Author Apprentice: LDStorymakers

As has become my tradition, this is my 3rd annual LDS Storymaker-faux-reality-show casting. This time, we’re going with being able to tell self-employed authors “You’re fired!” (Shoot, I was tweeted that once during the conference, actually.)

In thinking of this post, I realized, I don’t want Donald Trump to be the one that gets to say it. I’m going to give the honor to the one and only great author known as Brandon Sanderson! And instead of Trump’s children being in the boardroom with him, we’ll have the obvious choices of Dan Wells and Howard Tayler as Brandon’s assistants. I mean, they’re his awesome writing excuses cohorts. (And I am out of excuses, according to my name badge.) To add some femininity to this team, Annette Lyon will be her grammar nazi guru self in making sure everyone will be in line  and Julie Wright will add her fun style and blog flakiness bookstore knowledge to the other talents.

(UPDATE: This was missed for some sick-brained reason) Now, for this show, I needed a host…well…a hostess. So I’ve decided that Jaime Theler needs to host. She likes to be in charge of writing conferences instead of participating in them, so I figured she could host the show for Brandon since he can’t be bothered until the “boardroom”.

This time it’s the men vs women for a bit until the Donald…I mean….the Brandon decides to mix them up a bit.

(Yes, there are repeat names from my previous years’ posts. But hey, I run out of names I want to use, okay!)


Elana Johnson: Elana should win the apprentice because of her kindness to one another. She works hard, even when overcoming a sinus infection. Her book Possession is awesome (well, from the 1/4 – 1/3 that I’ve read of it, I’m getting there slowly!) Does she have the kindness to be Brandon’s apprentice?

Sarah Eden: Sarah should win for her humor and quick wit. Speaking even without a voice is a very notable talent. Just listening to her speak at LDStorymakers 2010 I had to purchase her books for my wife. Does her wit get her through to the end?

Josi Kilpack: Josi may or may not threaten to kill Brandon off in the Sadie revamp Wedding Cake. But even if she doesn’t, this award winning mystery author (with a few non-mystery books also under her belt) has made ordering skills. And by mad I mean she said “T.J. will help you, David (Wolverton). NOW!” (Okay, I may have added a word or two there.) Can her polite attitude have her standing tall at the end?

Heather Moore: While she’s stuck in the past (Heather writes historical fiction), she’s also taking over the Whitney Awards for next year. I think she also has four or five books coming out in the next fifteen months (I may be exaggerating, but it is a lot and it is a short period of time). Will this award winner show everyone else just who can truly be in charge?

Lisa Mangum: Editor? Check. Author? Check. Apprentice? Sure, why not. Lisa Mangum recently joined twitter (as she was the only one on a panel that didn’t have an account) and is good a learning and growing. (Seriously, if she took on an apprentice, I’d want that job.) Does this woman who can do it all have what it takes to prove she just can do it all?

Stephanie Black: The “other” and MUCH more awesome LDS author Stephanie (and personally, the one I’m gonna go up to and speak with). She’s won the Whitney. And when I say “the Whitney” I mean that only one other author has won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in the five years of its existence. Can her “I refuse to lose” attitude (or rather “winning streak”) give her the killer ending she deserves?

Tristi Pinkston: We’re talking about a mom…who writes….who loses weight….who manages finances well…who gives out advice….who edits….yeah, she does a lot. She was also in a car accident and stuck in a wheelchair and still showed up in style/class at Storymakers. (Go Tristi!) Can she prove that not even a wheelchair (and a fake reality show) stop her from winning this whole thing?


Don Carey: Devoted husband. Author. Hard worker. Frequent traveler. (Seriously Don, is there a trail between SLC and Dallas with your name on it?) Will these things have prepared him for being the co-chair at LDStorymakers? And will that prepare him for Author Apprentice?

Robison Wells:  Whitney Award Winning (I hope he likes hearing that he won award he helped create) Rob could use the fact that one of Brandon’s lackeys sidekicks. And another one is/was in a critique group with him. Or he could just use his honesty to his advantage and work his way to the end and defeat the competition?

