faculty

SPECIAL GUEST

Dennis Gaunt

Dennis Gaunt got into writing when he pulled a magic pen from a stone. At least, that’s what he tells people. In reality, he has been a Slushpile reader for Deseret Book and Shadow Mountain publishers since 2000. In that time, he’s seen it all—and then some. He’s also a published author of multiple books, an accomplished speaker and teacher. He loves sharing what he’s learned about writing. He enjoys photography, playing the guitar, going to Disneyland, and Godzilla movies. He also hates onions.

SPECIAL GUEST

Will Terry

Will Terry has been a freelance illustrator for 23 years. He was horrible at math, English, and science...luckily he found art. After finishing his BFA project at BYU he began working for magazines and newspapers not far from where he grew up in Washington D.C. His early clients include publications such as Time, Money, Wall Street Journal and ads for Sprint, Pizza hut, M&M Mars, Fed Ex, and Master Card. He has illustrated about 30 children's books for Random House, Simon Schuster, Scholastic, Penguin, Klutz, and Albert Whitman. He has created several indie ebooks that have sold tens of thousands of copies and has started a story app series with Rick Walton beginning with Gary's Place. He also co-owns www.svslearn.com - online illustration classes for children's book illustrators selling in over 80 countries. 

Ali Cross

Ali Cross, the award-winning author of middle grade and young adult sci-fi and fantasy,, has always had a flare for the dramatic. As a child she organized backyard performances of classic plays and musicals and hosted tea parties for invisible friends and pets dressed in doll clothes. Her teens were a haze of boys, drama (of the real life variety), and music. So it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that the girl her family called a dreamer, ended up writing drama—with angels, demons, and other supernatural creatures thrown in for fun.

Ann Hunter

Multi-award winning author Ann Hunter is awesome. And hilarious. She is often told it must be a blast living in her brain. She argues that the voices in her head never shut up. The only way to get relief is to let them out on to the page. 

Betsy Love

Betsy Love holds a bachelor's in English with a focus in creative writing.  

When not sitting at her computer pouring her heart and soul into her novels, she loves going to their mountain property for inspiration and to escape the desert heat. She has seven published titles to her name, most recently is her StarBride Chronicles series.

Denise Kasanicky

Denise has over 10 years of experience teaching art at all levels from kindergarten through adult.  She has always loved to be surrounded by the arts and has been involved in musical theater (both on stage and behind the scenes painting sets), community choirs, and more.  In addition, she has spent many years as a muralist and is an avid amateur photographer.  She loves traveling, researching her family tree, and spending time with her husband.

  

Douglas Jones

Douglas Jones is an experienced book guru. Since Kathryn’s first book, he has assisted in marketing and publishing – from Christian fiction to YA mystery. Doug is an expert in book cover design, layout, web design, and social media. He enjoys helping clients create their own book masterpiece.

Elizabeth Evans

My name is Elizabeth Evans.  I am the mother of three and the wife of one.  I am a former school teacher and a current blogger.  I love quilting, drawing, crafts, mixed media, reading, writing, storytelling, nachos and soda.

Emma Faye

Emma is a native Californian with a passion for acting on film and stage. She’s been acting since she was a child in Los Angeles and also attended film school in LA. Her passion is film but she also very much enjoys participating in community theatre and also loves teaching acting. 2017 was one of her busiest years in theatre as she performed in, directed or produced 7 shows. You may have seen her in The Mercury Theater’s production of Noises Off as Belinda, The New Works 10’s, The Hopeful, Peaceful Pixel of My Genuinely Lived Life or the film, Infinite Gift by director Robert Hatch. She also performs Irish dance with her husband and adores her two cats.

Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth Stone has always enjoyed telling stories. From when she was a preschooler beginning each one with "Once a Little Day" to seeing her name in the newspaper for the first time. She enjoys helping other people perfect their stories almost as much as she does writing her own. 

