Sad news for the local writing community
It is with deep sadness that the League of Utah Writers has learned that David Farland (who wrote under that name as well as David Wolverton) has passed away. He was one of the preeminent writers and teachers of writing in Utah, a mentor to all of us. Below are some words from the President of the League of Utah Writers, Bryan Young: The first time I met Dave was at the Media Play in Orem. It was in 1994, I was 13 years old, and he was signing a Star Wars book. The Courtship of Princess Leia had just come out and my house received no less than three phone calls that there was a Star Wars author signing books and I just had to get there. Dave was gracious and signed the book for an awkward teenager who wanted to be a writer. I asked about writing Star Wars and he was so gracious about it. He spent what felt like 10 minutes giving me a pep talk and praising the noble profession of writing. I buzzed for weeks. I still have the book. "For Bryan," he wrote, "May the Force Be With You--Always -David Wolverton". It was probably the same thing he'd inscribed on every book that day, but it meant a lot to me. Still does. Fast forward almost twenty years later to 2011. I have just had my first book, Lost at the Con, published. And I'm about to have my first book signing at a bookstore in a mall somewhere in the valley. And I'll be signing next to David Farland/Wolverton. 13-year-old Bryan has a significant bout of impostor syndrome. I can't really be signing next to Dave Farland, can I? After we got to signing some books, I told Dave about my anxiety about it, and the story of him signing my book, and for the rest of the time, he gave me a pep talk about how I was a professional and I deserved to be there. I was worth it and just because I didn't have a book with a Star Wars logo and my name on it, didn't mean I wasn't worthy to sign next to him. He asked me for a signed copy of my book. And I felt like a million dollars. Over the next decade, I spent many hours on many panels with Dave, talking about Star Wars and writing, and I've learned so much from him over the years. He taught me about writing and professionalism, about worldbuilding and stories, about the nuts and bolts of being a better writer. Dave gave back to his community. He taught and taught and taught and it made a difference. It made a difference to a lot of writers, not just me. And that is the spirit of what the League of Utah Writers is all about. He exemplified it. He was a succesful Utah writer and he just kept giving back to his community. His loss will be felt in our community for years to come. He took the time to tell a young kid, "You can do it." And I did. And I continue to. And I'll never forget it.