The Godfather of Bestselling Authors

Jan 22, 2024 | Authors, Business, Writing

I know I’ve already talked about David Farland on this blog.

Those who know me know that Dave (whose real surname was Wolverton) was my mentor and editor of my first book: Advent 9. What they may not know is that Dave was also the writing teacher of Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, James Dashner, and Stephenie Meyer. And, as the chief judge of the Writers of the Future contest, he had an uncanny knack for sniffing out talent.

That he had such high praise for my debut novel will forever be one of the highlights of my life. Dave was something of a shepherd. He could walk through the thousands-strong crowd of wannabe authors and point, saying, “That one, that one, and that one,” and those three wannabes would go on to become bestsellers.

That he died while helping me publish my first book was one of the biggest setbacks I will ever encounter. Every day, I wish I could have done something to save him. He had so much more to give the world.

I’ve tried collecting what records I can of Dave’s accomplishments in the interim, and I did find one thing that I want to preserve here, on my blog.

A Rare Peek Inside

While he was well known and regarded in fiction writing circles, Dave was not particularly well known among laymen—unless those laymen happened to be fans of his bestselling Runelords series.

(He wrote other stuff, too. I’m not pretending he didn’t. But Runelords was undeniably his most popular series.)

So I was surprised and pleased to find this news report, which aired some years before Dave’s death, which may serve as documentation for any who want to know more about him—or for any who imagine that I was exaggerating all the times I listed his accomplishments.

Here’s David Farland, on 2 News in Utah.

I don’t know when the next godfather of bestsellers will materialize in this world. It may not be in my lifetime—Dave was a once-in-a-generation talent.

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