Dan Wells (author)
Wells at the 2015 National Book Festival
|Born||Daniel Andrew Wells|
Utah, United States
|Occupation||Author, podcast personality|
|Education||B.A. in English|
|Alma mater||Brigham Young University|
|Genre||Horror, science fiction, young adult|
|Notable works||I Am Not a Serial Killer|
Daniel Andrew Wells (born 1977) is an American horror and science fiction author. He is noted for his John Cleaver series, his Mirador series, and his New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence. Wells's first published novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, became a major motion picture in 2016. He currently co-hosts Writing Excuses, a podcast that answers writing-related questions. He is from Utah, U.S. and is a graduate of Brigham Young University.
Dan Wells spent his childhood in Salt Lake City, Utah and began writing at a young age. While in the second grade, he wrote his first stories based on the Choose Your Own Adventure series. He has cited Where the Wild Things Are as one of his first influences. During his childhood, Wells was also exposed to science fiction and fantasy: namely, titles such as The Hobbit and Star Wars. He frequented the library and loved to read. In addition to sci-fi and fantasy novels, he read classics, including those of French and Russian literature. He also enjoyed writing scripts, songs, and poetry as a child.
In high school, Wells wrote a series of comic books, novellas, and a serial. He began to take writing more seriously in college, finishing his first serious novel when he was 22. He studied English and anthropology at Brigham Young University (BYU). It was there that he met his wife, Dawn. As a student, Wells also worked on BYU's speculative fiction magazine, Leading Edge, and began writing game reviews; he has since described himself as a "rabid gamer." Before becoming a published novelist, he worked as a corporate writer for NuSkin.
Wells's debut novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, was published in 2009. It has been printed in English, Spanish, French, German, and Russian. Wells did extensive research to make the series protagonist, John Cleaver, appear genuine. His fascination with serial killer predictors also inspired him to write the novel. In 2016, it was adapted into a film, starring Max Records and Christopher Lloyd. Wells wrote a sequel, Mr. Monster, which was published by Tor Books in 2010. In 2011 his third installment to the John Cleaver series, I Don't Want to Kill You, was published. Wells continued John Cleaver's story with a second trilogy of books, in which the protagonist changes and develops. In 2016, Wells told Deseret News that the fifth book in the series, Over Your Dead Body, was one of the most challenging to write. Some of Wells's novels feature main characters with mental health issues. In Serial Killer, John Cleaver is diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, and the protagonist of The Hollow City suffers from schizophrenia.
Wells expanded into Young Adult Dystopia with his Partials Sequence in 2012. The series appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list in 2014. He followed up in 2016 with a Young Adult science fiction novel, Bluescreen, set in Los Angeles in the year 2050. He continued this Mirador series with Ones and Zeroes in 2017 and Active Memory in 2018. His most recent release is a series of middle-grade sci-fi audiobooks, Zero G (2018) and Dragon Planet (2019).
Wells is one of the four authors (including Mary Robinette Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, and Howard Tayler) who regularly host the podcast Writing Excuses. Wells was a writer for the TV show Extinct and wrote his own stage play, "A Night of Blacker Darkness."
Horror writer F. Paul Wilson described I Am Not a Serial Killer as a "dazzling, unputdownable debut" with a protagonist "as chilling as he is endearing." Author Jack Heath praised Wells's ability to create a "sympathetic villain" in Serial Killer. Ryan Lawler of Fantasy Book Review complimented Wells's world building in his Partials novels, but commented that the characters lacked development. National Post reviewer Catherine Gao wrote of Partials, "Wells has done an excellent job of tackling a complicated genre by revamping a generic idea by adding his original twist." School Library Journal described his novel Bluescreen as "exciting and innovative." A School Library Journal review of Ones and Zeroes complimented Wells's complex and diverse characters, plausible dystopian plot, and understandable descriptions of future technology.
In 2011, Wells was nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His novella, The Butcher of Khardov, received a nomination for the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 2014. His podcast Writing Excuses has won a Hugo Award and three Parsec Awards.
John Wayne Cleaver series
- First trilogy
- Next of Kin (July 4, 2014) (novella)
- Second trilogy
- Partials (February 28, 2012)
- Isolation novella (August 28, 2012)
- Fragments (February 26, 2013)
- Ruins (March 11, 2014)
- Bluescreen (February 16, 2016)
- Ones and Zeroes (February 14, 2017)
- Active Memory (February 13, 2018)
- A Night of Blacker Darkness (audio book, July 26, 2011), written as Frederick Whithers (author) and Cecil G. Bagsworth III (editor)
- The Hollow City (ISBN 978-0765331700, July 3, 2012)
- Extreme Makeover (November 15, 2016)
- Ghost Station (Audible original, November 11, 2019)
- "The Amazing Adventures of George" (September 2000), in Leading Edge #40
- "Charybdis" (June 2011), in Leading Edge #61
- "The Mountain of the Lord" (October 30, 2011), in Monsters & Mormons (Peculiar Pages)
- Zero G (Audible original, December 6, 2018)
- Dragon Planet (Audible original, December 12, 2019)
- The Butcher of Khardov (June 18, 2013)
Apocalypse Guard series
The Apocalypse Guard trilogy, "set in a world parallel to that of the Reckoners [trilogy]", was announced by Brandon Sanderson on March 1, 2016. The outlining for the series was nearing completion at the end of December 2016. The project was put on hold in November 2017. On February 20, 2018, Wells tweeted that he would be co-writing the series with Sanderson.
