Our instructors and faculty come from all different backgrounds and approaches to story telling. We’re excited to introduce them to you.
Meet our talented and knowledgeable faculty.
A late bloomer, Liz Adair published her first book about the time she was added to AARP’s mailing list. Since then she’s written nine books and two novellas, among them a best seller and a multiple award winner.
Liz is a native New Mexican, but lived for forty years in the Pacific Northwest. She and Derrill, her husband of 53 years, moved to Southern Utah in 2012. That was the year she went indie, and she loves self publishing.
Sign up to receive Liz’s newsletter at www.lizadair.com.
Anika Arrington is a devoted wife, mother of six, a Scorpio, a baseball fan (Go D-backs!), and an unabashed pluviophile. Unfortunately, she lives in the deserts of Arizona, so she passes the time with her kids: baking (her homemade mac and cheese is legendary), reading, watching for clouds, and of course, writing.
Her first novel, The Accidental Apprentice was a Whitney Award finalist and is available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.
Rebecca Blevins is from the Midwest, land of tornadoes and cows—hopefully not mixed together. She is the author of two contemporary romances, Keeping Christmas and The Plus One, as well as her middle-grade series, Captain Schnozzlebeard. Rebecca’s first paranormal romcom, Foot in the Door, book one in her new Zombie Girl in Manhattan series, releases in 2017.
Nicole was born and raised in Georgia by a family of Southern storytellers. In kindergarten, she wrote a story about a misjudged bush that won first prize in the MOSAIC creative writing competition and she’s been hooked on writing ever since. Nicole graduated from BYU-Hawaii with a degree in Social Work, married a great guy from Holland, and is the happy mama of three busy children. She loves to travel and excels in people-watching and daydreaming. Nicole recently completed her debut novel, The Lotus Ladies of London, and is currently working with her dream agent, Jenny Bent of the Bent Agency, to prepare for submission.
JoLyn Brown was raised alongside a peach orchard where she worked with her family. Some of her favorite memories are of listening to stories told by her relatives. These stories and her own experiences provide inspiration for her writing. She’s published two LDS teen novels Run, and Break. Her non-fiction published works include A Circle of Sisters, Home Evenings for Newlyweds, Values-Centered Activities for Young Women, and You Are Worth It: Eternal Perspectives for a Young Woman. JoLyn is currently working on a fantasy novel. She lives in Utah with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing, she sews, scrapbooks, gardens, reads, and spends time with her family.
Raven has been writing for as long as she can remember, beginning with love notes – a pen pal to her absent mother.
Raven is a lifelong student, life coach, and educator. She served as a United States Ambassador at the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Greece and took ten 10-year-olds to Australia for ten days!
Publications include “Nourishing the Wild Woman-El Rio Abajo Rio” (John F. Kennedy University -Holistic Counseling Psychology), “Billy Mills” (University of Florida Archives) and “Making a Difference” (Florida Running Magazine) Additionally, Raven’s poetry and photography can be found in Kanab’s own Kanab Arts Magazine.
Raven’s chosen homeland is beautiful Kanab, Utah where she is Founding President of the “Willow Wind Poets” – a new chapter of the Utah State Poetry Society. (http://www.utahpoets.com/chapters/willow_wind.html) Raven continues to follow her calling at Best Friends Animal Society alongside her rescue dogs Dulce, Buddy Chiong, Esq, and Sage.
Betty A. Colston
Betty is a Professional Speaker, Writer and Certified Professional Advisor for QuickBooks Accounting Software manufactured by Intuit.
A Distinguished Toastmaster and Professional Speaker to World Affairs Forum, Los Angeles County Mental Health Association, Professional Women’s Association, Elks, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Lions, Youth Motivation Task Force and Instructor for South West Applied Technology College in Kanab.
As a writer her focus is spiritual and self-reflection. Her most recent publication is “The Golden Stairway”.
A Pro Advisor for 20+ years for QuickBooks Accounting software, Betty provides setup, one on one training, trouble shooting, ongoing business administrative consulting and classes for groups.
Ally Condie is the author of the middle grade novel, Summerlost, Atlantia, and the MATCHED Trilogy, a #1 New York Times and international bestseller. Matched was chosen as one of YALSA’s 2011 Teens’ Top Ten and named as one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of 2010. The sequels, Crossed and Reached, were also critically acclaimed and received starred reviews, and all three books are available in 30+ languages. Ally lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She is currently working on her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Ally loves reading, writing, running, and listening to her husband play guitar.
Julie Davies created her first book in elementary school and rediscovered her passion as the high school literary magazine editor and English Sterling Scholar. She started ghostwriting to protect herself and her clients from harassment during a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, then continued writing for agencies and individual clients for over three decades. Her business, Cyrano’s Assistance, wrote policy manuals, books, articles, form letters,… and even some love letters, cloaked in anonymity.
