Utah Author Spotlight | Dave Wolverton

David Farland.jpgAs part of Utah Book Month, we’re spotlighting Utah author Dave Wolverton. You can find other posts–including spotlights of other Utah authors, book reviews, book giveaways, contests, and more–related to Utah Book Month at Utah Books.

I initially bought Dave Wolverton’s novel as a part of a charity book bomb, but before long it was clear that I was one who had gotten the better end of the deal. Wolverton is a first class writer, and his novels are well worth anything you pay for them.

I discovered Dave Wolverton in the way that I find most authors worth reading: from a recommendation. Never mind that I should have run into Wolverton’s novels over a decade before I did, and never mind that I still don’t know how I missed him earlier. He has become one of my favorite authors, one I enjoy recommending any opportunity I get.

Wolverton, who also writes under the name David Farland for his fantasy novels, is the author of many books in both the fantasy and science fiction genres (as well as at least one historical fiction).  Winning multiple awards for his books, including the Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award for Best Novel in the English Language for On My Way to Paradise (an amazing read, if you ask me) and nominations for the Hugo and Nebula, Wolverton also has the very peculiar honor of holding the world record for the most books signed in a single signing with the novel A Very Strange Trip.  He’s also written a bunch of novels in the Star Wars universe. Wolverton’s Runelords series, which is still ongoing, has been a New York Times bestseller and is apparently in development for the big screen. You can find reviews I’ve written on various novels Wolverton has written here (On My Way to Paradise), here (The Sum of All Men), and here (Nightingale).

How I found Wolverton, though, I think says a lot more about him than his awards or distinctions or many novels.

The first mention I read about Wolverton was from another Utah author, Larry Correia, whose two series Monster Hunter International and Hard Magic  are excellent and top quality fun reading.

In a post on his blog (Monster Hunter Nation–how’s that for a name?), Correia asked people to go buy another Wolverton’s book.  Wolverton’s son, Ben, had been in a pretty bad long boarding accident and had ended up in a coma. You can imagine the medical bills, and wouldn’t it be great, said Correia, if we could all help out Wolverton by buying his book from Amazon? It would get him a boost in sales and push him higher in the Amazon rankings, all to the end of helping out Ben.

I could do that. Buy a novel with a great recommendation and help someone in need?

What struck me, though, wasn’t just the charity that Correia asked for on Wolverton’s behalf.   There was this sense of effort to give back to Wolverton for all he had done for other authors. Not only was he a published writer, but Correia made a big deal out of what Wolverton had done for others, calling him “one of the godfathers of fiction in Utah” and saying that he was “always ready to lend a hand and help out aspiring authors.”

Later I learned that some of these “aspiring authors” included Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, and Stephanie Meyer, too. Not a shabby list.

I clicked over to Amazon to peruse Wolverton’s stuff, and before I signed off, three of his novels were in the mail.

Little did I realize, though, that I  who would end up on the winning side of the transaction.  I wasn’t more than 200 pages through the first (On My Way to Paradise) before I had ordered two more Wolverton novels.

His writing is just that good.

In addition to regularly producing excellent novels (and in the genres I enjoy), he is also an excellent writing teacher. He offers occasional work shops and conferences on writing, has published several books on writing (I’m reading, and much enjoying, one now), and posts writing advice daily (David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants). Not only have I found his suggestions, ideas, and advice useful, but inspirational. Wolverton’s writing seems to resonate with the hope and the confidence that you can succeed as a writer.

If there’s every anything that an aspiring writer needs, besides a good grasp of English and a decent plot, it’s a bit of confidence.

If you’ve not discovered Dave Wolverton (or David Farland), please consider this my recommendation to you. Go pick up a novel under his name. Heck, I’d be glad to even lend one to you. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

About Daniel

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. He reads about history, politics, and current events, as well as more serious genres such as science fiction and fantasy. You can also follow him on his blog PubliusOnline.com where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas.


  1. I bought that book bomb too and have yet to read it! Anyway, thanks for the awesome post. I’m going to move this book up on the stack!

    • Which book did you pick up, Suey? I initially added Nightingale to my cart, then The Sum of All Men, and lastly On My Way to Paradise, but ended up reading them in the opposite order. While I enjoyed all three, Paradise and Sum of All Men were more to my taste.

  2. This is a lovely spotlight. I hadn’t heard of Dave Wolverton, until you requested to do this spotlight of him. Since then, though, I have been running into his name and his books everywhere! I recently listened to OF MICE & MAGIC on audio. While I’m not really the target audience, I really loved the imagination in it. I’ll definitely be reading more by him!


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