Presenter Bios

Liz Adair

Gray strands began appearing in Liz Adair’s hair about the time she began writing. Denying any causal effect, she forged on, publishing nine novels and two novellas. She’s now fully gray but has won the Whitney Award and has been finalist for another Whitney as well as the Willa Award, Arizona Publishing Association’s Glyph Award, the RONE Award, and the Utah Book Award. In 2017 she was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Whitney Award for her work in mentoring writers.

Liz turned indie with her 7th novel, and she’s never looked back.

Eleven years ago, Liz and her husband, Derrill, moved to Kanab from Washington state. Her last four novels have been set in red rock country.

Liz has a corner in her daughter’s monthly Willowbrook Manor newsletter. If you’d like to be on that mailing list, let her know at

Mara Alexander

Along with a love of story, Mara loves sunshine, blue sky and lots of fresh air. She dreams of writing full-time in such a place. Until then, she’s trying to focus on consistently writing and getting that first novel into print. When not writing, she enjoys getting outdoors, baking, and meditation.

Christina Allen

Christina Allen (publishing as C.W. Allen) is a Midwestern transplant to rural Utah where she serves on the board of the League of Utah Writers. She writes fantasy novels for tweens, picture books for children, and short stories and poems for former children. She is also a frequent guest presenter at writing conferences, which helps her procrastinate knuckling down to any actual writing. Follow her latest projects at

Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey is a freelance editor specializing in adult, young adult, and middle-grade fiction. She is also a Writing Studies graduate from the University of Utah and the mom of five crazy kids. When Sarah is not writing, editing, or listening to audiobooks, she can be found walking outdoors, planning her next travel adventure, or helping a kid find their shoes.

Julie Coulter Bellon

After winning $10 in a second grade writing contest, Julie Coulter Bellon knew she wanted to be a published author someday. That dream came true and she is now the author of over two dozen romantic suspense novels and two children’s books. Her children’s book recently won the Best of State award, her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense, and The Capture and Second Look were Whitney Award finalists for Best Suspense. Julie has also been a #1 bestseller on several Amazon category lists. Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she’s visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She loves to read, write, teach, watch Hawaii Five-O reruns, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.

C. David Belt

C. David Belt was born in the wilds of Wyoming, then lived and traveled extensively around the Far East. He served as a missionary in South Korea and southern California (Korean-speaking), a B-52 pilot in the USAF, an Air Weapons Controller in the Washington ANG, and a baritone in the Tabernacle Choir. When he is not writing, he works as a software engineer and collects and researches swords, axes, spears, maces, hammers, and other ancient weapons and armor. He is the author of The Children of Lilith trilogy, The Witch of White Lady Hollow, and other Latter-day Saint horror/sci-fi novels.

Sabine Berlin

Sabine Berlin is an avid reader, writer, and editor. When she’s not helping authors fix their stories, she’s feeling their pain trying to get her own stories to do what she’s wants them to. Her YA science fiction novel And the Sky Full of Stars is set right here in Kanab! She has worked with Eschler Editing since 2012. You can find her on Facebook or Instagram @authorsabineberlin.


Elaine Canyon

Elaine Canyon started writing stories in 2016, first in Harry Potter Fanfiction, and now she writes Sweet Fantasy Romance novels for adults. Her debut novel, Gift of the Sea, will release in late 2023. Elaine believes in sharing what she’s learned in order to lift those around her. Whether that be her seven years of collecting tips for Discovery Writers, her background in graphic design to help authors improve their covers, or what she’s learned in the last year about self-publishing on a tiny budget, Elaine is eager to share her knowledge with anyone who can benefit from the information. Elaine lives in the beautiful mountains of Central Utah with her wonderful husband, two sweet kids, and Wen, her diva of a pet dragon. She loves writing ‘happily ever after’ for her own stories as much as she loves reading it from other authors.

Jared Garrett

Jared Garrett is a family man, full-time dad and professional, and the author of the scifi thriller Beat series, the Guide and the Sword series, and several other books. He grew up as an unwilling cultist and has worked as a world-traveling corporate trainer, technology consultant, high school teacher, firefighter and first responder, BBQ chef, cowboy theater actor, and a bellman. After designing training solutions for Amazon and American Express, he spent a couple years making online classes for BYU’s Independent Study. Jared works full-time from home now as a dad, homemaker, writer, and management trainer. He’s published seven books since 2014 and has lots more to come.

Kristy S. Gilbert

Kristy S. Gilbert is the editorial director for Dragonsteel Books (Brandon Sanderson’s company) and the executive editor & designer for Looseleaf Editorial & Production (her company). In 2021, she was the inaugural Editor of the Year for the League of Utah Writers, and prior to 2022 she spent over five years teaching publishing and editing courses at Brigham Young University.

Angelica Hagman

Angelica Hagman is a writer, indie book cover designer, and certified life coach. She has published over sixty short stories and non-fiction articles in print magazines, is in the middle of her character growth arc, and enjoys living room dance parties.

Greg Hamblin

Greg Hamblin is a long-time professional content writer, amateur fiction writer, and hobbyist word-wrangler. He has programmed multiple AI writing tools, participated in AI “Hackathons,” and puts ChatGPT and other AI tools to daily use for his work as a keyboard jockey. In fact he’s so super into AI that he made ChatGPT write this class outline. What a nerd.

