The Alive Communications team consists of individuals with proven track records in the industry–people known for their knowledge of words, strategic thinking, negotiation skills, business acumen, relational abilities, and marketing savvy. They understand the creative process and know contracts inside and out. They are devoted to ideas and expanding opportunities. They’re big-picture thinkers who sweat the small stuff. They understand words because they’ve written and spoken widely themselves. Most of all, they’re people of integrity and character. They’re people you can count on; a team you can trust.
Rick Christian has had a life-long passion for words and great writing. He is the founder and president of Alive Communications, the premiere literary agency, with more than a dozen NY Times #1 bestsellers to his credit. He launched Alive Communications in Los Angeles in 1989 and moved operations to Colorado Springs in 1991. Books represented by Alive have sold more than 150 million copies, have also occupied the #1 slot on best-selling lists compiled by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly, and been optioned by numerous independent producers and film studios including Columbia, Disney and Sony.
Christian’s efforts on behalf of top authors have been widely chronicled in leading newspapers and magazines, from the NY Times and USA Today to Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly and Publisher’s Weekly. His biography and record of achievement appear in Who’s Who in America.
Raised in San Diego and a 1977 graduate of Stanford University (communications and creative writing), he also studied at Capernwray Bible School in England and the University of Southern California where he pursued graduate work in professional writing. Christian launched his publishing career as a newspaper reporter and columnist, followed by a career switch to magazine publishing. He served as associate editor of Campus Life magazine, executive editor of The Saturday Evening Post, and then transitioned to executive leadership in book publishing. Along the way, he wrote several books himself, including Alive, The Woodland Hills Tragedy, A Gift of Life, and Silent Night, which was adapted for the television series “Sue Thomas F.B.Eye.”
It is as a literary agent that Christian became renowned, particularly for his entrepreneurial efforts behind such mega-sellers as the Left Behind series (66 million copies with millions more in 27 languages), Eugene Peterson’s The Message (15 million copies), Karen Kingsbury’s novels (20 million copies), Lisa Beamer’s post 9-11 Let’s Roll (1.5 million copies), and the Life Recovery Bible (2 million copies). He is also celebrated for his literary efforts on behalf of Billy Graham and his family, Brennan Manning, Emerson Eggerichs, and Rwanda President Paul Kagame, among others. Other Alive phenoms include Don Miller’s Blue Like Jazz (1 million copies), Ron Hall and Denver Moore’s Same Kind of Different as Me (1 million), and Heaven is for Real (6 million). Christian’s representation of high-profile properties, negotiation for major theatrical adaptations, and pioneering work to develop cross-over markets and leverage support across all formats and mediums, earned Christian and his Alive Communications team its second-to-none reputation as Agents of Change.
Christian also serves on the board of Tirzah International, a network of national movements encompassing over 150,000 women leaders worldwide, addressing issues of injustice affecting women and girls. He and his wife Debbie have a blended family of seven children and live on a ranch in Black Forest, outside of Colorado Springs. His interests include real estate development, winter sports, boating, mountain biking, fishing and hunting. He is an avid reader, travels broadly, and finds special challenge in the Wall Street Journal and NY Times crossword puzzles and hiking mountains over 14,000 feet.
Little Known Facts: Rick was a paper boy, yo-yo champion, Eagle Scout, and high school student body president. He has hunted cape buffalo in Africa, alligators in South America and bear in Colorado. An avid fly fisherman, he has also landed king salmon in Alaska and marlin in Cabo San Lucas.
Lee Hough is among that select group of American literary agents to have three collaborative books simultaneously on the prestigious New York Times bestseller list: Heaven Is for Real – Going Rogue – and Same Kind of Different As Me
Lee first studied the art of storytelling at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles while co-authoring for a bestselling pastor. Moving from California to Colorado, Lee then held the consecutive positions of Senior Acquisitions Editor and Managing Editor at David C. Cook Publishing. From there he joined Alive Communications as a literary agent in 2001; in 2007 he was named “Agent of the Year” by Thomas Nelson publishing; and in 2010 was named vice president of Alive Communications. Over the years Lee has earned the respect of publishers and peers through hard work, integrity, and a passionate dedication to his authors. That passion has resulted in numerous other bestsellers and critically acclaimed works such as:
The Sacred Acre by Mark Tabb with the Ed Thomas family who was given the ESPY “Author Ashe Courage Award”
Never Surrender by LTG (Ret.) William Boykin, former Commander of U.S. Army Special Forces
Jesus, My Father, the CIA and Me by Ian Cron, Episcopal priest
The Blood of Lambs by Kamal Saleem, a former terrorist, and,
The Plague Maker, by novelist Tim Downs
Lee works with a very select stable of award winning fiction and non-fiction authors like Rich Stearns, president of World Vision and bestselling author of The Hole in Our Gospel; Terri Blackstock, NYT bestseller (over 6 million sold); Sheila Walsh (over 4 million sold); Nancy Rue (over 1.5 million sold); and Randy Singer (“gripping, obsessively readable” – starred PW review). Where did Lee’s love for words begin? When he discovered at age four that they had the power to get him out of a spanking after he set fire to, well, not the fireplace. Since then, authors like Beryl Markham, Laura Hillenbrand, Eugene Peterson, Robert McKee, Rick Bragg, and many others have led him to healthier, more helpful expressions of his love for story. Lee is married to Paula, and they have a blended family with three great kids, Katie, Cole, and Molly.
