Dan Wells: Mormon Author

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Dan Wells Mormon Author

Dan Wells is an author who writes in a variety of genres, including science fiction, dark humor, and supernatural thriller. He is the author of the John Cleaver series.

Wells was born in Utah on March 4, 1977, which he says is the only day of the year that is also a sentence (March forth!). He developed a love of reading as a child after his father read The Hobbit to him when he was only six. In second grade he told his parents that he would be a writer and wrote a Choose Your Own Adventure book about a maze. He wrote short stories, novels, poetry, comic books, scripts, and songs. He admits to building puppets and writing mythologies for them. He not only writes in different genres, he also reads in many genres. During high school, he read the classics, French and Russian literature, historical fiction, historical nonfiction, and true crime.

He took a writing class from Dave Wolverton while earning his bachelor’s degree at Brigham Young University and realized he could make a career out of writing. After serving as a full-time missionary to Mexico for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he is a member, he set on a path to write high fantasy. He said everything he wrote had “a dark undercurrent lurking in the background” and he credits friend Brandon Sanderson for telling him to just give in and write a horror book. He notes that horror “allows us to know the bitter so that we can appreciate the sweet. . . . Horror is the most intrinsically moral genre of storytelling we have, because it is primarily concerned with good and evil, and sin and punishment, and the possibility of overcoming darkness and finding redemption.”[1]

The life of John Cleaver became his first series, with I Am Not a Serial Killer (2009). This book was made into a movie starring Christopher Lloyd and Laura Fraser and was released later in 2016. He has four titles in his Partials Sequence and two stand-alone novels, A Night of Blacker Darkness and The Hollow City. His Partials Sequence series made the New York Times Best Seller list in May of 2014.

Wells is the father of five children. He worked for a time as a marketing and advertising writer. He is a cohost on the Writing Excuses podcast, which won him a Hugo award and two Parsecs. He is also an avid gamer.

He is also Vice President of Narrative in Brandon Sanderson's Dragonsteel Entertainment.