Glenn Hammer

Glenn Hammer digs up trilobites because real dragons are too hard to find. He is a rabid science fiction fan who loves alternate history, archeology and miniature war-gaming. He's worked in computer graphics, motion-capture for x-box video games. He solves technology problems for Salt Lake County. Locate him on facebook.com.

Jared Quan

Jared Quan is an Author/Narrator/Video Game addict who writes and is published in several genres, from Spy-Thriller to Horror/Supernatural to Fantasy-Comedy.
He currently serves as President for the League of Utah Writers, Board Member of the Cultural Arts Society of West Jordan, Grants Director of the Eagle Mountain Arts Alliance, Executive Director of Big World Network, and full-time employee for the local tech firm VLCM. He has been recognized by the President of the United States for his volunteer work with the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award for his over 1,500 hours of service to the writing community from 2015 to 2017.
Jared was picked up by BigWorldNetwork where he published his second (and most popular) book CHANGING WAX (Fantasy/Comedy) in 2012. Since then, he has published three books, CLASSIFIED (Horror/Supernatural), PATHOLOGICAL PASSION (Futuristic/Romance/Steampunk, which he co-wrote with his wife), and UNCLASSIFIED (Horror/Supernatural). He has written for Yahoo, Sports Illustrated, and for his favorite football team, the San Francisco 49ers, and later for the Utah Jazz.
Jared currently resides in Eagle Mountain with his wife and five children.
He would love to play any video game with you (you can find him online under his gamer tag and twitch channel “Resadur164”), or talk sports, or work with you on a volunteer project (just email him at jaredquan@gmail.com). 

Jodi L. Milner

Jodi L. Milner is a writer, rubix cube enthusiast, and educator. Her epic fantasy novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal, was published Fall 2018. She has been published in several anthologies. When not writing, she can be found folding children and feeding the laundry, occasionally in that order.

Jaclyn Weist

Jaclyn is an Idaho farm girl who grew up loving to read. She developed a love for writing at a young age and published her first book in 2013. She met her husband, Steve, at BYU, and they have six happy, crazy children who encourage her to keep writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to have adventures in Australia, they settled back down in their home in Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding her kids to various activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do next. She writes under Jaclyn Weist for her YA Fantasy and Jaclyn Hardy for her romance. When she's not writing, she's chasing kids, playing games, and dreaming of running away to Ireland. 

John M. Olsen

John M. Olsen edits and writes speculative fiction across multiple genres, and loves stories about ordinary people stepping up to do extraordinary things. He hopes to entertain and inspire others with his award-winning stories as he passes his passion on to the next generation of avid readers. 

 

As the President-Elect of the League of Utah Writers, he encourages others at every opportunity and hopes to see the local community produce many more great authors. 

 

He loves to create and fix things, whether editing or writing novels or short stories or working in his secret lair equipped with dangerous power tools. In all cases, he applies engineering principles and processes to the task at hand, often in unpredictable ways. He usually prefers "Renaissance Man" to "Mad Scientist" as a goal and aesthetic. 

 

He lives in Utah with his lovely wife and a variable number of mostly grown children and a constantly changing subset of extended family. 

Kaitlund Zupanic

Kaitlund love for fantasy illustration was kindled at a young age. With books turned movies such as The Hobbit and The Last Unicorn only fueling her drive to create, she always knew that she would grow up to be a fantasy illustrator. With a passion for dragons, unicorns, griffins, fauns and all of the other mythical creatures, they became her main focus. Working towards creating her own illustrations and stories that go along with them in Dragons Kill with Fire. An expansive universe with multiple stories running simultaneously throughout the world. Throughout her life she has taught multiple age groups, from young children up to adults in their 60's and 70's the art of drawing, inking and coloring. Striving to kindle the love of fantasy illustration to others one piece at a time. 