Marion Jensen: Funny man (and that’s not funny looking for those that just thought that–including Marion) Marion is always ready to play games with the best of them. One of his faves is Dominion and I’m not sure if that’s Dominion the game or Dominion over society. But will his humor help him dominate the competition to be Brandon’s apprentice?

Jeff Savage: Jeff is awesome! Need I say more? Yes. Okay….Jeff is an author who was this close to pulling out of the business (if memory serves). Instead, he’s got a string of rotten awesome luck in the fact that he has 5 novels between the 2012 Storymakers and shortly after 2013 Storymakers. Plus, he’s always awesome at giving advice (he gave me some in a “you’re wrong to think you’re worthless” kind of way.) Can Jeff’s never-give-up attitude (or is it almost-give-up-until-I-try-once-more) get him to the end?

James Dashner:James is one of few to have been a guest on multiple episodes of the Big 3’s writing excuses. (Brandon, Howard, and Dan are “the Big 3”? Couldn’t think of something better T.J.?) As he’s dashed out some bestsellers, will he be able to dash his way to the big finish?

David Farland/Wolverton: Almost as bad as the “Marion/Matthew” complex from Survivor: LDS Authors, he may be older than the rest. He may need some help carrying his books. But this is not an author afraid to kick someone in the pants. Daily at that. Can he be the Runelord to rule them all?

Kirk Shaw: Editor. Author. (Did I already do that pattern for someone?) Kirk is awesome! Gives great advice. Leads well. (Maybe he has no need to win this.) But can Kirk’s great attitude, boy next door smile (as described by someone I know), and leadership skills make him a viable candidate for this apprenticeship?

This year, I’ll go with narrowing it down to a final four….two men and two women make up this final four. And they are, in no particular order: Jeff Savage, Lisa Mangum, Heather Moore, and Rob Wells! Why? How should I know. Just random.

But the winner of the Author Apprentice: LDStorymakers (remember this is no wise real and has absolutely no value to anything or anyone’s lives but my own messed up mind) IS……Jeff Savage!!!!

I think I’m running out of pseudo-reality shows. Can one be created that I can use next year? Any thoughts?

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.


12 Responses

  1. Oh, I was so close! To make it to the final four and then lose? *Khaaaaan!* But if I had to lose, at least it was to Jeff. He’ll be the best apprentice yet!

  2. I’m a little offended that I didn’t get picked. I think. I’ve never actually *watched* the show, but still.

  3. More reality shows?? Here’s just a few ideas:
    Dancing with the Authors
    Redneck Authors
    Authors in Tiaras
    Redneck Fishing with Authors
    Are You Smarter Than An Author?
    Author Pawn Stars
    Authors with Dirty Jobs
    Surviving with Authors
    19 Books and Counting
    Top 20 Countdown
    Book Wars
    Author Hoedown
    True Author Stories
    Keeping Up with the Authors
    Writing Bee
    Redneck Writing

    Well, TJ? Is that a good start?

    • Well…um….wow! Nothing tops “Author Hoedown” to be honest. But yeah, now I have some ideas for next year. Definitely.

      Book Wars and Keeping Up with the Authors are both great ideas.

    • Taffy, you forgot Sister Authors. That could be a fun one.

  4. So close… Yet so far. Not surprised to be beat out by Jeff though. Lol.

  5. Mostly this means that Jeff is the guy we need to take out before next years conference. I’m on it.

  6. I hope I got fired in the first round so I could use that extra time for writing.

    Next year it can be “The Writer Games.” Everyone gets Nerf bows and arrows.

    Although I try to get up to Utah 4 times a year to see my fam, writer peeps and day-job coworkers, I’m afraid there is no trail with my name on it.

    I WAS trying to dig an escape tunnel a while back, but my spoon broke somewhere around Wichita Falls.

  7. Awesome Don! The Writer Games will be so great and I have been polishing my bow and arrow skills so I can be prepped for the apocalypse

  8. Are you freaking kidding me? I didn’t even make the final??? Maybe I’ll try being not-nice next year and that’ll earn me the top spot. Ha!

  9. I’d be crushed, except that Jeff is SO AWESOME that it’s, like, totally an honor to lose to him.

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