Awards and nominations
- 2017 AML Award finalist – Nothing Left to Lose
- 2016 AML Award for Best Novel – Over Your Dead Body
- 2015 Whitney Award for Speculative Fiction – The Devil's Only Friend
- 2011 Whitney Award for Best Novel of the Year – I Don't Want to Kill You
- 2010 Whitney Award for Best Novel of the Year – Mr. Monster
- 2009 Whitney Award for Best Novel by a New Author – I Am Not a Serial Killer
- Clark, Cody (March 4, 2012). "Vanishing point: Humanity gets terminated - almost - in Orem author's grim teen sci-fi novel". The Daily Herald. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- "Dan Wells". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- Gold, Daniel M. (August 25, 2016). "Review: 'I Am Not a Serial Killer,' but Somebody Is". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- "About Dan". Dan Wells. October 15, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- "Dan Wells biography, bibliography and reviews". www.fantasybookreview.co.uk. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- Crowder, Ben (October 12, 2013). "Dan Wells — Mormon Artist". mormonartist.net. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- "Questions and Answers with Dan Wells - Hortorian.com". Archived from the original on June 5, 2010.
- "Brothers by the book". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
- Kermode, Mark; critic, Observer film (December 11, 2016). "I am not a Serial Killer review – portrait of the sociopath as a young man". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- "Formats and Editions of I am not a serial killer [WorldCat.org]". byu.worldcat.org. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
- "Mr. Monster | Dan Wells | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- "I Don't Want to Kill You | Dan Wells | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- News, Deseret (June 15, 2017). "Book review: Utah author Dan Wells brings sixth book in sociopath sci-fi series". Deseret News. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- Loftus, Hikari (April 30, 2016). "Dan Wells talks about right, wrong in horror fiction". Deseret News. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- Sedai, Mashiara (June 8, 2016). "Fantasy Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer". Dragonmount.com. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- Lawler, Ryan. "Partials by Dan Wells book review". www.fantasybookreview.co.uk. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- PARTIALS | Kirkus Reviews.
- "Children's Series Books - Best Sellers - March 30, 2014 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- "Bluescreen - Dan Wells - Hardcover". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
- ONES AND ZEROES | Kirkus Reviews.
- "Active Memory - Dan Wells - Hardcover". HarperCollins Publishers: World-Leading Book Publisher. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
- "Zero G". Dan Wells. December 10, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- Calendar, The Events (November 21, 2019). "DRAGON PLANET (ZERO G–Book 2) Release Date". Dan Wells. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- "Dan Wells | Authors | Macmillan". US Macmillan. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- Binowski, Brittany (March 18, 2017). "36 writing tips from Dan Wells and other NYT bestselling authors". Deseret News. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
- "Tor: Winter 2010" (PDF). Macmillan US. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 1, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
- Heath, Jack (October 16, 2009). "Book review: I Am Not a Serial Killer, by Dan Wells". Goodreads. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
- Gao, Catherine (March 16, 2012). "Book Review: Partials, by Dan Wells | National Post". Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- SLJ. "Bluescreen by Dan Wells | SLJ Review". School Library Journal. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
- Leffel, Ashley (February 2017). "Wells, Dan. Ones and Zeroes". School Library Journal. 63 (2): 108–109.
- "Renovation - Hugo Awards". August 8, 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
- "2014 Hugo Awards". April 20, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- Mandelo, Lee. "A review of I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells". Tor.com. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- Dan Wells. "Dan Wells talks about Partials". Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- "Stories, Listed by Author (2000)". Locus. 2000. Archived from the original on February 25, 2010. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- Lough, Chris (March 1, 2016). "Brandon Sanderson Announces New Apocalypse Guard Book Trilogy". Tor.com.
- Sanderson, Brandon (December 19, 2016). "State of the Sanderson 2016". Archived from the original on December 19, 2016. Retrieved December 19, 2016.
- Jackson, Frannie (November 2, 2017). "Exclusive: Brandon Sanderson Pulls The Apocalypse Guard Release, Gives Update About Mystery Project". Paste Magazine. Archived from the original on November 14, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- Wells, Dan (February 20, 2018). "If you missed the news: @BrandSanderson and I are cowriting a YA series! It's called The Apocalypse Guard, and it's kind of a SF/fantasy hybrid, and it's awesome". Twitter. Archived from the original on February 23, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
- "2017 AML Awards". Dawning of a Brighter Day. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
- "2016 AML Awards". Dawning of a Brighter Day. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
- "2015 Winners – The Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
- "2011 Winners – The Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
- "2010 Winners – The Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
- "2009 Winners – The Whitney Awards". whitneyawards.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
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