Julie continues to be loyal to clients who were loyal to her during her lawsuit by ghost writing articles, marketing plans, and tour reviews, even as she tries to ease into semi-retirement. Julie will soon launch a blog that will combine her love for great stories with her passion for travel, and she invites other writers to help create literary adventures for blog followers (www.scriptsandtrips.com).
Julie and her husband, Chris, live in Las Vegas.
Some of Loralee Evans’ earliest memories are of sitting with her mom or dad while they read her stories like The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, or Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. These memories, along with many great teachers who got her excited about stories, are what helped her develop a love of reading and writing. She has lived in Missouri, Texas, and Utah, and even spent a year and a half in Japan.
She is the author of several books including The Birthright, The Shores of Bountiful, and Felicity~ A Sparrow’s Tale.
Kristine Frost grew up in Salt Lake City and now lives in Southern Utah with her husband. She has two grown children and is the proud and excited grandmother of 4.
She attended Hillcrest High School, before going on to study for a Bachelors at Utah State University and a Masters of Communication at Southern Utah University. Her varied career since then, has seen her working as an Insurance Consultant, as an Advocate for the Disabled and as Assistant to the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Having had a love of writing from a young age, Kristine has written several books in two mystery novel series. Centering on the principal characters of Suzette Bishop and Mrs. Arbuthnot, they are described as ‘cosy’ and ‘hard to put down’. Some of the titles are available on Amazon/Kindle. Kristine has also won a Gold Award from Marcom for writing done in Reflections when she produced an alumni magazine.
When she isn’t writing or spending time with her family, Kristine does volunteer work with children. She also loves to hike and climb, and even though she is afraid of heights she doesn’t allow that fear to get in the way. She’s climbed Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park twice, although she won’t get near the edge. It’s 2500 feet straight down. She is also an accomplished musician and can play the flute, piano and organ.
Kristine has two favorite quotes. The one she lives by is ‘Plan your work, then work your plan’. The one that keeps her going is: “If you think you can, you’re right. If you think you can’t, again you’re right’, and it could have been made for a woman who has swam with Manta Rays and Dolphins and never dodged a challenge, either when it comes to producing great writing or climbing a mountain.
Jared Garrett is the author of the number one bestselling scifi thriller Beat and a bunch of other lies in book form. He is a family man raising seven kids with his best friend and wife of two decades. He’s been telling stories since he was thirteen and found himself weeping over Bridge to Terabithia. He has worked in education and corporate training for years, delivering training globally for Amazon for the last two years. He had an odd childhood in a nomadic cult, which he left at seventeen. He’s worked as a firefighter, a BBQ restaurant manager, a bellman, and as a rubber vulcanizing engineer, among many others. His stories have been nominated for and won several awards, including First Place in the Vera Hinckley Mayhew contest in Utah and Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest. His favorite authors are Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Robert Ludlum, Katherine Paterson, Douglas Adams, Patricia McKillip, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and many more. If you ask him where his story ideas come from, be prepared for a lengthy discussion about inspiration dust, hauling a towel wherever you go, and dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. No, seriously. Dogs.
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Kevin Grew was born in Portsmouth, England. His father was in the British Royal Navy so he, his mum and his two brothers moved often. When Kevin was 9 his father left the Navy and their family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa. The hot, dry desert was so different from the country of his birth, but it became home. To keep from trouble Kevin would build and fix computers from the scrap parts his father would bring home for him now and then. This started the love of computing that has been the backbone of his income his entire life.
He’d always enjoyed doodling, that’s what his wife called it, as a teenager he’d dabbled making simple comic strips, so he thought he could expound on that. Kevin always had a great love of the worlds of Marvel and DC. His ever turning mind loved to come up with stories and alternate universes. So he began to draw. His drawing so quickly turned from simple doodles to amazing pieces of art that it shocked all that knew him that he’d not discovered this talent and passion sooner. His veins once again flowed with a heat created by his love of drawing and he knew he had found something he could spend the rest of his life doing.
Kevin founded Ryel Comics and started producing his web comic the Chronicles of Valk Ryel and the Embalmer series. He has also has produced children’s books with local authors. Always with his mantra in mind “don’t limit yourself by what you think you can do, but by what you dream you can do” he continues to improve his skills.
Valerie Ipson loves her family…and reading, writing, genealogy, and Hershey Milk Chocolate Almond & Toffee Nuggets. Reading has always been a huge love in her life, but she never thought she’d be on the author side of it. She hopes she can give readers the same experience that she has enjoyed through the years while being curled up with a good book! Ideal High is her debut novel, and her second YA, My Purple Heart, is soon to be released. She lives in Mesa, Arizona.