Little Known Facts: In High School, Lee was president of TARS, an all-volunteer organization that ran camps and day programs for special needs kids. Later, he worked as a gunfighter at Six Flags Over Texas; earned a masters in Biblical studies at Dallas Theological Seminary; trained indigent publishers in Sao Paulo, Brazil; climbs a “fourteener” every summer (Pikes Peak, 14,115 ft.); and owns a signed 40th Anniversary Edition of To Kill A Mockingbird. Lee grew up in Texas and one of the “prerequisites” for citizenship in that sovereign state is bull riding. So, of course, he put on his hat, tied himself to fifteen hundred pounds of hostile beef and said, “Outside!” It was a short ride. As was the second one. His brother rode first on the third go-around and dislocated his shoulder. Lee decided then that he had earned his citizenship and hung up his spurs.
Joel has spent much of his life studying and pitching great stories. While performing in numerous productions at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts he explored many classical playwrights like Brecht, Chekhov, Shakespeare, Shaw and Wilde. Upon graduation, he pursued classes at Chicago’s Second City and graduate work at the University of Delaware. His passion for words led Joel to Multnomah Publishers, where he entered the world of trade book publishing as a publicist. His inaugural project was The Prayer of Jabez, which shattered sales records and became a fixture on The New York Timesbestseller list. He went on to manage publicity efforts at WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House.
Since joining Alive in 2008, Joel has enjoyed working alongside bestselling novelists Kathy Herman, Diane Noble, Donita Paul and Cliff Graham. All experts in their own category. Kathy Herman’s proven mastery of contemporary suspense has earned her the adoration of readers across the nation. Donita Paul’s love for children became the genesis for her Dragon Keeper Chronicles fantasy series and Diane Noble continues to send readers’ hearts soaring with her heart-rending historical romance. In 2010, Joel signed on Cliff Graham, a young novelist with a fresh voice whose riveting retelling of the ancient battles of King David and his mighty men are breathing new fire and passion into these legendary tales—so much so that a major film production company has optioned his novels.
2010 also saw the publication of the runaway hit Heaven Is for Real, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent. The title quickly shot up industry bestseller lists, occupying the number one spot on both Amazon.com’s ranking list and paperback nonfiction list. In his book teenager Austin Gutwein rallied his peers into shooting free throws for A.I.D.S. orphans in Africa, igniting a movement called Hoops of Hope. To date, the foundation has raised upwards of two million dollars for kids in Zambia. Kim Meeder’s true stories from the “ranch of rescued dreams” have spawned over 800 similar horse ranches across North America.
Joel is married to Shawna and lives in Colorado Springs.
Little Known Facts: In 1985, Joel almost fell off the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Andrea brings a broad publishing background to every project she represents, having worked as an editor, marketer, and agent, with award-winning and best-selling authors of both fiction and nonfiction adult, youth, and children’s books. Her love for the written word began early in life, and took her to Seattle Pacific University where she majored in English, studied Literature in London, and wrote for the university’s newspaper. Andrea started her career as a literary agent, where she contracted over 30 books with major publishers. She went on to work at NavPress, first as a publicist, where she directed and implemented publicity plans for the publisher, including release events, author signings, media appearances, and trade shows, and later as an editor, where she helped develop a new line of books targeting college students. Andrea was recently an acquisitions editor at David C. Cook, where she acquired dozens of book titles, including a Christy award winner, and a book that Publisher’s Weekly, deemed one of the best books published in 2008. In her free time, Andrea enjoys driving her red Jeep Wrangler, traveling, reading, hiking, and skiing.
Little Known Facts: Andrea is an avid traveler and her adventures have taken her on planes, trains, and automobiles around the world. She’s been scuba diving in Israel, ridden an elephant in Thailand, and worked at an orphanage in the Ukraine.