Meet Our Operations Team
Summit & Marketing Director
Josiah DeGraaf is a literature nerd who loves helping Christian writers impact readers with honest storytelling. As a reader, he loves epic fantasy stories with imaginative worldbuilding. And as a writer, he loves crafting fantasy stories about characters who face the same dilemmas we do when we try to do the right thing. You can download his short story collection for free to read about ordinary people struggling to be heroic when suddenly gifted with supernatural powers. In addition to Story Embers, he also works as the program director of the Young Writer’s Workshop and as a staff writer for Lorehaven. He lives in a small river town just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Brianna Storm Hilvety
Blog & Graphics Director
Brianna Storm Hilvety has been a professional editor for seven years, a writer for more than a decade, and a bibliophile from the moment she pronounced her first syllable. Although she began as a writer, her penchant for noticing typos and obsession with syntax compelled her to wield a red pen rather than a black one. She loves aiding writers in achieving their aspirations to captivate and change the world through fiction. Interacting with these passionate, brave souls bolsters her belief that even the quietest whisper or the tiniest mark on a page can bring comfort, conviction, and cheer to others.
As the blog and graphics director at Story Embers, she oversees the entire publishing department and its personnel, ensuring that content is processed, edited, scheduled, and posted on the site weekly, as well as superintends the creation of visual elements and organizes writing contests.
Outreach & Community Director
Many moons ago, a series of suspiciously providential events led Daeus to cast his lot among the worldwide community of Christian storytellers. Since then, no reports indicate that he has come back out. Perhaps he is lost among those fine gallivanters forever. Rest in peace, Daeus Lamb.
Daeus dreams impossibly large (which doesn’t bother him a bit) and tends to bite off more than he can chew. Watch this in action as he tries to capture the depths of the fantasy genre on his YouTube channel, or as he seeks to express the meaning of life in just a short novelette. (Psst. It’s a popular little book called God of Manna and you can get it for free here.)
Public Relations Director
Mariposa Aristeo is a writer of quirky characters and fantastical adventures filled with heart, humor, hope, and, very often, dinosaurs. If you can’t find her in one of her own imaginary worlds, try combing the pages of a great middle-grade fantasy novel.
At Story Embers, igniting (and sometimes imploding) ideas is her favorite pastime, so she often uses her creativity to make graphics for articles and writing quotes, as well as implement new strategies for SE’s social media channels. Explosions aside, she loves getting to know each and every writer here at SE by running the popular #embersgram hashtag on Instagram and responding to your questions and emails.
Besides being a co-owner of Story Embers, Mariposa is an ACFW First Impressions contest finalist, a children’s book illustrator, and the host of the IGTV series #middlegrademagicwithmari. You can check out her book recommendations (and shenanigans) on her Instagram page or her character sketches on her art account.
James is a question-wielding, wonder-loving storyteller who is effortlessly drawn to other worlds, good mysteries, and the conflict within the human soul. His heart is captivated by story in many forms, whether it’s the heart-twisting final pages of a novel, the transporting power of a theater performance, or the wild three-minute journey of a song.
As an incurable dreamer, he believes that the impossible is usually more possible than it seems and that even the most fantastical stories can hold troves of truth. And, as a wrestling writer, he aspires to one day serve a story to its fullest. He’s also an artistic-minded thinker who once ran into a wall at a science museum (very smart) and loves to dip his toes into rivers no matter the weather.
Although you can probably tell by his accent, James lives in Australia, on a peaceful property where kangaroos frequently jump through the driveway. Online, you can find him teaching time management at Master Your Schedule, where he helps brave souls juggle writing and school, or musing on the potential of the fantasy genre on his Instagram account.
Hope Ann likes to think herself a dragon-riding, griffin-taming founder of worlds and explorer of legends. Using chocolate, she bribes a wide ring of spies, from the realm leapers of Aslaria to the double agents of Elkbend, for their stories. She thrives on frost, steel, and the tears of her readers, which she secretly mixes into iced coffee. Deep in her hobbit hole, her actual life involves staying up too late writing, reading, researching stab wounds, and struggling to remember the difference between effect and affect. Based in Indiana, she is the self-published author of the Legends of Light series. Hope Ann helps other writers as a personal writing coach and the newsletter manager at Story Embers. You can find out more about her at AuthorHopeAnn.com, or click here to pick up her novelette about a sister willing to defy Death himself to reclaim her sibling.
Cindy Green is a forest-wandering, poetry-scribbling stargazer with messy notebooks and messy thoughts. Despite her love for all of God’s creation, sunflowers and stars in particular have a way of sneaking into both her writing and her heart (but you won’t hear her complaining about it). She is an amateur sword-wielder with a Highland-dancing warrior spirit who also writes letters to the moon and considers the sky her best friend. While Cindy enjoys a wide range of smile-inducing activities such as camping, downhill skiing, and reading, her favorites include listening to the whispering of the wind and singing along to every word at a Skillet concert (resulting in the temporary misplacement of her voice). A focused daydreamer, organized pack rat, and oblivious observer, she is a self-professing ambivert (or a living contradiction) who deeply feels both the beauty and fallen state of the world. Through her words, she hopes to describe the indescribable and form personal connections with people while reflecting a love for her Savior and a passion for everything she touches.