sjbooks.com

Welcome to the official web site of mystery author Stan Jones!

Stan in pixBiography

I was born in Anchorage, Alaska.  But my parents were from Tennessee and moved back there when I was about two.

So I spent my boyhood through age twelve on a farm near the Tennessee-Mississippi border.  I actually shot squirrels with a .22, picked cotton, rode bareback on a giant plowhorse named Bob, and raised a heifer that I entered in the county fair!  The county in question, by the way, was McNairy County, notable chiefly for moonshiners and a sheriff named Buford Pusser, who busted the moonshiners and got himself made famous in a corny movie called “Walking Tall.”

My parents, it turned out, had caught the Alaska virus, so we moved back to Anchorage when I was twelve and I’ve lived in Alaska ever since, except for a couple of relatively brief college-related absences spent “Outside,” as Alaskans call the rest of the United States.

I spent a pleasant but basically aimless life until I moved to the Inupiat Eskimo village of Kotzebue in my late twenties.  I found the lovely, barren Arctic landscape absolutely mesmerizing, the extreme climate a joy, and the Native culture fascinating.  I landed Bush planes on the sea ice, drove snowmachines over the tundra, hunted moose and caribou, and once helped paddle a sealskin umiaq in pursuit of a bowhead whale on the Chukchi Sea off Point Hope.

After Kotzebue, I lived in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and then Anchorage again, working as a newspaper journalist.  I won several major national awards for investigative stories that led to impeachment proceedings against one of Alaska’s governors, and for coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

After I left Kotzebue, I found the country, weather and people of Northwest Alaska more interesting than ever, and so started the Nathan Active series.  The fictional village of Chukchi is modeled on Kotzebue in many respects, and some of the characters in the series are loosely crafted around real people I knew.

Nowadays, besides writing mysteries, I work for the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, set up after the Exxon Valdez oil spill to make sure no more such horrors are visited on Alaska’s environment. I also operate the literary website Booksley's Reading Room (www.booksley.com).

I live in Anchorage.  I’m married to Susan Jones, an epidemiologist, and have two children, both adults.

Other than my family and the Arctic, my personal passion in life is photography, particularly photography of the North. I'm a wildly eclectic reader, but some of my favorite authors who write, or wrote, about the North are Charlie Brower, Hudson Stuck, Edgar Keithahn, Paul Green, Chester Seveck, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Edwin Hall, Ernest Burch, and Claire Fejes (who was also a wonderful painter of Eskimo life in Northwest Alaska).