Stan was born in
and spent a few years in Anchorage, Alaska with his parents before they returned to Tennessee when he was 12. Alaska
On his website he has a fine understated paragraph on a pivotal time in his life:
I spent a pleasant but basically aimless life until I moved to the Inupiat Eskimo village 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
off Point Hope. Chukchi Sea
There are more remote places in the
but not very many. United States
With 3,201 people it is the largest centre in the Northwest Arctic Borough and no place to get a sun tan. It is reported that there are an average of 5 days a year over 21C.
After departing Kotzebue Jones has worked as a journalist. His investigations include reports on the Exxon Valdez spill and he has co-authored a non-fiction book on the topic, The Spill: Personal Stories from the Exxon Valdez Disaster.
Jones speaks of the influence of Kotzebue:
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 is modeled on Kotzebue in many respects, and some of the characters in the series are loosely crafted around real people I knew. village of Chukchi
I have read the first two books in the Nathan Active series – White Sky Black Ice and
I enjoyed both of them. White Sky Black Ice tied for Third Most Interesting in Bill’s Best of 2009. It was also my entry in "J" in last year's Alphabet in Crime Fiction meme. Shaman Pass. tied for Third Best Fiction in Bill’s Best of 2010. Shaman Pass
Jones has an ability to create an interesting mystery that is firmly placed in the people and geography of its location.
He also has a keen appreciation of the Inuit people of
Northwest Alaska. In my review of Shaman Pass I said:
The importance of humour in indigenous life is constantly present in the book. Jones evokes the playful exchanges between indigenous people – not quite teasing, not really needling, on the edge of sarcastic, occasionally biting, always entertaining.
He evokes precisely the language I am used to when dealing with my Cree Indian clients.
Finally, I enjoyed exchanging emails with him. He promptly replied to each of my contacts.
I look forward to reading more in the series.