7. Glenn Beck
One of the most recognizable conservative talk show personalities in history, Glenn Beck is the author of An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World’s Biggest Problems, The Overton Window, and The Christmas Sweater, which have all hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. In fact, he is one of the few authors to have #1 best sellers in the fiction, nonfiction, self-help, and children’s picture book genres.
Beck began his broadcasting career at age 13, working as a radio DJ. Today, The Glenn Beck Program is one of the highest-rated radio programs in America, and TheBlaze TV is one of the world’s largest streaming video networks. In addition, Beck has been the host of his own show on CNN and on Fox News.
Beck joined the LDS Church in 1999 after years of drug abuse, alcoholism, and loneliness. “The great thing about the gospel is that we know the end of the story,” he told LDS Living. “That’s why I’ve changed. My perspective has totally changed.”
8. Jason F. Wright
Jason Wright’s book Christmas Jars was a surprise hit when it was first published in 2005. By 2007, it had become a New York Times best seller—the same year his novel The Wednesday Letters also became a New York Times best seller.
The author of more than a dozen novels, Wright has made several appearances on CNN, Fox News, and other local television affiliates around the country.
When asked what challenges he’s faced as a writer, Wright told LDS Living, “I’ve had deals canceled or never quite pushed across the finish line because of my faith. I’ve also faced pressure to ‘spice up’ a couple of my novels to better fit the times and tastes of readers. But because my mother and wife are my two most important fans, I’ve never taken the advice seriously.”
Wright travels the country speaking about faith, service, and the lost art of letter writing.
“I work hard to sprinkle a bit of my faith into every speaking engagement, particularly when speaking to Christian audiences,” he says. “This often leads to some wonderful conversations about what I believe and why it drives everything I do.”
9. James Dashner
James Dashner is the author of the #1 New York Times best selling series The Maze Runner. The series has sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide, and the books are currently being made into movies. The Maze Runner debuted in theaters on September 19, 2014, and the second installment, The Scorch Trials, premiered in September 2015.
He was born in Georgia and graduated from BYU with a master’s degree in accounting. He and his wife, Lynette, have four children and live in Utah. His favorite authors include Stephen King, Tad Williams, Robert Jordan, Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, and Orson Scott Card.
10. Linda and Richard Eyre
This husband-and-wife team are the authors of several parenting books, including Teaching Your Children Values, which made it to #1 on the New York Times “Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous” list in May of 1993. As a result, the couple has made several television appearances on shows like Oprah, The Today Show, Prime Time Live, 60 Minutes, and Good Morning America. And they once did regular segments on the CBS Early Show.
“The Church frequently comes up. We love when this happens and love to share how much the support system and values of the Church help with parenting and families,” they share.
The Eyres have also done countless speaking engagements in 45 countries, and they currently write a weekly column for the Deseret News.
Richard received an MBA from Harvard and became the president of his own management consulting company, which worked with national political candidates. He also served as president of the England London South Mission. His wife, Linda, is a teacher, musician, and cofounder of the international joyschools.com—a do-it-yourself co-op and program for teaching preschoolers the joys of life. They are the proud parents of nine children.
11. Ally Condie
A graduate of BYU, author Ally Condie is best known for her New York Times best-selling Matched series. The dystopian trilogy moved quickly to the #1 spot on the New York Times “Children’s Series” list, where it spent 15 weeks in 2012 and 2013.
Condie’s newest novel, Summerlost, was released in the spring of 2016. “[It’s] about a girl and a boy falling in friendship in a town based on my hometown of Cedar City, Utah,” Condie shares. “It just got nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award, which is an award given by the Mystery Writers of America for the best mysteries written each year. I’m a huge mystery junkie, so I was thrilled about that!”
She also recently founded a nonprofit writing camp for teens—writeoutcamp.org. “We’re taking teenagers hiking and to a Shakespeare play, and they’ll be able to work with published authors,” she explains.
Condie, who has served in Young Women for the past three-and-a-half years, says, “I am completely blown away by the strength, integrity, and good-heartedness of our youth. It’s my privilege to serve them and to write for them.”