Karen Hoover

Karen E. Hoover has loved the written word for as long as she can remember. Her favorite memory of her dad is the time he spent with Karen on his lap, telling her stories for hours on end. Her dad promised he would have Karen reading on her own by the time she was four years old … and he very nearly did. Karen took the gift of words her dad gave her and ran with it. Since then, she’s written two novels and reams of poetry. Her head is fairly popping with ideas, so she plans to write until she’s ninety-four or maybe even a hundred and four.

Inspiration is found everywhere, but Karen’s heart is fueled by her husband and two sons, the Rocky Mountains, her chronic addiction to pens and paper, and the smell of her laser printer in the morning.

Kathryn Jones

Kathryn is a lover of words and a bearer of mood swings. When she is feeling the need to inspire, she writes a Christian fiction book. If a mystery is waiting to be uncovered, she finds it. If something otherworldly is finding its way through her fingertips, she travels to it.  

 

Kathryn has been a reader since she was a young child. Although she took classes in writing as a teen, it wasn’t something she really thought would become her career until she was married. And even then, it took a few more years for something worthy enough to publish to manifest itself.

 

Kathryn's first book was published in 2002. Since then, many other books have found their way out of her head depending on the sort of day she is having.

 

Kathryn is a journalist, a teacher, a mentor, an editor, a publisher, and a marketer. 

Her greatest joy, other than writing her next book, is meeting with readers and authors who enjoy the craft of writing as much as she does.

K Scott Forman

K. Scott Forman is a writer and editor. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and was the recipient of the Robert Creeley Scholarship in 2007. He also received a Master of Arts and Education degree from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland. Scott teaches English Composition at Weber State University, and has taught courses in Developmental English, Composition, Research, Writing for Math and Science, and Haiku. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and enjoys long walks in inclement weather, sunsets with blood in them, and Metallica at volumes determined unsafe by the Surgeon General. His most recent work, Lovecraft's Pillow and Other Weird Tales, is available everywhere. You can find him at http://kscottforman.com 

Johan Twiss

Johan Twiss is passionate about writing clean science fiction, fantasy, and crime fiction stories. He has six published works, including his acclaimed novel, 4 Years Trapped in My Mind Palace, and the I Am Sleepless series. Johan also doubles as an audiobook narrator and loves narrating almost as much as writing. He recently moved to Saratoga Springs, Utah with his sweetheart and five crazy kids.  

 

Besides writing, he enjoys painting, playing guitar, harmonica, and the blues. He's worked with non-profits in the fight against human trafficking, which was the catalyst to his writing career. You can learn more about Johan and his writing at www.johantwiss.com

June Marie Saxton

June Marie Saxton has written 9 books, each well-seasoned with history, mystery, danger, and hope. Saxton owns and operates Bear Necessities of Montpelier, a nutritional clinic and day spa in the Bear Lake Valley. She meets and treats clients from all over the world which provides a tremendous arsenal of character traits and truths, as well as a unique appreciation for diversity. 

Kayla Young

Kayla's passion for music started in the fifth grade when she started playing violin. She has now been playing for 19 years, has expanded her skills to include the viola, and has found a love for teaching. Kayla has a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Wyoming and has now been teaching strings for 11 years and Kindermusik for 1 year. Kayla's biggest joy in teaching is sharing music with her husband and 3 children.

Along with teaching, performing is a big part of any musician's life. Kayla has played with the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra, the American Fork Symphony Orchestra, and the Saratoga Springs Community Orchestra. In an effort to bring the arts into her own community, Kayla helped in founding the Eagle Mountain Symphony Orchestra, where she is a co-conductor and violist.

Kristen Zabriskie

Kristen has been on and off the stage from the time she was a newborn. Her father being a director for a high school and occasionally other local theatres, would bring her onstage taking part in any scene a child could participate in. If she wasn't participating on stage, she was helping paint scenery or hanging lights. Kristen caught the theatre bug for life. 
Following her father’s footsteps, Kristen became actively involved on and off stage throughout her childhood education and on into college. She achieved a double major in both Technical Theatre (emphasis in stage management and light design) and Theatre Performance on scholarship at Casper College in Wyoming.
Throughout raising her four young children Kristen has helped a number of schools with light design, set design/build, stage management, directing, and coaching actors.
Kristen just hit her year mark with Eagle Mountain Community Theatre as a director and is extremely excited to help this little community theatre grow into something spectacular.

