Hi, I thought I’d introduce myself here. I consider myself an Author first, but I’ve been involved in all facets of the business from teaching journalism and writing at the university level, to working for newspapers for more than twenty years as a reporter and editor, to helping others with their book projects, and now as co-owner of the indie publishing company WildBlue Press based in Colorado.
With the WildBlue Press release of A CLOCKWORK MURDER last spring, I’ve now written eleven non-fiction books, including true crime, biography and history. Additionally, I’ve collaborated with
former New York assistant district attorney Robert K. Tanenbaum to write fourteen crime thrillers in the Butch Karp fiction series. (More on my books below.)
Several of my non-fiction and fiction books have been New York Times bestsellers, including MONSTER and NO STONE UNTURNED. And all have been national bestsellers on other lists, such as ROUGH TRADE and SMOOTH TALKER.
My narrative history book, LUCKY LADY: The World War II Heroics of the USS Santa Fe and Franklin, won the prestigious Colorado Center for the Book award for best history/biography in 2003 and was runner-up for the Admiral Samuel E. Morrison Award for Naval History that year.
I also wrote a biography, TO THE EDGE AND BACK, the inspiring story of Chris Klug, the Olympic snowboard medalist who was the first organ transplant recipient to compete in the games. The reviewers were very gracious ab0ut that book, too.
“After TO THE EDGE AND BACK, don’t be surprised if your own desire to aim a little higher becomes undeniable. “– U.S. Snowboarding News
In 2014, myself and a long-time friend, Michael Cordova, launched the indie book publisher WildBlue Press. With it becoming more and more difficult for really good authors and books to get offers from traditional publishers, we saw a place for WildBlue to offer them a publishing home. Starting with our true crime and crime fiction lines, we’ve now published nearly 50 books by three dozen authors and expanded into history and biography. With have plans to also move into publishing Romance in the Spring 2018.
In the past, I’ve taught journalism, writing, editing and mass communications at two different universities. And now I also have a sideline of business helping other would-be authors develop, write and refine their own books. (For more on this write to me at [email protected], Subject Line: Book Help).
Starting with writing and editing for my college newspaper at my alma mater Colorado State University where I graduated in 1979 with Bachelor’s degree in journalism, I spent more than twenty years as a newspaper journalist.
As such I worked in locales as diverse as Washington, D.C., Micronesia and Malaysia, as well as Florida, Oregon and, of course, Colorado. During that time I won a number of national writing awards including the C.B. Blethen Award for Distinguished Journalism (twice), and The DART Award.
I’ve covered most everything from science to medicine to international and social issues to politics. But I was probably best known for my writing about cops, courts and criminals. In 1998 that led to the publication of my first book MONSTER, the true crime story of a brutal killer and the bulldog of a cop who refused to let him get away with murder. MONSTER was published in October of that year, and within two weeks made the New York Times bestseller list.
With several other books in print in 2001, I left newspapers to pursue a full-time career as an author though I continued to teach journalism at Metro State University in Denver, Colorado. I returned to newspapers briefly in 2005 as an executive editor to whip four failing newspapers into shape, one of them being my hometown paper, but left the business for good a year later having turned them into award-winning publications.
I’ve appeared on numerous television and radio programs in regard to my books. Here are a few examples:
SMOOTH TALKER: Trail of Death was an Epic Mysteries episode on the Investigation Discovery Channel featuring Steve Jackson.
In 2009, I co-authored the true crime book NOT LOST FOREVER with Carmina Salcido, a very brave young woman who survived her father’s brutal attack that killed seven other people, and then returned many years later to learn the truth about what happened and confront the man who robbed her of her family and her innocence. Carmina’s story was featured in an hour-long 20/20 show based on the book. You can watch it here.
My true crime book, BOGEYMAN, was the first book written exclusively for WildBlue Press. It’s the story of David E. Penton, one of the most horrific serial child-killers in U.S. history, and the incredible police work by tenacious Texas lawmen who exposed him as a monster and made him pay for the unsolved 15-year-old murders of three children (and identifying him as the suspect in several more that are awaiting justice). Listen to Steve talk about BOGEYMAN, MONSTER and writing true crime on LATalkRadio with John Johnson and Dr. Estella Sneider.
These are just a few of the reviews I’ve been honored to receive for my books.
