26. Kiersten White
Kiersten White says on her website that, “Reading has always been my favorite activity. And when I couldn't read, or when the stories I loved were over, I'd make up new stories in my head.”
Her first novel, Paranormalcy, made it to the #7 spot on the New York Times “Children’s Chapter Books” list in 2010. The sequel, Supernaturally, came in at #9 the following year.
White grew up in Utah and graduated from BYU with a degree in English. She lives with her husband and children in San Diego, California. Her latest book, And I Darken, was released on June 28, 2016.
27. Brenda Novak
Brenda Novak never thought she would be a writer, but after she caught her day-care provider drugging her children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep all day, she decided she needed a job where she could stay at home. The rest, as they say, is history.
Novak is the author of more than 45 contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels, including her Department 6 trilogy, which made the New York Times Best Seller list. She says on her website that she, “learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read.”
Not only is she a mom and an author, she runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May and has raised more than $2 million. She and her husband live in Sacramento, California, and are the proud parents of five children. She enjoys traveling, watching sporting events, and riding her bike 20 miles a day!
28. Amy Harmon
Amy Harmon’s contemporary romance novel A Different Blue became a New York Times best seller in 2013. Her novel The Law of Moses was the winner of a Whitney Award in the Best General Fiction category in 2014. Her other novels include Making Faces, Running Barefoot, and Infinity + One.
Harmon taught English and history to sixth and seventh graders at a Christian school in Nevada before devoting her time to her family and to writing.
She was born and raised in the small town of Levan, Utah, and grew up without television. Because of this, she had to be creative and entertain herself. She knew from an early age that writing was something she wanted to do. She has been married for 20 years and is the mother of four children. A country girl at heart, she likes horses and small-town living.
29. Heidi Schulz
Born and raised in Oregon, Heidi Schulz’s high school career aptitude test suggested she would be an excellent air-traffic controller, but instead she went into accounting. After the birth of her daughter, she changed careers again to full-time mom. Her first novel, Hook’s Revenge, reached the #5 spot on the “Children’s Middle Grade E-Book” list in October 2015. It was also a Bank Street Best book, an OCTE Oregon Spirit Honor Book, and one of the New York Public Library’s Top 100 Titles for Children in 2014. The sequel, Hook's Revenge: the Pirates Code, came out in September 2015.
Heidi has a new children’s book entitled Giraffes Ruin Everything that will be coming out this spring. She lives in Salem, Oregon, with her husband, their teenage daughter, a terrible little dog, five chickens, and four hermit crabs.
30. Aaron Johnston
Aaron Johnston is an author, comics writer, and film producer. He co-wrote the novels Earth Unaware, Earth Afire, Earth Awakens, The Swarm, Invasive Procedures, and the other forthcoming Formic Wars novels with science-fiction legend Orson Scott Card. He was also an associate producer on the movie Ender's Game, wherein he makes a cameo appearance as an officer of the International Fleet.
Aaron has written several comics for Marvel, including Ender in Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Formic Wars, League War, and Mazer in Prison. He is a former member of LA’s Improv Factory, Santa Clarita Improv, and the Garrens Comedy Troupe.
He grew up in the Deep South and spent his pre-teen years in rural Alabama catching crawfish and eating wild blackberries. He served a mission in Venezuela and attended BYU, where he met his wife, Lauren. They married in the Orlando Temple and currently live in Greenville, South Carolina. They are the parents of four children.