Interview With Shawnee Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs Plus artist, Emily Cannon (Ghost Roast)

Today we are very excited to share an interview with Authors Shawnee Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs Plus artist, Emily Cannon (Ghost Roast)!


Meet the Authors: Shawnee Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs


The Gibbs Sisters (Shawnee ́Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs) are an award-winning writing team with backgrounds in television, animation, and comics. They have served as Staff Writers for Warner Brothers Animation, and have written for Dreamworks Animation, Cartoon Network and Marvel Comics’s “Women of Marvel” anthology. Originally from Oakland, California, the pair currently work, live and play in Los Angeles. They are the authors of the upcoming HarperCollins / Versify YA graphic novel, Ghost Roast.

Website * Shawnee’s Instagram * Shawnelle’s Instagram



Meet the Illustrator: Emily Cannon

Emily’s eye for story and art led to her studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she graduated with a BFA in Illustration (’15). You can find her work on the NoSleep Podcast, in Svømmer publishing, and as the illustrator for the upcoming graphic novel Ghost Roast

Website * Instagram



About the Book: Ghost Roast

Ghost Roast delivers a paranormal adventure full of first crushes, lost histories, and the impossible task of fitting in when your dad is a professional ghosthunter. A stand-alone YA graphic novel from authors Shawneé and Shawnelle Gibbs and artist Emily Cannon!

For as long as she can remember, Chelsea Grant has tried everything she can think of to distance herself from the disastrous damage her father does to her social life. It’s not easy to shake her reputation as Ghost Girl when Dad keeps advertising his business as a “paranormal removal expert” in big, bold, loud letters all over New Orleans!

This year, Chelsea’s all grown up, attending one of the most prestigious high schools in the city, and she’s finally made friends with the popular crowd. Things are looking up—until a night on the town backfires spectacularly, landing her in hot water at home. Her punishment? Working for her dad at Paranormal Removal Services. All. Summer.

Worst of all, her new job reveals an unexpected secret she has to keep: While Dad hunts ghosts with his own DIY tech, Chelsea can actually see them. And when she meets Oliver, a friendly spirit, at the fancy mansion her dad is getting a handsome fee to exorcize, she realizes she has to save his after-life, even if it risks everything her father’s worked for.

Amazon * B&N * Indiebound


~Author Chat~

Ghost Roast Interview with authors, Shawnee Gibbs & Shawnelle Gibbs and artist, Emily Cannon.


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

SHAWNEÉ: Shawnelle and I have always been interested in the paranormal. Our maternal grandmother’s generation came to California by way of Texas and Louisiana, and they carried tales of supernatural encounters with them from decades before. So ghost stories were not uncommon around our grandmother’s house growing up…and we spent a lot of time with her.

Back in the day, I was working in paranormal television and spent countless hours watching and transcribing surveillance footage shot. So I would get first-hand insight into paranormal investigations and learn the ins and outs of the job, the gear involved and the kinds of locations that are frequently haunted. On top of that, I worked the night shift so I’d be watching really spooky footage in the wee hours of the night and scaring the crap out of myself if I heard the air conditioner kick on while working (laughs). But I grew to have a fondness and appreciation for what it takes to be a ghost hunter. Along with family stories, and our own brushes with the paranormal, those experiences inspired the idea for Ghost Roast.

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

EMILY: Definitely Doug, Chelsea’s dad! Love a guy who isn’t afraid to be dorky and enthusiastic about hunting the paranormal!

SHAWNELLE: Of course Chelsea, because… Chelsea, haha. I really enjoy her honest relationships with her parents and friends.  But Russell is one of my favorite characters in the book because even though he’s far from the protagonist, he’s hilarious without trying and such a safe place as a friend for Chelsea. I would love to explore their friendship if we get the opportunity to in future books.

YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

SHAWNELLE: Anything that takes place in the garden is so dreamy to me. Emily is such a masterful illustrator and beasted-out on everything in the book, but the garden scenes and hedge maze are so enchanting and lovely. It’s also the place where Chelsea and Oliver officially meet, which is special. And Aishwarya Tandon (our colorist) took the colors to a heavenly place. I swoon every time the story drifts there.

