Evans graduated from Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City. He graduated with a B.A. degree from the University of Utah in 1984. While working as an advertising executive he wrote a Christmas story for his children. Unable to find a publisher or an agent, he self-published the work in 1993 as a paperback novella entitled The Christmas Box. He distributed it to book stores in his community.
The book became a local bestseller, prompting Evans to publish the book nationally. The next year The Christmas Box hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, inciting an auction for the publishing rights among the world's top publishing houses. Evans signed a publishing deal with Simon & Schuster, who paid Evans $4.2 million in an advance. Released in hardcover in 1995, The Christmas Box became the first book to simultaneously reach the number-one position on the New York Times bestseller list for both paperback and hardcover editions. That same year, the book was made into a television movie of the same title, starring Richard Thomas and Maureen O'Hara.
Evans has subsequently written eleven nationally best-selling books, including those for children, most with conservative Christian themes and appealing to family values. His 1996 book Timepiece was made into a television movie featuring James Earl Jones and Ellen Burstyn, as was 1998's The Locket, which starred Vanessa Redgrave, and 2003's A Perfect Day, which starred Rob Lowe and Christopher Lloyd.