Stephen Zapotoczny is the Founder and CEO of The Magic Factory where he creates and distributes enchanting entertainment for people of all ages – exciting tales, both real and imagined, filled with brave heroes, wondrous adventures, and plenty of good old-fashioned fun. The Magic Factory’s recent publication, the fantasy adventure novel Sign of the Sandman by Tom Turner, was named a 2014 Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Award Finalist, also garnering rave reviews and fan comparisons to classics like The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. Stephen is also the creator and writer of the Ranger Baldy Adventures children’s books. Kirkus Reviews named the series’ debut, Ranger Baldy and the Disappearing Waterfall, as one of their “Best Books of 2014”. The book was also a nominee for the prestigious Kirkus Award for Literature, as well as a 2013 Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Award Finalist and Nature Generation’s Green Earth Book Award Finalist.
Prior to starting The Magic Factory, Stephen spent nearly a decade working as a producer and vice-president at Wheelhouse Entertainment with writer/director Randall Wallace (Braveheart, Secretariat, Pearl Harbor, Heaven Is For Real) where he co-produced Wallace’s acclaimed Vietnam War film We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson. Stephen oversaw development and production of Wheelhouse’s motion pictures, documentaries, television series, video games, music albums, and books in collaboration with a variety of top-tier entertainment companies, including Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, Miramax, The Weinstein Company, NBC, ABC, Discovery Channel, Simon & Schuster, Hyperion Books, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Icon Productions, Sony Music, and THQ. Born and raised in the shadows of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Stephen was inspired at an early age by the pioneer folklore and tales of legendary locals like Stonewall Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and Meriwether Lewis. He graduated from Duke University and now lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and two sons. Stephen spends most of his leisure time playing sports, enjoying classic movies and books, and exploring America’s National Parks. He has visited more than 200 National Park Service sites around the country.
Ranger Baldy will also appear at their table as well.