Rick Walton: Mormon Author
Rick Walton was the author of over 90 children’s books, many of them picture books. He also wrote riddle books, poetry, activity books, and mini mysteries. Many of his books are parodies.
"He sent picture book manuscripts to more than a hundred publishers. None bit, but one appreciated Walton's humor and asked him to try writing a joke book. Walton's first book — Something's Fishy!: Jokes About Sea Creatures — was published when he was 30. It was the first of more than a dozen he wrote for Lerner, one of the largest children's publishers in the country. Eight were featured on 'Reading Rainbow.'"
Walton was born and raised in Utah. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish (with a minor in Portuguese) from Brigham Young University. He later pursued a graduate degree in business, but decided instead to become a teacher. He earned his teaching certification from BYU in 1987 and was certified to teach both elementary and gifted and talented students. He has taught at both public and private schools. He later earned his master’s degree in English, with a creative writing emphasis, from BYU.
Walton collaborated with Nathan Hale in 2012 to produce Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s Fright Before Christmas. Some of his more recent titles include Horsing Around: Jokes to Make Ewe Smile, I Need My Own Country!, 10 Little Monsters Visit Oregon, Baby’s First Year, A Made Bed Is More Fun to Jump on and Other Family Laws, Where Is Elephant?, and Just Like Lion. He coauthored Familius Christmas Anthology: Just for Kids: Stories, Poems, Recipes, and Activities to Celebrate the Christmas Spirit, Road Tripping: A Parent’s Guide to Planning and Surviving the Annual Car Trip.
As a member of BYU’s adjunct faculty, Walton taught and mentored students interested in pursuing children’s literature. "Over the years he built an intricate and crucial support network for Utah’s literary community, organizing several inexpensive and accessible conferences, workshops and groups for anyone with a desire to write and publish literature for children and young adults."
He pursued his interest in computers and worked as a software designer for IBM. He also worked as a freelance software designer and writer and published several items of software. He also worked as a secretary and an arts administrator.
His former wife, Ann, co-authored many of his books. They are the parents of five children. Walton served a mission to Brazil for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Walton was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2005. He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015, and died on October 7, 2016.