Lucinda Whitney

Lucinda Whitney was born and raised in Portugal, where she received a master's degree from the University of Minho in Braga in Portuguese/English teaching. 
She lives in northern Utah. When she's not reading and writing, she can be found with a pair of knitting needles in winter, or tending her herb garden in the summer. She also works part-time as a substitute teacher. 

Visit her website at lucindawhitney.com

  

Maria Hoagland

Bestselling author Maria Hoagland writes sweet romance best described as HGTV meets Hallmark movie. She has written more than a dozen books including two Whitney Award finalists.

Mark Hansen

I'm a songwriter, and indie arranger/producer/recordist. My most recent songs can be found at https://soundcloud.com/songs-by-mark-hansen. I can also help other songwriters realize the full beauty and impact of their ideas!

Rebecca Blevins

Rebecca Blevins is from the Midwest, land of tornadoes and cows--hopefully not mixed together. She currently resides in the Utah Valley with her husband and four children who have a blend of autism, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression, and a whole lot of love and geekiness. Rebecca has published two pirate-adventure fantasy books for children and two sweet romances for adults.

Rebecca Rode

REBECCA RODE is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her published works include the Numbers Game trilogy, the Ember in Space series, numerous novellas, and some inspirational nonfiction. She has four children, two cats, one husband, and a ridiculous number of books.

Ryan Hacking

Ryan the Great Hacking has been writing since the third grade.  He loves to get involved in helping others achieve their goals and dreams of writing.  He has a creativity blog, is a member of the League of Utah Writers, and enjoys attending writing conferences.  He has written 12 novels and several short stories.  He loves many medieval crafts like blacksmithing, book binding, making chain mail armor and chain mail bags.  He currently DM's a group for the Gamer's Inn.  He loves his new VR system and can often be found dancing alone in his office.

Sara Jo Cluff

Sara Jo Cluff is a YA contemporary author, writing fun and slightly snarky stories that will make you laugh and escape the troubles of the world. She grew up in Southern California just minutes away from Disneyland, so she loves all things carefree and happy. Utah is now her home with her husband and crazy cat, Princess Buttercup. Her writing is fueled by Dr Pepper and she’s a prestigious member of the #PepperPack.

Stephanie Jaeger

Stephanie Jaeger began writing the Scrolls of Zndaria series with her husband, Jerry, in 2006. She has business degrees from then Utah Valley State College, University of Wyoming, and Southern Utah University. She continues to learn through research and from those around her. Her favorite part of being an author is visiting schools, which she’s done in Utah and Nevada as well as in China and Japan. 

Talysa Sainz

Talysa Sainz is a YA Fantasy author and freelance editor. She spends her free time at the library or volunteering with the League of Utah Writers. Fascinated with the structure of words, she studied English Linguistics and Editing at BYU. She writes in the rare moments her kids are quiet. 

Tanya Hales

Tanya Hales has always been passionate about books. As a baby, she enjoyed eating them until she learned the higher art of reading. Now, her greatest passion is visual storytelling. Tanya specializes in character design, animal illustration, and drawing cute things.  Though many of her career goals revolve around illustration, her ultimate dream is to write stories that impact people for good. She spends early mornings before her kids wake up writing young adult and middle grade fantasy.

Tristi Pinkston

Tristi Pinkston is the author of over 100 books, written as both herself and her pen name, Amelia C. Adams. In her free time - when she's not writing all those books - she is a freelance editor, mom of four, wife of one, and eater of tacos (no quantity given). You can find her at www.tristipinkston.com or www.ameliacadams.com

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© 2018 by Eagle Mountain Arts Alliance.                            eaglemountainarts@gmail.com                    385-200-0019

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