Ben Behunin began working with pottery as a freshman at Highland High in Utah. He thought it would be an “easy A”, but his experience proved to be neither easy, nor an “A”. That experience began a 24 year long dance with clay that has taken Ben to exotic places, such at Idaho, North Carolina, France, Switzerland, Germany, England, Italy, Austria and Hawaii in pursuit of his education and his passion. For the past 18 years, Ben has been making his living exclusively as a slinger of slime and a maker of mudpies.
Ben is the father of two young budding potters, Isaac and Eve, ages 13 and 10. He and his wife Lynnette live in Salt Lake City, just inches away from his whimsically magical studio, Wild Rooster Artworks.
Dan wells was born in Utah to parents who were avid readers of Science fiction and Fantasy. That influence spread quickly and in second grade Dan announced to his parents that he was going to be a writer. He started writing a Choose Your Own Adventure book about a maze that was literally impossible to escape—no matter which options you chose, you just kept going around in circles. A real never ending story. After realizing what a cruel joke that was to his readers, Dan changed his writing style.
After abandoning later plans to become a poet, Dan returned to his childhood tutelage and became absorbed in science fiction and historical fiction. Meanwhile his life continued. He was married, had five kids, and worked in marketing and as an advertising writer at a string of local corporations, hawking everything from shampoo to fitness machines to humanitarian sponsorships.
Today, Dan Wells is an accomplished writer and co-host of a weekly podcast called Writing Excuses. He joins us all the way from Stuttgart Germany via Skype.
Lisa Torcasso Downing is an award-winning writer and advocate for the advancement of Mormon Letters, Her writing career began in the 1990’s with fiction storiesfor young people in the Friend and New Era magazines. She then branched out in what she affectionately calls “unauthorized” mormon journals and magazines. She has served as editor for Irreantum, the literary journal published by the Association for Mormon Letters, as well as Sunstone.
Downing currently resides in Texas, though she has called both California and Utah her home. She received a Bachelors degree in English from Brigham Young University and an Masters from Texas A&M-Commerce. She taught writing at Collin College and is a proud member of the the up-and-coming Rowlett Writer’s Workshop. She is an active, believing Latter-day Saint, a wife of nearly 30 years and the mother of three. L.T. Downing as she is known in her writing, is the author of Island of the Stone Boy and Get That Gold!, the first book in the Adventures of the Restoration series.
Melissa J. Cunningham turned forty-three this year. She feels that pretty much says it all. Since I am not a 43 year old woman from Brigham City, UT. I have to know more of what that means.
Melissa is a mother of five, who lives with horses, dogs, cats and chickens. When she is not helping her husband run their plumbing business, she loves to run, write, read and soak in the tub although not necessarily in that order.
After overcoming years of struggles and multiple unpublished efforts, Melissa Cunningham wrote the book Reluctant Guardian and was accepted for publishing in only August 2013, just two months ago. And here we are today, book in hand!
To buy a copy of Reluctant Guardian by Melissa J. Cunningham, click here.
Christy has published articles in The Ensign, Friend, and other children’s periodicals. Christy Monson received a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from UNLV and established a successful counseling practice. She and her husband are now retired and living in Ogden, UT. Christy Monson first appeared on The Good Word podcast back in Episode 119. She is back to talk more about her book, Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen, and Becoming Free: A Woman’s Guide to Internal Strength.
RYAN RAPIER is an Arizona native and through the course of his life has come face to face with a rattlesnake more than once. For that reason alone, he would likely have left the desert behind years ago were it not for one thing—the luxury of year-round golf. When Ryan isn’t on the course or in front of a computer screen, he can usually be found chasing behind his four children or doing errands for his amazing wife in the isolated beautiful valley they have both called home forever. Ryan’s thoughts and opinions that concern nobody but himself can be found at his website http://www.ryansrapierwit.com . The Reluctant Blogger is Ryan’s first novel.
Richard Gardner was Born in Logan, UT but has since visited or lived in 49 US States. Richard graduated from Utah State with a degree in biology then went on to Graduate from the University of Arizona with a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Richard completed a 6 year postdoc term at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, studying the genetics of yeast cell cycle control. Richard then took a job in 2004 teaching biology at Southern Virginia University. Richard and his wife have 6 children and enjoys hiking and photography. Richard is the author of the book THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL: EXPLORATIONS INTO THE WORKINGS OF THE ATONEMENT.
Russell Stevenson is an independent researcher who also moonlights as an instructor at Salt Lake Community College. He has been studying Mormon history online and in the archives for nearly twenty years. He learned his first lesson of historical analysis from his father: if you’re going to drink water from a river, drink it from the source, not after all the cows have waded in it. Russell Stevenson is the author of the book Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables.
Alicia Hill was born in Northern California as the fifth of six kids. Her family moved to Sandy, Utah when she was 11 years old. She served a mission in Detroit, Michigan. Following her mission, Alicia graduated from BYU with a degree in Social Work. That led her to LDS Family Services where she put her heart into the work for several years as an adoption/birth parent case worker. She currently resides in Florida with her amazing husband and three children.
Paige Sorensen is originally from San Diego, California. After high school she also served a mission in Detroit Michigan. In the 10 years she has been home from her mission she has served exclusively in the Young Women’s organization. Paige has served in wards in San Diego, Utah, Indiana, and now Florida. She has been married for 9 years and has 3 young kids. Paige has spent her professional career as an entrepreneur. She owned and operated a successful clothing store, and is currently an Independent Product Consultant in the health and wellness industry specializing in skin care.
Terry Gorton was raised in Utica NY, (Home to what Terry considers the –home of the world’s greatest pizza) He was raised Catholic and was taught by nuns in Our Lady of Lourdes Grammar School
He went on to Notre Dame all boys HS- where he was an altar Boy;
In 1973 Terry joined the Army as Medic just as the Vietnam War was winding down. He served in Germany where his older brother also served and became of member of the LDS Church. It was Terry’s older brother who went on to baptize him in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1975.
After the Army, Terry served a mission to Belgium, Antwerp (Flemish-speaking) from 1977-79
After his mission, Terry attended BYU, Received Ph.D from Stony Brook University in NY (in Rhetoric and Literature) and has been teaching at BYU in Provo and BYUI in Rexburg for last fifteen years. Terry is the author of Messiah Made Manifest: Exploring the Book of Mormon as a Temple.