Meet Our Team
Brianna Storm Hilvety
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
A long time ago on a hill not so far away, Gabrielle Pollack fell in love. Not with ice cream or cats (though those things are never far from her side) but with storytelling. Since then, she’s been glued to a keyboard and is always in the midst of a writing project, whether a story, blog post, or book. She was a reader before becoming a writer, however, and believes paradise should include thick novels, hot cocoa, a warm fire, and “Do Not Disturb” signs. Her favorite stories include Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn saga and Nadine Brandes’s Out of Time trilogy.
As those who know her will confess, Gabby is a whole lot of weirdness packed into one INFP. Sharp objects, storms, and trees are her friends, along with stubborn characters and, on occasion, actual people. When she’s not writing, she’s shooting arrows through thickets and subsequently missing her target, jamming on the piano, and pushing her cat off her keyboard. She hopes to infuse her fiction with honesty, victory, and hope, and create stories that grip readers from the first page to the last. Her other goals include saving the world and mastering a strange concept called adulthood. You can hang out with her on Instagram and Facebook.
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.
Sarah Baran views herself as fiercely intimidating, but anyone who’s seen her trip over her own shoelaces knows the truth. She’s a paradox disguised in human form, a purveyor of caustic wit, a reluctant people-lover, and an idealistic cynic who sees the world through cracks in her rose-colored glasses. A love for writing grabbed her in a stranglehold when she was only a child, so she decided to give storytelling a whirl. If she’d known this decision would lead to an unhealthy obsession with daggers and many sleepless nights agonizing over finding the perfect words to describe a tree, she might have opted for a safer career choice. Regardless, she’s never looked back.
When she isn’t writing, Sarah dons the role of grouchy librarian and glares at children over the rims of her glasses. You can find her having a good time at humanity’s expense on her blog, TheSarcasticElf.com.
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.
Dreamer & realist, philosopher & punster, romantic & cynic—many words can be slapped down as labels for the man known (to most) as Martin Detwiler, but none of them are more true than this one: redeemed. Martin is a man made new by Christ, and he is being made new day by day.
Martin is mostly normal. For a writer. There are, of course, the usual paradoxes between ideal self and actual self, but on the whole Martin is motivated by a love of beauty. Whether it is found in people, stories, poetry, or the other arts, beauty has a transcendent quality that enlivens the mind to rise higher than the gritty flagstones underfoot—a central kernel of truth, as it were, that crystallizes aesthetic into something more. Finding, appreciating, and creating these moments of truth-filled beauty is the goal of Martin’s life, friendships, and writing. He has much farther to go on this path, but each step is a miracle all its own. Through his writing, Martin sincerely wishes that you would join him on that journey.
Martin’s greatest inspirations are C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, both of whom stirred a passion for stories that combine the aesthetic and the true in such a way that the reader is given an experiential glimpse of God’s reality.
Martin lives with his wife in South Carolina, where she keeps his sky-high hopes and dreams firmly rooted in the humble and yet beautiful soil of reality.
Lori Z. Scott
Elementary school teacher Lori Z. Scott usually writes fiction because, like an atom, she makes up everything. Her down time is filled with two quirky habits: chronic doodling and inventing lame jokes. Neither one impresses her principal (or friends/parents/casual strangers), but they do help inspire her writing. Somehow her odd musings led her to accidentally write the 10-book best-selling Meghan Rose series and purposely write more than 150 short stories, articles, essays, poems, and devotions. In addition, Lori contributed to over a dozen books, mostly so she would have an excuse to give people for not folding her laundry. (Hey! Busy writer here!) As a speaker, she’s visited several conferences and elementary schools to share her writing journey. Some of Lori’s favorite things include ice cream, fuzzy socks, Batman, Star Trek, Star Wars, books, and hugs from students. Guess which one is her favorite?
Lori graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in elementary education. During her time on campus, she played on their volleyball team and participated in the National City Ministries program. Most days she’s fully immersed in teaching, but most nights you can find her behind the keyboard. Since Batman didn’t want a sidekick, she teamed up with agent Cyle Young at the C.Y.L.E. Literary Agency.
Lori loves connecting with other writers, so you can stop by her Instagram page for encouragement, or visit Lori-Z-Scott.com for writing tips, general silliness, and a free coloring book download of some of her doodles.
Rachel Gilson has been writing stories since she found a dusty old typewriter buried in her parent’s basement at the age of nine. What started as a love for writing whodunit shorts (that she never finished before starting new ones) developed into a love for writing fantasy and science fiction.
Currently she’s working on an epic fantasy novel exploring sibling dynamics, free will, and hordes of flying, burrowing, and galloping creatures ready to kill or be killed. With her stories she hopes to glorify her Creator, who definitely holds first place for being the most impressive world builder ever.
When she’s not writing with her golden retriever Nova nestled at her feet, you can find her tabletop gaming with her awesome husband, out in the garden picking berries, or reading fables to her daughter in the hammock. She loves traveling to explore medieval castles and talking all things writing craft.