best friend and writing partner who lives 4,600 miles away.
Megan Stannard is the back end of the literary pantomime horse that is Denali Stannard. She is a conservationist who dabbles in sword fighting, horse riding, and anything else that will make her a better writer (or fantasy protagonist. You know, if it ever comes up).
Her parents’ conviction that if she read enough books as a child, ‘they had to come out somewhere’, should not be taken as an indictment of her novels today. She has degrees in zoology and psychology that don’t qualify her to do anything but do prevent her from saying ‘I’m not a psychologist but…’
Megan lives in London, England, but keeps Mountain Daylight Time to line up with writing partner, best friend, and horse front bit Denali.
“Queer narratives often end up either stuck in a mire of external and depressing forces dragging down protagonists; or bubblegum coming-of-age stories that seem disconnected from reality. In contrast, [Denali Stannard] offers queer heroes that are rife with personal and interpersonal conflict, magnetic personalities, and most importantly, tinged with a charming black humor that shows a glimmer of hope.”
“No one is better for writing characters who are lovable goddamn disasters. Whenever I see something by [Denali Stannard], I know I’m going to get characters who either caused or aggressively exacerbated their own problems, and I’m not even going to care because they are so likeable even as I’m throwing things at the screen (/book) going “nooooooo don’t do it!”
“The Thing I Must Say about Denali Stannard is that neither of them have ever written a story I could resist finishing in one go, food and sleep be damned. I’ve been up until two in the morning with burning eyes and a dying phone on their account more than once. I don’t put the story down when I’m done with it, I put the story down when it’s done with me.”