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West Jordan Journal

Local fantasy author wins BookFest award

May 02, 2022 09:15PM ● By Linda Steele

By Linda Steele  l  [email protected]

Local author W.D Kilpack III won the BookFest Award at the semiannual Virtual on April 2. He won in the Epic Fantasy category for his novel “Crown Prince: Book One of New Blood.”

“Crown Prince” is the first of the eight-book “New Blood Saga.” It centers around Natharr, the Guardian of Maarihk.Natharr and is rooted in his Firstblood, giving him insight to see what is to be. He has had sacred duties for centuries since the Firstborn was forced to extinction by the Aa. Natharr stands guard over all men Aa or Firstborn. He decides what will come to pass and what he can avoid and what is not unavoidable. He spends decades planning. He wants to save the life of the newborn Crown Prince Vikari so he can reclaim the throne of the land where mankind was created in the time when the Olde Gods walked.

This is Kilpack’s fourth award he has received for “Crown Prince.” In 2021, the other three books include Firebird Book Award in which Kilpack finished runner-up in the Sci-fi/Fantasy category of the OlineBook Club’s 2020 Book of the Year Competition. The Washington-based podcast Sinister Soup named Kilpack Author of the Month in April 2021 for the novel.

Kilpack is a critically acclaimed, award-winning international published writer. His works appear online, print, radio and television. His first credit publication was at the age of 9, when he wrote an award-winning poem. He wrote his first novel at the age of 12. Later in his career, he received special recognition from L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest. He has been editor and publisher of 19 news and literary publications—online and print—with circulations as high as 770,000.

Kilpack has many other accomplishments too. He cooks every type of food on a grill. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. He double majored in communication and philosophy for his undergrad work, besides completing the honors program. He earned a Master of Professional Communication with a writing emphasis. Not only does he write and has completed all of his degrees and honors, but he is also a high-performing athlete for international competition in Greco-Roman wrestling. He is a nationally recognized wrestling coach and communication professor. He is happily married and has five children, plus five stepchildren. He was born and lives in Salt Lake City. He continues to teach and coach.

“I love science fiction and fantasy,” he said. “I would describe my fantasy novels as ‘real epic fantasy.’ Magic is more subtle. The characters have doubts and everyday concerns, on top of the more traditional plot elements. The truth of the matter is, the best sci-fi and fantasy uses distortion and exaggeration to make the human condition that much more apparent. I like that.”

According to Sinister Soup co-founder Clay Vermulm, “Kilpack delivers a stunning blow to the belief that Indie-Fantasy is worth any less that its salt. ‘Crown Prince’ is a well-crafted epic with unique plot mechanisms, well-developed and believable characters, and a world grounded in the visceral and the real. I could not recommend this series any higher!”

The BookFest Awards honors outstanding books published within the last five years. Desiree Duffy, founder of The BookFest, said: “It was important to highlight books that may not have received the recognition deserved. The BookFest Awards honors outstanding literary achievement. Saluting writers and connecting them with readers is the mission of The BookFest. We welcome submissions and look forward to honoring many deserving books and authors.”

According to “Crown Prince stands out with amazing descriptions, complex characters, and intriguing supernatural elements … book one in the ‘New Blood’ series, the storyline is incredibly promising … I absolutely loved the descriptive prowess of this author … Kilpack genuinely takes the time to help us immerse in the fantasy world, no matter if he describes a battle scene, a peaceful moment, or a mythological creature like a hamadryad or a Manticore, he always manages to conjure the best images in or minds … the author does a great job of incorporating the supernatural elements in a general atmosphere of myth and legend … there was nothing I disliked about this novel … the series has the potential to acquire epic dimensions.”

For more information on Kilpack, go to

The BookFest has a lot of adventures happening in the Spring and Fall. The BookFest is streamed live on YouTube and Facebook. You can watch the previous BookFest and look at past panels and start conversations. The BookFest offers authors to be recognized for their outstanding literary achievements. You can be considered for Brave New Writer or the Critiki-Bar at the next BookFest Adventure. You can enter The Pitching Room to submit your documents to be seen by literary agents and publishing decision makers. There is The BookFest Big Bundle of Books Giveaway you can enter to win. Five winners will be announced at The BookFest. You can find out all information and pitch your stories by going to