RIP Dave Wolverton/Farland

I just found out that author and all around great guy, Dave Wolverton (penname, Dave Farland) has passed away. That sucks. Dave was probably one of the nicest people in the writing business, who helped out more newbs and passed on more advice than any writer ever.

I’ve written about Dave before, specifically in that big post trying to explain why there are so many successful writers in Utah. He was one of the main reasons. He was a mentor, teacher, and elder statesman, who always made the time to help new writers. The man had a technical grasp on story and ability to explain it like no other.

I met Dave at a book signing in Utah, a really long time ago, when some bookstore gathered like twenty authors together for a mega signing… And then hardly any fans showed up so the writers just ended up hanging out and shooting the bull. (Brad Torgersen found some pics of that event and sent them to me this morning)

My very first book tour was driving Dave’s giant ancient Cadillac (I think it was a Caddy? Or something. It was very very wide) around southern California. He was going on tour with some other authors, some of them had to back out at the last minute, so they grabbed me and John Brown, because we were new guys, to fill in. Dave was who showed me how to go schmooze at book stores.

The scariest moment was me trying to park Dave’s giant tuna boat of a car in the only space left in an indoor parking garage in LA, between a Bugatti and a Maserati, and not dinging anybody’s doors. We hit dozens of bookstores in San Diego and LA over a few days, and we did this before GPS. So we spent a lot of time lost. 😀

I was with Dave the very first time I ever sat down and ate lunch with Hollywood producer types. I’ve often told the story about being with another writer in a trendy Hollywood restaurant while the studio people came up with increasingly awful ideas for who they wanted to cast as my characters, I’m freaking out, and how the other writer just whispered to me “Just let it go, they never care what the writers think.” That bit of career advice was from Dave.

Dave was a hell of a story teller, not just in books, but in person. He had a crazy upbringing. His childhood made mine look like Leave it to Beaver. But his all time greatest tale involved him going to China. There was crime, attempted blackmail, drugs, gun running, and undercover agents. The works. I’m laughing just thinking about it.

He is going to be missed by a lot of people. Dave made a difference in many lives.

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12 thoughts on “RIP Dave Wolverton/Farland”

  1. Oh my. That’s so sad. Dave was an amazing man, and I’ve highly valued the online class and videos from him.

    Prayers for his family.

    Edit- Saw this on Writer’s of the Future forum if anyone wanted more details and doesn’t get on facebook-

    Posted January 13, 2022 at 2:21 PM.

    This Dave’s Son Spencer.

    Thank you for all the messages and people reaching out. We wanted to provide an update on how Dave is doing.
    Dave suffered a fall down the stairs this morning, and hit his head. He has suffered a hemorrhagic stroke with bleeding around his brain steam. He is comatosed and on life support. To put it simply he is not doing well at the moment. We are waiting for immediate family to be able to come and see him before making decisions on how to proceed.
    We appreciate all the notes and messages, and love for Dave. I will post an update as things change.

    This has been copied from the David Farland Author FB page.
    Posted January 14, 2022 at 12:21 AM.

    Again this Dave’s son Spencer.

    Dave has officially passed. He held on till all his children could say goodbye, then faded swiftly without pain. Thank you for all the kind words, messages, and memories.

    After reading the countless messages and reflecting on my own experience, it is safe to say that my dad had a special way of seeing the potential in people. He will surely be missed.

    Words can’t express the emotions of losing a loved one.

  2. Oh, hell – this sucks. I never met the man, but did love his books. And I’m sorry for the loss of your friend.

  3. I’m sorry to hear that, but I’m glad he was at least able to hold on until everyone got a chance to say good bye.

    It’s odd, striking, the number of people I’ve heard of who did that, even when they should not have been able to.

  4. He was working with me on publishing my first book. We’re doing the Kickstarter this year.

    He left me a roadmap, but he was instrumental in getting me as far as I am. I don’t know how I’m going to do it without him, but I owe it to him to make this book a success.

    He was my editor, and he actually liked my book so much he gave it a free second pass. Said I reminded him of Brandon Sanderson. Said my book would find a wide audience.

    He was my first fan. Now he’s gone. I’m on my own.

  5. Larry,

    I know this isn’t about you, but I want to say this: I hope, when my time comes, that I am eulogized even half as powerfully as you just did for Dave. You treat those you love and respect with the highest of praise. It is, though sad in the acknowledgement of passage, a treat to read what you have to say about those important members of your life. Please don’t ever lose that. Thank you.

  6. Back in the 90s, when I was trying (not very well) to cope with the recent divorce of my parents and the resulting shock waves of pain throughout my entire life, Dave’s GOLDEN QUEEN space opera series helped to escape a little. I loved those books so much.

    I’m deeply sorry to hear of his passing and pray all of his loved ones will be comforted.

  7. The first Star Wars novel I ever read was Courtship of Princess Leia. It is still one of my favorite Star Wars books. It was written by Dave Wolverton.
    Shows like the Clone Wars have shown off the Rancor riding Witches of Dathimor but it was DAVE who first introduced them to the Star Wars canon (or former canon, anyway) and I don’t think he ever gets any real credit for that. Nah, it’s all “Look what Disney did!”
    Well I remember!
    RIP Dave Wolveton, you were one of the greats.

  8. Larry,
    I’ve been a wreck since I heard through mutual friends that Dave was in the hospital. I got to know Dave and to an extent, Brandon Sanderson, when I met them on a dual book tour they did in 2007. Until I saw Dave setting up for the signing in Boise, ID where we met and he put a paperback of Courtship of Princess Leia on the table he eventually sat behind, I didn’t know who he was. I hadn’t read The Runelords before then. I read them regularly after that day

    Dave ended up being a writing teacher and mentor to me too after that initial meeting and we became good friends. I’m so fortunate because I met Dave that afternoon in Boise.

    I’m going to miss him very much.

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