Hi, I thought I’d introduce myself with a few words here. I’m an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author and journalist based in Colorado. With the WildBlue Press release of SMOOTH TALKER: Trail of Death in April 2016, I’ve now written ten nonfiction books, published under my name, and I’ve collaborated with former New York assistant district attorney Robert K. Tanenbaum to write twelve crime thrillers in the Butch Karp fiction series.
Get New York Times bestselling author Steve Jackson’s new #truecrime SMOOTH TALKER, about #serialkiller Roy Melanson and the #detectives who brought him down!
I started my professional writing career in newspapers and worked as a journalist for more than twenty years in locales as diverse as Washington, D.C. and Micronesia, as well as Florida, Oregon and, of course, Colorado. I’ve covered most everything from science to medicine to international and social issues to politics and even a smattering of sports. 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. It was re-released in July 2013 with updated material and is now available on ebook, as well as print.
“Jackson’s book (MONSTER) is an absolute must-read for fans of true-crime. It’s definitely right up there with another recent favorite of mine, THE DARKEST NIGHT by Ron Franscell.”—John Ferak, journalist and author of BLOODY LIES. (For John’s full review of MONSTER).
Several of my other books, nonfiction and fiction, have also made bestseller lists, including true crime books NO STONE UNTURNED, the story of the world’s foremost forensic grave hunters NecroSearch International, ROUGH TRADE, LOVE ME TO DEATH, PARTNERS IN EVIL, and my best-selling true crime BOGEYMAN: He Was Every Parent’s Nightmare.
BREAKING NEWS! SMOOTH TALKER: Trail of Death was an Epic Mysteries episode on the Investigation Discovery Channel featuring Steve Jackson.
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 written.
Reviewers have raved about Jackson’s WildBlue Press books:
“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
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
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.
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 new true crime book, BOGEYMAN, was 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).
“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.
“Jackson gives a master class on true crime reporting in BOGEYMAN. He writes with both muscle and heart as he chronicles every parent’s worst nightmare. Taut and smart, his prose defies any reader to set it aside.”—Gregg Olsen, New York Times bestselling author of IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU.
“Absorbing and haunting! BOGEYMAN spills creepily across the page with Steve Jackson’s hellatious 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.”
However I don’t just write about crime, true or fictional. In 2003, my World War II dramatic nonfiction narrative, LUCKY LADY: The World War II Heroics of the USS Santa Fe and Franklin, received The Colorado Book Award for best biography/history from the Colorado Center for the Book. LUCKY LADY was also the runner-up that year for the Admiral Samuel Morrison Naval History Award, the most prestigious of the U.S. naval history awards. It’s more than just a book to me as it’s also about my parents and others of that generation during the war years.
Here’s a twenty-minute documentary on the bombing of the USS Franklin that figures so prominently in the book.
The reviews for LUCKY LADY were outstanding:
“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
“The pathos of Ernie Pyle and the historic intuition of Stephen Ambrose. . . . Eloquent.” — The Denver Post
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
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 spent a month in Russia in 2013 helping a search team, including members of NecroSearch International, look for the remains of the Grand Duke Mikhail Romanov. We were unsuccessful that year and the next, but we’re returning to Russia in June 2015 to resume the search, hopefully with success.
I also 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. And I have a literary novel in the works called ISLA MUJERES, which is part action-adventure, part romance. So stay tuned.
I have one other book project but it has nothing to do with my writing. I am the co-founder of WildBlue Press Inc. with my partner, Michael Cordova, a website and web marketing genius (and book lover) and president of 21st Century Technologies (21stsoft.com). Our idea was to form a publishing company in which our consortium of well-regarded, award-winning and best-selling authors are also the publishers, choosing what they want to present to readers and working together to rise above the “white noise” of indie publishing. I believe you’ll enjoy their efforts.
I like to travel for both work and pleasure and in the past couple of years have been to Russia, 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.