AuthorsFirst was founded by New York Times bestselling author Lou Aronica, Tony and Pulitzer Award-winning Broadway veteran Mitchell Maxwell, and Aaron Brown, an international bestselling author who publishes under the name Ethan Cross. Authors First offers a wide range of instructional sessions (both print and video) at basic and intermediate levels. A Master Class level was introduced in the fall of 2014. It is owned by Studio Digital CT, LLC, a Stamford, CT-based media company.
Lou Aronica has thirty-three years of high-level experience in the book business. He was Publisher of two of the industry's largest imprints, Avon Books and Berkley Books, and Deputy Publisher of a third, Bantam Books. As a writer, he is the author of twenty-four books, including the New York Times nonfiction bestsellers The Element and Finding Your Element (with Ken Robinson), and the nonfiction national bestseller The Culture Code (with Clotaire Rapaille), the USA Today bestselling novel The Forever Year, and the national bestselling novel Blue. Lou is also former president of Novelists Inc.
Mitchell Maxwell has built five entertainment companies and has owned and operated three off-Broadway theaters. A thirty-five-year veteran of the entertainment industry, he has produced seven Broadway shows, more than thirty off-Broadway and regional productions, four national tours, three West End productions and six major motion pictures. He has directed in New York, London, and regionally. His productions have been nominated for – and won – almost every theatrical award including the Tony, Pulitzer, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Obie and Ovation awards. He is also a novelist, and his novels Little Did I Know and On Second Thought will be coming from The Story Plant soon.
When a fireman or a policeman would visit his school, most of his classmates’ heads would swim with aspirations of growing up and catching bad guys or saving someone from a blazing inferno. When these moments came for Aaron Brown, however, his dreams weren't to someday be a cop or put out fires; he just wanted to write about it. And his dream of telling stories on a grand scale came to fruition with the release of his first book, The Shepherd, under the pen name Ethan Cross. The Shepherd went on to become an international bestseller published in several countries and languages. Aaron followed this up with The Prophet, The Cage, Callsign: Knight, Blind Justice, Father of Fear, The Judas Game, Only the Strong, and The Taker. His latest series, Ackerman and Shirazi, is the spin-off of the Shepherd series coming from the Story Plant in 2021.
In addition to writing and working in the publishing industry, Aaron has also served as the Chief Technology Officer for a national franchise, recorded albums and opened for national recording artists as lead singer and guitar player in a musical group, and been an active and highly involved member of the International Thriller Writers organization. Aaron lives and writes in Illinois with his wife, three kids, and two Shih Tzus.