Richard Paul Evans: The Accidental Author

Posted on Dec 31, 2017

“Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting.” — Richard Paul Evans

Richard Paul Evans may be the New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Christmas Box, but this wasn’t something that he’d been planning his whole life around. What started as a mere hobby turned into a fruitful career.

Richard Paul Evans at

An advertising executive, Evans wrote and self-published The Christmas Box, a Christmas story for children. He did this after he was unable to find a publisher or agent. The story was published as a paperback novella in 1993 and distributed in his community. The Christmas Box is about a family of three who moves in the Victorian home of an elderly widow named Mary Perkins after being hired as her caretakers. As Christmas arrives, the widow grows closer to the family, and together, they discover the greatest gift that the holiday has to offer.

The Christmas Box Book Cover

The book was a hit locally. This encouraged Evans to publish more copies for the region. The following year, The Christmas Box made the New York Times Best-Seller List at #2. This incited an auction for publication rights by the world’s leading publishing houses. In the end, Evans signed with Simon & Schuster, who paid him an initial $4.2 million.

In 1995, The Christmas Box was published in hardcover and became the first book to simultaneously hit number 1 on the best-seller list for both paperback and hardcover editions. The book was also made into a television movie later that year, led by Richard Thomas and Maureen O’Hara.

The Christmas Box Poster

After that successful debut, Evans continued to write more books for children, highlighting Christian themes and family values. More of his books were adapted into television films. Timepiece (1996) starred Naomi Watts, James Earl Jones, and Ellen Burstyn. The Locket (1998) was led by Vanessa Redgrave. Finally, A Perfect Day (2006) starred Rob Lowe and Christopher Lloyd.

Timepiece Book Cover
The Locket Book Cover
A Perfect Day Book Cover

One of his latest novels is a young-adult series starring a fourteen-year-old named Michael Vey. He may seem like an ordinary boy, but he and his friends discover that he was born with electric powers. Later on, the trio also discover that there are other children with electric powers—and that someone or something is hunting them. After Michael’s mother gets kidnapped, Michael relies on his powers and his friends in order to find his mother and battle the powerful Elgen.

Michael Vey Book Series

In 1997, Evans founded the Christmas Box House International. The organization builds shelters and provides services for abused and neglected children. Evans lives with his family in Utah.

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