UTAH (ABC4) – A New York Times Best-selling author from St. George who helped writers like J.K Rowling and Stephanie Myers grow within their careers has died.

David Farland, best known for his science fiction and fantasy works passed away Thursday.

According to a Facebook post, Farland suffered a hemorrhagic stroke after he fell down the stairs Thursday morning.

Farland was a legendary writing instructor, a New York Times bestselling science fiction and fantasy writer, workshop presenter and teacher. Farland has mentored other major #1 New York Times Bestsellers such as J.K Rowling, Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), and Stephanie Myers (Twilight).

A source tells ABC4 that Farland pitched J.K. Rowling and was able to get her a publisher during his career.

Farland has written for major franchises such as Star Wars and The Mummy. He had worked in Hollywood greenlighting movies and doctoring scripts. He had been a movie producer, and had even lived in China working as a screenwriter for a major fantasy film franchise.

Farland was also the coordinating judge for Writers of the Future – one of the largest worldwide writing competitions for new fantasy and science fiction authors, he co-founded Superstars Writing Seminars, and was the founder of APEX Writing Group – which give writers access to weekly conference calls with well known authors and access to other like-minded writers pursuing their dreams.

Farland’s son Spencer announced the passing of his father on Facebook Thursday saying:

“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.”

Melissa Dalton Martinez, of The Book Break, says, “He was one of the kindest men ever and was always willing to help someone.”

The family has since started a GoFundMe for Farland’s funeral expenses. So far $5,748 has been raised.