Author Bios

Alex Stephenson

Alex Stephenson is a licensed professional counselor, author, and artist. He has served as a therapist for the Cherokee Nation since 2014.  Alex has written and illustrated books on friendship, acceptance, anxiety, and treating others compassionately, with the goal of helping children and parents discuss difficult topics in a comfortable way.

The First Fire is the third Cherokee children’s book that Alex has collaborated on with his coauthor and longtime friend, Brad Wagnon.

Brad Wagnon

Brad Wagnon is a lifelong resident of the Gideon Community and an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He is a graduate of Tahlequah High School and Northeastern State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Native American Studies. Brad taught Cherokee History, Culture and Language at Tahlequah High School for 10 years and has worked for Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach since June 2015. Brad’s position as Community Outreach Coordinator put him in contact with Cherokee citizens all over the United States.

Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac is a writer and traditional storyteller who lives  in the Adirondack Mountains Region of northern New York in the house he was raised in by his grandparents. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Greenfield Review Literary Center and The Greenfield Review Press. An enrolled member of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation, much of his writing draws on his Native ancestry.