“An effort evocative of James Bradley’s FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS . . . . Rich in moods and memories . . . Down-home, heart-tugging stories….” — Naval History Magazine, August 2003
“In this exciting book . . . , readers come to know the ships’ crews as ordinary men who triumphed under extraordinary circumstances.” — Sea Power Magazine, May 2003
“A biographical testament, told by everyone from captains to seamen…. As good as any military technothriller.” — Library Journal
“Masterfully tells the saga of these two ships…. Eloquently describe[s] the almost spiritual camaraderie among shipmates.” — The Dallas Morning News
“The pathos of Ernie Pyle and the historic intuition of Stephen Ambrose. . . . [U]nsentimental when it might have been maudlin. . . . Eloquent.” — The Denver Post, December 29, 2002
“One of the best books short of the famous Ann Rule works.” –-True Crime Book Reviews
–“Steve Jackson is a born storyteller. He makes you sweat. . .and turn the page.”-Ron Franscell, author of The Darkest Night
“This is a well-written case told by one of the best true crime storytellers in the business. An absolute must have book for true crime enthusiasts.”— RJ Parker, True Crime Author and publisher
“Jackson gives a master class on true crime reporting in Bogeyman. He writes with both muscle and heart …”– Gregg Olsen, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl In The Woods
“Jackson writes deeply… It’s all in BOGEYMAN, a fascinating, well-
paced read about the lows and highs of cold case investigations.”—bestselling author and professor of forensic psychology Katherine Ramsland in Psychology Today.
“Absorbing and haunting! BOGEYMAN spills creepily across the page with Steve Jackson’s hellacious verve and insight, reminding us there are few better explorers of the American berserk.“–Ron Franscell, bestselling author of THE DARKEST NIGHT
“After having read his riveting MONSTER non-stop, I didn’t see how Steve Jackson could top Steve Jackson with BOGEYMAN. I can’t say he has, as they are both equally riveting. In BOGEYMAN, he doesn’t so much focus on the monster he calls “the darkness,” but on the fine detectives who made it their life mission to put an end to his reign of terror. I highly recommend both fine works!” – Diana Montane, bestselling c0-author of “MISSING AND PRESUMED DEAD.”
NO STONE UNTURNED
“A fascinating, macabre journey sure to entrance true-crime buffs and police-procedural detective fiction fans.”-Whitney Scott, Booklist, American Library Association
“Jackson’s sharp eye misses nothing in the painstakingly rendered details. A must-have for true crime fans”–Publisher’s Weekly
“A fascinating journey into the trenches of crime [investigation]”–Lowell Cauffiel, New York Times bestselling author of House of Secrets
A CLOCKWORK MURDER:
“A wonderful and dark summer read not for the light of heart. It is a journey into the minds of two men who together become one killer. It is an unpaved roadway through the legal system and what the survivors of such crimes are forced to endure. A solid five out of five stars.”–Blaine L. Pardoe, author of A SPECIAL KIND OF EVIL
I’ve Even Been In the News!
Life Imitates Art When Gunman Comes Knocking on Steve Jackson’s Door
Date: July 23,2014 (WildBlue Press Archive)
True crime author Steve Jackson was sitting in his home office, lamenting his softball team losing two games that morning, and working on his next book when a teen-aged girl came to the door and asked for help, claiming she and her boyfriend had been in a car accident. Now Jackson is writing a story about the episode when true crime became real life; available in late May.
News And Upcoming Projects
I was recently nominated for full membership in NecroSearch International, the incredibly talented group of forensic investigators described in NO STONE UNTURNED. It’s quite an honor and I’ll be helping with the recording of their history and media contacts; and I have a few thoughts about the use of “forensic history” during their investigations. I’ll be writing a second book about NecroSearch describing the group’s evolution and some of their best cases since the first book was published in 2000.
Several other book projects are in the works. One is tentatively titled FINDING ANASTASIA, which is the story of one aristocratic Russian family’s dramatic adventures during the Russian revolution and civil war, and the quest of one of its sons many years later to help find the remains of Russia’s last ruling family, savagely murdered in 1918 and buried in clandestine graves.
As part of my research, I’ve been traveling to Russia during the summer since 2013 helping a search team, including members of NecroSearch International, look for the remains of the Grand Duke Mikhail Romanov. Although thus far we’ve been unsuccessful in locating the grand duke, we’ve learned a lot about the murder, as well as made great friends with our Russian counterparts. This year, 2017, I also spent time in Moscow interviewing various sources for the book.
I am also currently working on another true crime based on an Oregon murder case tentatively titled, SAVING ANNA, and on a novel called ISLA MUJERES.
And I have plans for a crime thriller series of my own based on a hard-driving U.S. Marshal named Heck Thomas, who is part of the agency’s violent fugitive task force. So stay tuned.
What About My Personal Life?
I like to travel for both work and pleasure including Russia, Micronesia and Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Greece, the Cayman Islands twice (I know, I know … I had it rough) and places in the United States including New York, California and Oregon. But Colorado will always be home-base and is to me the most beautiful place on the planet. I also play guitar (fair) and, of course, enjoy reading though there never seems to be enough time to get to all of the books I’d like. I have great friends who help me enjoy this incredible place I live. I also have three daughters and a grandson, all of whom I adore. Life is good.