Kase Johnstun

Kase Johnstun lives and writes in Ogden, Utah. He is the author of two historical novels, Cast Away, Torrey House Press 2024 (Finalist 2022 Disquiet International Prize) and Let the Wild Grasses Grow (Torrey House Press, Finalist High Plains Book Award, Fiction, 2022, Women’s National Book Association Great Group Read 2022, Longlist Reading the West 2022).

C.R. Langille

C.R. Langille spent many a Saturday afternoon watching monster movies with their mother. It wasn’t long before they started crafting nightmares to share with their readers. They are a retired, disabled veteran with a deep love for weird and creepy tales. This prompted them to form Timber Ghost Press in January of 2021. They are an affiliate member of the Horror Writer’s Association, a member of the League of Utah Writers, and they received their MFA: Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University.

Angie Lofthouse

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 is the author of three science fiction adventure novels as well as numerous short stories and novellas.

Angie lives in a little canyon in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains with her family of writers, artists, singers, composers, illustrators and musicians.

Karlie Lucas

Karlie Lucas is a graduate of Southern Utah University, where she received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, SCBWI, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.

Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally.

Annette Lyon

Annette Lyon is a USA Today bestseller, Whitney Award-winner, and nine-time recipient of Utah’s Best of State Medal. She’s one of three co-founders of and the original editor for The Timeless Romance Anthologies and spinoff series and one of the authors of The Newport Ladies Book Club series. She has four adult children, one grandchild, and a flame-tipped Siamese cat with an attitude. She’s represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Her first national suspense title, Just One More, was recently released with Scarlet Books.

Melissa Dalton Martinez

Melissa Dalton Martinez has worked in the entertainment industry since 1998, including television, film, music, online shows, and books. Melissa has a BA in Communications and Business Management and an MA in Publishing. Melissa currently works as the marketing director for Eschler Editing and E&E Books. She also hosts the widely successful online show The Book Break where she interviews authors and others in publishing. As part of her company The Book Break, Melissa serves as a book reviewer for multiple publications, and does monthly book recommendation segments on Utah’s ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX television stations. In addition, Melissa teaches at publishing conferences nationwide; provides publisher and author services in marketing, branding, and media consulting; is a bestselling author; and is a co-owner of Tolwis Publishing. 

Rod Miller

Rod Miller is an award-winning author of novels, short stories, poetry, history, magazine articles, and a screenplay with more than twenty books—including novels, nonfiction, and collections of poetry—and inclusion in numerous anthologies, as well as a feature film, to his credit. Recognition for his work includes Western Writers of America Spur Awards (four, along with six other finalists), Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards (two, along with four other finalists), Westerners International Poetry Awards (two), Academy of Western Artists Poetry Book of the Year, and 2012 Writer of the Year for the League of Utah Writers.

Rod can be found online at,, and Miller is an award-winning author of novels, short stories, poetry, history, magazine articles, and a screenplay with more than twenty books—including novels, nonfiction, and collections of poetry—and inclusion in numerous anthologies, as well as a feature film, to his credit. Recognition for his work includes Western Writers of America Spur Awards (four, along with six other finalists), Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards (two, along with four other finalists), Westerners International Poetry Awards (two), Academy of Western Artists Poetry Book of the Year, and 2012 Writer of the Year for the League of Utah Writers.


Tora Moon

Tora Moon is a genre-bending fantasy author and a business nonfiction author. She combines her 25+ years of business experience as a CPA, working with small businesses, and her indie publishing experience to help authors with their business. Tora has written and published six fantasy books.

She has three books published in her Indie Author Guide series: Business and Accounting for Authors, Business Plans for Fiction Authors, and Business Plans for Nonfiction Authors. Tora coaches authors in planning their author business for success. Her weekly podcast: Indie Author Biz Guide Podcast, talks about the business of indie publishing.

You can find out more about her books, podcast, and services at

Erin Olds

Erin Olds loves to travel, read, and drink boba tea! She currently lives in Seattle, where she homeschools her two excellent children. Erin is the CEO of and editor at Salt & Sage Books, an editing company dedicated to kindness. With a degree in English and French, Erin has worked with authors of all ages her whole adult life. Her poetry and short fiction have been published in various journals and magazines. She is a hybrid published author, with several indie books out under a pen name and her first traditionally published book (still a secret!) in progress.

Janette Rallison

USA Today, bestselling author, Janette Rallison/ CJ Hill writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms.  Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 32 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 print copies and have been on many reading and state lists. Her books are fantasy, sci-fi, and romantic comedy because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance, and hot guys who fight dragons.  She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric.

Kaela Rivera

Kaela Rivera is the award-winning author of the Cece Rios series. She grew up reading the folktales of her Mexican-American and British parents in the forests of Tennessee, but now she writes about them from the soaring mountains of Utah. When not crafting stories, she works as a managing editor for a marketing company. She believes in the power of hope and aims to write adventures that help children (and readers of all ages) process, progress through, and thrive after trauma. Visit her at

Skip to content