Dean Hughes:Mormon Author

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Dean Hughes Mormon Author

Dean Hughes is a prolific author who writes across several genres and audiences. He is also an educator.

Born in Ogden, Utah, on August 24, 1943, Hughes knew in his teens that he wanted to be an author. He started writing his first novel after taking a creative writing class when he was a senior in high school. His first book, Under the Same Stars, was published in 1979 and was written for children.

Hughes earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Weber State University. He received his master’s in creative writing and his PhD in literature, both from the University of Washington. He has attended post-doctoral seminars at Stanford and Yale Universities. He taught English at Central Missouri State University for eight years. He has also taught creative writing at Brigham Young University.

He has spent most of his career as a full-time writer and has written sports, humor, historical fiction (especially the World War II era), and nonfiction. He has written for books for a variety of reading levels, from series for beginning and middle-grade readers to adults. He penned several sports series for young readers that were widely popular. He was selected to be one of the authors to continue the Nancy Drew series, but turned it down. He works with several publishers, including Deseret Book for his Latter-day Saint audience, and Random House and Simon and Schuster for his broader audiences.

One of his books, Midway to Heaven, was made into a movie.

In 2013 he published his 100th book, part of his Come to Zion series aimed primarily at an Latter-day Saint market. The third book in the series is due in 2014. Two other historical fiction series, Children of the Promise and Hearts of the Children were written for that market. Hughes is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Hughes is credited for being one of the authors who has helped increase the quality of Mormon literature. In March 2008 he received a Lifetime Achievement award at the inaugural Whitney Awards.

Hughes is married to the former Kathleen Hurst, and they have three children and many grandchildren. They live in Midway, Utah. His wife served in the Church’s general Relief Society presidency. They served as public affairs missionaries in Nauvoo, Illinois, for the Church.