Photos by Jared Swanson (@abbotkinney)

GARY DEAN SIMPSON

Gary Dean earned an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute, where his thesis script SOMEDAY COMES PARADISE won the distinguished AFI Screenwriter Award.  This recognition led to the writing of an original dark thriller RAZOR with Tapestry Films and several writing assignments.  As a spirited supporter of independent film and talent, Gary Dean produced a quirky comedy, KABLUEY, released in 2007, followed by a coming-of-age drama film, ACCORDING TO GRETA, in 2009.  With his diverse talent, Simpson has recently completed an epic science-fiction spec script, ARCHAEA.  This compelling, original adventure is envisioned as a trilogy franchise with a graphic novel of the first installment of this saga completed and the second installment, an episodic to introduce the futuristic world, in the works.

As a creative force, Gary Dean brings a vast background of life experience to story development and production execution.  With an undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M, magna cum laude, he worked and lived in the international business world — London, Dubai, Jakarta, Greenland and Paris.  Back at home, Simpson invested sweat-equity as a business entrepreneur in the private arena and on Wall Street with a large public entity.

Gary Dean grew up on the gritty beaches of South Texas where mother-nature offered an amazing playground — sailing, fishing, windsurfing and hurricanes.  He graduated high school valedictorian with awards in acting and writing … and grand creative ambitions.  He and his family – wife Amy and five children – are avid travelers, adventure seekers and story enthusiasts.

AMY SIMPSON

At Dare To Be Free Press, Amy brings to life her passion for the healing of hearts and minds through storytelling.

With an English literature major and Business Administration/History minors, Amy began her career in technology communications and invested a demanding ten years in public relations and marketing. Then her life shifted to the non-profit world, merging her business mind with her desire to help make the world a better place. It was fast-paced, challenging and rewarding. Over a 25-year journey, Amy flourished in communications campaigns for Silicon Valley start-ups, project management in education administration, and fundraising for national and global non-profits. In her partnership role, Amy combines her editorial experience, management skills and literary background.

Born in Virginia, Amy grew up all over the Southern U.S., giving her a deep appreciation for humble beginnings, strong convictions, gentle demeanors, and friendly waves from pick-up trucks. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, valedictorian and summa cum laude, from Presbyterian College in South Carolina. Fortunately, this connoisseur of the written word in all of its forms is finally learning how to love and how to dream. Amy lives in Southern California with her husband and finds her happy place on the beach and with her family.