Lance Jackson has taught Communication Graphics at Southern Utah University (SUU) for over 20 years. He has also taught faculty/staff and community workshops in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator as well as webpage design. He served on the SUU Academic Computer User’s Committee and the Teaching, Learning and Technology Roundtable. He designed the original SUU Communication Department website and maintains the current site. He serves as a member of the SUU Communication Department Media Committee and is a community advisor to the SUU Electronics Engineering Technology program. He is also the broadcast engineer for KSUU and SUTV. Lance holds a Masters degree in Professional Communication and a Bachelors degree in Industrial Technology. He and his wife, Debbie, are the parents of eight children and grandparents of fifteen. His hobbies include photography and amateur radio.
Angie Lofthouse went to college with every intention of becoming a particle physicist, but through a series of misadventures, found herself studying Shakespeare instead. After college she combined her love of science and her love of words into a science fiction writing career.
She has published numerous short stories in online and print magazines and anthologies, as well as two sci-fi adventure novels, Defenders of the Covenant and The Ransomed Returning. Her latest novel, The Glory of the Stars, is available now.
She lives in a little canyon in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains with her family of writers, artists, singers, composers, illustrators and musicians. You can visit her online at www.angielofthouse.com.
Annette Lyon is a USA Today bestselling author, a five-time Best of State medalist for novels and short stories in Utah, and a Whitney Award winner. She’s had success as a professional editor and in newspaper, magazine, and technical writing, but her first love has always been writing fiction. She’s a cum laude graduate from BYU with a degree in English and is the author of over a dozen books, including the Whitney Award-winning Band of Sisters, a chocolate cookbook, and a grammar guide. She is a regular contributor to and the former editor of the Timeless Romance Anthology series. She has received five publication awards from the League of Utah Writers, including the Silver Quill, and she’s one of the four coauthors of the Newport Ladies Book Club series. Annette is represented by Heather Karpas at ICM Partners.
An award-winning author of two novels, THE RECKONING and A NIGHT ON MOON HILL, Tanya decided to narrate her own books herself when it came to putting out audiobook versions. After taking the month-long, intensive ACX Master Class, she has now produced several audiobooks, including her own, using her home studio. She still finds time to write, but narrating has opened up a whole new creative endeavor for her as she works to bridge the worlds of authors and their fans. She lives in St. George, Utah with her husband, son, and cat.
Christy Monson established a successful counseling practice in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She also practiced in Salt Lake City, Utah for several years before her retirement.
She has written several books that have been published by Familius, a small press that focuses on families. They include: Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen, Becoming Free: A Woman’s Guide to Internal Strength, and Family Talk: How to Organize Family Meetings to Solve Problems and Strengthen Relationships
Her articles have been published on the web at Familius, Gospel Ideals, Paper and Parchment, Share the Love, Hugs, and Hope, and ANWA.
You can connect with her at her blog, christymonson.blogspot.com, or on facebook.
Joseph Stevenson is an SEO Consultant, Author and Public Speaker. He has over 17 years of experience in digital marketing and is the CEO of Joseph Stevenson SEO, a Nevada based firm.
He is the author of The Little Book on Digital Marketing series, the first of which focuses on Keyword Research. The second covers On-Page Optimization. Both books can be found on Amazon.
Johan Twiss is passionate about writing clean science fiction, fantasy, and crime fiction. He has five published works, including the I Am Sleepless series and the new Freedom series about human trafficking. Johan resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with his sweetheart and five crazy kids.
Besides writing, he also enjoys painting, playing guitar, harmonica, great jazz music, and volunteering for refugee replacement organizations in North Texas. He has worked with non-profits in the fight against human trafficking, which was the catalyst to his writing journey. You can learn more about Johan and his writing at www.johantwiss.com.
Denise is currently leading the global privacy department as Chief Privacy Officer, Senior Corporate Counsel for Jazz Pharmaceuticals in Palo Alto, California. She is also the California State Legislative Liaison for Convention of the States. Her previous roles included: Senior Director, Global Privacy Officer, Lead Privacy Counsel for NetSuite and Head of Legal, Data Privacy and Compliance Officer for Microsoft Ireland where she provided support for Microsoft’s European Development Centre, Irish Subsidiary, Data Centre and Microsoft’s Operations Center for Europe, Middle East and Africa. She is skilled in government affairs, regulatory compliance, strategy development, operations, litigation, mediation, product and business development, partner management, and transactions with a focus on privacy, information security, international business, technology and intellectual property.
Denise is an active member of the Washington State Bar Association (2005 – Present) and registered as In-House Counsel with the California State Bar Association (2016 – Present). She was a Charter Member of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce General Counsel Forum (2013 – 2016), Board Member of the Society for Computers and Law Irish Chapter (2013 – 2016), Committee Member for the Data Working Group of the Department of the Taoiseach (2105 – 2016), Chair of the Data Privacy and Security Group for IBEC/ICT Ireland (2015 – 2016), Cultural Diversity Lead for Microsoft Ireland (2013 – 2014) and regular guest lecturer and speaker at multiple venues (2009 – present).