EMILY: No spoilers, but when I saw the fully colored scene, it took my breath away! When you’re working in a group it’s sometimes difficult to visualize the completed product outside of your individual part, so seeing the finished pages surpass what you imagined is such a wonderful emotional experience.

YABC:  What came first, the concept, landscape, characters, or something else?

SHAWNEÉ: The concept came first. From its inception, the story was conceived as a tale about a Paranormal Investigator, his teen daughter, Chelsea, and her journey to discovering that she can communicate with ghosts, and all the conflict that ultimately creates. Then, the other characters began to take shape around their father-daughter relationship. Shawnelle and I also knew that we wanted the story to take place in Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, where our family has deep roots, and there are lots of eerie, centuries-old homes to investigate. We’ve taken trips to New Orleans for research, and the ‘Harrington Manor’ of our story is inspired by an old plantation we visited.

YABC:   How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?

SHAWNELLE: Shawnee and I joke that we never grew up, but aside from Chelsea living and breathing somewhere just beneath the surface inside of us both, working with teen girls as volunteer writing coaches help us connect with our intended audience both in our personal lives and in our stories.

YABC:   What can readers expect to find in your books?

SHAWNEÉ: People can always expect to find humor, heart and a bit of magic in all of our stories.

YABC: What is your favorite snack when writing?

EMILY: I have a method of drinking tea when I need to be creative/planning sketches, and coffee when I have to do line work/meet a deadline. I’m currently obsessed with getting chai lattes with a shot of apple syrup, as close to fall as I’ll get in Florida.

SHAWNEÉ: Popcorn. White Cheddar, Skinny Pop, to be exact. With extra napkins to protect my keyboard from all the inevitable cheese dust.

YABC: If you were able to meet them, would you be friends with your main character?

SHAWNEÉ: Yes. I’d totally be friends with Chelsea. I’d be the kid trying to convince Chelsea and her dad, Doug, to take me out on a ghost hunting mission… or three.

YABC:   What do you do when you procrastinate?

SHAWNELLE: Youtube rabbit holes. It’ll start with a #GetReadyWithMe quick watch and go downhill from there.

EMILY: Usually, I spend the time I’m procrastinating agonizing over the fact I’m procrastinating (It’s a vicious cycle). However, distracting myself by reading my mile-high “To Read” list definitely helps.

YABC:  What fandom would you write for if you had time?

EMILY: Not so much a fandom but whatever Guillermo Del Toro is working on I would gladly and enthusiastically hop on board! Or Goosebumps, would love to work on something Goosebumps related!

SHAWNEE: Dr. Who. There are so many episodes that I’d never get a chance to watch them all in this lifetime, but whenever I watch an ep, I’m enthralled. I think attempting to write anything Dr. Who related would be a fun challenge.

SHAWNELLE: Ooh. Fun. Octavia Butler, Anne Rice, Arcane, League of Legends.

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

SHAWNEE: We are looking forward to Ghost Roast’s official debut Jan. 2, 2024 and are writing a third book of our comic book series, The Invention of E.J. Whitaker. We’re also working on a new graphic novel that we hope to announce to everyone soon!

YABC: What is your favorite holiday or tradition and why?

SHAWNELLE: I love decorating the porch with monochromatic pumpkins and hay for Halloween. It then bleeds over into a harvest Thanksgiving, because I’m lazy. Haha. It kicks the fall and holiday season off in such a satisfying way.

EMILY: Halloween of course! The horror, the camp, the pizazz, what’s not to love?



Book’s Title: Ghost Roast

Author: Shawnelle Gibbs & Shawnee´ Gibbs

Illustrator: Emily Cannon

Colorist: Aishwarya Tandon

Release Date: Jan. 2, 2024

Publisher: HarperCollins / Versify

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION: Comics & Graphic Novels / Paranormal

Age Range: from 13