About Story Darlings

Hi! We’re Sandra Bruxvoort and Tera Palozola, high school besties and hosts of the Story Darlings podcast.

About Story Darlings: Sandra Gibbons & Tera Palozola from back in high school

Stories come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why we created Story Darlings. Whether it’s books, music, video games, TV shows, movies, poetry… stories are at the center of the human experience. It’s how we learn valuable lessons and find meaning in the world around us.

Stories are deeply social experiences. So while you might be alone, sitting in your room with your feet propped up as you devour a new book, remember: you’re taking part in a larger adventure, one that hopefully imparts empathy and a better understanding of people—and their motivations.

Let’s celebrate these stories together.

Meet Sandra

First and foremost, I’m the mother to a very curious and imaginative little boy named Vincent. I hope he inherits my same love for stories and reading, but I suspect I’m on the right track, as his favorite part of the day is bedtime when I read him a book (or two) of his choosing. His current favorite is We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins.

My own upbringing was a blend of cultures and travel and a hefty dash of dysfunction. My father served in the Navy where he met my mother in the Philippines. And I like to think my passion for reading and writing began as a coping mechanism for constantly moving around the country or visiting family overseas. I was painfully shy growing up. Books were a welcome escape from the social pressures I always felt being the “new girl.” I still find a profound sense of comfort in them as an adult.

In college, I studied mathematics and psychology, but my truest love has always been creative writing and storytelling. After a string of different careers in tech, I eventually found my way to doing development and marketing at a local nonprofit called NWA Center for Sexual Assault. The shift to mission-driven work has been incredibly healing for my tired, tired heart.

Meet Tera

Not to one-up Sandra, but I’m the mother of two rambunctious miniature versions of myself. And like yours truly, Carly and Michael are already experts in snark and talking back. They’ve also inherited my keen knack for injury. I should call out that I am not as dedicated a mother as Sandra (in some areas)—there is no calming nightly bedtime story in the Palozola household.

I grew up in Springdale, Arkansas, where I eventually met Sandra—one of my only friends at the time—in 11th grade AP Calculus. As an awkward wallflower my entire adolescence, kids often bullied and made fun of me for any number of reasons—like my clothes not fitting—and all the other misguided reasons children can sometimes be cruel. But look at me now…I turned out great!

Luckily, I ran away to college with Sandra and got to form new friendships. I studied classical physics with minors in biology, math, and chemistry, and I just finished my masters in criminal justice. I’ve been working and mom’ing ever since.

At Story Darlings, we review everything from books to TV shows, to video games, to music. We’re also launching a fun newsletter. So if you’d like to see giveaways, book recommendations, life inspo, and other randomness from the two of us, we’d love for you to sign up.

We leave you with this heavily-debated, but nevermore-truer, quote:

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

Neil Gaiman, Coraline epigraph