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I write what I want to read.

I'm a work in a progress.

I was raised in a secluded pocket of Salt Lake City Utah in a suburban apartment by a single mother, at least for a while.

I went to public school but spent my high school senior year in Denmark as a traumatized and tantalized foreign exchange student.

I attended the University of Utah until they kicked me out. As a parting gift, they gave me a Magna Cum Laude BA in English and a Master's in American Studies.

I married my Junior Prom date and have two boys.

We lived in Eugene, Oregon for nearly a decade. Armed with two humanities degrees, I naturally gravitated to the food service industry. I opened a bakery and ran it successfully until the Oregon rain got under my skin and softened my bones to collapsing. We moved back to Utah.

After a series of other businesses and adventures, including a front line posting in the drug war, I found myself in a position to pursue my passion for writing.

So here in the in-between, with the clock ticking and the sound of the starting gun a long forgotten echo, I begin very late my professional writing career.

I heard Johnny Boggs speak about his writing career, how he and his wife chucked it all in and moved to Santa Fe confident they could achieve their dreams. They just up and did it. His wife had told him that "if you jump a net will appear." And it did.

I'm in mid-air, the ground rushing up, the wind in my hair, my screams half terror, half exhilaration.

"Going where the climate suits my clothes."
— Grateful Dead, Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad



The League of Utah Writers awarded THE FINGER TRAP, the 2016 Diamond Quill for best book of the year. It was pretty awesome. The same evening, CELESTE, THE UNSEEN BOOK 2 was awareded a Bronze Quill in the Young Adult novel category. Not bad for a middle book of a trilogy.

In 2014 I was name Utah Writer of the Year. They also gave ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN as the Gold Quill winner for the Best Young Adult Novel of the year. ELEANOR has twice reached number one Kindle Best-Seller on Amazon for it's genre, suprassing the HUNGER GAMES and THE HOBBIT if only for a little while.

I am now a frequent and sought after speaker and presenter at writing conferences and fan conventions. This is a direct reflection of my desire to give back to the community as much as I can. I believe that the only way I can achieve my dreams is to help others achieve theirs. So far so good.

For my sins, The League of Utah Writers made me President-Elect of the organization in 2016. I will serve as supreme leader in 2017 and hang around giving bad advice through 2018 until I'm put on an ice sheet and pushed into the sea.

(Oh, my publicist says you can email me here to schedule me to talk and whatnot:

I am a fulltime author fighting my fear through expression, living in a world of fantasy and denial. I work every day to prove the critics wrong, assaulting the gates of literary relevancy and fame one word at a time.


My Literary CV (Curriculum Vitae)


Publicity Bio's - feel free to copy and paste as needed

100ish Words:

“I write what I like to read,” says Johnny. “That guarantees me at least one fan.”

JOHNNY WORTHEN is an award-winning, best-selling author, voyager, and damn fine human being! He is the tie-dye wearing writer of the nationally acclaimed, #1 Kindle best-selling ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN. Among his other excellent and very read-worthy titles are the adult occult thriller BEATRYSEL, the award-winning mystery THE BRAND DEMAND, and the genre bending comedy-noir THE FINGER TRAP, winner of the Diamond Quill for best book of the year. And of course the continuation of THE UNSEEN Trilogy, with CELESTE and DAVID which also have won awards.

Trained in stand-up comedy, modern literary criticism and cultural studies, Johnny is a frequent public speaker, teacher and blogger. He’s an instructor at the University of Utah and an acquisitions editor for Omnium Gatherum, a publisher of unique dark fantasy, weird fiction, and horror.


300 Words:

Johnny Worthen is an award-winning, best-selling author of books and stories. A Utah Writer of the Year. Trained in modern literary criticism and cultural studies, he writes upmarket multi-genre fiction, symbolized by his love of tie-dye and good words. “I write what I like to read,” he says. “This guarantees me at least one fan.”

Johnny is best known (so far) for his award winning, nationally acclaimed, best-selling young adult novel, ELEANOR, THE UNSEEN. It is a great book and if you haven’t read it, you need to. Johnny’s debut novel, the adult occult thriller, BEATRYSEL along with its companion story DR. STUART’S HEART explores the darker sides of love and Magick.

CELESTE, THE UNSEEN BOOK 2, continues Eleanor’s story as she tries to maintain a life in Jamesford, while distant events and local suspicion conspire to threaten everything. The League of Utah Writers gave Celeste a Bronze Quill, "Recommended Read" award which Johnny thought was pretty great for a middle book of a trilogy. DAVID, THE UNSEEN BOOK 3, sees the powerful transformative conclusion of this awarding series as Eleanor learns her past and builds her future.

Johnny’s entry into mystery with THE BRAND DEMAND won a Silver Quill Award from the League of Utah Writers in the best novel category.

Meanwhile his genre-bending comedy noir, THE FINGER TRAP won the coveted Diamond Quill, for Utah Best Book of the Year. It introduces Tony Flaner, a flawed slacker every-man detective who can’t throw a punch but can slay a room with sarcasm.

Johnny's short stories appear in a number of anthologies including the Dark Fiction LITTLE VISIBLE DELIGHT (The Point), Utah Horror, OLD SCRATCH AND OWL HOOTS (Keep Sweet), IT CAME FROM THE GREAT SALT LAKE (May 15th), Utah Fantasy, SECRETS & DOORS (A Thousand Secret Doors), HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (The Lost Curse of the Witch's Nest) and the limited edition commemorate Salt Lake Comic Con anthology HEROIC: TALES OF THE EXTRAORDINARY (The Grape Whisperer).

Johnny lectures and teaches about writing and life whenever anyone will listen. He edits professionally for Omnium Gatherum, a dark fiction press. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, sons and a cat named Roy.